Following the decision over the weekend by the Connacht Motor Club, organisers of the FAAC Simply automatic Sligo Park Hotel Rally to cancel this year’s event, organisers of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship are now looking at the available options to find a replacement event in order to continue to have seven rounds with the best six scores to count.
In a press release issued by the Connacht club on Saturday night, it stated that the original concerns remain and this led them to the decision to cancel the 2018 Sligo Rally. Roads in the region were not in a good condition due to melting tar and the long range forecast didn’t offer any respite.
Over the last week the club, under the baton of clerk of the course Robert Lyttle, were monitoring the situation and working with and indeed being supported by all the various stakeholders. The statement added, “It is gratifying to know that the event is important in different ways to so many people, however, we have concluded that the risks remain such that our efforts could still be in vain by next weekend and rather than prolong a further period of uncertainty particularly during the peak tourism season, the sensible option is to abandon our efforts for the 2018 event.”
An integral part of the Irish rallying calendar since its inception in 1980, the Sligo Rally was cancelled on two previous occasions - 1990 (Insurance crisis) and 2001 (Foot & Mouth disease).
The Triton Showers Championship committee are currently investigating their options and will consult with the title sponsor, the Rallies Committee and the Motorsport Commission. A decision is expected within days. Ironically, the Sligo Rally was a substitute for the ALMC Rally as the Dublin club are not running a rally this year.
Now, it’s a case of a substitute for the substitute. Two events on the rotational system that offer a solution are the Galway Summer Rally and the Fastnet Rally in Bantry and they would also seem to be the only available options. The Galway Summer Rally has been re-fixed (due to a clash with the papal visit to Knock, Co. Mayo) for August 19, the week after the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, another Triton round. The Fastnet Rally takes place on the October Bank holiday weekend.
Currently, the top positions in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship after three rounds are as follows: 1. Declan Boyle 59pts; 2. Joe McGonigle 44pts; 3. Donagh Kelly 42pts; 4. Josh Moffett 38pts.; 5. Stuart Darcy 34pts; 6. Kevin Barrett & Roy White 26pts; 8. Niall Maguire 25pts; 9. Chris Armstrong 19pts; 10. Desi Henry 16pts.