Galway is gearing up for the 2020 Galway International Rally and the 2020 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
Corrib Oil has returned to sponsor this year's event which gets under way on February 1, incorporating the 2020 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.
A list of early entries already suggests a great weekend of rallying can be expected under Galway Motor Club secretary, Gary Leonard. As clerk of the course, he will head up a team of some 150 volunteers and officials to ensure its smooth running.
The rally will begin as always with crews signing in at the event headquarters before completing a route recce, followed by scrutiny. The ceremonial start will take place from Eyre Square that evening. Sunday’s route will have 120 kilometres of closed road stages centered on the town of Loughrea. The service area will be in Loughrea. Rally headquarters are the Clayton Hotel Galway.
This year's rally will have international status and will be the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The event will include the historic rally and a junior rally. An entry of more than 100 teams is expected.
Detailed maps and time schedules will be available from the official rally programme which will be available closer to the event.
Last year's rally boasted an entry in excess of 100 teams from Ireland, UK and Europe. The winners were Craig Breen, with Paul Nagle co-driving, in a Fiesta R5. They had a 14 second advantage over Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble driving a similar car. Third were Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty in another Fiesta R5.
The first Galway International Rally took place in 1971 and has grown in stature and popularity. It is expected to generate some 2,000 bed nights, and is the first international sporting event in 2020 in the west of Ireland.