Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield is pictured with local driver Stuart Biggerstaff and Clerk of the Course Wayne Turkington.
Organisers of the internationally recognised Ulster Rally, the Northern Ireland Motor Club, aregearing up for another successful high-profile sporting event on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August having secured sponsorship from ABC Council.
The major live motorsport event promises to raise the borough’s profile and boost tourism growth when it returns to counties Armagh and Down for another exciting competition.
Around 100 crews from the UK and Ireland will compete to be the fastest in the challenging route, which comprises nine closed-road tests and covers a total distance of 94 miles concentrated in the area between Armagh, Banbridge and Newry.
It has attracted a large number of local competitors as well as visitors from Ireland and Great Britain due to its involvement with the Irish Tarmac Championship and the European Celtic Cup. Full details of the entrants can be found in the free spectator programme available at ulsterrally.com
With the borough boasting the perfect backdrop for this prestigious sporting event, Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield said: “With the growth of sports tourism and the significant economic benefits it yields, we’re delighted to work with and support the Northern Ireland Motor Club in hosting stages of the Ulster Rally here and bringing new investment to this region.
Both the Northern Ireland Motor Club and the Ulster Rally have a long and distinguished history.The invaluable exposure generated by the live-streamed Ulster Rally hugely increases our borough’s profile as a place capable of staging international events at the highest level and contributes significantly to the development of our tourism and hospitality sector.
We welcome the opportunity to showcase our borough to a global audience and look forward to a weekend of unmissable sporting action on our doorstep. Best of luck to all the competitors. I would encourage spectators to come along and see all the drivers and cars at the regroups in Banbridge and Armagh.”
Spectators will have opportunities to see the rally action over the course of the event as well as meet the drivers and getup-close to the cars, with regroups planned in Banbridge town centre on Friday 19 August at 6.30pm and at Armagh City Hotel car park from 11.45am on the morning of Saturday 20 August.
The event starts at 5pm on the Friday and consists of 3 stages on the Friday night in the Newry and Loughbrickland areas, including the challenging 15-mile Bronte Homeland stage before returning for an overnight halt in Newry. There are 3 stages on Saturday along a compact route between Newry and Armagh via the Poyntzpass and Tandragee areas. Each stage is run twice between service stops in Newry and a regroup in Armagh.
The ceremonial start, finish and service park will be located in the rally’s base at the headline sponsor’s Modern Tyres depot in Carnbane Gardens, Newry.
Wayne Turkington, Clerk of the course of the 2022 Modern Tyres Ulster Rally, said how much the organisers appreciated the support provided by the Council through the International Tourism Events Fund. “The event is run entirely by volunteers who give their time freely through a love of this sport. Despite this and keeping our costs to a minimum, without the support provided by our sponsors and host Councils we could not run an event to the high standard required. Several hundred volunteer Safety Marshals will be on duty along the route to ensure the highest possible levels of safety for both competitors and spectators. In the interest of the safety for yourself and others, please obey their instructions and always respect landowners’ property.”
Visit ulsterrally.com to find out more about this event and download a free spectator guide from Tuesday 15 August. The Ulster Rally website and Facebook page will also provide a link to access the video streaming, which will run throughout the event with live coverage, results and commentary and ensuring that the event can be followed anywhere in the world.