The Rally HQ and Service Park will be located in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter welcoming over 1000 competitors and team personnel over a four- day period next Easter.
The first tarmac rally on the 12-strong European Rally Championship calendar, the Circuit of Ireland gets into gear on Thursday 17th April with a ceremonial start in central Belfast. The two day rally then kicks off on Friday 18th April with the course set to cover more than 230 competitive kilometres taking in stages in Belfast and counties Down and Antrim. The rally will finish back in Belfast on Saturday evening.
Billed as a ‘legendary’ event by ERC organisers, Eurosport Events who will broadcast the race, the Circuit is expected to attract more than 10 million viewers globally as well as thousands of spectators and team officials who will travel to Northern Ireland . It’s anticipated the event will generate over £1 million for the local economy.
Belfast City Council is a key partner of the Circuit of Ireland and Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said:
“It’s fantastic to welcome another high profile sporting event to the city. Belfast is continuing to grow in stature as one of the world’s premier sporting venues. We hosted the World Police and Fire Games in the summer of 2013 attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. With the circuit of Ireland on its way as well as the Giro d ‘Italia, 2014 looks set to be another bumper year for sport and attracting increased tourism to Belfast.”
Thanking Belfast City Council for its support, Circuit of Ireland Event Director Bobby Willis said:
“There are very few rallies in the world that get the opportunity to base themselves in a capital city. The support and interest from Belfast has been overwhelming. The event will generate major economic and tourism benefits for the city, both in terms of visitor numbers and in positive television images, which will be broadcast around the world through Eurosport. The Circuit of Ireland has been hailed as a ‘flagship event’ among the 12 rallies of the European Rally Championship so I’m sure Belfast is set to feature as a highlight in this top international series.”
Early next year Circuit organisers will announce further details on the rally route and stages.