Launching the Todds Leap Ulster Rally to be held in Fermanagh on 23rd and 24th August are (from left) Lewis Boyd, Clerk of Course; Alex Baird, Chairman Fermanagh District Council; Benny O'Hanlon, Todds Leap, sponsors; Alan Elliott, Chairman NI Motor Club; rally drivers Mervyn Johnston, Gary Jennings and Raymond Johnston and young rising stars Sam Moffett, Jon Armstrong, Timothy Cathcart and Amy Cox. Photo Credit Raymond Humphreys
Immediate Release…Immediate Release
Tuesday 2nd July 2013
2013 Todds Leap Ulster Rally Set to Make a Big Splash in Fermanagh…
A host of sporting stars from track and field, including British Touring Car frontrunner Colin Turkington and Fermanagh GAA manager Peter Canavan joined organisers, local Rally stars and special guests at Enniskillen Castle to launch the 2013 Todds Leap Ulster Rally. The event, which will be based in Fermanagh this year for the first time, will again play host to all the best drivers and cars from across the UK, Ireland and beyond, and an action packed extravaganza is expected by race fans on 23rd and 24th August.
Backed by title sponsor Todds Leap, Fermanagh District Council, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and a number of local businesses, the award winning two day event offers a five race line-up to cater for all the premier British and Irish Rally Championships including the MSA British Rally Championship and BRC Challenge, the Irish Tarmac, MSA British and Irish Historic and the Northern Ireland Rally Championships.
Fermanagh has enjoyed a prominent place in the history of the Ulster Rally, having hosted the traditional Saturday morning breakfast halt during the 1980’s and 1990’s, but this is the first time that the event has been based completely in the Fermanagh Lakelands.
At the Event Launch it was also confirmed that the 2013 Ulster Rally will benefit from significant support from the Fisher Foundation. The Foundation was set up as a permanent memorial to the lives of Mark, Emma and Bertie Fisher who died following an air accident in 2001. Safety in rallying was always of paramount importance to 3 times Ulster Rally winner Bertie Fisher and to this end the Fisher Foundation will assist with the provision of Rally Safety Units and Competitor Tracking during the event.
2012 NITB award winner, Todds Leap, the activity, conference and training centre is once again backing the race as title sponsor and managing director Benny O’Hanlon said,
“Todds Leap is pleased to be sponsoring the Ulster Rally for the sixth consecutive year. As Northern Ireland's number one activity centre we are totally dedicated and committed to backing regional events which support the tourist trade and the local economy. The Todds Leap Ulster Rally attracts thousands of spectators to Northern Ireland each year and reaches a wider global audience, show casing the region at its sporting best. Todds Leap is looking forward to another successful rally and we wish the organisers, participants and supporters all the best for what will be a thrilling event.”
Ulster Rally Clerk of Course Lewis Boyd paid tribute to the local competitors and key event partners saying,
“It is very satisfying to be in Fermanagh today to launch the 2013 Ulster Rally, especially on the back of a tremendous win for Alistair Fisher and Gordon Noble at the Scottish Rally, taking them to second overall in the British Championship and with local man Gary Jennings leading the Irish Tarmac Championship, it would appear that Co. Fermanagh is the perfect location for this year’s event. This is all made possible with the enthusiastic support of Todds Leap, Fermanagh District Council and the Fisher Foundation and I look forward, with their help, to the safe running of this event on 23rd and 24th August.”
Entries for the event have just opened and the organisers, Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd anticipate a top line up of local and international competitors including Finland’s Jukka Korhonen, currently leading the MSA British Rally Championship, Alistair Fisher, fresh from winning the Scottish Rally, Omagh man Mark Donnelly as well as other local BRC frontrunners Jonny Greer, Desi Henry, Jon Armstrong and Daniel McKenna.
The Irish Tarmac Championship will be well represented with current Championship leading driver, Kesh’s Garry Jennings, recent Donegal winner Sam Moffitt along with previous Championship winners Darren Gass, Derek McGarrity and a multitude of other WRC cars expected to return to do battle.
The Todds Leap Ulster Rally encompasses 130 competitive miles over 15 stages in the Fermanagh and Tyrone regions. Set to kick off at lunchtime on Friday 23rd August with a ceremonial start in Enniskillen town centre, the rally finishes back in the town centre on Saturday from 4pm.
New for this year will be the family friendly Modern Tyres Spectator Special stage and other attractions at the St. Angelo Airport complex along with the event’s Central Service Park – all within easy reach of Enniskillen town centre. Rally HQ will be based at the Belmore Court & Motel and the organisers expect 300 drivers and co-drivers, supported by over 600 service crew, to be competing in up to 150 rally cars over the two day period.
For the last number of years the event has attracted over 10,000 spectators, visitors, officials, and competitors from Ireland, the UK and further afield and generated in access of half a million pounds for the local economy each year. It’s also set to be broadcast on local TV, nationally and on global networks reaching 850 homes worldwide.
Welcoming the events arrival the Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Alex Baird, commented;
“Fermanagh District Council is delighted to support the 2013 Ulster Rally. County Fermanagh is internationally renowned for its motorsport heritage and we look forward to welcoming rally drivers, crews, officials and spectators from across Europe to the Fermanagh Lakelands in August. We wish everyone involved a safe and enjoyable rally."