Countdown to Galway Summer Rally

Loughrea Mayor Jimmy  Curley and clerk of course, Kieran Donoghue pictured outside Loughrea Hotel and Spa at the launch of the 2011 Galway Summer Rally. Photo: Reg Gordon

Loughrea Mayor Jimmy Curley and clerk of course, Kieran Donoghue pictured outside Loughrea Hotel and Spa at the launch of the 2011 Galway Summer Rally. Photo: Reg Gordon

A maximum capacity entry of 141 cars has been received for the 2011 Mor Oil Galway Summer Rally.

The top 10 entries will include four competitors in World Rally Cars. Tim McNulty, Niall Maguire and Kevin Barrett will all compete in Subaru Imprezas, while Liam McCarthy has entered his Toyota Corolla.

Tom Flaherty and Patrick Curley, who are the current holders of The Conroy Cup, will be the first Galway Crew to start the rally at number 19 in their Ford Escort Mk2.

The top 30 will also include a number of other Galway crews - Richard Burke and John Burke at 23 in a Subaru Impreza, Pat Kelly and Jonathon Kelly at 24 in another Subaru Impreza, and Eamon Dervan with Keith Gardiner at 31 in a Ford Escort Mk2.

Organised and run by Galway Motor Club, the rally begins on Saturday at 8pm with a ceremonial start on Main Street, Loughrea. The organising team is lead by Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue, and deputy COC Pat Sheil.

The top 20 cars and drivers and all local Galway competitors will be in attendance on the night. The cars will be led to the start ramp by a special monster truck and the event will be filmed for a TV broadcast by On The Limit Sports. This is an opportunity to see the cars and competitors before they head out on the rally stages on Sunday morning.

On Sunday the cars will complete the same loop of three special stages three times to give a total of nine stages during the course of the day. The first stage, which is 15.4kms long, begins in Nutgrove at 10.03am with stage two in Abbey at 10.40am for a distance of 12.6km. The final stage of the loop is the Black Road near Kylebrack at 11.16am for a distance of 19.7kms. All competing cars will then return for service to Loughrea Mart at 11.49am for the first of two visits during the day

More than 35 Ford Escort Mk2s have been entered to compete for the title of GRP4 Fabrications King of the Mk2. This is the second year that GRP4 Fabrications in Galway has sponsored a trophy for the first Ford Escort Mk2 to cross the finish ramp on Sunday evening. Mor Oil Ltd is the main rally sponsor for a third consecutive year and a representative of the company will be on hand to welcome the winning car to the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa around 5pm on Sunday.

The rally headquarters are at the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa. All competing cars will undergo mechanical scrutiny from 2pm on Saturday afternoon in premises to the rear of Loughrea Mart so some extra traffic can be expected in the area.

The Galway Motor Club is appealing to all spectators to “keep the race in its place” and have a safe and enjoyable weekend in Loughrea.

Full rally details are available on www.galwaymotorclub.ie and regular updates will be broadcast on Galway Bay FM.

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