McRae to relive Galway memories.

Arch rivals in the 80s, Jimmy McRae with Ger Buckley. Clerk of Course Eamonn Cotter looks on.

McRae to relive Galway memories.


Jimmy McRae, the Circuit of Ireland Rally supremo and twice Galway International winner will return to the West in 2021 for the great Déjà Vu Ireland West party on the 21-22 May.

The Lanark native and five-time British Rally Champion, is loved by the Irish and loves the Irish stages on which he has won 7 Circuits of Irelands; 3 Ulster International Rallies; the Donegal and the Cork 20 International Rallies, and the Galway International in 1980 and 1982. 

Jimmy will be joined by two other former Galway winners, Austin MacHale and Gareth MacHale who are amongst the sixty-five crews that have already registered for the 130-mile route through the Mayo and Galway mountains. A route that incorporates many miles formally used by both the Circuit of Ireland and Galway International rallies.

The West has a special place in Jimmy’s heart as the 1980 Henley Forklift Galway Rally was his first international win and one of the Dealer Team Vauxhall early successes with their HS Chevette. Ger Buckley followed him home that year in an Escort RS 1800, but the Cork driver returned in 1981 in a Chevette HSR to beat Jimmy’s Opel Ascona 400.

The McRae/Buckley rivalry continued in 1982 when both had Ascona 400s but on that occasion the Scottish driver, despite early contact with a telegraph pole, headed the Corkman home.  

Déjà Vu Ireland West’s non-competitive run will revive many motoring memories at a pace that will allow the entrants to enjoy the West’s unsurpassable scenery and the onlookers to wonder over a cavalcade of glorious rally machinery from the last fifty years.

Déjà Vu Ireland West, which will support the Roscommon and Mayo Hospice, will be based at Hotel Westport in the historic town and will use part of the grounds of Westport House, the magnificent manor that was designed by Richard Cassels and James Wyatt in the 18th. Century.

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Stay well, stay safe, keep your distance and keep the revs up.

Beatty and Plum