PLAN TO RE­VIVE PHOENIX PARK

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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.”

Races last took place in 2012

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