THE expectation that Triton Showers were to step away as title sponsors of the National Rally Championship after a five-year term was turned on its head following the unexpected announcement at the recent awards ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone that the group is to continue its support of the popular series.
Making the surprise announcement, Kevin Barrett, MD of Triton Showers, outlined the reason behind the decision to remain for a sixth consecutive season. ‘It was something that happened at the last minute really. We felt that we just couldn’t walk away and leave the championship without a sponsor. When Declan (Tumilty, chairperson of the national championship committee) informed me that there was no sponsor on board for 2020, things took on a new dimension and it all happened very quickly and Triton UK went for it straight away.’
The announcement was greeted enthusiastically. ‘Yes the response was great but sometimes these things can be embarrassing to be honest as we were finished after the five years and we went to Bantry as our final event and carrying on next year wasn’t on the cards. But things change and we are delighted that it happened.
‘I know that Declan (Tumilty) and the committee have some exciting ideas for 2020 and it would be a shame that these ideas wouldn’t be fulfilled. You need to introduce new ideas from time to time so we will keep pushing on.’
Two West Cork co-drivers received awards at the ceremony, Rosscarbery’s Alistair Wyllie (second in Class 20 with Scotland’s Lee Hastings) and Bandon’s Shane O’Mahony (second in Class 11R with Carlow’s Billy Nolan) were presented with their awards. Clonakilty’s James Kingston, the clerk of the course of the Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally, was amongst the event organisers honoured for hosting a championship round.
Chairperson of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship Committee Declan Tumilty remarked, ‘It’s great for the sport and the national championship itself that Triton Showers have decided to continue to underpin the series.I know that, as a competitor, Kevin has great belief in the national championship. The decision to continue as title sponsor is an endorsement of that belief.’
‘Fantastic’ is how Angela Henehan, chairperson of the Motorsport Ireland Rallies Commission described the announcement. She added, ‘Kevin Barrett gives so much more to rallying besides the Triton Showers sponsorship. It is great to have him on board again.
The 2020 Triton Showers National Rally Championship will consist of the following events: Mayo Rally (March 8); Circuit of Kerry (April 5); Carlow Rally (May 10); Cavan Rally (May 24); Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally (August 9); Clare Rally (September 13); Donegal Harvest Rally (October 10).