Since I first got involved in motorsport many years ago, Autocross has been a passion of mine...

Since I first got involved in motorsport many years ago, Autocross (alongside Rallying) has been an absolute passion of mine. I always tried to find the time and resources to compete, while juggling the responsibilities of running my own business.

I became active in test trials in 1961, after being introduced to the Volkswagen by my friend and neighbour, Jim Cassidy. Not many, however, appreciated my skills behind the wheel until I became the first Irish Autocross champion in a Renault R8 Gordini in 1968, having always favoured oversteering cars.

This achievement would not have been possible without the support of trusted motorsport volunteers, particularly Frank Garry and Joe Norris, without whom I never would have made it to the Autocross Championship that year.

While I have always loved the thrill and excitement of competing in Autocross, as well as Rallying and the odd Hillclimb; it is the fun, friendship, and camaraderie that I always found most enjoyable. 

One of my fondest memories was driving on the 1969 Monaghan Rally with my Navigator Frank O'Donohue in an actual mini-van borrowed from my good friend David Yates. We somehow managed to finish in 2nd place overall! 

These days, I am proud to be able to give back to the sport and am still actively involved in marshaling. I would urge those that have finished in competitive life to get involved in marshaling - without marshals and volunteers, there are no events!

Paddy Fay
Irish Autocross Champion, 1968


We chose Autotesting because it is relatively low cost and ideal for entry level into motorsport.

I would describe Autotesting as a precision driving competition dominated by the Irish. Twelve years ago, my father and I bought "the mini", which signalled my introduction to competition after years as a fan. Today, as reigning national champion, I still use 

the very same car which Ken Irwin has gradually upgraded as my skills have improved.

We chose Autotesting because it is relatively low cost and ideal for entry level into motorsport. It also rewards driver ability and allows you to develop skills which can be transferred to almost all other disciplines of motorsport.

Autotesting is sort of like the Motorsport version of gymnastics. Think of it as the car version of an obstacle course. Flicking from forward to reverse, at speed, through a series of gates in the correct order and in the fastest time, is the name of the game.

Power is not as important as other disciplines – light-weight vehicles with superior handling and grip is king. Homebuilt cars are regular winners in national and international competitions. Be under no illusion though - the skills needed to win will take a while to master.

For anyone looking to take part in the ultimate precision driving competition and compete for national titles on a clubman budget, look no further than the Motorsport Ireland Hewison National Championship. Build or buy a lightweight car to compete in and you will be hooked for life!

 

Guy Foster 
Hewison Trophy National Autotest Champion

..my career has really taken off and I am delighted to be living my dream.

Growing up in Co. Kildare close to Mondello Park, and with a strong family connection to motor racing, I have had a passion for circuit racing all my life.

From an early age, Motorsport Ireland has been integral to my development and I would not have succeeded in becoming a professional race driver without their support.

I have learned huge amounts from the organisation, particularly through my involvement in the Team Ireland Foundation, a national group they set up alongside Irish-American entrepreneur John Campion to identify, support and coach young drivers to succeed in international motorsport.

The highlight of my career came in 2019 when I was voted the Motorsport Ireland Young Race Driver of the Year and was awarded the prestigious Sexton Trophy. Since then, my career has really taken off and I am delighted to be living my dream as a professional race driver with CJJ Motorsports in the US.

I would encourage any aspiring race driver to get in touch with Motorsport Ireland, who can provide all the advice and support you need to get started. 

James Roe. Jr
Professional Race Driver, Cjj Motorsports


It is great to see Motorsport Ireland embracing Digital Motorsport...

Digital Motorsports (or Motorsport Simulation) has gained a lot of interest in Ireland over the past few years and there is now a great community mix of pro racing drivers, ex racing drivers, pro sim drivers and motorsport enthusiasts. Everyone gets on great and it is highly competitive.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to represent Ireland last year at the FIA Motorsport Games at Vallelunga in Italy. This was an amazing experience and would not have been possible without the support of Motorsport Ireland, Digital Motorsport and CJJ Motorsports. We narrowly missed out on making it to the main final but overall, I came away in tenth position and delighted with my performance.

From having a racing background all my life I would highly recommend giving this a try, from enthusiasts, to up and coming drivers, simulators are a key tool in the process and development of a driver and mostly importantly, a great way to have fun with your friends & family.

It is great to see Motorsport Ireland now embracing Digital Motorsport and hopefully we can all work together to drive it forward and use at a means of introducing new people to Motorsport.

Keith Dempsey,
2019 FIA Motorsport Games Semi-Finalist


I would encourage anyone to get involved as this championship has rounds all of Ireland and has some

In 2006, I started racing in Mondello Park in the Formula Ford Championship and continued in this series for four years. My highlights throughout this period were finishing 2nd in the British Formula Ford Championship and winning the Formula Ford carnival in 2008.

Following a two-year foray into Rallying, I found my way back to Mondello Park in 2015 where I won the 2015 and 2017 Irish Supercar championships.

Having sampled various disciplines of motorsport, I finally got involved in Endurance Trials and found it immensely enjoyable and challenging from the very start. I would describe Endurance trials as a cross between Rallying and Racing. It is a form of motorsport that is ultra-competitive but very cost effective.

I was lucky enough to win the Irish National Endurance Championship in 2018. I would encourage anyone to get involved as this championship has rounds all of Ireland and has something to offer everyone.

This is a discipline and championship that I am extremely passionate about and always enjoy. I intend to compete in this championship for many years to come and hope to see more of you out there join me!

Peter Barrable
Irish Endurance Trials Champion


I have been given other opportunities through Motorsport Ireland such as developing and coordinating

Motorsport Ireland has been an important part of my life since birth. It has provided my family with professional racing careers and associations as well as life-long friends.

Growing up, it was always my dream to compete in Motorsport. The fact that this opportunity came later in life for me highlights just how inclusive Motorsport in Ireland is for all ages, genders, and backgrounds. There is a place for everyone in this sport.

Since I started competing, I have been given other opportunities through Motorsport Ireland such as developing and coordinating the Go Girls Karting & STEM initiative. Launched jointly by Motorsport Ireland and Formula Female in September 2019 with the backing of Sport Ireland and CJJ Motorsports, this grassroots programme is designed to open up motorsport to young girls and highlight the career opportunities it provides.

Through my own education and experience of working within motorsport, I feel it is our duty to give back to the next generation. Motorsport Ireland has always been very supportive in encouraging the next generation of competitors, through their young driver of the year programmes and the Go Girls Karting initiative.

I am proud to be an ambassador for Motorsport Ireland, and I would encourage girls and women of all ages to get involved and experience this fantastic sport for themselves.

Nicci Daly
Go Girls Karting Coordinator & Irish Hockey Star


What I enjoy most about Hillclimbs and Sprints are the short, sharp runs that usually last for less

What I enjoy most about Hillclimbs and Sprints are the short, sharp runs that usually last for less than 60 seconds. This is where you must be so precise and accurate in everything you do to be rewarded with a competitive time.

This type of motorsport does not require fuel or tyre management so you can fully commit to racing against the clock. Winners are often determined by hundredths of a second, making for exciting competition and allowing very little margin for error.

I find driving a high-powered single seater at high speed truly exhilarating. However, regulations are relatively open so you can enter and race against a diverse and impressively engineered field of cars, ranging from the most sophisticated and modern single seaters to highly modified saloons and pre-war era sports cars.

One aspect I particularly enjoy about Hillclimbs and Sprints is the relaxed and social atmosphere of the paddock, which caters and entertains all drivers from the ages of 16 up to 80+.

I would like to thank Motorsport Ireland for its support of Hillclimbing and Sprints over the years, both nationally and internationally. It is easy to get involved at all levels and I would encourage anyone to give this fantastic sport a go!

Robert Dwane,
Irish Hillclimb & Sprint Champion


Karting has been the backbone of my motorsport career to date.

Karting has been the backbone of my motorsport career to date.

I spent 10 years Kart racing, progressing from humble beginnings in Ireland, with Dad on the tools, to travelling throughout Europe and taking part at the very top level of the sport.

Some of my best and cherished memories are from being taken under the wing of the Brennan family, where I spent the vast majority of my time in Karting.

After arriving at the crossroads and taking the plunge into Rallying, my time in Karting has always proven to be incredibly beneficial to my Rallying career. Many of the skills I picked up in Karting are still helping me to this day.

I still try to go Karting as often as possible, as I feel I am learning and bettering myself as a driver each time I put myself back in a Kart. Don't forget, Karting is the purest and most natural form of Motorsport, driving without any filters!

Craig Breen
World Rally Champion & Former Kart Racer


Karting has always been the gateway into motorsport and for me it was no different.

Karting has always been the gateway into motorsport and for me it was no different. I was bitten by the motorsport bug when I started Karting at Watergrasshil when I was 10 years old, and subsequently raced Karts for seven years.

I learned very quickly that the harder you work, the better results you achieve.

To this day, becoming Irish Junior National Karting champion in 1996 is an achievement I hold as highly as being European Le Mans series champion or standing on the podium of the 24h of Le Mans.

The skills I learned in those early karting years I still use every day in my professional motorsport career. In fact, I still regularly drive karts as I find it the best way to keep me sharp.

I can firmly say that Karting, and the support it receives from Motorsport Ireland and its affiliated clubs, is what gave me the opportunity to chase my dream of becoming a professional racing driver. It was also a lot of Fun!

Matt Griffin
Professional Ferrari GT Driver & Former Kart Racer


Marshaling has given me the opportunity to travel with good friends and colleagues

I started marshalling at bike racing events in Mondello Park when I turned 16 and began covering car events too, a couple of years later. I have not looked back since and have no regrets in joining up!

Marshaling has given me the opportunity to travel the country and abroad with good friends and colleagues, working together on everything from Circuit Racing and Rallycross, to Road Racing, Formula One, Karting, Motocross, Sprint Enduro, and demo events. No two days or events are ever the same! 

There really is no better way to get close to the action and enjoy the sport that we all love. 

If you are willing to learn, work hard and have a laugh at the same time, volunteering is the way to go! Most importantly, you will meet a brilliant bunch of people while you are at it.

Eoghain Ward
Motorsport Ireland Marshal


After marshalling for 10 years what can I say….

After marshaling for 10 years what can I say….

It has been quite a journey, starting from being the rookie at Mondello Park to marshaling at Grand Prix weekends in both Canada and Texas. 

Through marshaling, Motorsport Ireland has opened-up so many doors for me. I have been provided with essential skills ranging from fire safety, effective communication, and training to the highest global standard of marshaling, recognised throughout the world. 


I have made some great friends with people who have got your back, when you are on a live track. It really is a second family.

We are always looking for new members, so if you want the best seats in the house, please do get in touch!

Luke Browne
Motorsport Ireland Marshal, Motorsport Marshals Association (Mondello Park)


I have competed in Formula Vee, Rallycross, Rallying, twice in the 24-hour race ...

My first visit to Mondello Park came in 1987 where I witnessed one Mika Hakkinen win the Formula Opel Euro series as he step-laddered his way to become Formula One world champion.

The following year, I took on the role of Motorsport Columnist at the newly formed Irish Daily Star newspaper. Since then, I have been the Columnist with 'Is Fearr on Star ' and that ignited a three-decade long association with motorsport, both as a competitor and as a journalist.

My first stint behind the wheel came in 1992 driving in a 'Celebrity' saloon car race at Mondello Park. The following year, Godfrey Kirby and I won the 'Spirit of the Cork 20' rally in a Mark 2 Escort. Since then, I have competed in many races including Formula Vee, Rallycross, Rallying, twice in the 24-hour race at Mondello, four times in the Fiesta 6 hour and twice in the British Rallycross series.

My first real love though, was and remains Circuit Racing, and Mondello Park is a second home at times, a place where I have met now lifelong friends. Motorsport has taken me around the world following the exploits of the Jordan F1 team and I have attended every British Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch since 1988.

For the last number of years, I have been MC at the Motorsport Ireland Annual awards as well as being part of their selection panel. I am truly passionate about Motorsport and I would encourage anyone to get involved in this fantastic and incomparable sport.

John Kenny
Motorsport Journalist & Broadcaster


My proudest achievement to date is winning the Motorsport Ireland Midget Car Racing Championship ...

At an early age, I was introduced to motor racing by both my uncles' involvement with our club, the Midget Racing Car Club of Ireland (MRCCI). However, it wasn't until the age of 21 that I first put on a helmet and took to the track in a car that my uncle had built (and won championships in) to try it for myself.

I was instantly hooked on the thrill of Midget Car Racing and welcomed into a community that has a long and rich heritage. Since then, Racing has become a passion that consumes everyday life for me. When not on track, I spend my Summer weekends racing against the clock to have my car ready for the next event. Winter evenings are spent stripping down my car to maintain and improve it for the upcoming season.

My proudest achievement to date is winning the Motorsport Ireland Midget Car Racing Championship in 2018 and seeing my name next to family members before me, on a trophy dating back to 1956.

Mjavascript:void(0);otorsport to me means a community where all are welcomed and encouraged to grow and achieve in a highly competitive environment. I would encourage anyone to get involved in midget racing an experience this for themselves. 

Joe Sheppard
Club Secretary & Competitor, Midget Racing Car Club of Ireland


The predictive nature of Navigation Trials is one of the challenges I most enjoy...

Navigation Trials are a great starting point for Stage Rallying and are a low-cost and friendly way to understand how a Rally is run. 

The events are very much a team effort, with success dependent on the driver and navigator working together. Total concentration is required from the start to finish as there is no chance to rest or relax - one mistake by driver or navigator can be the difference in winning or losing!

The predictive nature of Navigation Trials is one of the challenges I most enjoy, I never know what’s around the next corner and up the next lane. Often the navigator reading the map knows more than the driver!

Most of all the events are fun, with a great collection of competitors, marshals, and organisers. There are always fantastic stories shared after events, with competitors comparing where exactly each made a mistake, and so on. For me, I find the events fun, challenging and a great way to keep calm when everything might not be going to plan.

On paper, Navigation Trials can seem like an easy sport but in the thick of night, and in fog and rain, it’s not so easy!

Derek Mackarel
National Navigation Trials Champion 2018


I am proud to be both a motorsport Ireland Volunteer and an Official.

I am proud to be both a motorsport Ireland Volunteer and an Official. While these roles can be quite challenging and demanding at times, I find them extremely rewarding. As a former (and now occasional) competitor, volunteering for me is a way of giving back to the pool of volunteers that enabled my participation in motorsport in the first place. Volunteering at events also allows me to keep in touch with old friends and make some new ones.

While our competitors regularly train and participate, they are challenged by a constantly changing environment which requires them to adapt and hone the skills needed to perform at the top of their game. As an official, one of my personal motivations is the challenge of ensuring a fair and level playing field for these competitors, helping them to perform at their best and enjoy every occasion in the true spirit of sport.

I would encourage anyone with an interest in motorsport, to try volunteering in some capacity. For those that are new to the sport, it is a great way to familiarise yourself with the rules, get close to the action (especially through marshalling) and meet new people. For former and current competitors, it is the best way of giving back to the sport. Performing the duties of an official can be particularly challenging, but enjoyable and fulfilling at the same time.

Trevor Gray
Chair, Volunteers and Officials Commission


I first took to the wheel of a rally car from the tender age of 11.

Thanks to a deep-rooted family heritage in motorsport, I first took to the wheel of a rally car from the tender age of 11. I contested my first Junior event in 2015 at the age of 15 and went on to become Irish J1000 Champion later that year.

My proudest achievement to date was winning the coveted Billy Coleman Award in 2019 and subsequently becoming a member of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy.

Through the support of Motorsport Ireland and the MI Rally Academy, my career has been propelled from a National level of Rallying to competing on the International stage. This is something I could only have dreamed about before winning the ‘Young Irish Rally Driver of the Year’ award.

The support of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy has allowed me to develop my knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the sport while creating contacts and building relationships within the world of motorsport. The academy gives competitors like me the full package of resources and supports to compete at the highest level.

Motorsport Ireland provides a clear pathway of progression for young enthusiasts aspiring to compete in Rallying, beginning with a J1000 car right up to the R5 machine. Now is a young person's chance to get out there and compete!

Josh McErlean
Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year 2019


Getting involved in Rallying is honestly the best decision I have ever made...

Personally, I enjoy all aspects of competing in Rallying.

I would consider myself to be a very competitive person by nature, and with such an increasingly high standard of rallying in Ireland, this is ideal for me.

Irish Rallying really does offer something special, and for me, it is the fact that all of us are truly like one big family. The people involved in the sport are fantastic and they will do anything to help each other out.  I can testify to this, as the amount of support and guidance I have received from people since I started competing has been amazing.

On a personal note, Motorsport Ireland has been a pillar of strength for me, providing advice and support since the very beginning. I would also commend Motorsport Ireland for the creation of the MI Rally Academy which provides young competitors, both drivers and co drivers, with the opportunities that make it possible for them to progress in the sport.

Getting involved in Rallying is honestly the best decision I have ever made. I would recommend that anyone with an interest in rally gets in touch with Motorsport Ireland to get started.

Sara McFadden
Visually Impaired Rally Navigator


I call Rallycross (RX) the “X Factor” of Motorsport, as it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting...

I call Rallycross (RX) the “X Factor” of Motorsport, as it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting forms of Motorsport in the world. The comfort of the car moving around between tar & gravel gives me a buzz that not many other disciplines can offer. That feeling & car control satisfaction really is hard to beat especially when mixed with some very tight door-to-door action!

Rallycross events are quick-fire, with excitement building all day to a crescendo at the final event. It is a more forgiving discipline as you get a get a second chance if you have a mechanical fault or driver error early in an event.

Rallycross caters for many different levels of ability and budget. I competed across all classes and moved my way up the ladder at an enjoyable pace, from entry level to the fire spitting Supercars.

Ireland has a nice tradition of running great RX events and creating some amazing success stories. The Motorsport Ireland National RX Championship traditionally mixes with the Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship and is one of the highlights of the season.

Above all else, you will find many friends in the RX paddock and a family type atmosphere. This is traditionally the “Spirit of Rallycross”, and long may it continue.

Derek Tohill
Two-time FIA European Rallycross Champion


I would strongly encourage other businesses to look to Motorsport Ireland...

I have been a Motorsport Ireland Licence-holder and Rally Competitor for the last 35 Years. From early on, I saw motorsport as a great opportunity to advertise products and services to the public.

For a young business, TV advertising was not really an option due to the high costs. However, by branding a rally car and competing in Rallies all around the country I found I could get TV and Press coverage at a much-reduced cost given the natural level of media interest in the sport.

In the years that followed, I looked at the possibility of my company sponsoring a regional Rally Championship. This resulted in Triton Showers becoming the main sponsor of the Southeast Stages Championship.

Throughout this 17-year period of sponsorship, the Triton brand continued to grow, and five years ago we decided to take on the role as title sponsor of the Motorsport Ireland National Rally Championship.

This has been a major success story for us, as I am in no doubt that Motorsport Ireland has enormously helped to grow the Triton Brand to where it is today, as Ireland’s number one shower Company.

I would strongly encourage other businesses to look to Motorsport Ireland when planning their marketing budgets as I believe sponsorship across the various disciplines can provide a great return on investment. This sponsorship is proving especially important for us now with social media opening up our products and services to a global audience.

Kevin Barrett
Managing Director, Triton Showers


For me, Mudplugging is the ideal way for anyone to get started in motorsport...

I grew up with Sporting Trials or ‘Mudplugs’ as they are called, as my Dad competed and brought me along to events as a child. As soon as I could reach the pedals of the mudplug, he taught me to drive and I was hooked.

I started competing at the age of 14, won my first mudplug in 2001 and am thankfully still winning events and staying competitive today. It feels great to be competitive as a female in motorsport and it is fantastic to see more women getting involved across the various disciplines.

For me, Mudplugging is the ideal way for anyone to get started in motorsport, whether you are young or old, a beginner or experienced driver. At only €40 for an entry, it is probably the most affordable type of motorsport, and you can start driving at the age of 10.

Mudplugging will teach you excellent car control and driving skills, and it is a great stepping-stone into other disciplines. Mudplugging is a winter discipline which means I can do hillclimbing during the summer and drive all year round.  Most of all, it is unbelievable fun with great people, and I would recommend it to anyone!

SIOBHAN MCCANN,
SPORTING TRIALS COMPETITOR