Ireland’s bid for WRC 2025 calendar slot intensifying

Motorsport Ireland is exploring its location options, with government negotiations already underway

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Ireland’s bid to host a round of the World Rally Championship in 2025 is intensifying, with Motorsport Ireland distributing a letter of intent among its member clubs.

News of Ireland’s bid for a WRC calendar slot broke late last week, with Motorsport Ireland president Aiden Harper talking of the nation’s interest in The Irish Examiner.

The project is in its early stages, but negotiations have begun with the government to secure the required funding, and MI is exploring options for where to host the event.

In the letter to the clubs signed by Harper – and seen by DirtFish – each region of the country has been asked to come up with two suitable service area locations which must have 10,000 square meters of flat land, preferably with buildings for rally HQ and a media center.

A meeting has been pencilled in for late September where the options brought forward will be considered by a working group.


One DirtFish source indicated that Donegal and Killarney are the most likely destinations capable of combining the required facilities with some classic stages.

In his letter, Harper urged every club “to partake in this process as much as possible”, labelling Ireland’s bid “hopefully the start of something very exciting”.

Ireland hosted a round of the WRC back in 2007 and 2009 but any new event would be the first all-Irish event. The original Rally Ireland was based in Sligo, but featured stages in Northern Ireland, too.

International rallying will not be returning to Northern Ireland though, with efforts to try and bring Rally UK to Belfast now completely extinguished.

Rally Ireland, Sligo 29/1-1/2 2009

Regardless of where Ireland’s WRC bid goes, WRC stars will arrive in Ireland as soon as 2024, with Craig Breen’s former manager and friend James Coleman working on plans to bring drivers to Breen’s local event, Raven’s Rock – which Thierry Neuville has already confirmed he will do alongside Breen’s friend Patrick Croke.

DirtFish contacted Motorsport Ireland for comment on Ireland’s developing WRC bid, where a spokesman said: “We have no comment to make other than what has been reported by other sources to date.

“We can confirm we are engaged in discussions with various stakeholders about a 2025 WRC date however.”

WRC Promoter declined to comment.