PLAN TO REVIVE PHOENIX PARK
The Phoenix Park Motor Races could return, with plans for a revamped event over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2016.
The historic meeting in the Dublin park has not been held since 2012, but organisers are hoping to rekindle the event’s 1990s glory days, when Williams Formula 1 champions Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill were guests.
Organiser Trevor Kinsella said the plans are progressing well, but are still at a preliminary stage.
“We have secured a date,” he said. “We have looked at changing a few things to make it better for the public and one of those is to move it to a Bank Holiday weekend.
“Now we are in talks with a couple of potential big name sponsors as race entry fees aren’t enough alone to cover the costs as we have to build a complete circuit.
“We’re looking to bring the event back to championship status – there are still one or two classes which we may be able to get in but we would have to upgrade the safety of the circuit to do that.”
Park resident Kinsella added that he would like to see some UK series also take part.
“We’ve been working on it since last February but it’s the nature of the beast – it takes time,” he said. “We have a great team behind us. It’s still at a very early stage but it’s looking very good.”
Racing first took place at the venue in 1903, while the park played host to the Irish Grand Prix between 1929 and 1931.
Governing body Motorsport Ireland have been impressed by Kinsella’s efforts.
“It all depends on budget because it’s a road course and you can’t charge spectators, but we have been very impressed by the plan,” said chief executive Alex Sinclair. “We have to be sure all the necessary funding is in place.
“It would be fantastic to have the event back. I’ve been in this job a little while and the one regret is that Phoenix Motor Races is not an annual event. Nobody would like it back more than me.”