Night navigation trial returns to Donegal motorsport calendar

Donegal Motor Club  is welcoming back to its calendar this year after a seven year break the return of the Night Navigation Trial, with none pencilled in for Saturday, March 25.

Navigation Trials are as much a test of map reading and direction-finding skills as they are competition driving.

Each competing car carries two people, consisting of a driver and a navigator. At the start of each event, competitors are given a list of grid references from which they must plot out the prescribed route on a map, which can be anything from 96 to 193 kilometers in length.

The crew must then travel the route adhering to a strict average speed limit of 48kph for the entire event.

Along the route, there are manned time controls where you must check in. Penalties can be gained for various reasons. such as arriving early or late at the controls, or for approaching from or departing in the wrong direction.

The purpose of the exercise is to complete the entire route, maintaining the average speed and picking up as few penalties as possible. Navigation Trials take place under cover of darkness.

Bernard Gallagher, COC for this event, had the following to say, “It has been a few years since we had a night navigation in Donegal. The Night Nav’s as they are more commonly known as used to be a favourite club event. There used be two events each year but then with changes in rules, Covid and everything else they had been dropped for a few years.

“There is a national championship which a few Donegal crews take part in and the members wanted their home event back running again. Although this event was too late to be included in this years winter championship we hope after a successful event we will be back on the championship calendar for next year.”

He continued: “The interest and support in the Night Nav since we announced it has been very positive from all club members both young and old with a few rally legends expected to make a return alongside some new comers is what makes these event so much fun. Route selection is underway as we speak with loads of help and suggestions coming from club members.”

Night Navs are an entry level Motorsport Ireland event, and are fully insured & regulated. It is where many club members started as all is required is a standard road legal car that fits into the different classes.

He concluded: “We are hoping to run a few night nav classes running up to the event in March. All details will be posted on our social medias, with regulations and entry forms coming out in a few weeks and more information regarding cars, scrutiny and regulations can be found on the Motorsport Ireland website.”


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