The Cork 20 International Rally will bring a return to closed-road rallying in the Republic of Ireland, 18 months after coronavirus halted the sport. The Munster Car Club has revealed its plans for a nine-stage event on Sunday 19 September.
MCC’s announcement comes days after Motorsport Ireland’s communication outlining its recent discussion with affiliated clubs. Non-gated events, which represent closed-road and forest rallies, are now permitted in Ireland.
MI’s rally budgets are now advisory meaning clubs are free to set their own budget and entry fees for stage rallies. It’s something Cork 20 organisers have taken advantage of by setting a 895 euro entry fee, 105 euro less than MI’s original budget.
Motorsport Ireland also shared an updated calendar of events for the rest of the year. Cork 20 leads the way before the Donegal Harvest Rally, Wexford Stages Rally, and Fastnet Stages Rally in October.
Killarney Historic Stages Rally is pencilled in for the last weekend in November. Other rallies were listed but still need to be confirmed.
The Cork 20 International Rally will run three loops of three stages, a format familiar with Ireland’s popular national events. One slight difference is the addition of a four kilometre shakedown stage the day before.
While Cork 20’s entry fee is higher than those traditionally seen before Covid-19, approximately 750 euros for a nine-stage single-day rally, it is still in the same region as the 900 euro price set for 2020’s nine-stage Galway International Rally.
Marty McCormack’s debut win behind the wheel of the much anticipated Volkswagen Polo R5 was the highlight of Cork 20’s most-recent running in 2019. The same car went on to win the Galway International Rally in the hands of Alastair Fisher.
Entries open for this year’s Cork 20 on Monday 16 August.
Photo by Kevin O’Driscoll