Ronan Morgan and Sean O’Connor, the co-founders of Ireland’s round of the World rally championship, have stepped down.
It was Morgan and O’Connor who had the dream and the vision of staging a round of the World series here and who created Rally Ireland for the purpose.
That was fulfilled last November with an outstanding event which was won by World champion Sebastien Loeb and was later voted one of the top three rallies in the series.
It has since been chosen to replace the Monte Carlo Rally as the event which will kick-start the 2009 series next January. But it will do so without the figure-heads of Morgan and O’Connor.
They recently stood aside as joint promoters of Rally Ireland, handing over responsibility to Irish motorsport’s governing body, Motorsport Ireland, with chief executive Alex Sinclair heading the organising team.
But Morgan and O’Connor remained as consultants.
Last night, however, O’Connor revealed that he and Morgan were stepping back completely from the organisation.
“We have taken Rally Ireland this far, to its place in the World championship which was our aim, and are now handing over to a new management team,” he said.
“The team is in place and the funding is in place, including the Northern Ireland element, and to a large extent our job is done.”
Rally Ireland is due to take place next January 29/February 1 starting in Enniskillen.