The idea starting this blog was to put a few of my ideas and thoughts out there! People may not agree with what I have to say and that’s perfectly fine, I am happy to listen to others point of view and be enlightened.
At the minute the Irish Tarmac Championship is going through a big shake up. WRC cars will be ineligible to score overall points. This has been mooted as the saving the championship. If you ask any questions on social media you are seen as a naysayer and living in the past. I believe the championship is badly in need of a change and I respect the decision made.
My issue is why are not more drivers committing to the championship as a whole. 28 crew registered for the International section and 27 in the modified section in 2015. Looking at the top 10 point scorers in the 2015 Championships, the International section 3 drivers only entered three of the seven rounds and in the modified section 4crews in the top 10 started three of the eight events.
Looking at new breed of cars that will be the premier class in the championship next year, the R5. These cars are seen as more affordable to the average competitor. Costing a third of the price of a new WRC spec car, my query is how many WRC cars in Ireland were brand new? We mostly saw cars that had seen service elsewhere. Also by listening to experienced crews that have more knowledge than me, the R5 cars are expensive to maintain, as expensive as a WRC car?!
Looking at the past champions of Irelands premier championship we have had the pleasure of witnessing some of the worlds best machinery driven by very capable drivers. Generally these drivers have been successful business men who use rallying as an escape from a hectic work life. With few exceptions these guys had no ambitions to be the next Ari Vatanen or Sebastien Loeb. They wanted to rally the best cars available and compete at a level they could afford and enjoy.
Going down the R5 route, are we now going to promote the championship for aspiring young guns? If so I believe the problem is the Irish ‘Tarmac’ Championship!!!! Is it time for Ireland to consider an ‘Irish Championship’ with rounds on tarmac and gravel. We have exceptional talent coming through the ranks at the moment but they need to leave these shores for their talents to be showcased.
To finish I hope 2016 will be the start of a ‘New Dawn’ in Irish Rallying, it will need strong decisions to be made and like the WRC versus R5 debate they may not be popular!