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2018 Tarmac Rally Championship

Posted: January 11, 2018 5:08 AM - 8121 Hits

Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championship 2018


Posted: January 11, 2018 5:08 AM

2018 is going to be significant year for five times Irish Tarmac Rally Champion, Eugene Donnelly as he unveils a brand new state of the art Hyundai I-i20 R5 machine on the MRF Tyres stand at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham’s NEC Arena. It’s a dramatic return to Irish rallying for one of the most supported driver’s in its long history.
“I’m so excited it’s just absolutely fantastic” said Eugene known by many fans as “the Genie”. “I have been working on this deal for over a year now with Hyundai Customer Racing and MRF Tyres and to be unveiling the car at the NEC is just amazing. I can’t wait to return to the stages, but this new chapter is not just about me, but a new team, development of the Hyundai R5, and the new MRF Tyres. There’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes to get here, with even the sign-writers CBM Signs flying over from Donegal to put the finishing touches onto the car yesterday.”

After Irish Tarmac titles and not forgetting Irish National, Northern Ireland Rally Championship and an Irish Forestry title, many will be surprised at Eugene’s decision to make a come-back.
“I love rallying, Irish rallying in particular and the Irish Tarmac Championship, and I always had a return in the back of my mind. I hope that in some ways I can help to bring back a bit of life to the Tarmac Championship as I feel it’s been in a real dip lately and needs to get the general public back behind it again. I think the whole focus on social media has brought it to the attention of its existing supporters, not the wider public, and I hope my involvement with these blue-chip companies could help to change that.”

The 2018 Hyundai Customer Racing R5 four-wheel drive weapon, has been built to the latest specification, and with great technical support provided by the Korean car company and tremendous support from MRF Tyres, added to by Eugene’s long-time personal sponsors PPP Group, Sligo Pallets and McGeehan Motorsport, the whole project has come together. “I’m indebted to these companies for their assistance, and it’s superb to be involved with companies such as Hyundai and MRF Tyres. We have an opportunity to develop a new range of tyre products with MRF, as this massive manufacturer moves more into the European market. MRF Tyres already have had championship victories on the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, and have produced a very successful gravel tyre for the Irish and UK forests. There is a lot of expertise in-house to help our development program. My role is to use my previous experience to develop the most competitive rally tyre for Irish tarmac.”

Round one of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship is the West Cork Rally in March, but Eugene is not yet certain whether that will be the team’s debut.
“This is a three-year development program for the team, and if I feel we are not ready for West Cork we will give it a miss. I realistically don’t expect to have the pace of the current drivers such as Sam Moffett who are now winning the rallies, and it’s not my intention to go out and try to win. If i can get the car and tyres up a certain level of competitiveness, and I feel that I can’t achieve any more I’d be more than happy to step out and give a young driver a chance, and further develop the team. This is more about creating a winning team with Hyundai and MRF Tyres and it could be a vehicle to help the next generation of rally-driver to get to the top.”

One thing is for sure the return of Eugene Donnelly to the Irish Tarmac Rally scene in a new R5 Hyundai i-20 R5 will significantly raise the sport’s interest and awareness once again, with the excitement mirroring the NEC Show eleven years ago when he unveiled a shiny silver Subaru S12!

Donnelly’s plans for a full season of Irish rallying in 2018 will continue the growth of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing’s i20 R5 project.
“For a driver with as much experience and pace as Eugene to choose an i20 R5 for his return to competition is a sign of how highly he rates our car,” said Hyundai Motorsport Senior Sales Associate Andrew Johns. “For he and his team to be able to attract support from MRF Tyres shows the high level at which they expect to perform and we are very pleased they have made the i20 R5 part of their team. The unveiling at the Autosport International Show is certain to gather a lot of attention so should be a great start to a fantastic season.”

Championship Rounds

Posted: December 12, 2017 5:50 AM

Tarmac Championship

  1. West Cork Rally - 17-18 Mar 18
  2. UAC Easter Stages Rally - 6-7 Apr 18
  3. Killarney International Rally of Lakes - 5-6 May 18
  4. Donegal International Rally - 15-17 Jun 18
  5. Ulster Rally - 17-18 Aug 18
  6. Cork 20 International Rally - 29-30 Sep 18
Tarmac Historic Championship
  1. Killarney Historic Stages Rally - (Sat) 2 Dec 17
  2. West Cork Rally - 17-18 Mar 18
  3. UAC Easter Stages Rally - 6-7 Apr 18
  4. Killarney International Rally of Lakes - 5-6 May 18
  5. Donegal International Rally - 15-17 Jun 18
  6. Ulster Rally - 17-18 Aug 18
  7. Cork 20 International Rally - 29-30 Sep 18

Dance to Tipperary to sponsor Irish Tarmac Rally Championship

Posted: November 20, 2017 3:04 AM

London based music collective backs Ireland’s elite rally for three years

The Tarmac Rally Organisers Association (TROA) has last evening (Sunday 19 November 2017) confirmed it has reached agreement with Dance To Tipperary as title sponsor for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (ITRC).

The deal is for an initial three years, - 2018, 2019 and 2020 - with the championship being known henceforth as the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Dance To Tipperary is a London based predominately Irish music collective founded in 1998. Over the past two decades, it has developed a unique and successful enterprise combining Irish, EDM, Celtic, Rock, Pop, Techno and Trance music to create a flow of Top 30 Hits and No.1 Dance Singles with sales in more than 35 countries.

The ITRC is Ireland’s number one rallying championship combining seven events around the country – north and south.

Dance to Tipperary will be the official title branded partner of the championship as well as the coproduction and distribution partner for its TV and media feeds. You could call it an early stage dynamic new Irish sports version of the hugely successful Red Bull Media House!

The sponsorship agreement gives Dance To Tipperary co-branding and co-title of the championship, on-event signage including decals on all championship entries and co-branding on official championship merchandise.
Dance To Tipperary also intends to appoint select brand ambassadors for the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Rally Championships TV, Radio, and online media output. These will be selected from drivers and co-drivers, radio and TV personalities, YouTube Stars, musicians and other longtime associates and friends. The main criteria will be that the brand ambassadors represent the core brand values of both Dance To Tipperary and the Championship.

Brand Ambassadors and other details of the sponsorship to be announced at the official launch of the Dance To Tipperary Irish Tarmac Championship on December 9th.

TROA Chairman David Gray said
“We are thrilled to welcome Dance To Tipperary on board. As rallying supporters know, the environment is challenging for sponsors. TROA board members worked carefully over recent months to secure this deal. Dance To Tipperary is a name well known and familiar to many rally fans. We look forward to working with them for the 2018 championship and in the years ahead to further build the ITRC as a championship and event with an even greater experience for participants and supporters alike”.

TROA Director Colman Hegarty said,
"although the past ten days brought some disappointing news for the ITRC, we are immensely happy to have secured a three-year commitment with a brand like Dance To Tipperary that knows and understands the true value, sports and lifestyle exposure the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship brings in a modern digital world and we look forward to making the Championship even more attractive to other brands and media partners with their assistance during that period.

TROA Championship Manager Paddy Flanagan added
“We are delighted to have secured a title sponsor who truly understands Irish rallying, promotion, new media, and shares a mutual love and respect of our sport and its fans”

In response, Tricia Kelly accordion player of Dance To Tipperary and originally from Cape Clear in Co.Cork said,
“it is 20 years next year since we started Dance To Tipperary and the sport of rallying played a big role in our early success. It feels right to begin our celebration of 20 years of Dance To Tipperary by availing of this opportunity and becoming the title sponsor of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Rallying is an attractive, accessible sport for men, women and youth alike. We already have many fans in common and look forward to reaching many more together. We believe that we can help further build the appeal of the Championship working with TROA to apply the experience and knowledge gained in building our brand to make the most of this wonderful year-round championship and great exciting country-wide events”.

Championship Website

Posted: November 20, 2017 3:04 AM

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