The Circuit of Ireland Rally has been selected for inclusion on the 2016 British Rally Championship (BRC) calendar. This will be the first time since 1991, when it was won by the late world champion Colin McRae, that the Circuit will be part of Britain’s premier rally series. Also included on the calendar will be the Ulster Rally alongside three rounds in Scotland and one each in England and Wales.
Circuit of Ireland Event Director, Bobby Willis, explains, “It is a great honour to be considered for selection for the 2016 BRC and an even greater thrill now to be able to confirm our inclusion for next year. Being part of the European Rally Championship for the last two years has been a fantastic experience and the success we have enjoyed has demonstrated our capability to deliver an event of the highest professional and sporting standards. We are absolutely delighted that all the hard work is paying off with this further national boost and that both Northern Ireland and the Circuit of Ireland Rally are now hugely respected and recognised as hosts and organisers of world class events.”
Announcing the calendar, Ben Taylor, Managing Director of BRC organisers International Motorsports, said, “We are very excited to be able to include the Circuit of Ireland in the 2016 British Rally Championship calendar. The Circuit is the second biggest rally in the UK, enjoys a legendary reputation around the world and creates an amazing atmosphere in Belfast and the surrounding towns. It is natural that the best British drivers want to test themselves on the international stage against the ERC stars and we look forward to bringing something new to the show next year.”
News of the 2016 British Rally Championship calendar inclusion is further good news for 2015 Circuit of Ireland Rally organisers who have just reported significant increases in spectator numbers – up 7% on last year’s figures at 80,000; major growth in global audience figures – Eurosport has indicated a 40% increase on 2014; and the overall contribution to the local economy up from £1.5million to £1.8million.
Bobby Willis added, “We set ourselves big objectives and I believe our team more than delivered with a hugely successful three days culminating in a win for popular Irish driver Craig Breen, currently still leading the European Rally Championships. It was also very exciting to host TV and movie star Idris Elba as a ‘competitor’ taking part for the Discovery Channel’s documentary series, “Idris Elba: No Limits”. Along with local co-driver, Michael Orr, his exploits will be aired on Monday 6th July at 9pm and I’m sure the programme will provide an excellent insight into the adrenalin rush of rally driving as well as being a great showcase for Northern Ireland especially as it is to be shown in over 200 countries worldwide. On both counts, potential competitors in the 2016 British Rally Championship will get a real flavour of what to expect next year.”
Media contact: Jane Wells, JPR – Tel: 028 9076 0066. Mob: 07860 288860. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org