2017 Circuit of Ireland Rally cancelled over funding concerns

The 2016 Circuit of Ireland International Rally race winner 

Craig Breen and his Co-Driver Scott Martin
The 2016 Circuit of Ireland International Rally race winner Craig Breen and his Co-Driver Scott Martin

The Circuit of Ireland Rally will not take place in 2017 because of concerns over funding – organisers have announced.

Event Director Bobby Willis admitted plans for next year’s event could progress without the necessary “financial certainty”,

The 2016 rally was staged in April and was won for a second year in a row by Craig Breen from Waterford.

Willis insists efforts will be made for the rally to return in 2018.

“The growing success and size of the event requires precise long term project planning, additional resources and inevitably more financial investment,” Willis said on Wednesday.

“We have been working hard with all our funders to plan ahead for 2017 but regrettably the financial resources required are still not in place.

“I believe we cannot risk proceeding with the 2017 event at this point without financial certainty.

“The decision not to run the Rally next year has been the most difficult one I have ever had to make and will be extremely disappointing for a wide range of people including the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed so much.

“Whilst other options for a small, local rally may be considered for next year, my plan is to take the time to work closely with our partners to secure the necessary resources and plan for the Circuit of Ireland Rally to return in 2018 with an even better event.”