Carlow Car Club Annual Stages Rally takes place today.
The club has successfully been running motorsport events in the South East for over 50 years now. With its headquarters in the Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow Car Club are grateful to Michael and his team at the hotel who have been long supporters of the rally.
This year the rally will run in a mini stage format with 2 stages which will be repeated 3 times. There are 90km of competitive stages which are a mix of fast flowing and twisty roads, something for all drivers to enjoy.
Drivers and their teams travel from all over to compete in Carlow for the weekend. Last year saw 40% of the competitors coming from UK and Northern Ireland, with others travelling from as far away as America and Australia.
Carlow is usually a hive of activity this weekend, with most accommodation booked out weeks in advance. Based on previous years, the rally hopes to attract in excess of 100 cars, and their crews to the South East.
One of the main features of the event will be the O’Brien Cement MkII Challenge. The Ford Escort MkII is probably one of the most iconic rally cars in motorsport and draws a large crowd of spectators to watch these tail happy cars. Last year there were more than 60 MkII escorts competing for the coveted trophy.
The teams will start their rally by driving through the stages on Saturday making pace notes to aid in the rally on Sunday. The rally cars are checked for safety on Saturday afternoon in The Sheehy Motor Group premises on Green Lane. Then they are securely locked up for the night, ready for the rally to start in earnest on Sunday at 9am.
This year the rally stages are located east of Tullow, with the first stage starting at 10am. After the morning loop, cars will come back to Tullow for service in the mart from 11am onwards. Spectators are welcome along the stages and are asked to heed the safety marshals directions at all times.
Ceremonial Finish at Seven Oaks hotel 16:27 approx