Ir­ish venue set for ‘back­wards’ lap

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Hal Ridge

Ire­land’s Mon­dello Park cir­cuit will be­come the sec­ond ral­ly­cross venue in the British Isles to run in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, fol­low­ing changes to the cir­cuit’s in­fra­struc­ture to al­low it to be run anti-clock­wise.

The for­mer British Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship venue is cur­rently un­der­go­ing ground­work to ob­tain its cir­cuit li­cense, but work is ex­pected to be fin­ished ahead of the open­ing round of the se­ries in two weeks.

The start line on the new lay­out will be in front of the grand­stand at the usual first cor­ner, while the ‘new’ first cor­ner onto loose sur­face has been widened. The con­ven­tional first cor­ner has also been widened to suit the new lay­out and the joker lap will be moved to early in the lap.

Reign­ing Ir­ish Ral­ly­cross cham­pion and Mon­dello spe­cial­ist Derek To­hill is one of only a hand­ful of driv­ers to have ex­pe­ri­enced the cir­cuit in re­verse. “I’ve done it, in a road car, and it was amaz­ing,” said the for­mer Euro­pean cham­pion. “It’s like we’ve got a new venue. It’s su­per mo­ti­vat­ing for the Ir­ish cham­pi­onship.”

The British cham­pi­onship will join the Ir­ish se­ries for a dou­ble-header in July.

“I think ev­ery­body will want to do the first round on Fe­bru­ary 5,” added To­hill. “If it works well and we can do what Pem­brey did and run two ways in one week­end when the British guys come over, that would be great. It’s a big chal­lenge this way round and the start line in front of the fans will be amaz­ing.”

Ir­ish RX se­ries will run new lap

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