So, the island of Ireland is bound for the World Rally Championship again. According to those lining the Ulster streets last week, it has to be. I know because I was there among them.
And I couldn't agree more. You almost had to feel sympathy for the European Rally Championship - the Circuit of Ireland's calendar host for this season - in the way the series was entirely overshadowed by a single event.
There were plenty who felt short-changed by the ERC: the series, they felt, had brought an entry in its 30s to an event which should have numbered in hundreds. And an Irish Tarmac round bolted on the back of the 'main' event with 80-plus on the roster did little to quell that feeling.
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David Evans is the rallies editor of Autosport and Motorsport News. A successful rally driving father ensured an early introduction to motorsport and, fascinated as he was by rallying, the fourth estate was of equal interest. Having read (or at least looked at the pictures) from the age of two, he joined <i>Motoring News</i> in 1996 and later moved to Autosport in 2002.@davidevansrally More features by David Evans