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Galway International Rally this weekend

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

The 2019 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally takes place over the coming weekend, 9th & 10th February.

Galway Motor Club has confirmed that there is a capacity entry with teams coming from Andorra, America, Australia and UK, and from all corners of Ireland. The total entry of 130 crews is the highest entry received in recent years. The competing teams, their sponsors and crews, and the thousands of spectators that will line the route will bring a welcome early season boost of visitor numbers to Galway City and County. The event has retained its full weekend format and is expected to generate over 2,000 bed nights for hotels and guest houses. The rally is estimated to generate approximately €5m of revenue for the local economy.

At the recent launch, Clerk of the Course, Gary Leonard, said “Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Corrib Oil, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents along the route for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”
The rally will get under way with scrutiny of cars at Westlink Commercial Park, Oranmore, from 1.30pm on Saturday 9th February, followed by a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Saturday 9th  of February at 7.00pm. Both are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.
Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway. The rally route will cover 9 closed road stages on Sunday 10th February. The rally Service Park will be in Athenry Mart on Sunday 10th February, by kind permission of the Mart Committee.  Sunday evening will see the ceremonial finish back at Clayton Hotel from approximately 5.30pm.  Admission to all events is free over the weekend.

Road Safety:

The Corrib Oil Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message, and extensive signage to promote this road safety message will be visible.

Gary Leonard, Clerk of the Course, encourages fans travelling to the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally to heed the message from the organisers to ‘Keep the Race in its Place’, to slow down, never drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt. All spectators on the closed road stages must obey the Marshals at all times, as they will be implementing a comprehensive Safety Plan. A traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.

Traffic Diversions:

In order to facilitate the safe running of the event there will be temporary road closures on certain roads east County Galway on Sunday 10th February. All road closures will be clearly sign posted and marshalled. All residents have been informed of the times and temporary road closure arrangements and the details have been advertised by Galway County Council. There will be additional traffic in the Eyre Square area from 7.00pm to 8.00pm on Saturday 10th February to facilitate the Ceremonial Start; in the vicinity of the Westlink Commercial Park, Oranmore, on Saturday afternoon, and in Athenry and surrounding areas during Sunday.

Nominated Galway Charity:

Galway Motor Club has chosen the West of Ireland Charity, CROI, as its charity partner for the rally. The charity’s volunteers will be promoting awareness at various locations along the rally route and all support will be much appreciated by them.

Rally Programmes:
The Official Rally Programme contains full listings of stage times, service area times, detailed Ordnance Survey Route Maps and all of the information required to locate the many spectator access points. The Programme costs €10 and is available from the Clayton Hotel and from various Corrib Oil filling stations, newsagents and outlets in the city and county, listed on the rally website, www.galwayrally.com

Leading Entries :
The entry of more than 120 cars have been seeded by the organisers and the rally winner is likely to come from one of the top 20 seeds.
Seeded number 1 is Irelands professional rally driver, Craig Breen, with Paul Nagle co-driving in a Fiesta R5. At number 2 is Garry Jennings from Fermanagh and Rory Kennedy in a Subaru WRC, winners in 2016 and 2017. is The entry also includes over 20 other R5 rally cars. 2018 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion, Josh Moffett, and his brother Sam, who was champion in 2017, both drive Ford Fiesta R5’s. This year they are followed by Fermanagh’s  Alastair Fisher, and the Irish National Champion, Declan Boyle. The first of the Skoda R5s is Donagh Kelly at number 6.

There are over 120 entrants, the Top 20 seeds being:
   Driver            Address   Co-Driver        Car
1 Craig Breen Andorra Paul Nagle  Ford Fiesta R5
2 Garry Jennings Kesh Rory Kennedy Subaru WRC
3 Josh Moffett Clontibret Keith Moriarty Ford Fiesta R5
4 Sam Moffett Clontibret James Fulton Ford Fiesta R5
5 Alastair Fisher Trillick Gordon Noble Ford Fiesta R5
6 Declan Boyle Lettermacward Brian Boyle Ford Fiesta R5
7 Donagh Kelly Frosses Conor Foley Skoda Fabia R5
8 Desi Henry Portglenone Liam Moynihan Skoda Fabia R5
9 Jon Armstrong Kesh Noel O'Sullivan Ford Fiesta R5
10 Manus Kelly Glenswilly Donall Barrett Hyundai I20 R5
11 Joseph McGonigle Muff Ciaran Geaney BMW Mini WRC
12 Jonathan Greer Belfast Kirsty Riddick Ford Fiesta R5
14 Daniel Cronin Bantry JJ Cremin Ford Fiesta R5
15 Meirion Evans Wales Jonathan Jackson Hyundai I20 R5
16 Niall Maguire Ballinode Anthony Nestor Subaru Impreza WRC
17 Stephen Wright Newbliss Arthur Kierans Ford Fiesta R5
18 Stephen McCann Ballyjamesduff Denver Rafferty Ford Fiesta R5
19 Philip Allen Cookstown Stephen McAuley Skoda Fabia R5
20 Brendan Cumiskey Castleblaney Ronan O'Kane Skoda Fabia R5
21 Aaron MacHale Naas Enda Sherry Hyundai I20 R5

Leading Local Entries:
Members of Galway Motor Club taking part in the event will be seeking to put their name on the prestigious Brian G. Thornton Memorial Cup. The top seeded Galway competitors are:
Driver          Address    Co- Driver    Car
Ross Forde Claddagh Arron Forde Ford Fiesta R5
Richard Whelan Knockcarra James Whelan BMW 1 Series
Tom Flaherty Rahoon Martin Flynn Ford Escort Mk2
Pat Kelly Ballybane Jonathan Kelly Subaru Impreza N11
Dean Raftery Craughwell  TBA Mitsubishi Evo

Media Coverage:
Results, regular updates and more detailed information will be available on the rally website: www.galwayrally.com and the events social media channels.
Galway Bay FM will be reporting from all 9 stages throughout the weekend with regular updates and driver interviews.