Rotating host system revealed for Irish WRC bid

Proposed WRC event will rotate service park through locations in Limerick, Kerry and Waterford

Rally Ireland, Sligo 15-18 11 2007

Rally Ireland’s bid for a World Rally Championship calendar return in 2025 will use a rotating host system, with Motorsport Ireland finding itself unable to choose one of the three locations it had shortlisted.

Last week Motorsport Ireland, the nation’s governing body for motorsport, inspected three potential service park sites along with WRC Promoter: the city of Waterford, Munster Technological University in Tralee, County Kerry, and Limerick Racecourse.

It has instead opted for a rotational system between all three bidders. Each potential host region will be asked which year they would prefer to host; if no agreement is reached, then a lottery system will be implemented instead.

That step will only take place once funding is secured to run the event, which remains a work in progress.

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

Aiden Harper, Motorsport Ireland president, said: “Each location had so much to give and each location showcased our country in a slightly different way. But each area of Ireland is spectacular in its own right and each area offers challenging stages and beautiful television backdrops. All these things had to be taken into consideration.”

Though a decision has now been taken on where a prospective WRC round in Ireland would be held, there are still many steps to be taken before that return can be secured; first and foremost, funding.

“We still have numerous steps to take, from applications to the FIA, safety inspections, candidate stages, to World Motor Sport Council approval by the FIA. And all of this is predicated firstly on securing the government funding that we need.

“The ask from our government is €15 million over three years, with a payback of €300 million. This process is underway at present; our bid is currently under consideration by senior management in the Major Sports Events Unit of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.”

WRC machinery may arrive on Irish shores as soon as 2024; Thierry Neuville told DirtFish last year that he plans to take on the Raven’s Rock Rally as a tribute to the late Craig Breen, with Patrick ‘Paddy’ Croke as co-driver, potentially with a Hyundai i20 N Rally1.