Fastnet not a replacement round as Sligo returns

July 23rd, 2018 1:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Ballylickey's Daniel Cronin with Miss Bantry Katie Murphy at the wheel of his Daniel's Ford Fiesta R5. Daniel won the Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally last year and will defend his crown on the event over the forthcoming Otober bank-holiday weekend. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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IN a somewhat dramatic turnabout, organisers of the Sligo Rally have decided to run their event on Sunday, September 2nd next thus ruling out the opportunity of the Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally becoming a substitute event in this year’s Triton Showers National Rally Championship.  

Originally, the FAAC Simply automatic Sligo Park Hotel Rally was due to take place on July 8th, however, due to the effects of the recent weather conditions, many of the roads where the rally was due to take place were in poor condition due to melting tar.  

The Connacht Motor Club originally postponed the rally for a week in the hope that a reduction in temperature along with some precipitation would help their predicament.  

However, with the original concerns remaining they subsequently decided to cancel the rally and issued a statement to that effect.  

That subsequently placed two events – the Galway Summer Rally and the Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally into the equation as a possible replacement with the latter being more suited from a championship perspective, the Galway date would have been only a week after another round (the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally) while the Fastnet is two weeks from the Donegal Harvest Rally.  


Significant losses

Realistically, the decision to revert to Sligo is based on financial aspects as Motorsport Ireland and indeed the Connacht Club could have suffered significant losses. 

Over the last week there were intense discussions particularly between Motorsport Ireland and the Sligo Rally organisers and the decision to run the Sligo Rally on September 2nd. was approved on Tuesday.  

Although it’s disappointing for the Skibbereen and District Car Club, they must now ensure that being the final round of the national series (in 2019) will be more meaningful and beneficial that what it has been in recent times.

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