Matthew Wilson winner of the WRC Pilot event in 2005 will return to Sligo in April.

Photo. ECP/RallyRetro.

 

‘Firing up the Rally Ireland Memories’ is the theme of the Sligo based rally re-union on the 26-27-28 April. It is appropriate therefore that Mathew Wilson, the man who started the Rally Ireland ball rolling in 2005 by winning the Pilot event for the two WRC visits, will be one of RPM Déjà vu Motorsport’s guests at the big spring event.

Matthew, (whose family run M-Sport), won the first Rally Ireland test event over the Sligo, Fermanagh and Donegal stages in an Eddie Stobart backed Ford Fiesta WRC two years before the World Rally Championship arrived in the west. He then went on to compete in over eighty World Rally Championship events.

But Matthew will not be so keen to be reminded about his 2006 Irish visit to the Donegal International Rally when his Ford Focus plunged backwards over a cliff on the Knockalla Stage and then fell down a ravine before landing in Lough Swilly some sixty feet below.

Matthew and his co-driver Michael Orr were frightened but unharmed a testament to the strength of the M-Sport preparation.

Many of the Déjà vu North West ’24 stages should be familiar to the younger Wilson as he took part in both of the Irish World Rally Championship rounds, finishing seventh on both occasions.

M-SPORT AUCTION PRIZE

M-Sport are donating a spectacular prize for the highest bidder in the charity auction at the sell-out Déjà vu Gala Dinner. The top bid will win a tour for two of the M-Sport Headquarters at Daventry Hall on the edge of the UNESCO English Lake District.

There they will see the Ford Puma Rally 1 cars being prepared for the World Rally Championship and the powerful racing Bentley Continental GT3’s that M-Sport also build.

The prize also includes a high-speed run around the M-Sport Test Track in a rally prepared Ford driven by one of M-Sport’s professional drivers.

RALLYING FRIENDS All proceeds from Déjà vu North West ’24 go to the McDonald and Maguire families who so tragically lost Gene McDonald and Dáire Maguire while taking part in the Sligo Rally in July 2023.

NOTE All entries and dinner tickets for Déjà vu North West ’24 have now been taken.