Northern Ireland has 'appetite' to host WRC

Northern Ireland has 'appetite' to host WRC

Wales has been the home of Rally GB for a number of years now.

Jason Craig

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Jason Craig

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Jason.Craig@thechronicle.uk.com

THE governing body of four wheel sport in the UK has said it is aware of the “appetite” that exists to bring the FIA World Rally Championship to Northern Ireland as early as next season.

Circuit of Ireland Event Director Bobby Willis, with support from North Antrim MP Ian Paisley, has been in discussion with the WRC’s promoter Oliver Ciesla about hosting the series in 2020.

To safeguard Britain’s spot on the World Rally Championship calendar longer-term, Ciesla believes rotating the event around each of the four nation states is the most attractive way.

Some media reports have put the cost of welcoming big name drivers here, such as six-time champion Sebastien Ogier, at almost £3.5m, with the Welsh government footing £1m of this.

A spokesman for Motorsport UK confirmed that the Northern Ireland Executive has “expressed an interest” in seeing rallying’s  top division return to the province for the first time since 2009.

“Conversations have taken place between the Welsh Tourist Board and Tourism Northern Ireland,” he said.

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