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HAPPY NEW YEAR: WELCOME TO THE BUZZ

RallyBuzz was the name of my son’s website which no longer exists. I thought the name was too good to loose; so Rally Round-up now becomes RallyBuzz.

LOOKING FORWARD

This year sees a bit of a Buzz on the rally scene with the return of the British Championship. The Circuit of Ireland returns to the new series with its new set date in early April. Then the Ulster in August will be a part of the seven-round championship for R5 cars. There will be 4 gravel and 3 sealed surface rallies. Max Vatanen (son of legend Ari) will take part in all the rounds driving for the sealed surface rallies. Max Vatanen (son of legend Ari) will take part in all the rounds driving for the make the new BRC competitive!

Of course the Circuit will be part of the ERC again and joins the Ulster as part of Irish Tarmac series as well. Both these championships will have R5 machinery headlining their class structures.

On the WRC front; no official Citroen team this year but Kris Meeke, who signed a three year deal with the French manufacturer, will take part in 10 of the 14 rounds driving for the Citroen supported Abu Dhabi Total private team. The official Citroen squad will return in 2017 led by Meeke and with a brand new car. Expect VW to dominate in 2016 again. Their only opposition will come from Hyundai and M–Sport.

Locally, here in NI; I hope there will be more opposition for the likes of Derek McGarrity who won the 2015 championship virtually unopposed! He didn’t even have to compete in the final two gravel events! The series starts at Kirkistown next month.

RALLY DIARY

Sat 23 January 2016 New Year Stages
Run by the 500 MRCI but organised by the Ulster Automobile Club, we have been asked for marshals and timekeepers for this Nat. B event which is the traditional opening rally of the year in Northern Ireland. Although NOT a championship event, expect to see competitors ready their machinery for the NI series which starts at the same venue on the 13 February. Ronnie Mitchell is COC, while Andy Frater is Chief Marshal and point of contact if you are interested in helping out. Sign-on 8am.

Sat 6 February 2016 Derek Walker Trial
Starting and finishing at Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh, Co.Down. We have been asked to help run some of the tests. Contact Carol Willis or COC Gordon Buckley if interested. Sign-on 8am-9am.