Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012 Rally Isle of Man receives green light

Rally Isle of Man, the Island’s premier four-wheeled motorsport event, will take place in 2012.

September 21st and 22nd are the planned dates, organisers have confirmed this week.

Much has been happening behind the scenes since the cancellation of last year’s edition, not least significant personnel changes.

The former Board of Directors of Rally Isle of Man Limited have chosen to retire in their entirety. As a result a new Board were elected immediately prior to Christmas; Chris Boyde, John Gill, Robert Graham and David Thompson. All have been part of the event organising team for many years and have a breadth of rallying experience.

Mr Gill is the new Chairman. “We have big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt about that!” he admits. ”On behalf of the new Directors I must place on record our appreciation of the work of our predecessors. Between them Brian Walton, Roger Barrs, David Gawne and Les Postlethwaite have played a huge part in making this event the revered spectacle it is. We are fortunate that they have all offered to continue to support us where possible.”

In addition the organising team has been strengthened with Robert Fagg, Kris Killip and Adam Warburton taking on new roles alongside Wendy Fargher.

“It is right foot firmly down”, confirms Gill. “We have accepted an approach from the British Historic Rally Championship promoters to form the final round of their Water End Properties Asphalt Cup, and we are also delighted to be joining forces with Druidale Motor Club to host the Duke Stages event that forms a round of the highly competitive Eurocars Motorsport Manx Rally Championship.”

Historic Rally Isle of Man will fall at the heart of the event, but running with the Duke Stages will be a National B status event that will be all-inclusive…there will be classes for all MSA eligible rally cars from 1000cc right through to WRC.

“We want everyone to get back to enjoying tackling the best rally roads in the world. Names like Druidale, The Mines, Curraghs and St Marks are famous because of this event, and we hope to welcome competitors, officials and spectators old and new alike to enjoy the thrill and challenge of this unique event.”

Druidale Motor Club Chairman Kris Killip is also pleased with the outcome. “The Duke Stages has been running for over a decade and both the club and our sponsor are delighted to partner our premier event with the re-birth of Rally Isle of Man, especially with the amazing heritage it has. Hopefully it is the start of a very successful association.”

The new Board also has an eye on the future. “There is a rapidly changing situation in international and national rallying”, admits Gill. “Along with our partners, including the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Economic Development, we are looking to create an enduring future for the event up to and beyond next years 50th anniversary. We are actively considering all options and ideas and would welcome approaches from those within the sport who may want to be a part of that.”

Further details of this September’s event will be announced shortly. For now though put the dates 21st-22nd September in your diary, Rally Isle of Man is back!