8 January 2024

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Aoife Raftery appointed Women in Motorsport Ambassador for Corrib Oil Galway International Rally

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Aoife Raftery appointed Women in Motorsport Ambassador for Corrib Oil Galway International Rally

Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Aoife Raftery has been appointed the Women in Motorsport Ambassador for next month’s Corrib Oil Galway International Rally.

Last year the Craughwell-based driver recorded an impressive debut season in the FIA Junior European Rally Championship by finishing ninth in the series against very strong European-based competition.

She was the first Irish woman to commit to an internationally recognised rally championship since the late and great Rosemary Smith’s exploits in the same competition in the 1970s.

Driving a PCRS Rallysport-prepared Peugeot 208 Rally4 Raftery finished seventh in two European events last year.

She also recorded class wins and podiums in Ireland and Britain as part of a separate programme under the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy banner.

While Raftery’s plans have yet to be firmed up for 2024 her season will begin on her home event, the Corrib Oil Galway International Rally takes place on February 3 and 4.

“In a new initiative for 2024, Galway Motor Club will highlight the increased involvement of Women in Motorsport, both as competitors and organisers. Galway rally driver, Aoife has had great success competing in Ireland, the UK and Europe, as part of the Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, and she will be the rally’s Women in Motorsport Ambassador for 2024,” said Clerk of the Course, Gary Leonard.

The Galway International Rally has retained its full weekend format and is expected to generate over 2,500 bed nights for the city and county which is estimated to generate more than €3m of revenue for the local economy.

The rally will get underway with scrutineering of cars at Galway Airport from 1.00 pm on February 2, followed by a Ceremonial Start in Eyre Square later that day.

“I really can’t wait for the season to start, especially on my home event,” said Raftery. “I want to thank Galway Motor Club for giving me the opportunity to promote women in motorsport to a wider audience.”

“I am looking forward to welcoming everyone to Eyre Square next month for what is sure to be a very exciting weekend in Galway.”

A capacity entry is anticipated for the first major rally of the year and the event is the opening round of the 2024 Samdec Irish Tarmac Rally Championship and the second round of the Sherwood Engines Irish Historic Rally Championship.

More details of the rally will be revealed at the event’s official launch at The Connacht Hotel, the rally’s headquarters, on January 12.

Raftery will attend the launch event to kick-start her new role as the rally’s Women in Motorsport Ambassador.

Aoife Raftery Rallying is supported by O’Neill O’Malley Architects and Project Managers / Loughrea Auto Parts / Craughwell Tyre Centre / Sean Fleming Motors / Aertec Vacuum and Ventilation / Des Lyons Plant / Quinn’s Hardware  / Liscon Transport / Kerry Motorsport News

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