Rally Ireland was a new addition to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in 2007. It was not part of the 2008 schedule, but returned as the First round of the championship in 2009. The North-South event is the largest sporting occasion on the island of Ireland with over 250,000 spectators and a TV audience in 180 countries. As part of the WRC rotation Rally Ireland is not part of the 2010 season but was expected to figure in 2011. However, on 19 February 2010 North One Sport the WRC promoter, announced that Rally Ireland would not be awarded a place on the 2011 calendar.
Rally Ireland is organised by Motorsport Ireland. The event itself joined the WRC in 2007 when it was won by reigning World Champions Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena in a Citroën C4. The rally is managed by Event Director John Naylor while the Clerk of the Course is Gordon Noble.
A steering committee which is charged with developing the event is in place. This committee is chaired by Austin Frazer and includes representative of Motorsport Ireland (MI) and The Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs (ANICC).
Rally Ireland received strong government support from both sides of the border. It continues a long tradition of cross-border rallying in Ireland, which dates back to the early years of the Circuit of Ireland Rally in the 1930s.
The Rally was held on asphalt concrete, which was very wavy and slippery due to the humidly Irish weather, what makes this character being similar to the Rally Monte Carlo (with exception of snow). This character had even marked a high retirement-rate in this rally.
|2005||Matthew Wilson||Michael Orr||Ford Focus RS WRC|
|2006||Eugene Donnelly||Paul Kiely||Toyota Corolla WRC|
|2007||Sébastien Loeb||Daniel Elena||Citroën C4 WRC|
|2009||Sébastien Loeb||Daniel Elena||Citroën C4 WRC|
- Ireland to miss out on 2011 WRC slot Autosport Website 2010-02-19 Retrieved 2010-02-19
- "Rally Ireland//About". Rally Ireland. Archived from the original on 16 November 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2007.
- Montgomery, Bob (14 April 2004). "PastImperfect". Motors. The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 November 2007.