Circuit of Ireland Rally organisers have announced that Westport man and well known rally official Tom Walsh, will take over the role of clerk of course for the 2015 event. Andy Gilmore, who managed the 2014 rally has had to give up the role due to his work commitments.
Originally from Limerick, Tom Walsh has been involved in rallying since 1969 when he took on his first marshalling role with a rally - the Circuit of Ireland. During the 1970s and 1980s Walsh managed rally star Billy Coleman over a 14 year period helping him clinch three circuit wins. Walsh had a five-year tenure as chairman of the Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA ) and was clerk of course for the first Rally Ireland WRC in 2007 and sporting director for the 2009 Rally Ireland WRC. He is currently a member of the Motorsport Ireland Commission.
“I got hooked on rallying in the sixties when as a young lad I first watched the Circuit of Ireland close to my home in Co Limerick, and later I became a marshal at the circuit. Since then I have referred to it as my ‘iconic rally’ so when Bobby called me and asked if I could take on the clerk of course position I had no hesitation in accepting,” explained Tom Walsh.
Event director Bobby Willis said: “Looking forward to early April we’re delighted to have secured Tom Walsh as our new clerk of course. Well-known and respected in the rallying world, Tom has a tremendous range of experience and expertise which he can bring to the Circuit of Ireland enabling us to further enhance the event for both drivers and spectators.”
The Circuit of Ireland Rally takes place from Thursday April 2 until Saturday April 4 and will be the third of 10 rounds in the 2015 European Rally Championship. The 2015 Circuit of Ireland will also be counting rounds of the 2015 Irish Tarmac Championship and the Northern Ireland Rally Championship.