Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Ulster Rally Leaps into Action...

A host of Rally stars joined organisers and special guests in the stately grandeurof the Castle Coole Estate to launch the 2014 Todds Leap Ulster Rally. The event, which will return to Fermanagh for a second year 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  15th and 16th 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 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.

Ulster Rally Clerk of Course Lewis Boyd paid tribute to the local competitors and key event partners saying,
"It is again very satisfying to be here at Castle Coole in Fermanagh to launch the 2014 Ulster Rally. This time last year we celebrated a win for Alistair Fisher and Gordon Noble at the Scottish Rally. This year they are returning from a fantastic 2nd place in the Junior World Rally Championship event in Poland and its Daniel McKenna who celebrates a Scottish victory to strengthen his lead of the British Rally Championship.  I believe that Co. Fermanagh, and its neighbouring counties, continue to be the perfect location for this year's event. We have to thank everyone who help make it all possible especially the enthusiastic support of Todds Leap, Fermanagh District Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and I look forward, with their help, to the safe running of this event on 15th and 16th of August."

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 seventh 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."

Welcoming the return of the event to Enniskillen, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Councillor Bert Johnston, commented;
"Fermanagh District Council is delighted to support the 2014 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."

Entries for the event are just about to open and the organisers, Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd anticipate a top line up of local and international competitors including Scottish Rally winner McKenna, last year's Rally NI winner Osian Pryce, Jon Armstrong and a host of British and Northern Ireland Rally Championship frontrunners.

The Irish Tarmac Championship will be well represented with current Championship leading driver, and recent Donegal Rally winning cousins Declan & Brian Boyle, Killarney winner Sam Moffett along with previous Championship winners Garry Jennings, Derek McGarrity and a multitude of other WRC cars expected to return to do battle. Also included in the Ulster Rally programme is the popular Historic section from both the British and the Irish Historic Championships.

The Enniskillen area has enjoyed a prominent place in the history of the Ulster Rally, having hosted the traditional Saturday morning breakfast halt in Ballinamallard during the 1980's and 1990's, and after the success of last year's event, which won the 'Best British Championship Event Award' for the 4th time in the last 5 years, the organisers are delighted to be returning to the Fermanagh Lakelands.

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 15th August with a ceremonial start in Enniskillen town centre, the rally finishes back in the town centre on Saturday from 4pm.  

This year will also see the return of the family friendly 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. 


For more information contact: Nicola McCullough T: 07793 227 191 or Paul Biggerstaff T: 07753 846 734

Photo caption: Pictured at the launch of the 2014 Todd's Leap Ulster Rally at Castle Coole, Enniskillen, is Garry Jennings current Ulster Rally Champion and Daniel McKenna, current British Rally Championship leader.

Background Notes:

Originally held in the Antrim area in 1976 when the inaugural Ulster Rally took place, the International event will return to Fermanagh after the successful first visit in 2014.

The Ulster Rally has won the 'Best Event Award' in the British Rally Championship in 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2013.

Rally HQ will be based at the Belmore Court Hotel & Motel, Enniskillen, and the event's Central Service Park and Spectator Stage will be located at St Angelo Airport.  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.

The 2014 Todds Leap Ulster Rally is a counting round of the MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Citroen Racing Trophy, the Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy UK, Twingo Renaultsport Trophies UK and the BRC Challenge including the Fiesta Sport Challenge.

The 2014 Todds Leap Ulster National Rally includes the MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship Modified Challenge.

The 2012 Todds Leap Rally NI saw the World Competition debut of the Peugeot 208 R2. In recent years the Ulster rally has been chosen to host the launch of both the Citroen C2 and the DS3 rally cars.

Each year the event has attracted nearly 27,000 spectators, visitors, officials, and competitors from Ireland, the UK and further afield and generated over £2 million for the local economy in 2010. It's also set to be broadcast on local TV, nationally and on global networks reaching an estimated audience of 30,000 on Rally Week-end. 

Editors' Notes:

The 2014 Ulster Rally offers 2 events over the motorsport weekend from to include:
Todds Leap Ulster Rally - National A status event for World Rally and Group A four wheel drive cars including competitors contesting the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, Two Wheel drive homologated cars included in the MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, Citroen Racing Trophy, Fiesta SportTrophy and the Twingo Renaultsport Trophies UK.

The Todds Leap Ulster Rally also caters for competitors contesting the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Clonikilty Blackpudding Irish Historic Tarmac Rally Championship and the BRC Challenge which includes the Fiesta Sport Challenge.
Todds Leap Ulster National Rally - National B event providing classes for all car classes  including competitors from the McGrady Insurance MSA NI Rally Championship and the Clonikilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Modified Challenge.

The 2014 Ulster Rally is supported by:
The 2014 Todds Leap Ulster Rally is a counting round of the following:

Event Sponsor: Todds Leap  
Todds Leap is one of the largest outdoor Activity Centres in Ireland, featuring 100 acres of purpose built outdoor tracks, activities and team building courses designed to test your stamina and build camaraderie.
Our outdoor Activity Centre offers a range of team building courses for businesses in Ireland, as well as fun filled youth programs for Ireland's education, social and charity sectors that promote educational learning and communication skills and improve productivity and employability.
Our Family Fun Days are a perfect way to drag your kids away from computer screens and XBox's, and let your whole family experience healthy outdoor activity sports such as Archery, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Air Rifles and Climbing Walls.
Todd leap is home to some of the most exciting motorised activities including one of the most challenging off road courses of any outdoor Activity Centre in Ireland, providing perfect 4x4 training for anyone requiring off road driving skills for work in the construction, agriculture or forestry industries. Other motorised sports include Quad Biking, JCB Challenges and Blind Landrover Driving.
Today, at Todds Leap, no matter what your outdoor Activity Centre requirements are, you can relive the gut-busting excitement of Todd's dash for freedom over these very same hills - it will be the most fun you've ever had with your clothes on!
For more information, visit or call 028 8556 7170.

The Todds Leap Ulster Rally is an International Motor Car Special Stage Rally on closed public roads.
  • The 2014 event is the 38th Ulster Rally.
  • The first Ulster Rally was held in 1976 and was won by Cathal Curley in a Porsche Carrera.
  • The 2013 Ulster Rally was won by Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy in a Subaru Impreza WRC.
  • The 2013 Rally NI was won by Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss in a Citreon DS3 R3T
  • The 2013 Ulster Historic category winners were: Cat 1 - James O'Mahony (Volvo 144S) Cat 2 - Richard Hill (Escort RS1600) Cat 3 - Ryan Barrett (Escort RS) FIA App K - Rob Smith (Escort RS)
  • The 2013 Ulster Challenge winners were - Day 1 Ross Hunter (Peug 205) Day 2 Dean Raftery (Honda Civic)
  • The 2013 Ulster National Rally was won by Derek McGeehan and Darragh Mullan in a Mini WRC
  • Ulster Rally encompasses 300 road miles and 127 miles of competitive stages.
  • The event takes place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th August with pre-event preparation starting early on Thursday 14th August.
  • The event includes 15 special stages (6 stages, each run twice) with several visits to the Central Service Park and Spectator Special at St Angelo Airport, just outside Enniskillen.
  • Rally HQ will be at the Belmore Court Hotel & Motel in Enniskillen.
  • Up to 800 volunteer officials are involved in running the event each year.
  • The Event can allow a maximum of 175 competing cars - bringing approximately 1000 competitors/support team members to the area.
  • Rallying is the 4th most popular sport in Ireland.
Brief event Schedule:
*First car starts from Enniskillen Town Centre on Friday 15th August at 12:10.
*Cars run at one minute intervals.
*Cars return to the St Angelo Airport Service Park & Spectator Stage for during the event
*Re-start on Saturday 16th August at 06:45
*Official finish in Enniskillen Town Centre scheduled from 16:00

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