WRC

Rally Ireland: Event newsletter 2009-01-29

Mosley Warns Motorsport to Tighten Up Speaking last night at the launch of Rally Ireland 2009 in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Mosley promised to slash the cost of competing in rallies in a bid to maintain entry levels. The 2009 Rally Ireland ...

Mosley Warns Motorsport to Tighten Up

Speaking last night at the launch of Rally Ireland 2009 in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Mosley promised to slash the cost of competing in rallies in a bid to maintain entry levels. The 2009 Rally Ireland replaces Monte Carlo as the opening round of the World Rally Championship for the first time in its history and builds on the tremendous success of the event in 2007.

"We will be rearranging the rallies -- it won't make any difference from the spectators' point of view or from the outside but it will be far less expensive for the people taking part," he said.

Mosley was speaking against a backdrop of reduced competitor numbers for this year's Rally Ireland stage of the World Rally Championship. Suzuki and Subaru have pulled out of this year's competition and Honda won't be competing in this season's Formula 1 World Championship.

However, in a rare visit to a rally stage event, Mosley insisted rallying had a healthy future given the level of interest in the sport. This optimistism was echoed by Dr. Martin Mansergh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for OPW and Arts, who officiated at last night's event.

"Hosting the World Rally Championship is a splendid example of cross-border co-operation," he said. "Rally Ireland 2007 was undoubtedly a major showcase for Irish tourism and Ireland as a world-class venue for sporting events. Building on that success, this Government continues to provide financial support, through the International Sports Tourism initiative which is administered by Failte Ireland, to attract major international sporting events with tourism potential, to Ireland."

Minister Mansergh also congratulated Rally Ireland on receipt of the prestigious international award from the Organisation for Peace and Sport.

"This body, under the patronage of Prince Albert of Monaco, selected Rally Ireland 2007 as the inaugural winner of the international sports event of the year. The 2009 Rally Ireland Management team have once again created another special event that captures the enthusiasm, energy and passion of so many people in the north-west.

Rally Ireland will take place over four days and will travel through seven counties in the North and South of the country. Following last night's ceremonial launch, the action proper gets going this morning (Friday).

Over 40 drivers and their teams will negotiate 350km of challenging roads. In 2007 Rally Ireland generated €48 million for the economy and saw over 250,000 spectators watching the event across the northwest with 62 million TV viewers across the world.

-credit: rallyireland.org

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