Organisers of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (TROA) has secured a new sponsor for their series that is to be underpinned by Dance To Tipperary.
The initial deal is for three years, with the series being marketed as the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
The series kicks off with the West Cork Rally in March will be officially launched next month in the Armagh City Hotel.
TROA chairman David Gray commented, “The environment is challenging for sponsors and we look forward to working together in the years ahead to further build the ITRC as a championship.”
Meanwhile, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai 120 WRC) won Rally Australia the final round of the Word Rally Championship. He finished 22.2 seconds ahead of Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC), who was on his final event with M-Sport as he heads to Toyota for next season. Neuville took the lead when his Hyundai i20 team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen hit a bank and punctured two tyres.
Entering the final few stages Jari Matti Latvala (Toyota Yaris WRC), who was challenging Neuville crashed out. Hayden Paddon (Hyundai i20 WRC) completed the podium line up.
World champion Sebastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta WRC) finished fourth and was non-committal about next season. Although Citroen’s Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle ended up seventh after re-joining under Rally2, it was a disappointing event for the French manufacturer.
Meeke was in the top four until a damaged suspension eventually forced him out. Stephane Lefebvre also damaged the suspension of his car after it understeered and hit a tree stump on S.S.17 and retired at the stage finish.
A stage later, Craig Breen, who was on course for his best result of the season (4th) ran wide on a bend and rolled his Citroen C3 WRC out of the event. Fortunately, the Waterford driver and his co-driver Scott Martin were unhurt.
Elsewhere, the Clearwater Racing team of Cork’s Matt Griffin, Japan’s Keita Sawa and Singapore’s Mok Weng Sun had to be content with runner-up spot in the LMGTE category of the World Endurance Championship that concluded with the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain.
On the home front, Mountmellick’s Anthony Culleton (Semog Buggy) won the Midland Autocross at Ballinakill, Offaly. He finished 1.46 seconds ahead of the Yacar Buggy of Maynooth’s Padraig MacHale with early leader Clonakilty’s Paul O’Driscoll (Semog Buggy) third.
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