Special Stage Rallying is the most popular form of motorsport in Ireland. These events take place over "special stages" which are closed roads to the public as well as sections of open road which must be traversed between each stage.
Each competing car consists of a driver and a co-driver. Events are decided by the time taken to travel a particular route. It is generally over the "stages" that events are won and lost when competitors must drive over the closed roads as fast as they can to produce the quickest time. The less time you take, the fewer penalties you incur. There are two types of Special Stage Rallies; Tarmac events which take place on normal public roads, and Forestry events which take place on gravel roads.
TYPES OF VEHICLES
Rally cars are modified road cars, and while some are more modified than others, there are minimum safety standards that must be met. There are a multitude of classes to suit various budgets, as well as drivetrain and engine combinations, and these can all be found in Appendix 29.1 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook.
WHERE AND WHEN
Special Stages Rallies take place every month of the year, in every province, with over 25 events running a year. The three main championships are the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Irish National Rally Championship, and the Irish Forestry Rally Championship. There are also several regional championships.
View Events Calendar
LICENCE REQUIREMENTS AND STARTING AGE
Applicants for a first time Stage Rally Driver licence must first purchase an "Introduction to Motorsport" Starter Pack at a cost of €10, which is available from the Motorsport Ireland Office. In addition, applicants must also complete a licence form and successfully complete a Motorsport Ireland "Introduction to Motorsport Course" (IMC) at either Rally School Ireland in Co. Monaghan or Rally Connection in Co. Waterford.
Request a Starter Pack
You may start competing in Stage Rallies as a driver from the age of 14 on a Rally category “Junior” grade licence in the J1000 class which is limited to 1000cc cars in Forestry rallies only. Once you pass you driving test and obtain a Road Traffic Act driving licence, you may apply for a Rally category “National B” grade licence. For your first Rally grade licence a doctor’s certificate is also required and this is part of the licence application form.
All beginner Rally drivers are restricted to driving vehicles up to 1650cc. When you gain some experience and obtain 4 event finishes you can upgrade your licence to "National A" where there is no cc limit.
All drivers in Stage Rallies must have IRDS insurance cover and you must submit this form when applying for your licence. For Junior Rally licence holders, their co-driver must have a Road Traffic Act driving licence and also have IRDS in order to drive the road sections between stages.
To co-drive in Special Stage Rallies, a rally category "Navigator" grade licence or higher is required and you can start co-driving at 16 years of age. Competitors under 18 years of age require written permission from their parents or guardians. A first time licence costs as little as €50 if you are a member of a Motorsport Ireland affiliated Motor Club.
Apply for a Competition Licence
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you are interested in getting started in Rallying the first step is to contact Motorsport Ireland by phone on +353 0 1677 5628 or email email@example.com. Motorsport Ireland annually publishes a Yearbook containing all the rules and regulations for Irish Motorsport with Appendices 25-36 catering for Rallying. The full Yearbook is available to view on this website as is the calendar of events.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Competition cars must have a full roll cage fitted. An electric cut off switch, fire extinguishers (handheld and plumbed in), seats, and safety harnesses are all required. All cars and equipment must comply with Appendix 2 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook. All vehicles must pass scrutiny each time to compete in an event. All vehicles must have an MI logbook obtainable from the Motorsport Ireland Technical Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org
Both driver and co-driver will require a helmet, fireproof overalls, boots, gloves (driver only), socks and underclothing. Details of helmet and clothing standards are published in Appendix 2 of the Motorsport Ireland Yearbook.
Learn about our Rally Championships