Author Archive for namcc

Jonny Greer tops the times at McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship opener

Rally winner Jonny Greer was fastest on all six stages of the opening round of the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship. Photo by: NeillPics.com / William Neill

Jonny Greer and Niall Burns were fastest from start-to-finish at what was the first opportunity to score points in the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship at Kirkistown Race Circuit – winning by 15.3 seconds in a Citroen C3 Rally2, writes William Neill.


Stuart Biggerstaff, supported by rally sponsor Echlinville Distillery, was on form when wet conditions worsened mid-event. A champion himself, the Kinallen man moved his Ford Fiesta R5 into second after the 4.4-mile SS3 – a reverse test from the opening loop with an extra gravel section. Anthony Nestor was alongside to see over the team’s secured place by over 19 seconds.

Second overall, Stuart Biggerstaff is a contender for the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship. Photo: NeillPics.com/William Neill

Back to Greer and after SS2 the Carryduff driver reported a clean line was appearing on the stage but conditions remained greasy and noted the bottom section was particularly difficult before half-time.

SS4 and the leader slid off the road at the flying finish, showing how difficult it was to maintain the correct pace. The final stage format for SS5 and SS6 was the longest of the day, and Greer was cautious of the desired final result.

Derek McGarrity’s long association with the North Armagh Motor Club event stood the Skoda Fabia R5 driver in good stead with an early second, 2.4 seconds behind the lead time on SS1. The distance from both Greer and Biggerstaff increased throughout the day however, to have to settle for the final podium place with Paddy Robinson.

Donegal’s Aaron McLaughlin and Darren Curran were down in eighth after SS1 but bounced back with a second fastest time on SS2 only to overshoot and go off the road again on the next test. It got worse – poor visibility from the recently purchased Volkswagen Polo R5’s windscreen on SS4 made for a difficult fight back. Third fastest on both the penultimate and final stage made all the difference, moving from seventh to fourth.

Despite a first corner spin Jason Dickson and Martin Brady recovered to finish fifth, 6.6 seconds back but place secured by 7.4 seconds.

Peadar Hurson, in a ROK Motorsport converted right-hand-drive Volkswagen Polo, moved from an early tenth to sixth with a fourth fastest stage time the Newry driver’s highest placing of the day.

In a Proton S2500 debut Marty Toner was seventh and top of the open class finishers.

Niall Henry came across a tyre marking the course on SS1 in eighth, successful track racing driver Michael Cullen was ninth and top lady points scorer Emma McKinstry rounded off the top ten.

Philip Allen was among the front runners but a slick tyre choice and confusion on where to go on another stage, he ended up at the back end of the top 20. As high as third after two stages, we can expect the McGeehan Motorsport-run driver to remain a contender for rally wins.

TWO-WHEEL-DRIVE

Despite not competing since May, Colin Price holds the most points in the two-wheel-drive category of the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship. Photo: NeillPics.com/William Neill

Colin Price hadn’t competed since May but was fit enough to win the two-wheel-drive race with Billy Regan. The Toyota Starlet was out in front by 16.5 seconds.

Barry Morris’ Darrian T90 GTR+ update was fastest on the first stage with Price finding his feet. A gear shift failure for Morris ruled the early pacesetter out for Price to take control while three others fought it out for second, namely Jaye Nevin, Jonny Cargo and eventual runner up James Kennedy. Peugeot 205 mounted Nevin ended third, but fastest in class.

Top FIA two-wheel-drive points went to Se Og Martin, from Marshall Kennedy.

JUNIORS

The McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship notes future rally talent with a junior category, now headed by Ben McFall. Photo: NeillPics.com/William Neill

Leaving Kirkistown Ben McFall leads the junior race from Darragh Kelly. The Mitsubishi Lancer E9 driver from Bushmills jumped from his car 64 seeding to 13th overall, almost a minute ahead of his nearest rival.

With the junior category eligibility based on age, Kelly was fastest in his class by over two minutes using a Peugeot 208 R2. Rally school instructor Joshua Baird sits third.

HISTORIC

Current historic champion Jimmy Mills, guided by Michael Johnston, has started the year off well with full points as the sole finishers at round one. More competition is expected throughout the season.

IN OTHER NEWS

Christopher Murphy, son of event organising committee member, Eddie, had his Ford Escort Mk2 on stage for the first time. From Armagh, but travelling from America to compete was Andrew Frizzle and both Kyle White and Alan Carmichael retired on what was a British Rally Championship test.

CLASS WINNERS

Class 1: Jimmy Mills/Michael Johnston (Ford Escort Mk2);  Class 2: Se Og Martin/Sean Walsh (Peugeot 208 R4); Class 3: Peter Dowds/Steven Dowds (Nissan Micra); Class 4: Darragh Kelly/Ashley Boulton (Peugeot 208 R2); Class 5: Jonathan Strain/Scott Strain (Peugeot 205 GTi); Class 6: Colin Price/Bill Regan (Toyota Starlet); Class 7: Jayne Nevin/Eoghan Moore (Peugeot 205); Class 8: Ben McFall/Damian McAuley (Mitsubishi Lancer E9); Class 9: Richard O’Lone/James Turkington (Ford Fiesta R3); Class 10: Jonny Greer/Niall Burns (Citroen C3 Rally2); Class 11: Marty Toner/Ben Teggart (Proton S2500).

NEXT UP

Next up in the five round series is the Race & Rally Stages at Bishopsourt on March 9 which will host a new single-lap stage format. Entries remain open at www.rallyscore.net.

There is more coverage from round one with an action photo gallery set to feature on the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship Facebook page and a highlights package on YouTube.

Results from the Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally 

Full results are available from www.rallyscore.net

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship 2024 points

Full points are available from www.nirallychampionship.com

McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship 2024 Calendar remaining rounds

March 9 – Race & Rally Stages (Bishopscourt Race Circuit) – Ballynahinch & District Motor Club

April 27 – Maiden City Stages (closed road) – Maiden City Motor Club

May 18 – GO Tour of the Sperrins (closed road) – Magherafelt & District Motor Club

July 20 – Tyrone Stages (closed road) – Cookstown Motor Club

November 16 – Reserve date (may be used in the event of a cancelled round)

Follow YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/@NIRally

Follow Facebook page – www.facebook.com/nirallying and www.facebook.com/niforestrallychallenge

Bookmark website – www.nirallychampionship.com

EDITOR NOTE: Photography may be used for publication free of charge providing credit is given to the photographer.

The Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally Results

THE ECHLINVILLE DISTILLERY, KIRCUBBIN, NEWTOWNARDS  SPONSORS N.I. RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2024 OPENER!

North Armagh Motor Club is pleased to welcome THE ECHLINVILLE DISTILLERY, KIRCUBBIN, NEWTOWNARDS, as new event title sponsor this year.

Shane Braniff is continuing his previous long-standing association with this event, and through his Echlinville Distillery business, is backing the opening round of this year’s McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK Northern Ireland Rally Championship.

Based at Kirkistown Race Circuit on Saturday 17 February, The Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally, which is organised and promoted by North Armagh Motor Club Ltd, will attract the crème de la crème of local rally talent as they battle for the spoils at the popular County Down venue. In fact, the entry is filling fast with many of these top -line competitors already committed and/or entered, bringing the total so far, to over 70 crews.

Barry Taggart, Clerk of the Course for the event, said: “We are delighted to be associated with local businessman Shane Braniff, a long-standing supporter of North Armagh Motor Club ltd., Northern Ireland motorsport in general and rallying in particular.”

The Echlinville Distillery which was founded in 2012, began distilling its famous four spirit brands in 2013 which are available worldwide. The Echlinville Distillery is now firmly established as a successful local producer of Irish Whiskey, Gin and Vodka at their Distillery based in Kircubbin, Newtownards.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to support North Armagh Motor Club and the opening round of the N. I. Rally Championship 2024,” commented The Echlinville Distillery Managing Director, Shane Braniff. “There’s always a lot of buzz surrounding the opening round of the championship and Kirkistown is always a well-supported event so it’s great to be a part of it and meet the rally fans at the event.”

Competitors will tackle six stages within the confines of Kirkistown Race Circuit, with a similar format (but with minor alterations to the stages) to last year. In an effort to satisfy all competitors’ needs, vehicle scrutiny will be on Saturday morning only, before the rally, with the opening stage set to start at 9.15am. The finish will be around 5.00pm. The stages will be minimum 95% sealed surface.

A limited number of entries can still be made via www.rallyscore.net up until 07 February at 10.00pm. Regulations and future rally information will be available from the club’s virtual noticeboard at www.namcc.com 

If anyone would be available to marshal, contact Chief Marshal:

Caroline McGuinness on 07792 037441.

ENDS…

02 January 2024

Further details from:

SIMON FULLERTON
Public Relations Officer
North Armagh Motor Club Ltd
Mob:  07745 891227
Email: sfullerton78@gmail.com

The Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally 2024 – Regulations and Online Entry Submission!

Regulations and Online Entry Submission are now available for round one of the 2024 McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK Northern Ireland Rally Championship, The Echlinville Distillery Stage Rally.

The event, which takes place on Saturday 17th February, is sponsored by The Echlinville Distillery, and will feature six stages based within the confines of Co. Down’s Kirkistown Motor Racing Circuit.

DOWNLOAD REGULATIONS

Entries for the event should be completed online (including Online payment) at www.rallyscore.net

Please submit your competed online entry form, including the appropriate fees and seeding information promptly in order to allow us as organisers to be able to confirm the running of the event and the availability of all the necessary services and equipment at the earliest date possible.

***YOUR ENTRY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNTIL YOUR ONLINE ENTRY FEE PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED***

Entries Secretary;

Charlie Deering
Telephone / WhatsApp +44 (0)7519 828407

Enquires only between 6.00pm and 9.00pm weekdays, 1.00pm and 6.00pm weekends

e-mail: kirkistownstagesrally@gmail.com

Aaron McLaughlin & Darren Curran in their Ford Fiesta R5, winners of this years PRM Group & RPM Motorsport Loughgall Stages Rally

JENNINGS IS “GO” FOR LOUGHGALL STAGES RALLY

Fresh from his eight-place finish on the Donegal International Rally and his earlier win on the Tour of the Sperrins, Gary Jennings is due back in action next weekend on the PRM+RPM Motorsport Loughgall Stages Rally in his GO backed Fiesta Rally 2, on Saturday 1st July.

Gary Jennings who has world champion navigator Brian Hoy co-driving is seeded at number 3, in the top line-up, will be mixing it with previous winners, Aaron McLaughlin Fiesta R5 and Loughgall champion Damian Toner in his powerful Escort MK 2.

Speaking to William Fullerton, Clerk of the Course, Gary says “I am looking forward to coming back to Loughgall, especially with the closed road stages, it will be a far cry from my early foray there about 20 years ago in a Peugeot 205”.

Taking place on Saturday 1 July, the North Armagh Motor Club Ltd organised event now in its 25th year, will break the usual tradition of all stages held within the beautiful confines of County Armagh’s Loughgall Country Park and will this year incorporate a six-mile closed road stage, which is located close to Loughgall village and this will be run three times.

Competitors will tackle a total of seven stages, four based within the park and three on the closed roads.

The Loughgall Stages Rally is sure to be a great day out for both the family and the ardent rally fans with something for everyone and should provide an exciting and competitive spectacle for spectators.

Scrutiny begins at Loughgall Country Park for all Competitors from 3.30pm on Friday 30th June where cars and service vehicles may be left overnight in the service area, which will have security present throughout.

Competitors will have the opportunity to recce the stages (walk or cycle the park and drive the road stage) from 2.00-8.30pm on Friday 30th July.

There will be an historic, classic and rally car display in the central arena during the event; anyone wishing to bring a suitable display vehicle, the entry is £10 per car, (including driver and passenger) and club contacts are Brian Stinson, 07761 358907 or Alan Dalzell, 07913 675902. Refreshments are available in the park which is closed to other public activities.

Marshals are still required and anyone interested should contact the Chief Marshal, Caroline McGuiness on 07792 027441 and/or sign-on at www.rallyscore.net   

The action starts at 10.00am with all stages held on tarmac roads and will conclude at 5.00pm. Admission to the event is £10 for adults (which includes a programme) while accompanied children under the age of 16 are admitted free; free limited public car parking available. For more information, visit www.namcc.com .

ENDS.

Notes for Competitors:

Visit namcc.com for further information.

Note for Editors:

Photo caption:   Donegal Internal Rally –

                            HLD Photography

For more information, contact North Armagh Motor Club Press Officer, Simon Fullerton, on 07745 891227 or email: sfullerton78@gmail.com

CLOSED ROAD STAGES ADDED TO LOUGHGALL RALLY CLASSIC

Last year Aaron McLaughlin/William Neill in the super quick Fiesta R5 took top honours to win the Loughgall Stages Rally for the first time, from the Loughgall champion, Damian Toner who first won the event in 2015 in his powerful MK2 Escort. Both Drivers are back again this year and each is looking forward to another win.

Hoping to spoil both Aaron and Damian’s chances is a list of top entries including, Joe Hegarty in his Fiesta R5, Adrian Wray Polo R5, Kenny McKinstry Fiesta R5 (not to be ruled out despite his recent “big birthday”) and not forgetting Jason Black in his very quick RWD Starlet.

Taking place on Saturday 1 July, the North Armagh Motor Club Ltd organised event now in its 25th year, will break the usual tradition of all stages held within the beautiful confines of County Armagh’s Loughgall Country Park and will this year incorporate a six-mile closed road stage, which is located close to Loughgall village and this will be run three times.

PRM Group and RPM Motorsport have eagerly agreed to sponsor the event again this year. Managing Director, Philip Morrow, said:

“I am delighted to be associated again with such a high-profile motorsport event in Northern Ireland. It provides the perfect fit for our business interests and as a keen car enthusiast, I am looking forward to seeing some of the fastest drivers in the country compete for the spoils in both the stunning Loughgall country park and the new, nearby classic closed road stage.”

Competitors will tackle a total of seven stages, four based within the park and three on the closed roads.

The event’s Clerk of Course, William Fullerton, said:

“We are most grateful to PRM Group and RPM Motorsport for their generous and enthusiastic support, and also to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, for their assistance and guidance and to DAERA and AFBI Government Departments and the N.I. Forest Service for the use of Loughgall Country Park.”

Formerly a two-wheel-drive only event, the Loughgall Stages Rally is now open to four-wheel cars also and along with the previously dominant two-wheel drive cars, it should provide an exciting and competitive spectacle for spectators.

Competitors remember entries at www.rallyscore.net close at 10.00pm on Wednesday 21st June.

Scrutiny begins at Loughgall Country Park for all Competitors from 3.30pm on Friday 30th June where cars and service vehicles may be left overnight in the service area, which will have security present throughout.

Competitors will have the opportunity to recce the stages (walk or cycle the park and drive the road stage) from 2.00-8.30pm on Friday 1st July and from 7.00-8.30am on Saturday morning.

There will be an historic, classic and rally car display in the central arena during the event; anyone wishing to bring a suitable display vehicle, the entry is £10 per car, (including driver and passenger) and club contacts are Brian Stinson, 07761 358907 or Alan Dalzell, 07913 675902. Refreshments are available in the park which is closed to other public activities.

The action starts at 10.00am with all stages held on tarmac roads and will conclude at 5.00pm. Admission to the event is £10 for adults (which includes a programme) while accompanied children under the age of 16 are admitted free; free public car parking available. For more information, visit www.namcc.com .

ENDS.

Notes for Competitors:

Visit namcc.com for further information.

Note for Editors:

Photo caption:   Loughgall Stages Rally –

Gary Craig Motorsport Photography

For more information, contact North Armagh Motor Club Press Officer, Simon Fullerton, on 07745 891227 or email: sfullerton78@gmail.com

PRM Group & RPM Motorsports Loughgall Stages Rally 2023 – Regulations and Online Entry Submission!

[Loughgall Country Park stages and Kinnegoe closed public road special stages]

Regulations and Online Entry Submission are now available for the North Armagh Motor Club Ltd PRM Group & RPM Motorsports Loughgall Stages Rally.

The event, which takes place on Saturday 1st of July, is sponsored by PRM Group & RPM Motorsports, and will feature seven stages, four within the confines of Loughgall Country Park. and three on nearby closed Public Roads.

DOWNLOAD REGULATIONS

Entries for the event should be completed online (including Online payment) at www.rallyscore.net

All correspondence will be posted on Digital Notice Board (DNB): Sportity App (Sign in – LSR23)

Online link: https://webapp.sportity.com/channel/LSR23

Entries Secretary;

Barry Taggart
Telephone +44 (0)7771 892423

e-mail: barry27@sky.com

Note: Enquires only between 6.00pm and 9.00pm weekdays and 1.00pm and 6.00pm weekends