Two-day Mondello event will raise funds for future of sport

The Irish Motorsport Support Fund are hoping to raise around €250,000 through a fundraising event that coincides with Mondello Park’s 50 years of motor racing. The two-day spectacular takes place at the County Kildare circuit on May 12/13.

Last October, following a meeting with governing body Motorsport Ireland, a funding committee was established with personnel across many disciplines of the sport. Their chief purpose was to raise funds to assist in offsetting financial risks to the sport and in response to rising insurance costs.

The IMSF is an independent body to Motorsport Ireland with its own directors, who will decide and control the allocation of monies.

While there was a raft of ideas initially, the IMSF eventually decided on hosting a two-day event in Mondello. All the affiliated clubs are supporting a venture that will have four live arenas showcasing all disciplines of the sport. The inclusion of corporate stands and stalls is expected to raise further funds. Visitors can avail of the opportunity to experience what its like to sit alongside the top drivers in both rallying and drifting. A corporate dinner at the Citywest Hotel on Saturday night May 12 is expected to attract 400 guests.

The organisers have confirmed that Waterford’s World Rally driver Craig Breen will attend as will Killarney WR co-driver Paul Nagle. Head of Ford Performance Europe, Cork’s Gerard Quinn will also be in attendance along with Rosemary Smith.

The event hopes to attract several other World Rally drivers and a special 100-page programme will be published.

The Carlow Rally that was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 13 has now been switched to May 20 and has been reduced to a mini stage event.

It will not, as originally intended, count as a round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

The six-stage rally will however, count as rounds of the Suirway Group South East Stages Rally Championship and the Midlands East Rally Championship along with the popular Mk. 2 Challenge Trophy.

Meanwhile, as Citroen’s new C3 R5 is set to make its WRC2 debut at next week’s Tour de Corse, right-hand versions of the R5 cars will not be allowed in this year’s Irish Tarmac Championship. Late last year the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association received a number of enquiries about RHD versions. At the time, the TROA claimed time constraints mitigated against finding a solution. They communicated this with the FIA, Motorsport Ireland and some other stakeholders.

In reality, RHD cars are only a small part of the overall market as manufacturers concentrate on LHD cars. Few were surprised that the request didn’t get the green light from Paris. The ban on WRC cars winning the Tarmac championship still exists but it is difficult to explain why the likes of Donagh Kelly, who won the West Cork Rally, cannot win the championship.

Of course that’s a separate issue, but maybe its time to sort out all the rules, many of which also apply to the other championships.

There are no guarantees that homologating RHD versions of the R5 cars will lead to an influx of new cars or more competitors, there are more important issues, such as lowering the costs of rallying, that may well be a better solution. Meanwhile, Proton have delayed homologating their R5 Iriz. It’s claimed they were also committed to homologating a RHD version.


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