This week’s Motorsport Ireland – RIAC classic video from the RPM Motorsport collection is feature length coverage of the 1988 Circuit of Ireland Rally which originally aired on RTÉ.
Following the demise of Group B, Group A brought new machinery and a new format for the Circuit of Ireland, as it adopted a more compact three-day route, which started in Belfast and saw the event finish on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin to coincide with the city’s millennium year celebrations.
Jimmy McRae was the hot favourite as he set off in search of a record breaking sixth win on the event, but it was McRae’s fellow Ford Sierra Cosworth drivers, Mark Lovell, and Phil Collins, who made the early running. By the end of the opening day however, McRae and co-driver Rob Arthur had taken the lead, a lead they were never to lose. As the event continued down to Waterford and back up to Dublin, local heroes Austin McHale and Bertie Fisher retired while early pacesetter Collins decided to settle for second.
Malcolm Wilson rounded out the top 3 after a great performance in his naturally aspirated Astra GTE but the event will live long in the memory of rally fans for the spectacular antics of the Finn Pentti Airikkala, who hustled the unwieldy Mitsubishi Starion home in 5th place with an in-car camera in tow.
This programme will be available to stream below from 7pm on Thursday, September 17th.
Next week’s upload is coverage from the 1985 Cork 20 Rally where Austin McHale was out for revenge following his one-second loss to Billy Coleman earlier in the year in Donegal.
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