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18th March 2002

Irish Historic Rallying Sends Challenge to Overseas Competitors

Irelandís Historic rally drivers are throwing down the gauntlet to overseas Historic competitors to come and do battle in the Emerald Isle. The leading Historic competitors (led by Dessie Nutt, Drexel Gillespie, John Keatley and Philip Wylie) have had considerable success over the years on overseas events ≠ with wins on virtually every major rally in the UK are keen to see more overseas competitors come and give the Irish tarmac stages a rattle.

The Irish Historic Tarmac championship kicks off at Easter with the Circuit of Ireland. It is not, as the name suggests, a marathon but a compact 200 mile event, with an unbelievable 140 stage miles, based in the picturesque Fermanagh Lake District, on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It should be possible to recce most of the route on Friday 29th March with scrutiny on Saturday morning. Rallying begins on Saturday afternoon (2-8pm), with a Sunday run (from 12-5pm) and final blast on Monday from 10am-3pm. This leaves plenty of time for sightseeing and perhaps the odd pint of Guiness.

Philip Wylie, who is based in Hertfordshire, but has his rapid MGB prepared in Ireland, is offering assistance from his profession service crew to any of the overseas crews who make the trip.

Stena Line are offering discounted ferry rates on the Stranraer / Belfast route while the Liverpool / Belfast route could allow crews to come over night on Thur 28th. It would even be possible to head back on Monday night, although who would want to miss the Gala Dinner complete with comedian, celebrity Q&A, rally video footage and live band.

Entry fee for the Historic event is £270 - regulations can be accessed on www.ulsterac.dircon.co.uk - with cars running to MSA Technical regulations for both Historic and Post Historic classes. Itís not too late to gain an entry!

The full calender for the Irish Historic Championship is as follows;

1 Circuit of Ireland Rally 29 Mar-1 April
2 Killarney Rally of Lakes 4 - 5 May
3 Donegal International Rally 21 - 23 June
4 Jim Clark Memorial Rally 12 - 13 July
5 Manx International Rally 1 - 3 August
6 Ulster Rally 6 - 7 Sept
7 Cork 20 Rally 4 - 6 Oct
8 West 2002 Galway 8 - 9 Nov

Contact details for Philip Wylie;
Office tel 0207 212 4871
Mobile tel 0780 197 6541
Home tel 01920 821 074.


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