No. 32 by Martin Holmes – ISBN: 978-0-954 5433-8-9
“For sure there is more of a motorsport culture in Ireland than in Britain, it’s a mainstream culture. Stop anyone in the street in Ireland and they will know somebody in their family that is involved in rallying, going to watch rallies or competing,” that was the opinion of Ulster’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion Kris Meeke on the vast interest that rallying enjoys across Ireland. These comments and more were made in the 32nd edition of World Rallying 2009-2010 by Martin Holmes. Irish rally enthusiasts’ knowledge of the sport is not confined to National events or the UK Championships, it also extends to the four corners of the globe be it the World Rally Championship and the newly created Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Their collective hunger for minute details from these overseas events knows no bounds and Martin Holmes’ book satisfies their needs like no other.
Author and journalist Martin Holmes and photographer Maurice Selden have put together another fine presentation of events, stories and images, which made 2009 a memorable year for rally sport around the World. None more so than the opening round of the World Rally Championship – Rally Ireland held in the North West, the first of only two asphalt rallies in 2009. The event staged in February marked the fastest ever World Rally on tarmac, despite the inclement weather. Martin’s comments post-event are worth noting – “this is a special place for rallying, which could be enjoyed to the full at a different time of year and may be in a different area.”
Without exception practically every International and National series gets a mention. Then, there’s the special features, such as the Golden Age of Italian Rallying and the birth of the Ford Fiesta Super 2000. The former consists of a lengthy interview with Abarth’s Chief Engineer Sergio Limone who fondly reflects on the glory days of the Italian dominance in rally sport in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.
Cork native Ronan McNamee is listed on the World Rally Winning Co-drivers listing having guided the Pentti Airikkala to the 1989 Lombard RAC Rally title in a works Mitsubishi Rino. As expected there is a tribute to the legendary Finnish driver who died last September.
Ford’s current day WRC driver Jari-Matti Latuala owes the start to his career in motorsport to Pentti which brings us nicely around to the present day situation. By the time Edition number 33 comes around, will Seb Loeb have further extended his record breaking WRC Championship wins to seven? In the meantime enjoy consuming all the superb collection of information in the 2009-2010 book. Jarlath Sweeney