BY CHRIS MCNULTY
GWEEDORE man Eamon McGee was officially confirmed this week as the new Clerk of the Course for the 2012 Topaz Donegal International Rally.
McGee takes over from Danny Gormley, who was COC for the last few years of the event.
McGee had been ratified by members of the Donegal Motor Club as the new man for the job last year, after Gormley opted not to continue in the role, but the officially announcement was only made this week, confirmed in a statement issued by Rally Press Officer Declan McCay.
The Gweedore man has acted as Chief Marshal for the Rally for several years now and has also been a timing co-ordinator with the Donegal Motor Club.
This year Eamon – who is the father of Donegal’s football stars Eamon and Neil – has been elevated to the role of Clerk of the Course for the 2012 running of the Rally.
“I am busy at present putting the final touches to the route for the June event, and there will be some important news regarding the format and layout of the 2012 Topaz Donegal International available very soon for all intending competitors,” Eamon said this week.
“The support from Topaz as title sponsor makes this Rally possible in the first place and the standards they set have helped us confirm the Topaz Donegal Rally as the biggest draw in the Irish Motorsport calendar.
“I have made some fairly big changes to the layout, but all the important Donegal features will still be there. There has been some speculation recently about the Rally being shortened, which is surprising given our feedback from competitors.”
The 2012 Donegal International Rally takes place from June 15-17 next and McGee has revealed that the rally will still be the only three-day rally on the Irish Tarmac Rally calendar. A two-day option had been explored – but the overwhelming reaction from the crews was to retain the Donegal special.
McGee said: “It is important for the Rally to promote the County and the region, and we carried out a survey of competitors last year specifically on the question of the three-day format. The result was a massive majority to stay at the full weekend. Competitors see it as a special challenge and I can confirm that this year’s Donegal won’t disappoint them.
“Considering our close association with National and local Tourism providers we also feel it is important now, maybe more than ever, to maximise the opportunities for everyone who has supported us over the past 40 years.”
McGee has invited anyone who can assist with the marshalling of the Rally, or in any other capacity, to contact the Motor Club via the Club website www.donegalmotorclub.com or the Club office at Port House, Port Road Letterkenny, 074-9126681.
Ahead of next weekend’s event, Course of the Clerk, Eamon McGee and his team have been around the route...