Entry numbers for the Modern Tyres Ulster Rally are steadily building, with many of the top drivers from the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship among those set to tackle the event.
Taking place on the weekend of August 19 and 20, the Northern Ireland Motor Club meeting will host the seventh and final round of the cross-border series, which Josh Moffett currently leads.
The County Monaghan man tops the points’ standings following victories at the season-opening Galway International Rally, March’s West Cork Rally and June’s Donegal International Rally.
The Hyundai i20 R5 driver – who was recently crowned Irish National Rally champion – will face competition on the Ulster lanes from a trio of Volkswagen Polo GTI R5s piloted by Welshman Meirion Evans and the Northern Irish duo of Trillick’s Alastair Fisher and Claudy’s Callum Devine.
Although he is not registered for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, DarrenGass.com is a former champion and should also go well on home soil at the wheel of his Citroen Racing C3 Rally2 car.
Looking ahead to the event, Modern Tyres-backed driver Alastair Fisher said: “The Ulster Rally is a classic event with top class stages and organisation. The stages always offer up a big challenge for competitors, normally with a balance of technical and fast sections. And the night stage throws another element into the mix, so we will have to be on our toes for that.
“With Modern Tyres the headline sponsor, it is important to have our car on the start-line and hopefully we’ll still be fighting for the Tarmac Championship to make things more interesting.”
Competitors are being reminded by Event Director Philip Murray that there is still time for those wishing to take part, to register their interest before the August 4 deadline. “The response so far has been very positive. We are very happy with the calibre of crews – and cars – that are going to be making the trip to Newry in just a few weeks’ time,” said Murray.
“We have two days of exciting competition planned – including the return of a night stage – more details on which will be announced in the coming days. My message to those wishing to be part of the Modern Tyres Ulster Rally is: please submit your entry on, or before, August 4.”
Photos: Graham Baalham-Curry