Northern Ireland’s premier motor rally, the Ulster International Rally, is taking place in Derry and Strabane this summer, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion has confirmed.

Speaking at the official launch of the Derry City and Strabane District Council’s 2016 festival and events calendar, the Mayor said she was delighted that the city and district will host the Rally on 19 and 20 August, which is one of a select number of events included in the prestigious MSA British Rally and TROA Irish Tarmac Rally Championships.

“Securing the Ulster Rally is a major coup for us and the Council is delighted to be supporting the organisers of this premier sporting event in the city and district. Motor racing and rallying is an extremely popular sport in the North West region and we are hugely excited about international rally drivers and competitors travelling from all over the world to compete in this fantastic competition,” she said.

Gary Milligan, Clerk of the Course for the Ulster Rally, thanked the Mayor for the warm welcome extended to the event by the Council and its Officials.  He said that the organisers shared her excitement at bringing the Ulster Rally to Derry and Strabane.

“With the magnificent Ebrington complex as our base, the support of the Maiden City Motor Club and the unique opportunity to hold part of the rally on the Foyle waterfront, we believe we can make this a truly memorable event for both competitors and the many visitors it will attract to this great City.”

The Mayor added that the Ulster Rally was a fantastic addition to the already action packed events calendar for 2016 which see the return of events such as the annual Spring Carnival which includes St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Ubuntu Global Festival and more in a packed programme of fun for all the family taking place from March 17 – 20 , followed closely by the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, from 28 April – May 02 which attracts tens of thousands of music lovers to venues across the district and the Angling Festival in Strabane on 07 and 08 May.

The 2016 Ulster International Rally will play host to the revamped MSA British Rally Championship, the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac and the McGrady Insurance MSA NI Rally Championship’s as well as the newly created FIA Celtic Rally Trophy, ensuring that a fantastic variation of rally cars and drivers will tackle the Strabane and Derry stages in August.