Irish rallying has received a major boost after Triton Showers was confirmed as title sponsor of the National Rally Championship.
The series organisers have penned a three-year deal with the Maynooth based company that comes into effect in 2015 when the eight round series will also introduce a new biennial rota.
Only weeks after the conclusion of a 14-year agreement under the Dunlop banner the completion of a new deal highlights the popularity of the series.
Triton Showers are a familiar name in motorsport circles having previously underpinned the Circuit of Ireland, the Lurgan Park Rally and the regional South-East Rally series.
Triton Showers MD Kevin Barrett is a staunch supporter of the National Rally Championship and is a former winner of the Galway Summer Rally and the Mayo Rally. Triple national rally champion Niall Maguire also competes under the Triton banner.
Earlier this season the national organisers added the Dublin based ALMC Rally and the Midland Rally in Roscommon to the fold and this will allow a biennial eight round rota.
Barrett said: “Having been involved in rallying both as a competitor and an event sponsor, Triton Showers is aware of the huge popularity of the sport. The fact that the national series can offer such a splendid variety of locations allows us the opportunity to reach greater prominence throughout the four provinces of Ireland.”
The eight rounds of the 2015 Triton Showers National Rally Championship are: 1. Birr Rally (February); 2. Midland Rally (March); 3. Monaghan Rally (April); 4. Circuit of Munster (June); 5. Raven’s Rock Rally (June); 6. Sligo Rally (July); 7. Galway Summer Rally (August); 8. Skibbereen Fastnet Rally (October).
Tyrone’s Kris Meeke and Killarney’s Paul Nagle will drive a Citroen DS3R5 in the Condroz Rally in Belgium where the entry also features Petter Solberg (C4 WRC), Freddy Loix (Skoda Fabia s2000) and Pieter Tsjoen (Peugeot 208 T16).
Billy Coleman award winner Stephen Wright withdrew due to the unavailability of a gearbox component for his Peugeot 208 R2. There are 14 stages tomorrow and eight on Sunday.
It’s another busy weekend for Cork racer Matt Griffin and team-mate Duncan Cameron in their AF Corse run Ferrari 458 Italia as they compete in the final double-header of the GT Open series in Barcelona.
Having missed one round due to a clash with the European Le Mans Series they are out of the reckoning for the overall award.
In Silverstone, Dubliner Robert Barrable, 27, takes a break from his rallying exploits to compete in the Walter Hayes Formula Ford Trophy.
He campaigns the Van Diemen he drove to victory in the Vivion Daly Memorial Trophy at Mondello Park earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, the National Navigation Trial Championship season gets underway in Macroom tomorrow night (11.01pm) with the Cork Startrek Navigation Trial. The event is based at the Macroom Golf Club. On Sunday, the Carlow Car Club hosts the second round of the National Rallycross Championship in Mondello Park and the Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club’s Rallysprint at the Waterford Airport Business Park at Killowen begins at 10.30am.
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