2012 marks the 41st anniversary of the Galway rally which began in 1971, and this event will also incorporate a city centre spectator stage for the first time in 14 years.
Safety Direct will continue to be the title sponsor of the Galway International Rally which will take place on the weekend of February 4/5 with the rally administrative headquarters once again at the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit.
The 2012 event, organised by the Galway Motor Club, will be run over one day - a format instituted to help minimise costs.
Victor Farrell, clerk of the course for the Galway International Rally, says competitors in the 2012 Safety Direct Galway International Rally will benefit from 50 per cent bonus points towards the 2012 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The 2011 winners will return to Galway to begin the defence of their Tarmac Crowns, while the rally is also round two of the 2012 Irish Historic Rally Championship.
The ceremonial start will take place in Galway city centre on Saturday, while the competitive element of the event will be run over 10 competitive special stages on Sunday, including the spectator stage at a Galway city location. There will not be any night stages.
Safety Direct, the Galway-based safety equipment supplier, began its association with the event in 2008, and Farrell says its sponsorship has enabled the club to stage what will be the first major sporting event of the year in Galway.
“Safety Direct is an ideal sponsor for the Galway International Rally. They are a well-established local company with a great interest in the sport and their large range of road safety products complements our event. This sponsorship enables Galway Motor Club to put on the first major sporting festival in the west of Ireland and to bring welcome business to kick-start the tourist season,” he says.
Alan Fair, operations drector with Safety Direct, commented: “We are delighted to continually support such an exciting event which brings thousands of spectators to Galway at a time when tourism is at a low.
“The logistics behind organising the event are colossal and the event takes over six months of planning. Ensuring fail safe security and safety for all involved is always the highest priority of the Galway Motor Club, and being in the business of safety we are very impressed with the measures the organisers and club go to in these regards.”
The 2012 event will have additional TV coverage. In addition to UTV, the event programme will be broadcast on TG4, Setanta, Motors TV and North One TV.
For more information on the 2012 Safety Direct Galway International Rally, log onto www.galwayinternationalrally.com