Derry driver Marty McCormack will give the Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 its Irish rally debut on next week’s CBtoolhire.com Cork “20” International Rally providing the Munster Car Club organisers with a major coup for their two-day event that brings the curtain down on the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
McCormack, who lives in Draperstown, plans to test the car this Friday and is eagerly awaiting the Cork “20”. Having crashed out of the Ulster Rally last August his Tiger Risk liveried Skoda Fabia R5 is awaiting a body shell and the opportunity to drive the VW Polo proved irresistible.
“Dom Buckley Motorsport has acquired the car as part of his rally hire business and he wanted to see how it will perform in Ireland and I also wanted to see what it would be like as opposed to the Skoda Fabia R5. It is something different for sure and I thought we would give it a go.”
Last June Craig Breen drove a VW Polo GTi R5 to victory in the Ypres Rally in Belgium. Although McCormack has competed in recent times in forest events in Cork, his last outing in the Cork “20” was in 2010 at the wheel of a Citroen C2R2 but that ended with a broken driveshaft a few stages from the finish.
“I always like competing in Cork, I get a great welcome.” said McCormack, who revealed the deciding factor, “When I heard that Callum (Devine) was going to the Cork “20” I didn’t need anymore convincing. The pace he is on at the moment is ideal for me to judge my pace. There is no point in going if the opposition isn’t at that level.”
As for his 2020 plans, McCormack, who will be co-driven by Barney Mitchell, concluded, “That’s an open discussion at the moment.”