Boyle cousins look to win back-to-back titles in Championship

Declan and Brian Boyle
Declan and Brian Boyle

The countdown is well under way for the Dunlop National Rally Championship which gets into gear with the Mayo Rally on March 9.

The reigning champions, cousins Declan and Brian Boyle fresh from their victory on the Galway Rally will try and bridge a five year gap and win back to back titles.

In its history, only five drivers have ever managed such a feat since the National series began in its present format in 1978.

The Boyles will try and join the quintet of Jer Buckley (1979/1980), the late Bertie Law (1983/1984), Stephen Murphy (1995/1996), John Gilleece (1997/1998) and Patrick Elliott (2008/2009).

Niall Maguire is still the only driver to have won three national titles, 1999, 2002 and 2004.

The championship committee are also planning for the future, currently there are 14 events that are accommodated on an eight round rotational system.

Two new events, the Roscommon based Midland Rally and the ALMC Rally that is organised within easy reach of Dublin will join the Dunlop series.

The eight rounds that comprise the 2015 series will be replaced in 2016 by theremaining eight rounds with this system continuing until 2018.

Rounds: 1. Mayo Rally (Ballina) March 9; 2. Circuit of Kerry (Tralee) April 6; 3. Carlow Rally, May 11; 4. Circuit of Munster June 1; 5. Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally August 10; 6. Galway Summer Rally August 31; 7. Clare Rally September 21; 8, Donegal Harvest Rally October 11.