Irish Tarmac Rally Championship organisers have released a statement stating their intent to run a full calendar next year. The statement followed the Tarmac Rally Organisers’ Association’s most recent meeting where all member clubs confirmed their plans to run events in 2022.
The last ITRC event to run was the Galway International Rally in February 2020 and looked set to start another stellar season for the championship.
A star-studded entry list for the West Cork Rally one month later was as good as Irish fans have seen for many years. Unfortunately, the Clonakilty-based rally was the first event to fall foul of Coronavirus before any action got underway.
Both 2020 and 2021 editions of the Irish Tarmac Championship were subsequently cancelled and rallying is yet to return in the Republic of Ireland.
Organisers hope December’s Killarney Historic Rally will mark ITRC’s return – if it runs, Killarney will host the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Historic Championship.
“Whilst it is the intention to run a full championship in 2022,” read ITRC’s statement by championship manager Paddy Flanagan, “there are many variables that are out of the control of the organising clubs and TROA.
“There are many factors to consider especially the financial tightrope most clubs would experience in the event of a last-minute cancellation.
“The safety of organisers, volunteers and residents will also be a priority. We will also have to wait for further updates from Motorsport Ireland, Government and Sport Ireland.
“Just to reiterate, TROA and member clubs will make every effort to run a full championship in 2022.”
Galway, West Cork, the Circuit of Ireland (Easter Stages), Killarney, Donegal, Ulster, and Cork 20 made up the 2019 Irish Tarmac Championship which was won by Ireland’s World Rally Championship stars Craig Breen and Paul Nagle.
Galway is the only event to have occurred since 2019 although Cork 20 appeared on Motorsport Ireland’s list of reference non-gated events for the second half of this year with a 19 September date. Non-gated events are still to receive the go-ahead in the Republic of Ireland.
The Ulster Rally also has a date for 2021 – scheduled to run on 20 November. While there is no ITRC this year, the Newry-based event will close out the British Rally Championship and if recent events are anything to go by it will attract huge interest across UK and Ireland.
Photo by Mark Mc Cullagh