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The RIAC Pioneer Run celebrates our
Motoring Pioneers

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On Saturday and Sunday May 26th & 27th the ninth running of the Royal Irish Automobile Club’s Pioneer Run will take place based at Barberstown Castle Hotel and travelling through parts of Counties Kildare and Meath.
Now firmly established as Ireland’s premier event for early cars and motorcycles, the RIAC Pioneer Run caters for cars over one hundred years old and celebrates the heritage of Ireland’s pioneering automobilists, for whom every journey was an unpredictable adventure.

Depart Barberstown Castle
10.00 - 10.30
Celbridge (Tesco)
10.15 -10.40
Maynooth (Centre)
10.30 -11.00
Kilcock (Centre)
Enfield (Centre)
Coffee Halt (Arrival
Coffee halt is at Johnstown
House Hotel, Enfield
Coffee Halt (Departure)
12.30— 13.00
Johnstown Bridge (Centre)
12.30— 13.05
Kilshanroe (School Car Park)
Carbury (Castle Inn)
12.55 — 13.15
Derrinturn (Turn Inn)
13.00— 13.45
Allenwood (Centre)
Prosperous (Centre)
Clane (Centre)
13.30— 14.45
Finish at Barberstown Castle
13.40 - 15.05

Visit the Pionner Run website for more details

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While the Pioneer Run itself takes place on Sunday, the activity starts on Saturday with a ‘shake-down’ run and display. The 25 mile run will start from Barberstown Castle at 2.00 pm and we’re very happy to announce that we will be co-operating with the Dunboyne Motor Club and participating in the formal launch of their ‘Spirit of Dunboyne’ event that takes place on 23rd September next. The launch will take place in the village of Dunboyne (suitably decorated for the occasion) with displays of classic cars and bikes and tea, coffee and sandwiches available.
The 25 mile “shakedown” gives participating drivers the opportunity to “tune up” their vehicles for the Sunday Run, and to meet up with an enthusiastic group of motorsport enthusiasts while having their vehicles on public display in Dunboyne village.
Participating cars will depart from the Pioneer Run event HQ at Barberstown Castle at 2.00 pm and follow a well arrowed route to Dunboyne. They will be assembled at a location off the bypass road just outside Dunboyne, where they will be met by an escort from the Dunboyne Motor Club and escorted in convoy to designated display positions at the Green in the centre of Dunboyne village. Participating cars will remain in Dunboyne until 430 pm, before returning to HQ at Barberstown Castle.
The Pioneer Run will start from Barberstown Castle on the following day (Sunday) at
10.00 am where the cars will be flagged away by John Boyd Dunlop, great grandson of
the famous inventor of the pneumatic tyre, and will follow a route through Counties
Kildare and Meath designed especially around the capabilities of these early cars.
Details of the route are available to interested spectators and the RIAC have produced a special programme that will be given out free at the Saturday event in Dunboyne and along Sunday’s route. The finish of the Run is back at Barberstown Castle and the first cars should reach there around 3.30 pm.
Cecil Sparks, Chairman of the RIAC, expressed his pleasure that “Ireland’s motoring pioneers are remembered in such a fitting fashion each year by the RIAC Pioneer Run. Every journey those early pioneers of motoring in Ireland undertook was an adventure, yet they showed great courage and resourcefulness in exploring the four corners of Ireland. The RIAC is particularly pleased to have the support of Dunlop in running this event, and this is particularly appropriate given the shared motoring heritage of both organizations. Indeed, Dunlop has been involved with Irish motor sport events since 1903
— surely an unparalleled association.”
This year will see around thirty cars and motorcycles taking part in the RIAC Pioneer
Run with several entrants coming from Britain as well as from the four corners of Ireland.
Oldest vehicle is the 1899 Sperry Cleveland of Reginald Plunkett from Dublin and entries
are split into two classes: up to the end of 1904 (Brighton Class) and 1905 to 1912
(Centenary Class). Motorcycles run in a class up to 1914.
The organizing team have made a special effort this year to attract spectators and as well as the free programmes given out over the weekend several classic car clubs are organizing special outings to view the cars along the route.

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Cars must be at least 100 years old to be eligible to participate over a course ideally suited to early cars. Great care is also taken with arrowing the route and the group are constantly told by overseas entrants (and Irish participants) that the marshaling on this event is second to none.

They are fortunate to have the support of Dunlop for the event, a particularly appropriate association as the pneumatic tyre was invented in Ireland in 1888 by John Boyd Dunlop. In addition, Dunlop has been associated with Irish motorsport longer than any other company, first presenting cups for the Speed Trials held in Dublin’s Phoenix Park just two days after the 1903 Gordon Bennett Race.

Based at the historic Barberstown Castle Hotel at Maynooth, a short distance from Dublin, the event is easily accessible from all parts of Co. Kildare.

The format is simple, on the Saturday Check-in with the event officials is available and in the afternoon a short (25 mile) ‘Shake-down’ Run is organized with an opportunity to stop and display the cars to the public at one of the many picturesque towns and villages along the route.

On Saturday evening the Chairman of the Royal Irish Automobile Club hosts a drinks reception at the hotel and this is followed by a Barbeque. This is optional but is very much the social highlight of the weekend and should not to be missed.

Check-in by entrants is again available on Sunday morning before the Pioneer Run itself gets under way at 10.00 am. The route is approximately 55 miles with a shorter version of the route available for the older cars. Following the finish of the Run a prizegiving lunch takes place and awards are given out.

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