Motorsport: Weathering the financial storm

With so much uncertainty and no financial returns from its affiliated clubs, Motorsport Ireland remains confident it will get through the current difficulties.

Motorsport: Weathering the financial storm

With so much uncertainty and no financial returns from its affiliated clubs, Motorsport Ireland remains confident it will get through the current difficulties.

The cancellation of the Limerick Forest Rally and the postponement of the West Cork Rally, the Munster Moonraker Forest Rally, and the Circuit of Kerry has led to a financial shortfall of some €200,000.

That fee is comprised of CPA and IRDS (Competitor Personal Accident and Irish Rally Drivers Scheme — associated with driving on non-competitive sections of the rally) for each event and is the major source of income for the governing body that has made some procedural changes in the last few years.

Clubs are now required to submit a post-dated cheque (January 1 of the year) to the value of half of the permit and insurance fees — approximately €6,500 for a national rally and €7,500 for an international rally.

For many clubs with other events the figure can be in excess of €11,500. Speaking yesterday, president of Motorsport Ireland, John Naylor said: “Yes, I am worried, just like everybody else. Any business that has no income has financial implications, but equally has financial implications for every club in the country as well. We are all in this together.”

Naylor stated that the first tranche of the insurance monies was paid in January.

“Yes, we had to get one done early in the year.”

There are six full time staff in the offices of Motorsport Ireland — three of whom also dovetail with the Riac and there are also two-part time staff with sole MI duties.

Naylor said: “We are working our way to see where we are, but it is difficult to do that when you don’t know what the end game is. I will have a conversation with our insurance providers today and then (remotely) everybody, the IMF and the Motorsport Council, will be involved. I am hoping to be able to make a statement in the next couple of days, if possible even tomorrow (Friday).

“It all depends on what our government says. Everything is relative, the clubs rely on the income from events and it’s (Motorsport Ireland) a business at the end of the day and it needs income to have expenditure but we will get through this.”

Meanwhile, Monaghan’s Sam Moffett has won his appeal against his exclusion from last month’s Corrib Oil Galway International Rally, the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Moffett (Hyundai i20 R5), who finished second — 21.1 seconds behind event winner Alastair Fisher (VW Polo GTi R5), was nominated (at the finish ramp) to undergo post-rally scrutiny but failed to attend. He was subsequently excluded but appealed the decision of the stewards.

The hearing of the tribunal of appeal wasn’t heard until March 5 and having heard all the evidence, the members of the tribunal (consisting of four people) upheld Moffett’s appeal and directed that he be reinstated in the results of the event and his appeal fee be refunded.

The tribunal decided to uphold Moffett’s appeal “because of the serious errors and inconsistencies in the organisation of Post Rally Scrutiny, which, in the opinion of the tribunal, contributed to Mr Moffett’s failure to present at Post Rally Scrutiny as nominated.” In relation to final checks, the event regulations stated: “Competitors selected will be notified at the last Service Out Control Out.”

The results of the Galway event are now final.

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