Belfast Telegraph

Noble taking on Circuit of Ireland

By Sammy Hamill

Gordon Noble, clerk of the course for Ireland’s round of the World rally championship in 2009, is to take on the same role for the Circuit of Ireland at Easter.

The appointment of Noble, an international co-driver in his own right, is the next step in efforts to re-launch Ireland’s most famous rally.

Run by the Ulster Automobile Club for close to 80 years, the organisation of the event has taken over by Belfast rally consultant Bobby Willis, another member of the World championship Rally Ireland team.

He has moved to recruit a strong backroom group which will now be headed by the highly-regarded Noble with Tom Walsh, clerk of the course of the original Rally Ireland in 2008, as his assistant.

“A lot of hard work is going into reinvigorating the rally and we hope that it will be a stepping stone to even bigger things,” said Noble, a DRD roads engineer from Omagh.

Already Willis has secured Intercontinental Rally Challenge supporter event status for the 2010 rally with a long-term view to gaining a full place in the global series won last year by Ulster’s Kris Meeke.

Said Willis: “The aim is to re-build the standing of the Circuit of Ireland which was an iconic event with a world-wide reputation.

“Appointing Gordon Noble is an important step. His standing in the rally community is second to none and the vast experience he brings will ensure a professionally run event.”

The Circuit of Ireland is the second round of the Citroen Irish Tarmac championship and takes place on April 3/4.

Belfast Telegraph

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