Wexford gears up for 2016 Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally
Recently crowned Irish rally champion Roy White rolled into Wexford to officially launch the 2016 Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally, which is set to have a different look this year with Volkswagen as its title sponsor.
The 2016 Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally is due to take place over the weekend of September 10-11.
The upcoming event will see the beginnings of RallyFest - a weekend festival centred around the rally. Through this new addition, Wexford Volkswagen in partnership with Wexford Motorclub, Wexford County Council and other stakeholders aim to make the rally a family friendly event. While RallyFest will only be its early stages this year, organisers are hoping to build upon it as time goes on.
This year, the rally is expected to have a maximum entry of 150 cars. According to Chairman of the 2016 Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally David Busher, there are plenty of strong entrants this year.
'There are too many names to mention - from Wales, England, Northern Ireland, as well as from all parts of Ireland and as far away as the USA - coming to Wexford to take on a club with very strong competitors in every class,' he said.
An estimated 10,000 spectators will line the roads to watch the drivers zoom along the 230 km of stages over two days. The rally will consist of five stages and each one will be run three times. Three of the stages will be run on Saturday (approximately 120 km), with the final two taking place on Sunday (approximately 110 km).
A total of 300 competing crews are currently gearing up for the event. These crews consist of 150 drivers, 150 co-drivers and service teams of between two and five people. Thirty Wexford club crews are set to take part in this years event. Meanwhile, an estimated 40 of the crews will be travelling from the UK, 20 from distant locations in Ireland and 30 from regional clubs.
Speaking to this newspaper last month, Wexford Motor Club Chairman Graham Scallan said he was delighted that Volkswagen Wexford had agreed to team up with the event for the next five years, adding that it is one of the 'most significant financial developments' ever announced for Wexford Motor Club. Chairman of 2016 Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally David Busher said that the sponsorship deal will offer the event security for the future, as well as an attractive range of event-branded clothing.
Now in its 45th consecutive year, the Wexford Volkswagen Stages Rally is the only two day rally in Ireland outside the Irish Tarmac Championship and is billed as one of the biggest sporting events in County Wexford.It has been acknowledged by motorsport Ireland as consistently being 'the best set up event in the country'. As well as serving as an attractive weekend eactivity for spectators in Wexford and beyond, the event provides economic benefits to Wexford. It is estimated that it pulled in €750,000 for the locla economy in 2013.
The event will go full speed ahead at 9.15 a.m. on Saturday, with the prizegiving set to take place at approximately 67 p.m. on Sunday.