The Clare Stages Rally will award its top modified crew with the Colin McRae “if in doubt, flat out” Perpetual Trophy with the backing of the family, with the event taking part on the anniversary of the late 1995 world champion’s death
Gerry O’Brien, who steps up from deputy to clerk of the course for the event this year, suggested the McRae cup which has been in the planning for a year.
“I suggested the Colin McRae award around 12 months ago, as the rally is on September 15,” said O’Brien. “We didn’t know exactly what to do, whether it was an Escort Cup or a Subaru Cup, and we settled on a perpetual cup for the modified class.”
The event should have an ex-Colin McRae car to boost the entries with Niall Moroney’s Subaru Impreza S6 WRC, a former McRae car on the Monte Carlo Rally in 1997, set to feature.
The event, based in Ennis in County Clare, is auctioning off eight free entries for the event, in a bid to attract more participants. The event isn’t part of the Irish National Rally Championship in 2017.
“We’re not a round of the national championship so we had to think what can we do to get drivers to commit,” said O’Brien, as events in Ireland struggle to garner entries thanks to an insurance levy on event entry fees. “A couple of good sponsors said they would come on board and I ended up getting five free entries for the main field. They’re being raffled the week before the event, live on Facebook.
“Another guy came to me and said to me ‘what about the juniors?’ so we’ve got three junior entries to raffle as well. Entries paid in full by September 14 will be entered into the draw.”
The event will host the return of the Ruan stage, running through Ennis town for the first time in nine years. Three stages will be run three times, with 73.94 miles of stages awaiting crews. The event already has over 55 entries. It runs as part of the West Coast Rally Championship.