Banbridge set to host the Circuit of Ireland

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Darryn Causby (2nd, right) helps launch the Circuit of Ireland Rally in Banbridge with Event Director, Bobby Willis (left) and local rally driver Kenny McKinstry (right).
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Darryn Causby (2nd, right) helps launch the Circuit of Ireland Rally in Banbridge with Event Director, Bobby Willis (left) and local rally driver Kenny McKinstry (right).

Circuit of Ireland Rally stalwart Kenny McKinstry has hailed the stages as the best in Ireland – and particularly those close to his Co Down home town of Banbridge.

The Rally takes place from 7-9 April and in addition to the closed road stages in the vicinity of Banbridge, ‘The Cut’ in the town centre will once again host a special rally ‘regroup’ on Saturday 9 April.

One of Northern Ireland‘s most popular drivers, 62-year-old Kenny has completed many Circuit of Ireland events over the years and has no intention of hanging up his overalls.

“Last year myself and co-driver Noel Orr took second place in the National rally edged out by winners Derek McGarrity and James McKee, and Noel and myself anticipate signing up to this year’s event. Both Banbridge stages were hugely challenging and having home advantage didn’t make the task any easier.

“We needed to do the same research in terms of pacenotes! I particularly enjoyed McGaffin’s Corner especially as it was one of the longest stages in the Circuit and threw up bumpy fast roads, junctions and corners.”

To mark the visit of the famous ‘Circuit’ to the town, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council have planned a festival of family fun activities including stilt walkers, jugglers, samba dancers and rally themed performers.

Last year thousands of visitors came to the town centre to welcome rally teams from over 20 different countries, including world famous actor Idris Elba, and rally organisers believe this year’s event will attract even larger numbers to Banbridge town centre.

The Banbridge ‘regroup’ will take place at 11.25am on Saturday 9 April at The Cut and this will be followed by the Banbridge stages of the rally.