FTO Rally of Ireland
22, 23, 24 October 1999

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The Irish rally kicked at 2am off on a very wet and windy Friday morning. Driving down to meet Chris & Fiona on the M6 was slow going at first, but the heavy rain eventually eased and we met them at Junction 21 and started the long slow drive to Hollyhead. Along the way we had some fun - there was one long tunnel where I pulled alongside Chris and we gunned it in 3rd. The noise it created was incredible as the deep exhaust notes reverberated around the walls!

We arrived at Hollyhead ferry port just as it was getting light. Pulling into the empty car park we went for a cup of coffee and a bacon buttie which put the smile back onto everyone's faces. We met up with Alan McCormack and his brother on board the ferry.

The Jonathon Swift The Jonathon Swift, which is Irish Ferries flagship, was to take us across the Irish sea into Dublin. We started off outside on the upper decks to watch us pull out of port, then moved inside to warm up and have a pint or two.

The first sight I had of Dublin were the red and white chimneys, made famous by U2's album cover. The weather was fine and sun was breaking through the clouds as we disembarked, and we met up with Kevin Davey just outside the terminal. The drive to Cork was a long but spectacular one. The route that was chosen took us over some hills on narrow roads through some great Irish scenery. We stopped for something to eat around half way - we needed it! The roads themselves were... interesting. They would go from dual carriageway type long sweeping bends, into country lanes in the blink of an eye! The roads were very fast in places but in poor condition - I bottomed out and left the ground on more than one occasion!

Treasure hunt!

The familiar lineup shot UK Owners and Irish Owners
Parked in the middle of nowhere

Treasure Hunt Map The treasure hunt route that Aidan and the rest of the Irish club set out for us took us over some great roads that were fast and straight one minute, then you'd come to a vicious hairpin bend!
Following the others


Not surprisingly, we went out for a few drinks.
Us... having a drink!
Some drunk people
Much later on!The drink is starting to work

We realised that too may Guinesses were not a good thing...

What can I say?I can't seem to find it....Dave & Clare 3 lovely lasses
3 not-so-lovely lads!
Two FTO's and err... a Micra

We all had a thoroughly good weekend, and Chris & Fiona, Alan & his brother and Clare and I would like to pass on our thanks to the Irish lot for showing us a really good time. We are looking forward to them coming over for Trax2000 (which is one not to be missed!!)

The bad news was the on both the outbound and inbound journeys, my front spoiler was heavily damaged by loading it onto the ferry. Here are some pics...

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{short description of image} You can clearly see the kind of damage incurred. The angle of the loading ramp where it joined the ferry was acute and the fibreglass spoiler stood no chance. The personnel on board were very helpful and I eventually got a cheque from Irish Ferries to cover the cost of the repair.

Visitthe Links section and look for the FTO Owners Club Resource to see some more rally photos