Northern Ireland could be included in FIA World Rally Championsip calendar

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke

Northern Ireland could be included in the FIA World Rally Championship calendar along with 12 other countries having confirmed an interest in staging a round of the global series.

There has been a renewed interest in the series since the involvement of Kris Meeke and no doubt the Dungannon driver would like nothing better than to be driving in front of his home fans.

Of course there is one major restriction, the organisers of the World Rally Championship have committed to the manufacturers a maximum of fourteen rounds per season.

No doubt this will mean that several countries will be disappointed. Rallying in Northern Ireland has been given a major boost with a round of the FIA European Rally Championship.

And judging by reports from various circles it has gained widespread approval outside of these islands.

Thanks to the efforts of Bobby Willis and his team big time rallying has returned to our shores, but stepping up to a round of the World Rally Championship is another thing altogether.

The cost would be far in excess of anything that has ever been staged on the local motorsport scene and the demands from the organisers would be high.

However one thing that we have, some of the best rally special stages in the world and this could be the major factor in securing a round.

The organisers feel that if they stay with the current calendar nothing will never change and Jean Todt President of the FIA is known to want to make the World Rally Championship more global.

Returning to Northern Ireland, many feel that for the series to come here then it would mean moving Britain’s round to Belfast.

And it would be worth noting the Welsh agreement runs out in 2018.