Saturday 24 March 2018

Millstreet pulls off coup to host Cork 20

John Tarrant

THE North West Cork economy can expect a financial injection next October on confirmation that Millstreet is to be revving home as home for the Cork 20 International Car Rally.

Regarded as one of the oldest motor rallies in the world, the 2013 Cork 20 organised by the Munster Car Club will be the 98th staging. First hosted in 1912, Millstreet have pulled off another sporting coup on selected to be home for the rally over the next two years. No stranger to the sport, for many, Millstreet is linked to some great drivers and nearby classic stages.

And to be selected as head quarters for the rally is a real feather in the cap for an initiative undertaken by Millstreet Development Group in co-operation with Millstreet Community Council.

Development Group PRO Liam Flynn explained the Munster Car Club were approached regarding Millstreet's credentials to host the popular rally.

"Millstreet got the nod. In the negotiations, it had one ace that would be hard to beat, namely the outstanding facilities at the Green Glens Arena and the enthusiasm of the Duggan family to see the rally come to Millstreet. We will welcome the participants and followers and appreciate the sporting and economic boost that the event will bring to Millstreet," he said.

Of course, Millstreet is no stranger to rallying, during the 70s and 80s, Billy Coleman and cousin Gerard Buckley dominated at national and international level with a total of 11 Cork 20s won between them.

"Millstreet lies smack in the middle of the best rallying countryside in Ireland and in previous years, it's hosted stages of the Cork 20, Rally of the Lakes and Circuit of Ireland, which Coleman won three times," said Liam.

The Rally is scheduled for October 5/6 involving 280km stage miles over possibly fourteen stages.

"We expect about 120 competing teams of which upwards of 15 will be WRC professional cars involved. Apart from the 600 members of backup teams and several hundred stewards, rally officials, medical to safety crews and others, we can expect close on 10,000 spectators into the town," he said.