Belfast Telegraph

Circuit of Ireland 2016 officially launched

First Minister, Arlene Foster, is pictured at the launch of the 2016 Circuit of Ireland Rally with Event Director Bobby Willis. Celebrating its 85th year, the Circuit of Ireland Rally has grown to become a global event, attracting competitors and spectators from across the world. It takes place from April 7 to 9 in County Antrim, County Down and Belfast. Matt Mackey Presseye.
First Minister, Arlene Foster, is pictured at the launch of the 2016 Circuit of Ireland Rally with Event Director Bobby Willis. Celebrating its 85th year, the Circuit of Ireland Rally has grown to become a global event, attracting competitors and spectators from across the world. It takes place from April 7 to 9 in County Antrim, County Down and Belfast. Matt Mackey Presseye.

The official launch of the Circuit of Ireland rally took place on Thursday.

Lisburn will play host to the ceremonial start of event on April 7 for its 85th year.

Drivers from the European, British and Irish Tarmac championships will cross the start ramp in Market Square from 6.30pm following a qualifying stage near Antrim earlier in the day which will decide the running order.

Historic Clotworthy House and the restored 17th century gardens of Antrim Castle will provide the backdrop for close to 80 drivers as they prepare to contest a rally which this year features in the British and Irish Tarmac championships as well as the European series.

European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland, Russian Alexey Lukyanuk, Welshman Elfyn Evans - fresh from back-to-back WRC2 wins in the World championship - Finland's Max Vatanen and leading Irish drivers like Keith Cronin, the Moffett brothers and Marty McCormack are expected to be in the line-up.

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