THE four Cork clubs affiliated to Motorsport Ireland will have very different seasons in terms of rally events next year.
At the recent and first-ever Motorsport Ireland congress in Athlone, delegates and officials agreed that there were too many rallies in the proposed 2022 calendar. Even though organisers of the Clare and Cavan rallies had decided to opt-out in 2022, there were still 26 rallies listed for next season.
Subsequently, and further to a meeting of the Rallies Commission, a working group was formed to draft a 24-month calendar. A few weeks ago, delegates met once more and a calendar was formed. However, eight events that featured on the calendar in Athlone have been dropped for 2022.
One of the major changes relates to the Cork ‘20’ International Rally that will take place on July 30-31. For decades, the event was the final round of the Irish Tarmac Championship and while the club always expressed an interest in moving to an earlier date, they were a little surprised to see their new slot.
It’s a move that will be welcomed within the club and one that also means that they will no longer be the final event of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The final ITRC event in 2022 will be the Ulster Rally, although currently listed for August 19/20, it is subject to change should Rally Northern Ireland secure World Rally Championship status.
Meanwhile, July is set to be an extraordinary month for the Munster Car Club as they will also host the Munster Moonraker Rally on July 2.
The logistics of running their two main events within a four-week window will call on all their resources.
The Cork Motor Club will also have two events next year, their premier event, the Clonakilty-based West Cork Rally is the second round of the ITRC on March 19/20 and the popular Jim Walsh Forest Rally is scheduled for August 14.
While it’s all systems go for both clubs, the Skibbereen and District Car Club and the Imokilly Motor Club will have no rally events in 2022. The Fastnet Rally is one of eight events that were culled to reduce the number of events in 2022, it and the other seven will all run in 2023 as part of a biennial plan that will see the eight ‘national’ events in 2022 dropping out.
The mid-season Imokilly Rally, like some other mini-stage events, will not run until 2023.
Elsewhere, suggestions that the Killarney and District Motor Club are to run a forest rally early next season may be somewhat premature. A spokesperson for the club told The Echo that the matter has yet to be discussed at a club meeting, a decision is expected this Tuesday night.