IRISH RALLYCROSS IN ENTRY TURMOIL
More numbers needed for Mondello Park to host 2016 rounds
Rallycross in Ireland is facing an uncertain future as a lack of entries has put several meetings in doubt.
Irish Rallycross Championship organisers have been informed by Mondello Park, the main rallycross venue in Ireland, that if there aren’t 50 racers entered for the first round of the championship a week before the March 6 event, the opening round and further rallycross events due to be held at the venue in the autumn will be cancelled.
The Irish series has struggled to attract more than 50 entries in recent seasons, despite a more diverse calendar due to the introduction of a new circuit at Tynagh in Galway.
Motorsport Ireland rallycross committee chairman John Dowling said: “For the future of rallycross at Mondello, the circuit needs to be confident that rallycross will consistently generate in excess of 50 entries and there is a good chance of not getting that number by the closing date for the first round.
“If we don’t get the entry, Mondello will almost certainly cancel the event and will not gamble on the other 2016 dates either, as they can promote alternative, more lucrative events.
“If the first round doesn’t go ahead and unless we could demonstrate a dramatic revival in numbers at our Tynagh event in the summer, it is unlikely that we could persuade Mondello to take the gamble in 2017. If you have a car, you don’t need a ball of money to enjoy rallycross. It is undoubtedly the best bang for your buck in motorsport and I would encourage anyone interested to come out and join us. We’ll make you welcome.”
Double European Rallycross champion Derek Tohill is planning to enter the opening round of the series, and will support his home championship alongside a Euro RX campaign this year.
“We see Irish RX as an opportunity for me to get more seat time in the car in preparation for European Rallycross, with the additional bonus of bringing an exciting car to IRX. The European campaign has to be our priority, but we will race in Ireland as often as we can,” said Tohill.
“The message is clear, get your entries in early and there won’t be an issue. The ball is in our court. Let’s hope all drivers understand the importance of Mondello’s call, there is a lot of renewed interest and lots of behind-the-scenes hard work by the committee. We just need to get the message out there.”