Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its foundation by holding a Festival of Motorsport which will be held in Piltown on June 7th and 8th.
“Outside of Rally Ireland, I would say this will be the biggest motor show or event of its kind ever held in this country,” according to James Coleman, one of the major driving forces behind the festival.
The festival will feature an exhibition of rally cars, vintage cars/trucks and motorcycles, along with super cars, drift cars, tractor pulling, hill climb cars and much more besides.
In fact, the club is aiming to have a minimum of 1,000 vehicles on display at Belline Estate and the Iverk Showgrounds over the June weekend.
“We’ve been planning this festival for over a year now and as the weekend itself draws nearer, everything is thankfully starting to fall into place,” added James.
“We’re aiming to have 60 to 70 acres of land occupied with all manner of vehicle – basically anything that’s got wheels, covering every discipline of motorsport on the grounds over the two days. We’re hoping to attract 25,000 visitors to the festival.”
The festival’s main aim is to raise monies for two worthy causes – the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation at Crumlin.
Organisers hope to raise €100,000 and could even exceed that target given the generosity that supporters of the event have already demonstrated.
“There’s been a share of motor drivers that have benefited from the expertise available at Dun Laoghaire,” continued James Coleman.
“Of course, we’re all familiar and probably know at least one family that’s had experience with Crumlin Hospital, so they were clearly both worthy choices to benefit from the funds we’re aiming to raise. And, obviously, the more money we raise, the better it is for both. “
For the keen motoring enthusiast, the Ford Focus WRCs commandeered by Austin McHale and his sons Gareth and Aaron are guaranteed to attract considerable attention at Piltown.
A race simulator will also give visitors a chance to experience what it’s like to drive a high-octane rally stage, while a trip in the real thing, with Kells native James Foley behind the wheel, should also prove a major attraction.
Over 500 rally cars are due to be on display on both days, while the Ravens Rock Rally, which be held on June 29th, will be officially launched at the festival on Saturday, June 7th.
“We’re hoping to have some celebrity drivers from the past at the festival too, and we’re currently in talks with a works WRC driver,” said James.
Among the prizes on offer over the festival are a Nissan car, which will be raffled on Sunday, June 8th, a day’s testing with a world rally car driver, free entry to this year’s Ravens Rock Rally and a day at RallyConnection Rally School.
An extensive array of entertainment and activities to suit all the family will also be on site in Piltown over both days.
“We hope to have something for everybody on both days and we’re confident that we’ll get huge support not only locally, but from fellow motor club members drawn from across the country,” added James Coleman.
There are currently 5,000 rally licence holders in Ireland, while Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club boasts approximately 300 members.
Tickets are priced €10 (on each day) with children under 12 free of charge, while student and OAP tickets are priced €5.
For further details on the Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club’s Festival of Motorsport, log onto www.carrickonsuirmotorclub.com and be sure to consult future editions of The Munster Express.