Mondello Park: New track layout for Rallycross season opener
It will be all change for the 2017 Irish Rallycross Championship as Mondello Park looks to reverse the fortunes of the domestic Rallycross series with a host of new ideas and initiatives including reversing the track for round one.
Sunday will see competitors tackle what is effectively a whole new circuit for the opening round of the 2017 Parts for Cars Irish Championship. Starting at the Grandstand the cars will head anti-clockwise on a long fast run to Southside Corner before turning left and then immediately right onto the first of the loose sections. The down-hill run to Irish Ferries corner will be followed by a tight left hander which will take competitors briefly back onto the tarmac before they tackle the fast right handed loose section at Bridgestone Corner.
The ‘hole in the hedge’ will be one of the biggest challenges on the new circuit as drivers will have to brake hard just as the loose surface changes back to tarmac. Following the slowest turn on the circuit competitors will have a long fast run downhill through the final loose section which will bring them at high speed back on to the main straight.
The new circuit layout means a new joker lap, which all competitors must tackle once during each race. The new section will be all tarmac and will run from the exit of Southside corner through Irish Ferries to re-join the Rallycross track on the loose surface at Bridgestone Corner. Other changes will see cars exit the back of the paddock to head to the dummy grid which will now be at Mobil corner just beyond the Grandstand.
The new circuit will offer a whole new view of Rallycross for spectators in the grandstand who will get a closer look at the race starts and the build up to each run. The race day format will also be more fan friendly as the classes have been streamlined as well as the format for the finals being spiced up with the introduction of semi-finals and a final for classes with more than ten entries, while classes with less than ten drivers will go straight to a final. The Superfinal remains as the last race of the day with the fastest eight drivers coming together to battle for overall championship points.
The first of three runs of heats, which will decide the grids for the finals, get underway on Sunday morning at 10:15, with the finals set to begin at 15:30. Admission to Mondello Park is €12:50 for adults with under sixteen’s admitted free.
For further information on Irish Rallycross follow the championship at facebook.com/irishrx or see www.irx.ie.