Galway Motor Club is delighted to confirm that there is a capacity entry of 122 teams for this year’s Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally, a significant increase on last year. The competing teams, their sponsors and crews, and the thousands of spectators that will line the route will bring a welcome early season boost to visitor numbers to Galway city and county. For 2014, the event has reverted to a two day format and is expected to generate over 2,000 bed nights to hotels and guest houses. The event is worth in the region of €5m to the local economy. The entries have been boosted by the recent announcements of sponsorship of the championship by Clonakilty Blackpudding and the fact that the event will be filmed by SportsVision for broadcast on UTV, TG4, Sky and Motors TV during February.
At the recent launch, Clerk of the Course, Kieran Donohue said “Galway Motor Club is indebted to the staff of Galway County and City Councils, An Garda Siochana, Failte Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, the Directors and staff of Colm Quinn BMW, the 300 volunteer marshals from all over Ireland, and most of all the residents of the route in Gort and the south of the county for their assistance with temporary road closures to ensure the safe running of the event.”
The event will start with a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square on Friday 7th February at 8pm, following afternoon scrutineering of cars at Monaghans Skoda on the Tuam Road from 2pm. These are ideal opportunities to see the rally cars and drivers prior to the start of the competition.
Headquarters for the event is the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway. The rally route will cover 5 closed road stages on Saturday 8th February and a further 8 on Sunday 9th February. The rally Service Park will be in Gort Mart each day, by kind permission of the Mart Committee. Sunday evening will see the Ceremonial Finish at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway, at approximately 3.30pm. Admission to all events is free over the weekend.
The Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally is an event that is sanctioned by the FIA under an official Permit issued by Motorsport Ireland, and supported by the RSA – The Road Safety Authority of Ireland. The ‘Keep the Race in its Place’ campaign is extremely successful in talking to predominantly young people who follow motorsport. The Galway Motor Club is eager to remind everyone of the need to drive safely at all times – hence the message “Keep the Race in its Place’’. All competing cars will carry this logo and message, and extensive signage to promote this road safety message will be visible.
Kieran Donohue, Clerk of the Course, encourages fans travelling to the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally to heed the message from the organisers to ‘Keep the Race in its Place’, to slow down, never drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt. All spectators on the closed road stages must obey the Marshals at all times, as they will be implementing a comprehensive Safety Plan. A traffic management plan has been put in place with the support of the Gardai.
In order to facilitate the safe running of the event there will be temporary Road Closures on certain roads in south county Galway on Saturday 8th February and Sunday 9th February. All will be clearly sign posted and marshalled. All residents have been informed of the times and arrangements and the details have been advertised by Galway County Council. There will also to additional traffic in the Eyre Square area from 7.00pm to 9.00pm to facilitate the Ceremonial Start on Friday 7th February, at the Clayton Hotel, and in Gort during Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th February.
Nominated Galway Charity:
Galway Motor Club has chosen a Galway based community-led organisation, Domestic Violence Response (DVR) as its charity partner. The aim of DVR is to identify and respond to the issue of domestic violence in Galway, respond to the needs of women and children affected and to work towards the elimination of domestic violence. The charity’s volunteers will be promoting awareness at various locations along the route and all support will be much appreciated by them.
The Official Rally Programme contains full listings of stage times, service area times, detailed Ordnance Survey Route Maps and all of the information required to locate the many spectator access points. The programme is available from the Clayton Hotel and from various filling stations, newsagents and outlets in the city and county listed on the rally website, www.galwayinternationalrally.com
2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally Timetable:
Friday 7th February 2pm : Scrutiny at Monaghans Garage, Tuam Rd, Galway.
Friday 7th February 8pm : Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square, Galway.
Saturday 8th February 10.00am : 5 Special Stages in South Galway.
Saturday 8th February 11.00am and 1.00pm: Service Park at Gort Mart.
Sunday 9th February 9.30am: 8 Special Stages in South Galway.
Sunday 9th February 10.30am and 12.45pm: Service Park at Gort Mart.
Sunday 9th February 3.30pm: Finish at Clayton Hotel, Dublin Rd, Galway.
Sunday 9th February 7pm : Prizegiving at Clayton Hotel, Galway.
Leading Entries :
The entries have been seeded by the organisers and the rally winner is likely to come from one of the top 10 seeds.
Seeded number 1 is the current Irish Tarmac rally champion, Gary Jennings from Fermanagh, with his Donegal co-driver, Rory Kennedy. Gary is driving a Subaru WRC car. He will be followed by Eugene Donnelly from Maghera, co-driven by Paul Kiely, in a MINI WRC. Eugene, a previous winner of the event, has finished second for the past two years, and hopes to do one better this year. The number 3 seed is the identical MINI WRC of Derek McGarrity from Antrim, followed away by the current Dunlop National Champions Declan and Brian Boyle from Donegal, in their Subaru WRC, also from Donegal, Donagh Kelly in his Focus WRC, and then the two Fiesta WRC cars of Sam Moffett from Monaghan, and Daragh O Roirdan from Cork.
There are 120 entrants, the Top 10 seeds being:
Number Driver Co-Driver Address Car
1 Gary Jennings Rory Kennedy Fermanagh Subaru WRC
2 Eugene Donnelly Paul Kiely Maghera MINI WRC
3 Derek McGarrity James McKee Antrim MINI WRC
4 Declan Boyle Brian Boyle Donegal Subaru WRC
5 Donagh Kelly Kevin Flanagan Donegal Focus WRC
6 Sam Moffett James O’Reilly Monaghan Fiesta WRC
7 Daragh O’Riordan Tony Mc Daid Cork Fiesta WRC
8 Number not used in memory of JJ Fleming, RIP.
9. Stephen Simpson Patrick Walsh Wales Subaru WRC
10 Peadar Hurson Damian Connolly Monaghan Escort WRC
There are a total of 10 crews from outside of Ireland taking part in this years event, some travelling from USA and Canada, others from London, Wales and UK.
Leading Local Entries:
Members of Galway Motor Club taking part in the event will be seeking to put their name on the prestigious Brian G Thornton Memorial Cup. The leading Galway crews are:
Car Driver Navigator Address Make/Model
19 Tom Flaherty Patrick Curley Galway Escort RS
25 Pat Kelly Jonathan Kelly Galway Subaru STI
31 Neil Peirce Aileen Kelly Loughrea Honda
32 Richard Whelan James Whelan Galway Honda
33 Stephen Greaney Agne Audiejaityte Galway Escort RS
36 Richard Burke John Burke Oranmore Subaru
43 Jonathan Folan Ger Myers Galway Subaru
Results and regular updates and more detailed information will be available on the rally website: www.galwayinternationalrally.com
Information provided by Ultan Burke,
Event Media Officer, Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally 2014.
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