With just over five weeks to go until the start of the Circuit of Ireland Rally, two of Ireland’s top drivers took a break in their training to help officially launch this year’s event in Lisburn.
Craig Breen, who currently sits second in the European Rally Championship following his recent win in Latvia, and WRC Citroen Racing Team driver, Dungannon’s Kris Meeke, joined Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Circuit of Ireland Rally Event Director Bobby Willis to give fans a taste of what’s in store this year.
The 2015 event, which will be held from Thursday April 2 to Saturday April 4, is one of ten rallies in the prestigious FIA European Rally Championship calendar and will be the only round of the ERC in the UK and Ireland.
Last year over 74,000 people came to view the stunning stages across counties Antrim and Down and the event, broadcast by Eurosport, was seen by over 14 million across the world.
Speaking at Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn, where the thrilling ‘Power Stage’ of the rally will be held on Saturday April 4, Mr Willis said: “I’m so proud and excited that we are launching this historic event for 2015 with the support of the Enterprise Minister, her department and so many of our local councils.
“Right here in Lisburn and across counties Antrim and Down we’ll be witnessing some of Europe’s top drivers revving up for action over a three-day period this Easter.
“It really will be a hallmark event for Northern Ireland and a superb rally spectacle.
“It’s fantastic that our talented home-grown drivers Craig Breen and Kris Meeke have taken time out of their busy schedules to come here today.
“Breen is certainly one to watch for the Circuit, after his win in Latvia, but there will be serious competition for him. The cream of the European Championship’s drivers are coming and it’s likely to be a fantastic fight to be first to the podium on Easter Saturday afternoon.
“My thanks must go to Kris Meeke for his unfailing support for the Circuit of Ireland. He’s a wonderful ambassador for the event both at home and abroad.”
“I really appreciate all the months of preparation work by Bobby, Tom Walsh, the Clerk of the Course, and all the Circuit team.”
For up to date information on the 2015 Circuit of Ireland Rally fans can pay a visit to the website at www.circuitofireland.net