Hillsborough rally star Brian Crawford will soon be jetting off to Spain for the Rallye Festival Trasmiera.
Brian, along with Coleraine based Jimmy Tannahill will be setting up a special rendezvous with Circuit of Ireland and European Rally Championship crew Marco Cid and Nuna da Silva, when all four take part in upcoming high profile rally event in Northern Spain from May 26-28.
They pair will be collecting borrowed car parts which were lent to Cid and da Silva during April’s Circuit of Ireland in a last ditch attempt to get the Portuguese drivers’ Peugeot 208 road ready in time for competitive rallying.
Marco Cid and Nuna da Silva were making their Circuit of Ireland debut back in April but initially ran up against major problems when they rolled their Peugeot 208Vti R2 on the Circuit test stage ahead of qualifying in Antrim.
Cid and da Silva were linked up with garage owner Brian, also an accomplished rally co-driver and young driver Richard Tannahill who runs Peugeot car dealerships in Coleraine and Ballymena with dad Jimmy.
A delighted Cid and da Silva completed the international Circuit finishing 36th overall and gaining valuable points for their European Rally Championship campaign.
Brian explained: “When all went wrong during the pre-event test and the pair rolled their car, the lads and their team managers thought they had made a wasted journey to Northern Ireland.
“The Circuit is well known for its excellent hospitality and great craic and we pulled out all the stops to ensure Marco and Nuna had a memorable first ever Circuit of Ireland.
“They were flabbergasted and really impressed by the help and support they received. My wife Dorothy fed the guys while we got all the body panel issues sorted out.
“We had no Spanish and they had little English – but we got the job done. It just shows that rallying is one big family across the globe and we all like to help each other. ”
“Now Marco and Nuno want to return the favour and are providing us with mechanics and any other help we need when we travel to Santander at the end of May to make our debut at Rallye Festival Trasmiera.”
Brian and Jimmy will be competing in an ex WRC rally car with a lot of history attached to it. The Peugeot 206 was driven by former top rally stars Marcus Gronholm from Finland and French driver Gilles Panizzi.
Brian said, “It’s a proper rally car and we’re really looking forward to competing on a ‘new to us’ course in Spain. Panizzi won Rally Corsica back in 2003 with this car – so hopefully we’ll achieve a similar performance level on 28 May.”