Galway Rally unveils details of 2016 event

Donagh Kelly (right) and Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) won the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally in 2015
Donagh Kelly (right) and Kevin Flanagan (Ford Focus WRC) won the Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally in 2015
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The 2016 Galway International Rally sponsored by Corrib Oil Preparations will take place over the weekend of February 5-7. 

The Galway Motor Club Committee is delighted that the event, which has been running annually since 1971, has attracted such a prestigious brand name. 

The 2016 event will again have international status and will be the opening round of the Clonakilty Black Pudding Tarmac Rally Championship.

There will be a ceremonial start in Galway city on Friday, February 7 and over the following two days there will be a total of 15 stages.

The Saturday route will be extended considerably for 2016, and will cover nine closed road stages in the south and east of the county.

A further six stages will be covered on the Sunday closer to the city, with a centralised Service Area each day.  

The event Headquarters will be the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Galway and the rally will have categories for Historic Rally cars, which this year will cover the full route of the International Rally, and a Junior rally, which will cover the Sunday stages.

The 2015 Galway International Rally was won by Donagh Kelly from Donegal in his Ford Focus WRC.

He had a very successful year subsequently and was crowned Tarmac Rally Champion at the end of the season.

For 2016 the championship will feature a new category of rally cars, R5s which are rallied extensively in Europe.

Gus Greensmith has given notice that he is aiming to return to the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 2016, after making an impressive FIA European Rally Championship debut on the event earlier this year.

The 2014 British Junior Rally Champion made a fantastic start on the Circuit of Ireland and was up to fifth on his ERC Junior debut when he skidded his Ford Fiesta R2 into a ditch.