MacHale takes on the World Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle kick off the World Rally Championship (WRC) Season in Monte Carlo this Thursday; the first of eleven rounds of the sixteen the pair plan to compete in this year. Gareth said: ...
MacHale takes on the World
Gareth MacHale and Paul Nagle kick off the World Rally Championship (WRC) Season in Monte Carlo this Thursday; the first of eleven rounds of the sixteen the pair plan to compete in this year.
Gareth said: "Last year was a great introduction to WRC for us. Being the first Irish competitors to score World Championship points since Billy Coleman in the Tour de Corse in 1985 was an excellent achievement for me personally and indeed for the whole team. Our goal this year is to continue to make an impact and to get ten months solid practice in before Rally Ireland WRC in November, where we aim to give the international competition a real run for their money at home."
MacHale and Nagle will take to the French roads in the 2003 Ford Focus which served them so well in Rally Ireland and Rally GB last year, but plan to unveil their new vehicle in advance of the Galway International Rally the first weekend of February. "We've put some new sponsors in place for this year and are preparing the new car, which will get its first outing next month. We'll then have a month of testing before going back to Rally Mexico in March, where we scored our championship points last year.
Internationally, MacHale and Nagle plan to compete in the World Rally Championship rounds in Monte Carlo, Mexico, Portugal, Argentina, Sardinia, Finland, Germany, Corsica, Catalunya, Ireland and Wales Rally GB, whilst at home they will take part in both the Galway and Donegal International Rallies.
Rally Monte Carlo has been completely revised this year, with the Service Park moving to Valence in the Ardèche region of France. Competitors will face some challenging terrain in the Vercors mountains, including a stage passing over the massive 46km St Pierreville - Antraigues. The rally concludes on Sunday morning in its traditional Monte Carlo home, where a Super Special Stage around the harbour area of Monaco's Grand Prix circuit brings the competition to a close. In total, there are 15 stages covering 328.54km in a route of 1185.02km.