World Rally Championship in Ireland is ruled out for 2025

April 16, 2024
World Rally Championship in Ireland is ruled out for 2025 Aiden Haper, President, Motorsport Ireland
Share:

Motorsport Ireland has confirmed that Ireland will not host a round of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2025.

Motorsport Ireland has finally received confirmation from Minister Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, that his Department would need “at least six months” to undertake further independent economic assessments and analysis of our proposal.

The closing date for the bidding process with WRC Promoter GmbH fixed for the end of Q1 this year, a date that Motorsport Ireland made both Minister Byrne and the Major Sports Events Unit aware of from the outset. Due to having received no update from the Department by the Q1 deadline, Motorsport Ireland requested, and were granted, an extension of a fortnight from the promoter.

Motorsport Ireland first approached the Government back in early 2023 and in June of that year had a fruitful meeting with Minister Thomas Byrne and his colleagues where they presented how they can showcase Ireland on the world stage by bringing the World Rally Championship to Ireland for a three-year period. After the meeting Motorsport Ireland were referred to the Major Sports Events Unit and submitted a full event screening application on October 6th 2023.

From the beginning Motorsport Ireland have been very clear that March 2024 was the cutoff for receiving acknowledgment if they were successful or not. This deadline wasn’t chosen by Motorsport Ireland, this was an operational deadline set by the World Rally Championship promoter. The promoter cut-off date must be respected so that they can plan their 2025-2027 calendar strategy. This Q1 deadline was flagged in Motorsport Ireland’s event screening application and in all subsequent communications to the Department. Motorsport Ireland are extremely thankful to WRC Promoter GmbH for granting us an extension to try and make inclusion for 2025 possible but the response from Minister Byrne confirms it cannot happen.

Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Haper stated; “I am saddened that it has come to this but unfortunately, we are left with no option. We always stated that the FIA World Rally Championship could only come to Ireland with the financial support of Government while always being aware that the funding may not be forthcoming. It is a great shame to have to hand this great opportunity, and the economic benefit it would bring, over to another awaiting country.”

President Harper continued; “In January of this year, Motorsport Ireland announced the three regions, Kerry, Limerick and the South East, that would host the events should funding be secured. Non-inclusion in 2025 is in no way any reflection on any of those areas. The work that has been put in by them has been incredible and I thank them for that. I would like to thank the WRC Promoter GmbH, especially Simon Larkin, for all his assistance throughout this process and hopefully we will be in a position to revisit this magnificent opportunity in the future. For now, we will continue as always to deliver our motorsport calendar here in Ireland, to the highest standards, across all our disciplines.”

Motorsport Ireland notes and appreciates Minister Byrne’s commitment to undertaking the necessary assessments and analysis required and will continue to communicate with him, his Department and WRC Promoter GmbH to see if alternative hosting years are possible beyond 2025.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE
Beat the Increased Cost of Business Grant deadline
NEXT ARTICLE
Stellar performances from Irish drivers in Hungary

More from MOTORSPORT

Verstappen holds on to win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Verstappen holds on to win Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

icon

Max Verstappen has returned...

New trolley jack range from Laser Tools

New trolley jack range from Laser Tools

icon Laser Tools has introduced a b...
Alex Dunne joins McLaren development programme

Alex Dunne joins McLaren development programme

icon

McLaren have announced that...

McErlean finishes second in Portugal

McErlean finishes second in Portugal

icon

Josh McErlean delivered a c...

Supercat comeback

Supercat comeback

icon The legendary race engineering...
The challenge of outlawing the Carolina Squat

The challenge of outlawing the Carolina Squat

icon The American appetite for stra...

More from AUTOBIZ