6th January 2017
Following a meeting of Newtown & District Automobile Club Ltd's committee, it was decided that, due to the current financial uncertainties of running a forest stage event, the difficult decision to cancel the Grooms Garage Mid-Wales Stages 2017 had to be made.
The club would like to thank all the competitors, officials and marshals who have helped to make the event a success over the previous years and wish all the best to the rallying community for 2017.
Santa was very good to me and for Christmas I received a copy of the new RPM DVD “Mister Sideways...The Glenn Allen Story”. Glenn was a larger than life character who tragically was taken from us in a non-motorsport related accident in November 2007.
A hugely talented rally driver “Big Glenn” had a big heart, a big smile and always big armfuls of opposite lock as he broadsided his Mk.2 Escorts and WRC Toyota Corollas to many wins. In this review of his carer his many friends, fellow competitors, family and sponsors talk fondly of time spent on the stages with this Cookstown hero.
Glenn Allen won the 2007 Northern Ireland Rally Championship and the story of how he did it using no less than three Toyota Corolla WRC’s is compelling viewing.
Among the contributors is Frank Kelly now famous in Ireland for his daring exploits in his “Baby Blue” Mk.2 Escort. Frank tells of how in the 1990’s Glenn popularised the Mk.2 which was in danger of fading away. The sight of a fully committed Glenn Allen made people take note and now the Escort is as popular as it ever was on the rally stages. In those early days Kelly had a rear-wheel-drive Fiesta. He moved up to a Mk.2 to try to match Allen, but then Glenn moved on to four-wheel-drive World Rally Cars! Glenn preferred the loose to tarmac which may seem strange to many as Ireland is renowned for its closed-road stages.
On the Lakeland Stages Rally in the Fermanagh forests back in 2004 Glenn Allen had a massive sixth-gear accident on the final corner of the stage I was timing. I am now the only person alive who witnessed that crash. Sadly my fellow timekeeper that day was Richard Donaldson who has since passed away. Glenn and co-driver Damien Connolly were in a Ford Escort WRC which left the road before the flying finish and rolled over a log pile before coming to rest on a tree stump. I quickly summoned rescue services to the scene who in turn freed the crew. Glenn had broken ribs but Damien escaped without injury. I will never forget the huge accident which due to its ferocity could have been much worse for both driver and co-driver! Damien recalls that incident in the DVD.
The DVD lasts for over an hour and covers all aspects of Glen Allen’s rallying carer from the early days in the Escorts right up to his championship winning year. Other contributors include the Donnelly brothers Eugene and Charlie, Kevin Lynch and Richard Hogg. Glenn’s mother Vera was always his biggest supporter both out on the stages and behind the scenes as his PR! Available from RPM Motorsport’s website for £14.99 Mister Sideways....The Glenn Allen Story is well worth a look!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all RallyBuzzers
Held at KIRKISTOWN RACE CIRCUIT in Co.Down this is the first stage rally of the year for most of us in Northern Ireland. A non-championship event we as BMMC/BRMC marshals have been asked for help. Mind you I note that a DARK STAGE is being planned so don’t know what time we will be required to stay to. Sign-on is usually from 7am. Hope the weather is kind!
The MG Car Club (Ulster) organise this annual event which includes autotests, trials in muddy fields (weather permitting) and the odd special test. We normally help to run some of the tests. Contact MG’s Carol Willis or our own Fel McIlory if interested. Based this year at TTS Nutts Corner the 20 or so tests will all be in Co.Antrim. Sign-on from 7am. Breakfast baps will be served.
Back to KIRKISTOWN again for Round One of the MSA Northern Ireland Rally Championship. Organised by North Armagh Motor Club we should be asked to marshal this one. Sign-on from 7am.
Please note the calendar on this site has now been updated to show the information for 2017 if you wish to review 2016 you can do this by going to the Archive selection on the Calendar Menu or Clicking Here.
Circuit of Ireland Rally Event Director, Bobby Willis, has announced that the Rally will not be taking place in 2017. The decision has been made as a result of funding uncertainty.
Bobby Willis explains, “I have had the privilege of managing the Circuit of Ireland Rally since 2009. In that time the event has grown significantly and now hosts the prestigious European, British, Irish and Northern Ireland Championships. Last year we had in excess of 40 million television viewers worldwide, with similar numbers expected this year. Another hundred thousand viewers, in 130 countries followed the event via live streaming in what we believe to be a first for this scale of rally. Year on year the event has brought increasing social and economic dividends for Northern Ireland and, in particular, the tourism and hospitality sector. But the growing success and size of the event necessitates precise long term project planning, additional resources and inevitably more financial investment.”
“To date we have had fantastic support from Councils across Northern Ireland, Tourism NI and Tourism Ireland, private sponsorship and the NI Executive. I believe we have delivered an excellent return on investment for all our partners, with the substantial growth achieved in the last seven years. We have been working hard with all our funders to plan ahead for 2017 but regrettably at this point in time the financial resources required to deliver the event are still not in place. To run the Rally next year, in the current format, without the right resources and necessary planning period would be to do the Rally a gross disservice. I believe we cannot risk proceeding with the 2017 event at this point without financial certainty.”
“The decision not to run the Rally next year has been the most difficult one I have ever had to make and will be extremely disappointing for a wide range of people including the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed so much. The Circuit of Ireland Rally has reached a level of success unimaginable only a few years ago, attracting an enviable international entry list and with opportunities for even more growth within our grasp. For those reasons it is vital that the ‘Circuit of Ireland’ brand is protected for future generations. Whilst other options for a small, local rally may be considered for next year, my plan is to take the time to work closely with our partners to secure the necessary resources and plan for the Circuit of Ireland Rally to return in 2018 with an even better event.
Circuit of Ireland Rally
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