More num­bers needed for Mon­dello Park to host 2016 rounds

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Hal Ridge Pho­tos: Hal Ridge and

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.”

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