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Dou­ble Euro­pean Ral­ly­cross cham­pion Derek To­hill has backed changes to Mon­dello, which al­lowed the venue to run in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to the tra­di­tional lay­out for the Ir­ish Ral­ly­cross Cham­pi­onship opener on Sun­day.

The move fol­lows Pem­brey’s re­verse-di­rec­tion lay­out that was used for the first time in 2016.

“The track is amaz­ing to drive,” said the reign­ing Ir­ish cham­pion. “It’s not easy to get things like that over the line. There’s a lot of work in­volved in terms of mak­ing the re­quired changes, get­ting cir­cuit li­censes and in­surance, but it’s re­ally pos­i­tive.

“It was a great chal­lenge, if you didn’t give the cir­cuit the re­spect it de­served you would be in trou­ble. For a lot of the driv­ers the tra­di­tional lay­out had be­come a bit mo­not­o­nous, so this is re­ally good.”

To­hill was pos­i­tive about the di­rec­tion IRX is mov­ing in, fol­low­ing a slump in re­cent years. “There was a big crowd at the event. There’s a lot of work go­ing on be­hind the scenes which is re­ally help­ing things progress.”

The Bri­tish RX dou­ble-header at Mon­dello Park in July is now ex­pected to use the cir­cuit in both di­rec­tions.

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