Preparations are well under way for the 2017 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally, which takes place from the 3rd to the 5th of February. Galway Motor Club’s Kieran Donohue, from Headford, is once again Clerk of the Course. He and his dedicated team have laid on a challenging route, based in the Athenry area on Saturday 4th February, and Tuam on Sunday 5th February. Kieran has selected some stages not used for many years in addition to old favorites from more recent years events. These are sure to test the drivers to their limits over the two days!
Corrib Oil has again taken up the role of title sponsor for the rally. The event costs over €120,000 to run each year, and the club committee is indebted to the management and staff of Corrib Oil for their significant sponsorship.
The Galway Race Course will play host to mechanical scrutineering on Friday the 3rd of February. This will be a perfect opportunity to get up close to the cars and drivers prior to the high-speed action on Saturday and Sunday. The event will finish at the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, on the Sunday evening with the top cars crossing the finish ramp and the victors spraying the champagne. The management and staff of the Clayton Hotel will be celebrating the fact the this is the 10th consecutive year of their involvement with the rally.
The event will run over two days and will have a total of 15 closed road stages. The demanding route consists of 9 stages on Saturday, with a further 6 stages being covered on Sunday. Detailed Maps and time schedules will be available in the official Rally Programme, which will be available closer the event. A list of outlets will be published on the event website shortly.
The 2017 edition will have International Status and will be the opening round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. It is a truly International event with competitors traveling from all over the world for a chance to compete on the Galway roads. One such competitor is Kai-Dieter Kölle, who is again bringing his iconic Porsche 911 all the way from Northern Germany to Galway to compete over the unique terrain of the “Wild Atlantic Way”. The five times North German Rally Champion is relishing the challenge having competed in Galway in 2015 for the first time and enjoying every aspect of the rally. Also coming from Germany is Andreas Dahms driving a similar Porsche. The event will include an Historic Rally and Junior Rallies and an entry of over 100 teams is expected.
The rally will bring a welcome early season boost to visitor numbers in Galway city and county. The event generates over 2,000 bed-nights annually as most of the hundred or so teams, some of up to 30 people, spend two weekends in the city and county between making their route notes and taking part in the event itself.
More information can be found on the rally website www.galwayrally.com and on social media accounts.