“Stormont Stig” launches Loughgall Festival 2012
‘Stormont Stig,’ otherwise known as the Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy, launched the Loughgall Festival of Motorsport at Stormont on Monday, 14th May.
Now in its sixth successive year, the Festival has been able to supply £10,000 annually to the event’s nominated charity.
This year it the turn of RNLI Lifejackets Appeal which aims to kit out all the crews with new state-of-the art-lifejackets and plans are well under way for a great day out for all the family.
Organised jointly by Armagh Lions Club and North Armagh Motor Club Ltd the aim of the event is to raise funds for the designated charity whilst providing all the excitement of a rip-roaring historic rally and dynamic auto-test for the mechanically minded, or a more sedate static display of over 200 cars alongside the tempting tastes of classic country produce and all the delights of rural lifestyle trade stands.
Launching the Festival as the ‘Stig’, Danny Kennedy said: “Loughgall Festival of Motorsport is an important event in the tourism calendar, which attracts local and overseas visitors. It’s a great day out for rally enthusiasts and hosts a wide range of other attractions, while raising money for the RNLI Life Jackets Appeal. I’m proud to support this very worthwhile appeal that carries out vital, life saving work around our coast line.”
This year there will be a specialist demonstration on the use of locally produced foods by one of the country’s top multi-award winning chefs, Robert McDonald, who joins us from Digby’s in Killylea. With his fine cuisine, Digby’s have just won County Armagh Gastro-Pub of the year 2012 for the second year running. Robert is the only chef in Northern Ireland to be a member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, and he thrives on introducing people to fresh ideas using traditional produce. The kitchen unit for the demonstration has kindly been provided by Good Food Ireland.
Title sponsor Harry Burke of Burkes of Cornascriebe Said, ““This is the third year Burkes of Cornascriebe Ltd have supported this event and we are proud to be associated with Armagh Lions and North Armagh Motor Club. This event has been very popular with both competitors and spectators and Loughgall Country Park is a spectator friendly venue. The stages are set in the Country Park and are good quality tarmac; all easily accessible with central service open to the public right beside the static car display where there will be several hundred beautiful old classic sports and competition cars on display.
Our first association with this event was 2010 and was part of Burkes 100 year celebrations we were so delighted with the public response we could do no less than support it again. Burkes will have a selection of New Holland tractors and skid loaders on display in the Country Park. We are delighted the Lions are supporting the RNLI – such a worthy cause but not just for this reason. Burkes have been proud suppliers of New Holland tractors suitably modified, to the RNLI over recent years. We at Burkes of Cornascriebe look forward to welcoming you, our friends and customers at the Festival of Motorsport Saturday 19 May in Loughgall Country Park. Be there or you will be sorry you missed it!”
Clerk of the Course William Fullerton said; “The format of the Special Stage Rally for Historic Rally cars, the Apple Blossom Autotest and the Historic and Classic Vehicle Display along with Trade Stands has proved very successful. However, without the main sponsor, Burkes of Cornascriebe it could not happen and we are also grateful for the help and support of Armagh City and District Council, Dept of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Forest Service and the many voluntary marshals and officials.
“The main event, the Historic Rally will this year have six all tarmac Special Stages in the scenic parkland and spectator friendly setting of the Loughgall Country Park. It is the only event in Northern Ireland with the emphasis on Historic Rally cars. We welcome back last year’s winner Cookstown man Keith McIvor in his Porsche, second overall last year, Donal Connolly from Letterkenny in the Ford Escort RS2000 and Lisburn’s Wesley Patterson in his new Ford Escort RS2000. With competitors of this quality we are confident it will be an exciting day of rally action.”
Further information and regulations can be downloaded from this website or from the event Secretary Keith Somerville on 07745 959 141
Autotest Regulations can also be downloaded from this website and from event Secretary Gordon McKeown on 07703 187 491
Information on the Classic Country Lifestyle Fair is available from Ivor Ferguson on 07712 647 546