Irish ruling sets precedent for R5s
R5 cars were prevented from taking part in last month’s Donegal Mini Stages Rally because they are not considered suitable for clubman events, setting a new precedent for similar future competitions.
In an apparent bid to get around the Motorsport Ireland ruling event organisers tried to allow R5 cars to run in ‘plus’ spec instead, but this idea was also ruled out. Three days before the rally was due to get underway a special meeting of Motorsport Ireland’s Rallies Committee was arranged and afterwards it was announced that R5+ cars could not take part. Those affected by the decision included Desi Henry, Alastair Fisher and Brendan Cumiskey.
Under Article 2.6 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook – ‘Single Stage and Mini Stage Rallies’ – homologated World Rally, Regional Rally and R5 cars are not permitted on any Single Stage or Mini Stage Rally. World Rally Cars that are out of homologation may compete on Non-restricted Mini-stage Rallies in Class 15. The only dispensation given for homologated, four-wheel-drive cars, are those from the Showroom Category.
The CEO of Motorsport Ireland said that the confusion was the result of “a simple mistake” on the motor club’s part. “R5 cars were not banned because R5 cars were never designed for Mini Stage Rallies such as Donegal Motor Club’s. These events were designed specifically for clubmen.
“We are looking at it very seriously,” added Sinclair. “Is the R5+ idea something we want to pursue, or is it something better left alone? We should reach a decision soon.”
R5 cars can be upgraded to plus specification by running a bigger restrictor.