The countdown is on for the 2024 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally

By Corrib Oil | 31st January 2024

The 2024 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally boasts an impressive lineup of drivers and machinery ahead of this year’s event, which takes place on 3rd & 4th February. There are over 130 crews due to start in what promises to be a very hard fought encounter with some very successful drivers from Ireland and the UK doing battle. 2023 Irish Tarmac Rally Champions Callum Devine & Noel O’Sullivan are top seeds in a VW Polo and will be looking to carry the momentum from last year’s series into this year. Number 2 seeds are Josh Moffett & Andy Hayes who won here in 2022 and finished second last year. Moffett will be making a switch from a Hyundai to a Citroen C3 for the event and it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts.

2024 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally

Third seeds are Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin in a Fiesta Rally 2 and marks the duos return to the championship for the first time since they won it back in 2016. Keith of course is a former winner of the event having tasted victory in 2013. Sam Moffett & James O’Reilly at four are in a Hyundai i20 Rally 2 and Sam will be hoping to be as quick out of the blocks as last year when he led the event over the early stages. Rounding off the top six are Jonny Greer & Niall Burns who as usual will have a Citroen C3 Rally 2 followed by Matt Edwards & David Moynihan in a Fiesta Rally 2. It will be former BRC champion Edwards’s first appearance in Galway, but he has been competitive on previous visits to Ireland.

Seventh seeds are Desi Henry & Stuart Loudon in a Citroen C3 Rally 2 who will be hoping for a long overdue change of luck in Galway. Ryan Loughran & Gareth Doherty at eight are also Fiesta mounted. Loughran who is noted for his exploits in a Ford Escort, showed some impressive form on a few occasions last year when moving to the Rally 2 car. Garry Jennings in a non-starter at nine so Declan Boyle will be next up as he continues to get uses to the Citroen. Jason Mitchell at 11 is another nonstarter so Mark Alcorn & Darren Currans (Escort Mk2) round off the top ten. Alcorn had a superb run in Galway last year and will be a strong contender for the modified category.

Outside of the top ten, several drivers will have something to say about the overall shakeup of the event including Kevin Eves, Gareth MacHale, Michael Boyle, Gary Kiernan & David Kelly who are just some of the chasing pack. Austin MacHale & Brian Murphy seeded at number twenty make a return to Irish rallying in a Ford Focus WRC. Austin has not been rallying competitively in over fifteen years while Brian has been competitive with Austin’s son Gareth over the past couple of years. The historic category is well supported, with last year’s historic winner Meirion Evans back to defend his title. Ray Breen, Ross Forde, Tom Clark, Duncan Williams and Ernie Graham amongst the entry. There are eight junior crews with top seeds being Galway crew Jason Gorham & Liam Egan in a Honda Civic.

There will be a ceremonial start at 7:30pm in Eyre Square on Friday evening, which will be an opportunity to see the crews and their cars up close. Overnight Parc Ferme is at Galway Racecourse and the first car is due away from there at 7:45 am on Saturday morning. The crews will go to service at Galway Airport before heading out to the days eight stages based around Headford with the first stage getting underway at Kilcoona at 8:54am.Other stages include Caherlistrane and Kilbeg with the cars servicing at Galway Airport after each loop. The first car is due back in Parc Ferme at 17:23 on Saturday evening.

Sunday’s 2024 Corrib Oil Galway International Rally action gets underway at 8:55am near Monivea with the Belville stage, followed by a stage at Colmanstown. These two stages will be attempted three times in all, with servicing at Galway Airport after each pair of stages. The first car is due back at the finish ramp at 16:30 at Rally Headquarters the Connacht Hotel.