All national rallycross championships have been hit hard this year, some have been completyely abandoned, others are running over a much reduced schedule. The Irish series falls into the latter category, it was fortunate to run the opening round of the 2020 series in March but suffered a cruel blow in August with a cancellation of round two on Friday night before race day.
Anyone who has been rallycross events in Ireland will know that there’s something special about racing at any venue north or south. Mondello Park is the home of rallycross in the Irish Republic and up there with some of best places at which to be part of a rallycross event. As with many venues that sit within a race track, the rallycross track is slightly compromised by having to dovetail with other activities and requirements, but what it may lose through that Maondello makes up for by having a large asphaple paddock, good facilities, a cafe which turns out hot, filling but not necessarily healthy race track food and a bar. Yes, a bar. The bar.
The Irish Rallycross Championship races again this weekend. Sunday is race day and there’s a large entry and promised livestreaming on the championship Facebook page.
The way things are going this year everyone needs a little luck and as much organisational skill and ability as they can muster to run successful events and meet all the new safety requirements. Those will mean that rallycross at Mondello may be a less sociable happening than it is usually, but if the evnet can be completed safely that is all anyone can really wish for these days.
Irish Rallycross has consistently punched above its weight; drivers Dermot Carnegie and Derek Tohill stand out as true superstars of rallycross to have emerged from Ireland. And there are many, many drivers who passed through the ranks over the years and achieved great success along the way. Mondello Park as a venue too has been a great achiever; when the FIA European Rallycross Championship first visited in 1987 Mondello Park threw open it’s doors and welcomed the international sport with a passion that kept Ireland in the series for a decade.
For all that there have a been superstars, and a handful of others who have made their way to British championships success, and ventured out to tray their hand in Europe, what Mondello Park has never been short of is a large number of drivers who rock up on Sunday in rain or snow, and sometimes sunshine, to race for not other reason than the pure fun of it. And this, of course, is a Good Thing.
All national championships are struggling this year, so if it’s possible to get out and support your own national series, go and do it. Wether you’ve been to rallycross in Ireland or not, enjoy our random trawl through the archives to pluck out some images of Mondello Park down the years.« Previous Post Next Post »