Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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.

Photos: Jakob Ebrey

The i20 has run in WRC2 so far

Hyundai dealer: Barrable

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