The organisers of this weekend’s Tour of the Sperrins, round four of the Hankook Northern Ireland championship, have set out to make it Ulster’s first ‘carbon neutral’ rally.
Working closely with the Carbon Footprint Company, it has been calculated that the Maghera-based rally will produce a carbon tonnage of 37 which will be offset by the purchase and planting of native trees in the area.
“Not only have we purchased enough native trees to offset our carbon footprint, we are distributing a further 100 broadleaf trees for local schools to plant,” said clerk of the course James McKeefry.
“We have been working with the Carbon Footprint Company who have verified our figures and this initiative will offset all the Co2 emissions generated by the rally cars and service vehicles.”
Close to 100 crews will start the rally which is being sponsored for the first time by Bradley Motorsport, the motorsport preparation business of Camillus Bradley, one of the leading competitors.
Indeed, Bradley is seeded at No 11 in a list that is headed by former champion George Robinson, currently joint second in the championship standings.
But Circuit of Ireland winner Derek McGarrity has a provisional entry — provided he can find a suitable car in time.
His Circuit-winning S11 Subaru has been hired by former national champion Stephen Murphy for Sunday’s Carlow Rally and wheeler-dealer McGarrity is working feverishly on a replacement.