THE country's marquee names in motor sport are expected into Millstreet for the two day Orchard Motorsport Cork 20 International Rally confirmed for October 5/6.
Millstreet idyllic setting close to some terrific rallying terrain enhanced by a vibrant local Development Group and renowned facilities in the North Cork town contributed to Millstreet securing the nod to play host to the 2013 event.
The official announcement of Millstreet as location for the Rally took place in the Town Square with iconic local hero Billy Coleman amongst the large attendance in a colourful scene dotted with sporting vehicles.
Munster Motor Club's Coleman Hegarty told of a new departure for the Rally to be taken out of its traditional city base.
"The t's are crossed and the I's dotted for the 2013 staging In Millstreet. It's a big challenge for us to move out of Cork City but it was done previously during the 1970's. We discussed it long and hard, the decision made at board level in an effort to revamp the rally," he said.
And the eagerness of Millstreet impressed the Munster Motor Club's direction for a more compact and user friendly rally that helped beat off other possible locations.
"The enthusiasm of the Millstreet people together with the facilities such as the Green Glens swung it. They possess a can do approach, whatever, we threw at them on the table, they came back to us and we look forward to working with the Millstreet Development Group," said Mr. Hegarty.
Organisers are confident that both regular and new competitors will return for the long serving Cork 20.
"The official announcement will allow teams and drivers plan budgets. It's a costly business to run for organisers and participants," he said.
Millstreet Development Group Chairman Tony McCaul expressed delight on the securing the 2013 event.
"We have worked on the project for a number of months. It should be fantastic for the town and bring welcome business in dire economic times. Both the Millstreet Development Group and the Munster Motor Club are pushing in the one direction to ensure the success of the event," he said.
And the Millstreet hosts are confident that local outlets will lent their support towards enhancing the international staging.
"We seek out support from local business and accommodation. Hopefully, all involved will recoup and benefit from the success of the rally weekend," he said.
The man charged with co-ordinating the rally as Clerk of the Course Kevin O'Riordan is looking forward to the challenge.
"We have a great team behind us, overwhelmed by the support of Millstreet. There is a big rally history in the area, look no further than the achievements of Billy Coleman. It's a big departure for us but it's exciting for the Munster Motor Club, Millstreet and, of course, we will have the pick of the road stages in the country from the surrounding catchment area," he said.