Belfast Telegraph

Why we should all rally around Willis plan for Circuit of Ireland

Every so often, you meet someone who restores your faith in sporting people and their motives, amid the greed, avarice, cynicism and scandal that now mostly populate the territory like a pollutant.

This week it was Bobby Willis, whose sole driving force, quite literally is to restore the once-celebrated Circuit of Ireland rally to its former place in the sporting pantheon here.The Circuit in its high-octane heyday was once as traditional a part of Easter here as bunnies and Cadbury’s Creme eggs, and like the latter, talked about from Christmas onwards.The daredevil drivers who hurtled between the hedges in the kind of cars we all drove back then made us think we, too, could be like them.

The great appeal of the Circuit made household names of combatants like our own legendary, Monte Carlo-winning Paddy Hopkirk, Flying Finns Ari Vatenen, the late Pentti Airikkala and, later, that great Scot Jimmy McRae.

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

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