30/11/2011

Circuit Of Ireland Success 'Racing Certainty'

News that the Circuit of Ireland Rally will be part of the famous Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC) in 2012 has been welcomed.

DUP MLA Gordon Dunne has welcomed what he called an exciting development: "To have secured a sporting event of this magnitude is fantastic news for Northern Ireland both in terms of tourism and the economy.

"The inclusion of the Circuit of Ireland Rally in the IRC 2012 calendar will showcase the beauty of Northern Ireland to a global audience of close to 80 million thanks to footage broadcast on Eurosport.

"My congratulations to all that have helped secure this event especially Bobby Willis, who has re-built the Circuit of Ireland in recent years and has now delivered a major international event. The IRC is one of the most competitive and exciting championships and it is great news that we will have a round of the championship here on our doorstep.

"Next Easter weekend looks set to be a treat for motorsport fans like myself and members of the public who will be enthralled by the action provided by these global and local rallying stars.

"I look forward to precise details of the event being released in the coming weeks," he said.

The Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally will next year take its place on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) series. Broadcast across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas by Eurosport, the IRC series last year boasted a global viewing audience of 79 million and affirms the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland's arrival once again on a worldwide sporting stage.

The 13 round IRC series will travel Europe with the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally being the only UK or Irish round on the calendar, which will be hosted in its traditional Easter slot 6/7 April 2012.

The IRC is the third most popular motorsport series on the planet after Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship (WRC), with thousands expected to flock to these shores to watch the thrilling action boosting tourism further in the Titanic anniversary year.

A jubilant Bobby Willis, Event Director of the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland Rally said: "We've done it! When we took over the running of the Rally in 2010 we stated that we wanted to re-awaken the sleeping giant that is the Circuit of Ireland and this announcement is the realisation of that vision."

Precise details surrounding the rally will be launched in the next few weeks, but Willis has promised another super special stage in a new host city, which is sure to showcase the skills of the IRC and Circuit of Ireland competitors.

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