International rallying is to return to Northern Ireland next Easter as the Circuit of Ireland will host the fifth round of the European Rally Championship.
The new look European series now rivals the World Rally Championship in terms of competition and next year there will be twelve rounds.
Top competitors being linked to ERC campaigns include Bryan Bouffier fromFrance, Sepp Wiegand from Germany, Andreas Aigner from Austria as well as Waterford driver Craig Breen and Robert Barrable from Swords.
Local drivers also likely to participate include Fermanagh based Alastair Fisher and former British Junior Rally Champion Marty McCormack from Draperstown.
The person behind bringing this major motorsport event to our shores is Bobby Willis, with huge experience not only as a competitor but an as organiser he brought the Intercontinental Rally Challenge to Northern Ireland and the new European Rally Championship has emerged from the Intercontinental series, only bigger and better. It was Willis who breathed new life into the Circuit of Ireland and for him it has not been an easy task, as this year the event was cancelled.