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Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally 2014

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Galway International 2014 Colm Quinn BMW

Galway Motor Club President, Mark Parsons, recently welcomed Colm Quinn BMW as the title sponsors for the 2014 Galway International Rally.

Mark stated that he was delighted that the event, which has been running annually since 1971, has attracted such a prestigious brand name. Colm Quinn BMW is one of Irelands leading BMW dealers and is celebrating the opening of it's new Galway dealership in 2014 by sponsoring this major sporting event.

Colm Quinn, Managing Director, stated that he had enjoyed being involved with the previous two Galway International rallies through his support of the Colm Quinn MINI WRC driven by Eugene Donnelly.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor the first major sporting event in Galway as it coincides with the opening of our new BMW Dealership in a brand new custom built facility on the Tuam Road. Our business in Athlone opened in 2008 in a temporary facility, moving into our purpose built showrooms in June 2009. During those 5 years we have grown to employ over 50 people and all going according to plan, our second business will also be open within that fifth year in a temporary sales facility with the completed dealership opening late Spring 2014 employing an initial 25 people " stated Colm.

Preparations are well advanced for the event which will take place over the weekend of the 7th to 9th February 2014. The 2014 event will have full International Status and will be the opening round of the Tarmac Rally Championship. The Clerk of the Course is Kieran Donoghue from Headford, an experienced organiser and rally competitor. The rally will revert to a two day format and will have a total of 13 stages over the two days. The Saturday route will cover 5 stages. A further 8 stages will be covered on the Sunday. In order to reduce costs for competitors, the route has been designed to minimise unnecessary time by using a compact overlapping route. The event Headquarters will be the Clayton Hotel in Ballybrit, Galway.

The 2013 Galway International Rally produced an intriguing event. Following the early retirement of the Tarmac Champion, Darren Gass from Armagh, it was a very close contest between Keith Cronin from Cork in a Subaru and Eugene Donnelly from Magherafelt in the Colm Quinn MINI, with the Corkman winning by the narrow margin of 13 seconds at the Ballinasloe finish. The 2013 event was also the opening event of Failte Irelands "Gathering" initiative in the West of Ireland.

The 2014 Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally is expected to be equally exciting with extensive TV and Live Media coverage promised. Further details about the event will be announced in the coming weeks and a comprehensive "Rally Guide" will be published on the rally website shortly. (www.galwayinternationalrally.com).


Raftery shines at Rallye Sunseeker

(Photo MurPhoto Rally)

Dean Raftery and Aileen Kelly claimed a sensational victory at the final round of the BRC Challenge at Rallye Sunseeker in Dorset. The youngster from Galway, Ireland claimed victory by a margin of 19 seconds from Russ Thompson. The leader of the rally changed back and forth between the two crews, before Dean began to pull away after the final service halt in Poole.
Heavy rain on Friday night led to extremely slippery conditions for the competitors on the Saturday morning stages. Dean set a cautious pace in the morning stages not taking any risks to lead by just 0.7 seconds from Thompson at the first service. Thompson took the lead on stage 5 with Raftery dropping a significant amount of time, Dean explaining the time loss due to a handling difficulty from the rear of the car. On stage 6, Dean retook the lead and never looked back claiming four stage victories in a row to take the victory.
This was Dean's second Challenge Rally win after also taking victory in the Ulster Rally in August. "We had a good run today and it's nice to have won on gravel as well as asphalt, it shows we have a good pace on both surfaces. The stages were tough today, last night's rain caused very slippery conditions so we had to drive a smart rally, and I'm over the moon with the victory".
Dean is now looking towards 2014 and plans to step up to the British Rally Championship in an R2 car. The Galway man will have a busy winter as he prepares for the Motorsport Ireland Billy Coleman Young Driver of the Year interview process which takes place next month.
The winner of this prestigious award receives €50,000 worth of support to contest stage rallies nationally & internationally in 2014 along with the support of Billy Coleman co-ordinator, Tom Walsh, while the two runners-up will receive free entries into a number of MI permitted events in 2014, along with co-ordinator support. 

Five bi-monthly winners are selected from January-February, through to September-October, joined by the winner of the Junior Championship in the Dunlop National series, the winner of the Junior class in the Valvoline National Forestry Championship, and a wildcard selection, as the award finalists.
Dean has qualified as a nominee for his performances in March-April and also as the winner of the Junior Championship in the National Forestry Championship.



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