BARRABLE TO DEBUT HYUNDAI R5 AT HOME
Robert Barrable will be the first driver to bring a Hyundai i20 R5 to Ireland, giving the car its debut on the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship’s West Cork Rally in March.
Barrable – whose family runs a Hyundai dealership in Ireland – will also be the first privateer in the UK or Ireland to compete in the car. Its only previous domestic appearance was on Wales Rally GB with Kevin Abbring and Seb Marshall.
Barrable tested the car in France at a customer day at a race circuit in September.
“I’ve driven the i20 R5 once and was very impressed with it,” he said. “I’m hoping to have a small, private, pre-event test after the car arrives in Ireland, just to become a little bit more familiar with it and set it up for the Irish lanes.”
Barrable already has points on the board in the ITRC after finishing third on the seasonopening Galway Rally in a hired Ford Fiesta R5. He hopes the i20 will be in a position to fight for wins before the season is out.
“The lads we’re racing against are all really good,” he added. “We’ll aim for finishes and points and I’d like to be able to challenge for rally wins in the middle to the end of the year. It’ll be a fair task given how fast those guys are going.”
Barrable won the West Cork on his first attempt in 2011 in a Skoda Fabia S2000. His father Michael had also won the event in 2007 making them the only father-son duo to have won it.
Galway was Barrable’s first competitive rally in two years.
The i20 has run in WRC2 so far
Hyundai dealer: Barrable