The rally season here in Northern Ireland has virtually finished. Just a few low-key targa events left to run in 2023. My last outing was on the Bushwhacker in September but I know some of our marshals have been covering both the Antrim & Magherafelt targa rallies held last month. For many years I managed to attend over 40 events including Rally GB which was usually held in November. Nowadays I have cut right back. I only do the events I enjoy, which amounted to just 12 in 2023. Highlights included working on the five-round NI Championship and the three Forest Challenge events.
Looking forward to 2024, I see there will be no British Rally Championship round here, the Ulster Rally has been dropped from the calendar. As well as this, the Protyre Asphalt Championship will not be visiting Northern Ireland next year. There were only six registered BRC competitors on the 85-strong Ulster start list this year, so the loss of that series should not effect the event too much!
The 2024 Northern Ireland Rally Championship will again feature five sealed-surface events (two single venue rallies followed by three on closed-roads) and the NI Forest Rally Challenge should consist of four gravel rallies (although one has yet to be confirmed). I presume there will also be the usual visits to NI of both the Irish Tarmac Championship (COI & Ulster) and the Motorsport Ireland Forest Championship (Lakeland & Bushwhacker)
Unsurprisingly, there will be no World Rally Championship event in the British Isles next year. It will then have been five years since the last Wales Rally GB took place in 2019. Some good news for Wales though, the closed-road Rali Ceredigion, based in Aberystwyth, will be a round of the 2024 European Rally Championship. With regards to the WRC, it is still hoped that there might be a Motorsport Ireland promoted “Rally Ireland” in 2025, although everything has gone quite on this front at the moment. As they say no news is good news!
11 of us BMMC/BRMC (NI) members marshalled on Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2003 WRC. We covered 6 stages over the three days. Four drivers went into the rally with a chance to win the championship. In the end Petter Solberg in his Subaru Impreza won the rally and the title by one point from Sebastien Loeb, who’s Citroen Xsara was second in Wales. 75 cars started and 39 finished. Unfortunately we were one member short this year. Bobby Barr passed away suddenly in September and was sadly missed by us all.
The only rally-type event listed for the month of November in Northern Ireland. No further information is available as I write. If the event is indeed running and you wish to marshal please contact Omagh Motor Club for details.
The British Rally Marshals Club in association with the various event organisers are arranging Rally Marshals Taster days at various locations throughout the coming year. This is the opportunity for you to find out all about marshalling at motorsport events, especially rallies.
|Sunday 15th October||Toyota Harlech Stages||Llanbedr||Nr Harlech, North Wales|
|TBA||Knutsford Targa Rally||Knutsford Area||Northwest England|
If you would like to attend one of these please follow this link to