The Galway International Rally is set to kick off the 2022 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in perfect fashion next month. Organisers have teased some of the top names from a packed entry list for the two-day rally.
Three-time 2021 rally winner, Callum Devine, tops the Rally2 runners so far. The Claudy-based driver revealed to Rally Insight last year that the Irish Tarmac Championship will be his main focus in 2022.
Devine, who finished third in ITRC’s last full season over two years ago, will make his first visit to Galway in four-wheel-drive machinery. Devine has competed in the British, European, and World Rally Championship since he last competed in the Galway International Rally in 2016 driving an Opel Adam R2.
2021’s Cork 20 runner-up Meirion Evans will also start his latest Irish Tarmac campaign on February’s Galway International Rally. The Welshman finished fourth on the 2020 event. That result could have easily been second had his Volkswagen Polo R5 not lost power on Stage 2.
Evans’ Polo R5 proposition is one favoured by many and will be ready to take the fight to the Irish runners in his search for a maiden international rally win.
Declan Boyle and Cathan McCourt were also revealed as early entrants to Galway Rally’s ITRC battle. Josh Moffett has since added his name to the mix. Irish Tarmac Champions Tim McNulty and Garry Jennings have also entered in their right-hand-drive Ford Fiestas.
Rally Insight understands up to 20 Rally2/R5 cars lead Galway’s current entry list.
It remains to be seen if 2020 rally winner Alastair Fisher joins the international battle, and if he does, what car he will be in. Fisher won ITRC’s season opener two years ago in a Polo R5 but was preparing to switch to a Rally2 Fiesta for the subsequent West Cork Rally.
The Galway International Rally takes place on 5-6 February and has received over 160 entries so far. Entries will still be accepted until 16 January. A maximum of 140 cars can run on the two-day event.
Kevin Eves and Gary Kiernan top an impressive modified field. The traditional tricky conditions will test the Darrion T90 of Cork 20’s modified winner James Stafford.
2019 Irish Modified Champion, Damian Toner, will be joined by the Toyota Starlet of Declan Gallagher and Ford Escort of Daniel McKenna.
ITRC’s current Historic leader Neil Williams will hope to continue his Killarney Historic Rally form in Galway. The Welsh driver looks set to face stiff opposition from Duncan Williams, Luke McCarthy, and Andy Johnston.
The Galway Rally returns to full international format in 2022 with nine stages running on Saturday before six tests on Sunday. Each of Galway’s five unique stages will run three times creating a compact route around the Loughrea region. Crews will tackle almost 240 stage-kilometres across the two days.