There are a number of events that define a Galway Summer, including the journey of the county’s Gaelic games sides, the Arts Festival, the Galway Races, the Streets of Galway 8km and, last but not least, Galway Motor Club’s annual Summer Stages Rally.
On Sunday, August 27, the 44th Galway Summer Stages Rally will take place and this will comprise of a counting round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship; the Top Part West Coast Championship; and the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.
In addition to those events, Galway Motor Club will, for the first time ever, be hosting a shakedown stage and, no doubt, this will be of huge benefit to the top line rally drivers ahead of their respective challenges in all three championships.
“The format is still the same – we have three by three (three stages three times) but we have changed slightly in that we have introduced a shakedown on the Saturday evening. That is really to give guys who haven’t been out (racing) for a while a chance to test their cars on a closed road as opposed to going up the mountains and maybe doing it not so legally.”
A new route has also been constructed to test the drivers but Parsons, serving his fifth year as COC on this event, says some elements of it will still be familiar to drivers. “Basically, these stages have been used in part in the past but we are running in a different configuration. In fairness, the drivers were happy with last year’s (route) but it can get a bit stale if you continue to use them as is.”
The Lady Gregory Hotel in Gort, from where the competitors will begin their loop of three stages three times, covering over 120 kilometres, is once again the headline sponsor and Parsons notes they are a “very enthusiastic” and proactive promoter of the event.
Furthermore, Bluebird Care, Athenry and DHKN Chartered Accountants, Galway City, are also on board as associate sponsors and their contribution is also invaluable to hosting an event which costs approximately €90,000 to run.
“So, we are grateful to them while we also have a number of others who sponsor stages and put ads in the programme. Again, we are very grateful for all the support we get’’.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.