Belfast Telegraph

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Rally series hit by cancellation of Galway event


By Sammy Hamill

The 2018 Irish rally season has been hit with a hammer blow before it has even started. There will be no Galway International next year.

Scheduled to be the opening round of the Irish Tarmac Championship in February, the organising Galway Motor Club have taken the decision not to run the rally because of financial fears.

In a statement the club said: "The decision not to run the 2018 event was a very difficult one for the organisers. Despite enthusiastic and committed sponsors being on board, a gap in finances still existed, which together with certain logistical issues, meant that the decision to cancel at this point in time was the right one.

"The club could not carry the financial risk involved should key elements to its success not fall into place in time."

Their concerns mainly centre on a potential fall in entries in the light of levies which are having to be imposed by Motorsport Ireland to meet steep insurance premiums. A fall in the number of competitors taking part would make the rally financially unviable and place the club at risk.

Meanwhile Marty McCormack was holding second place on day three of RAC Rally as it wound its way towards Scotland. The old-style event started from Leominster on Friday and crossed to Wales before heading north. It finishes this afternoon.

McCormack had an early setback when his Mk2 Ford Escort suffered a damage gearbox, dropping him and co-driver Barney Mitchell back to fifth place but they had climbed back to second behind Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke, the co-driver who won with McCormack in 2012.

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