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Ulster Rally (Rally of Northern Ireland) - 19-20 Aug 11

Posted: January 26, 2013 6:07 PM - 18494 Hits

2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally
Round 6 - 2011 Tarmac Championship
Round 5 - 2011 British Rally Championship
Round 5 - 2011 MSA British Historic Rally Championship
Round 4 - 2011 Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland
Round 5 - 2011 Citroen Racing Trophy UK



Photos: Roy Dempster

BHRC report, round five: Todd's Leap Ulster Historic Rally

Posted: January 26, 2013 6:07 PM

Tomas Davies and Eurig Davies were the toast of Ulster after a superb category three victory on round five of the Dunlop/Wonago MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Todd’s Leap Ulster Historic Rally (19/20 August). The Welsh crew overcame some fierce challenges on their way to a first BHRC victory as the Ulster Rally again delivered stunning stages and a mighty challenge. A fine drive to category two victory from David Stokes and Guy Weaver was a very important result in terms of the 2011 title race, while Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride were back on form to win category one in their Porsche 911. The BHRC’s second visit to Ulster underlined the quality of the rally, with a warm welcome, great stages and slick organisation.

Category one
Despite suffering with a cracked rib, a legacy of a heavy landing on Epynt, Nutt set the pace from the start as six stages ran through Friday afternoon and evening, including two runs over the classic Torr Head test. Dessie reckoned that he first tackled Torr Head ‘as a child’ on the 1969 Circuit of Ireland.
Determined to win on their home rally, Nutt and McBride were a massive four minutes clear as they arrived back in Antrim late on Friday evening.
“Absolutely fantastic; everything is just spot on,” said McBride. With six more stages on Saturday, Nutt was able to ease his pace but still pull away and was over five minutes to the good by the finish. “We had a difficult few events earlier in the year and things finally started to go well on the Harry Flatters; we’ve just carried on with that,” said Nutt.
“Dessie is on a mission,” said BHRC points leader Rikki Proffitt. Partnered by Phill Harrison, Proffitt had no answer to Nutt’s pace and, instead, had to concentrate on the challenge from the similar Porsche 911 of Derek and Roisin Boyd. Though back in third overnight, Proffitt edged ahead during Saturday to finish second and retain the overall BHRC lead.
There was yet more bad luck for Paul Mankin and Peter Scott when their Lotus Cortina snapped a halfshaft on the second set of uphill hairpins on the first Torr Head stage. With the Volvo Amazon of John and Stephen Moxon off the road on Saturday, the final BHRC scorer in category one was the Sunbeam Imp Sport of Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill, which also won class B1. They battled a misfire through Friday but were elated with a finish. “It’s been a fantastic rally,” said Taylor.

Category two
Stokes knew he had to be on it right from the start of the rally and, while others played themselves in on the opening eight miles of Knockboy, Stokes attacked to take an immediate lead of 20 seconds. In trouble almost from the off was one of his rivals when Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard suffered a stub axle failure inside three miles, which set a front wheel free and effectively ended their rally. Also struggling with a misfire was the crew that Stokes expected to be his biggest threat; the Porsche 911 of Keith McIvor and David Burns. They retired early on Saturday morning with gearbox failure.
Through the dry stages on Saturday, Stokes and Weaver continued to build their lead as the Escort never missed a beat and their final winning margin was over two minutes. “We pushed hard early on and then eased back a little," said Stokes, who was only concerned by a bent wheel through the Slieve Gallion and Lisnamuck stages which prompted a major vibration.
Rupert Lomax/Dave Alcock (Escort Mk1) went out on Saturday with a blown engine, so second in category two among the BHRC pack was a great result for Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson, who topped class C3 in their Escort MK1. “The car ran beautifully,” said Siddall after a strong start on Friday evening. Third, and second in C5, were Chris Browne and Liz Jordan in their Escort Mk1. “We’re 15s up on last year and David is still a minute ahead,” said a bemused Chris on Friday night. “That was an incredible rally,” he added the following afternoon.
Philip Wylie and Howard Pridmore bagged second in C3 in their Escort Mk1, while Terry Nowlan and Ben Giles had an attacking run to fifth place in category two. Class C4 winners were Peter McDowall and Peter Moss in their Porsche 911, while David Kirby and Ben Friend took maximum C2 points in their Escort Mk1.

Category three
The drama started early in category three when Will Onions and Dave Williams rolled their Escort Mk2 just three miles into the rally. It was a proper Irish accident,” said Onions when they rolled four or five times after understeering into a bank when flat in fifth.
“It was 120 yards from start to finish of the accident,” he added.
Davies and Davies were on it from the start and took a nine-second lead into the overnight halt over the Vauxhall Chevette of Rob Smith/Shaun O’Gorman, with the Escort Mk2 of Connor Corkill/Mark Perryman only six seconds further back. “It’s going to be tight tomorrow,” promised Davies at the end of the leg.
The pace was stunning from the start of Saturday’s six stages and all three crews pushed hard through the opening Langford Lodge stages. Davies was fastest by six seconds as Corkill dropped a little time. But on the next stage at Tardree, it all went wrong for Smith when he had to stop and replace the Chevette’s fan belt, dropping two and a half minutes in the process.
Despite running with a cracked exhaust manifold over the final four stages, Davies never stopped pushing and was half a minute clear of Corkill after the final stage at Tardree. “We lost a bit of power towards the end,” said Tomas after the biggest win of his career to date. Corkill was a worthy second. “The roads here are incredible and a bit scary,” said the student. Third, and D4 victory, was scant reward for Smith/O’Gorman, who would have been very close to Davies without the fan belt delay.
Two crews new to Ulster wrapped up the top five with Alan Walker/Jez Rogers taking an attacking fourth with Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks next up after a strong learning rally. Walker picked up a minute penalty for a jump start, which cost him third ahead of Smith. Right up with them after an excellent run should have been Roger Kilty/Lynette Banks, who ran fourth on the opening day, Unfortunately, an extra lap of the loop in Tardree cost them over three minutes.
Though they went out on Friday with a holed radiator, Graham Waite and Gill Cotton took maximum points in D3 with their Opel Ascona.

In Car

Posted: December 30, 2011 9:39 PM

Marty McCormack & David Moynihan (Citroen DS3 R3) SS13

Video/TV Program: Ulster Historic Rally Official Highlights

Posted: September 23, 2011 9:48 PM

JENNINGS’ KUMHO-SHOD MITSUBISHI DOMINATES RALLY NI

Posted: August 31, 2011 10:52 AM

Driving a Kumho-shod Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, County Fermanagh driver Garry Jennings and his Letterkenny co-driver Rory Kennedy achieved a start to finish victory on the recent (August 19/20) Rally NI. The event was a division of the Todds Leap Ulster Rally that counts towards the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship, plus the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship that the pairing is contesting.

Jennings was on the pace immediately to win the first of the 14 stages, while others around him were running into trouble – these included expected front runner Elfyn Evans, who immediately dropped to 32nd overall following a puncture. Jennings’ Kumho tyres were more resilient, however, and he maintained his lead throughout the 127 mile event, despite the constantly changeable conditions; eventually beating the second placed duo of Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (factory-backed Citroën DS3 R3) by 17.7 seconds.

Commenting on Jennings’ well judged victory, Kumho Motorsport UK’s Technical Manager Mark Hamnett said,
“We have a good history of results on Irish soil and it was rewarding to see Garry’s Kumho tyres remaining puncture free and coping so well with the typically wet and changeable conditions.”

Jonny Leonard – Ulster Rally Report

Posted: August 30, 2011 5:33 PM

2010 Hankook Prize drive winner Jonny Leonard undertook only his second international rally at the weekend.

The 20 year old Ballinamallard man took to the stages of the Ulster Rally NI back onboard his ST fiesta, having given the car a complete overhaul to try and eliminate the mechanical gremlins suffered in earlier events.

There were two big changes to the team this time around as there was a new sponsor welcomed onboard in event security specialists Samdec Security Ltd and also a new co-driver for the event in BRC regular Paul Beaton.
“Paul was a great help with making my own pace notes, He is very experienced and brought with him some valuable knowledge.”

Although the BRC challenge is where most of the ST Fiesta drivers were competing Jonny opted to contest the full international event. In essence this rally was all about gaining experience and seeking to improve his recce technique and pace notes.
“The plan from the outset was to do a thorough recce of the stages, pick a steady pace on the event and build confidence.”

And Jonny did just that, Friday was all about getting used to a new co-driver and building a good relationship in the car. By Saturday morning the crew had acclimatised well and started to improve their pace, this was reflected on the time sheets as the little ST started to climb the leader board.

In class R2 there was some extremely tough competition, with the flying twingo’s, C2R2’s and the latest fiesta R2 model. It was a case of extracting the maximum from the car and gauging the performance against the newer machines.

“On some stages we averaged around 1.4 seconds per mile down on the leading R2 cars” this was no mean feat in the aging ST.

“Comparing the stages times with the ST’s competing in the Challenge section of the event we were averaging 30-40 seconds faster per stage and our times would have been good enough to win that part of the event outright.”

The car ran perfectly over the two days, and the partnership with new co-driver Paul Beaton was working well.

Having driven a faultless rally all weekend Jonny and Paul were extremely disappointed as the car left the road on the second last stage of the day.
“Although this was not the desired finish to any rally we have to look at the positives. It was encouraging to be close to the leading R2 cars and my pace notes have improved in just one event. I will continue to work on these aspects of my rallying and I am confident the consistency will come.”

DESI SHOWS SPEED ON THE ULSTER RALLY

Posted: August 26, 2011 5:11 PM

For Desi Henry and co-driver Crawford Henderson, this year’s for Todd’s Leap Ulster International Rally, proved that they were a crew to be reckoned with, driving their Citroen C2 R2 Max. In the end there was disappointment, sliding off the road on stage 10- Lisnamuck, but before that they were flying and battling with a “Flying Finn”.

The 21 year old Portglenone driver had Crawford Henderson co-driving for just the second time, and John McKillop had prepared the C2 for the undulating Ulster Rally roads. On the first loop of three tests on Friday, things kicked off very well. Coming off stage 3, the daunting Torr Head test on the Antrim coast, they were 8th overall in the BRC Rally NI section of the event, leading the R2 class by 5.7 seconds and the Citroen’s by 24 seconds. It was a perfect start, but on the next identical loop a heavy rain shower caught many drivers out on the wrong tyres, and Desi was one of them.
“We picked the wrong tyre” Desi explained. “We had four RX7 slicks all round and stage 4 was wet, and it wasn’t easy! We had two intermediates in the boot so we changed them for the next Glendun test. However when I got onto it I would have been better off leaving the slicks on! Then we hadn’t time to change to them for Torr Head which was bone dry. It was just one of those times when we were always on the wrong rubber!”

Despite this however, Desi still ended the day 11th overall and 2nd in the R2 class, behind rising Finnish star Jussi Kumpumaki with his Fiesta R2. 10.3 seconds was the gap going into day two, and it was reduced to 10 seconds after the opening Langford Lodge stage.
“That Langford Lodge stage was greasy in places .It had claimed a couple of cars running in front of us, and we were on slicks so we were cautious. enough. This time however the slicks were the right choice for the loop, and on the next test; Tardree we had a real go and we took 11.5 seconds from Jussi to jump into the R2 lead again. It was a great battle with Jussi who has experience even at WRC level.” Indeed the 22 year old Finn recently defeated both Alistair Fisher and Craig Breen in the same car in Rally Estonia, and he is also the reigning Finnish Fiesta FST Champion.

The next stage was Slieve Gallion, 15 miles in the Sperrin mountains were Desi had recorded a fabulous fourth fastest overall time on this year’s Tour of the Sperrins Rally. This time it wasn’t just as smooth.
“Jussi took 5 seconds back from us on that stage, and to be honest I think I was a bit too ragged on it. We out-braked ourselves into a few junctions and it wasn’t just the tidiest run. We went into the next Lisnamuck test, and were having a good go at it. At the half way mark my crew were watching and had us 5 seconds up on the watch, but we didn’t make the end I’m afraid. It was just a 3 Right 2 Left in my notes, and a downhill braking area. I simply was just a little too quick, there was a bit of gravel on the left hand side, she caught it and the back stepped out, and spun the car, with the front end striking a rock and breaking the radiator. We were fortunate that there wasn’t too much damage, but it was game over.”

Co-driver, the experienced Crawford Henderson was suitably impressed with Desi’s pace, and that of the C2 R2 Max on the event, and the PRH Construction/ Woodland Kitchens car is being converted to gravel specification for the Magherafelt Sunset Rally this weekend.
“It will give us a bit of gravel mileage before the next round of the British Rally Championship; the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire, in three weeks. Then it’s over to the Isle of Man, for my first go at the Rally Isle of Man. I’m still learning more and more each time, and we have even more work to do on the gravel, but I was happy that our tarmac times were really coming good on the Ulster.”

There is no doubt the young Co. Antrim driver is showing great promise and with each rally more experience and speed is being gleaned, so he will be one to watch as his ambitious British Rally Championship campaign continues.

ULSTER COMEBACK KEEPS GREER IN THE BRC TITLE RACE

Posted: August 26, 2011 5:00 PM

After losing two minutes with a wrong tyre choice and a broken driveshaft on the opening day of the Toddsleap Ulster Rally NI (19-20 August), Jonny Greer fought back magnificently in his Simpson’s ŠKODA Fabia S2000 to finish 5th and keep his title hopes in this year’s Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) alive.

The 22-year-old driver from Carryduff in County Down has never had much luck on his home round of the BRC, with mechanical problems and punctures ruining all four of his previous attempts. Co-driven by Dai Roberts, this was Jonny’s first Ulster Rally in his ŠKODA Fabia S2000, and despite the slippery conditions on the fast, bumpy and narrow country lanes, things got off to the best ever start as he held 2nd place after SS3.

Jonny left service on slick tyres for the repeat loop of three stages, but a torrential shower of rain saw him lose over a minute on SS4. The rain had stopped by the time he started SS5, but another 20 seconds were lost as damp patches made progress extremely tricky. Having driven exceptionally well to keep the car on the road, Jonny aimed to push hard on the now bone dry SS6 to regain some of the lost time, but when exiting the first hairpin on the stage a rear driveshaft broke. Once again, it was an amazing feat to merely complete the stage in only front-wheel drive and get the car back to service after a long road section.

With a total of two minutes lost, Jonny ended Day 1 in 5th position. Hopes of victory might have gone but the David Greer Motorsport team had repaired the car and Jonny was determined to push as hard as he could on Day 2 and score as many BRC points as possible.

Jonny drove brilliantly on the second and final day – taking 35 seconds off David Bogie as he closed to within five seconds of the BRC leader, whilst at the same time keeping Elfyn Evans behind him. With none of the top five changing position on Day 2, Jonny finished 5th – although he scored 4th placed points, as Ulster Rally winner Garry Jennings is not registered for the series.

The result sees Jonny strengthen his 3rd position in the BRC and move to only three points behind Evans in the series, whilst he is 17 points behind Bogie.

Round 6 of the British Rally Championship is the Scarborough-based International Rally Yorkshire (23-24 September), which is the first gravel rally Jonny will have done since the Pirelli International Rally in April, while there are double points on offer at the final round of the BRC, the Isle of Man International Rally (28-29 October). With drivers also able to drop their two lowest scores, the race for the BRC is wide open, with Jonny very much in the hunt for the prestigious trophy.

Jonny:
“Although the Ulster Rally is my home event, I’ve never had a good run and the bad luck continued this year as well. After a good start, we were caught out on slick tyres in the wet and then when it began to dry out a rear driveshaft snapped. We knew the rally win was out of the window and from then on it was a case of damage limitation and doing the best we could. We’d come to the Ulster Rally wanting to take points of David Bogie, and despite everything we almost did it. We started the second day forty seconds behind him and finished five seconds behind – we just ran out of stage miles to be able to overtake him. Day two was good fun, because we were also able to keep Elfyn Evans behind us and we enjoyed a really good three car battle for position.

“The Ulster Rally was a case of what could have been and now we’re looking forward to the next rally in Yorkshire. We hope to do a gravel test before it, as we’ve been rallying on Tarmac for the last four months, and we’ll be focused on getting a good result next time out and scoring some good points.”

McCormack/Moynihan Make BRC History

Posted: August 26, 2011 2:02 PM

A string of fastest overall times on the Todd’s Leap International Rally secured Marty McCormack and Dave Moynihan the first two wheel drive British Rally Championship victory since 1999 and the first ever regional championship win for Citroën’s DS3 R3 rally car.

McCormack opened with fastest time overall on stage one to the north of Antrim stopping the clock 9 seconds quicker than Skoda S2000 driver Jonny Greer and 12 seconds faster than the Mitsubishi Evo 9 of ‘Championship leader David Bogie. A puncture on this Knockboy stage cost Pirelli Star Driver Elfyn Evans two and a half minutes and thereafter the TEG Sport run Subaru N16 was effectively out of contention for honours although the battle for fastest stage times between Marty and Elfyn was the highlight for spectators. The final score of this particular battle was Marty 5, Elfyn 9 thereby locking out any other competitor from taking the scratch time on the fourteen stage event.

Friday night however proved difficult for the Citroën as rain showers favoured the traction of four wheel drive – also disadvantaging the Renault Clio of Tommy Doyle – a late entrant to the BRC who was also demonstrating the pace of F2 cars on dry tarmac. This did not stop McCormack closing the evening with a 44 second lead over Bogie – the wet conditions dropping the Skoda of Greer to nearly a minute further behind. Saturday morning started with an eye-opener from the flying McCormack – taking fastest time from Evans and extending his lead on Bogie by a further 18 seconds. A pattern repeated on the following stage with McCormack extending the lead on Evans by 14 seconds and Bogie by 13. A choice of tyre too soft for the warming conditions cost McCormack a worrying loss of time on the next loop of stages however McCormack eventually extended his lead on Bogie to 1min 37 seconds and maintained a 1 min 48 second gap to the hard charging Evans. Doyle pressing home the F2 message only 1min 19seconds behind McCormack.

McCormack said
‘We have had the perfect event. Yes we had the pressure of doing well on our home turf but the car ran well and, apart from a bad call on tyres for one loop, we kept focussed on the job in hand and have shown just what a two wheel drive Citroën is capable of’

Sainteloc team manager Nicolas Bernardi said
‘We might have dreamed of a podium before the event but Marty has given us an extraordinary result – his pace with the car has been unbelievable. He is a great asset to Sainteloc.’

McRae wins FIA historic class on the Ulster Rally with Tuthill Porsche

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:58 PM

Five-time British champion Jimmy McRae has taken his second victory in the Tuthill Porsche Challenge to lead the series, thanks to another win on the Ulster Historic Rally in Northern Ireland yesterday (Saturday).

The Scottish legend, who has won in Northern Ireland on two previous occasions, encountered no problems from start to finish, to claim an impressive class win by nearly two minutes. Adding to a successful weekend for the Tuthill Porsche team – the UK’s premier preparation firm for historic 911s – was a class triumph for Dessie Nutt, who dominated his opposition in the two-litre category after a masterful display.

McRae, co-driven by Pauline Gullick, moved into the lead on stage nine of 13, building on his advantage after making a cautious start to the event in tricky mixed conditions on Friday night. As usual, the roads around Antrim were narrow, slippery and bumpy – requiring instinctive reactions from the drivers and a perfect set-up on the car. McRae used harder tyres in the warmer conditions of Saturday to set a series of impressive stage times.

“I’ve not driven in Northern Ireland for a while and it’s quite a specialised place,” said McRae. “That’s why I took it easy at the beginning, to get used to it all again. Then when it was drier it was easier to push a little harder. I really enjoyed myself on the event: there was a great atmosphere and as always the Porsche was a pleasure to drive. It’s nice to be leading the Challenge too, as it’s a great concept, which is very friendly.”

The Tuthill Porsche Challenge – the only one-make rally series for Porsches in the world – supports five rounds of the Dunlop/WONAGO.com MSA British Historic Rally Championship, with Ulster being the only sealed-surface event of the year. McRae was driving for the JLT Rally Team, deputising for regular driver John Lloyd.

Unfortunately, Tuthill Porsche competitors Edmund Peel and Andrew Barnes – the winner of the last round on the Severn Valley Rally – were forced to retire on stages eight and nine respectively. Peel was stopped by a gearbox problem after climbing as high as fourth in class, while Barnes went off but emerged unscathed.

Richard Tuthill, the founder of the Tuthill Porsche Challenge, commented:
“It’s great to see an asphalt element on our calendar, with such a legendary event like the Ulster Rally bringing a real sense of occasion on some classic roads. It’s a rally where Jimmy McRae has shown his class on plenty of occasions in the past, and it was great to see him do that once more with us. Not only did he enjoy himself but the spectators did as well; these Porsches are absolutely great to watch and listen to, particularly on stages of this quality.”

The next round of the Tuthill Porsche Challenge will take place on the all-gravel Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire on September 24, where the spectacular 3.0-litre Tuthill 911s will be in action once more.

Uphill Ulster for Shrimpton + Geaney

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:49 PM

Thursdays recceing of the stages for the Toddsleap Rally NI was an indication for Joe Shrimpton and Ciaran Geaney and the rest of the DJ Rally HIre / MB / GGH Hire / Millers Oils / JTS Cushions / BBAG Extreme Lounging Citroen C2R2 team as to how tough the rally was going to be. This event saw the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland crews mix it with the competitors from the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship as the Toddsleap Rally NI counted for both the Irish and British titles.

Friday saw Joe and Ciaran use the test stage just outside Antrim shake the car down in readiness for the demanding event and Joe told us back in service
"I am looking forward to this event, as its going be a new and different challenge for us. We have just been out in the car now, and Ciaran and I are happy with it so we are ready for the start later on".

Friday afternoons stages were all to the North West of Antrim and included the likes of Knockboy, Glendun and Torr Head, stages used in previous Ulster Internationals and also the Circuit of Ireland. As Joe and Ciaran left service, the clouds were getting darker and light rain was starting to fall but the crew felt confident as they headed to Knockboy. They stopped the clocks on 07:24.02 and found themselves in 28th overall and 15th in class combined with the BRC crews. By the time they completed Torr Head they had climbed to 12th overall in class. At service in Antrim Joe explained
"Its been a difficult set of stages for us, as were are driving hard, and the notes are good but the times just don't seem to be there, I mean its all flowing for us and we have had no spins but when we get to the end of the stage the times are disappointing".

The crew headed out for the next loop of three stages, a repeat of the ones already done, but as they ran into the late evening it would be Joe's first real run in the dark, something that he secretly admitted he was really looking forward to. Stage 4 saw Joe and Ciaran hold station at 12th overall in class, but they picked up a 20secs penalty in changing to rain tyres at the start of the stage when the heavens opened. Stage 5 saw them have a slight moment coming downhill under braking that caused a bit of excitement inside the car for the pair. Torr Head in the dark remained for the pair, and they duly maintained their position with a steady run and ensured that they returned to the overnight halt in Antrim in a secure position. Ciaran added at service
"We had a good run again over those three stages but we still seem to be struggling, and although the rain is making it tricky to read the road, we just cant seem to get close to the guys in front, so we are going to have a really good look at the car here in service" Joe on the other hand was in great form over his first proper attempt at night stages and he told us
"That was amazing, it really was. Torr Head..... eh, words cant describe it in the dark, it really was an experience, absolutely brilliant, I would love to be going back out now again and doing them all again in the dark, it was that good"

Saturday saw an outbreak of sun, as opposed to the previous days damp conditions, and both Joe and Ciaran were in positive mood for the days rallying ahead and Joe said just before leaving for the Langford Lodge stage
"We have done some work on the car this morning which hopefully will help us improve on yesterdays efforts. We have friends on the stages who are saying the car seems to be struggling for power compared to our rivals out of corners and on the uphill sections so hopefully it will be good today" The pair gained a place to climb to 11th in Class R2, on that stage and on the following Tardree recorded a time of 08:40.0 and hold 11th in class and 21st overall.

Another trip to Service back in Antrim then led to the visit to two new stages, the first one being Slieve Gallion where Joe and Ciaran recorded a time of 14:21.7 but it saw them drop to 24th overall, due to the car struggling for power on many of the uphill sections on this stage. Stage 10 was the crews first run over Lisnamuck, and on this stage they had a slight spin costing a few seconds, but also had a dog run out in front of them at high speed, which unnerved them for a while, but they returned to Antrim having climbed a place to 23rd and 10th in class.
Team Manager Willie Woods said at service
"Its been difficult for Joe and Ciaran, in that on the hard sections, the car is seemingly struggling for power, I mean there's no misfire or anything like that but you can see on the stages where its certainly costing time, but Derek and his boys are going to look at the car here now in service and see can we come up with a solution" Joe however was much more philosophical about it all and said
"Its really frustrating for myself and Ciaran as we are working so hard in the car, but we are enjoying the stages and the intricacy of them and the rally itself is really good, so theres a lot to be content about y'know" and laughed before adding "hey we might still catch Jussi Kumpumaki who's leading the class !!"

Stage 11 was another run over Langford Lodge where the crew improved on their previous run by 17 secs, and again on Stage 12 Tardree by 12 secs to maintain their class position in 10th and remain 21st overall.

A final visit to service for Joe and Ciaran saw the car checked over once again by the DJ Rally Hire team, with the mechanics trying to find the cause of the power loss that Joe and Ciaran were experiencing, and saw them check several areas of the car to try and get to the root of the issue. Ciaran said at service
"Its not easy to get to the bottom of, to be honest in that there is nothing physically broken on the car and we don't have a misfire or anything like that, but there is no doubt that the car is just not 100%. Derek's lads will sort it out, as they have done all year where they have been brilliant to Joe and I in all the rallies we have been on"

So with hopes high Joe and Ciaran headed off to the final two stages of the rally, and it was back to Slieve Gallion once again but early in the stage they picked up a puncture, which ended up costing them about three minutes and dropped them back down the leaderboard. The final stage of the 2011 Toddsleap Rally NI was a visit back to Lisnamuck and sadly for the crew the manifold broke on the stage, costing them even more time, and even causing them to stop on the stage at one point. Despite a couple of last minute dramas the determined crew reached the finish at the Service Area in Antrim in 21st overall and 10th in class.

At the Service Area, it was evident that the crew despite all the dramas that they had been through, were delighted to make it back with Ciaran saying
"Its been a hard event, it really has and coming off the last stage after the puncture and the manifold breaking we really did wonder if we would make it back down the Motorway to here. There were times in the last two days that we really wondered if we would get here, but we did and myself and Joe are delighted. We had fun in the car and a couple of moments we had a laugh about, and thats the way to go Rallying"

Joe added in Service as well
"Its been a hard, weird, enjoyable and testing event for us y'know, a real mixture of stuff and I am really pleased that Ciaran and I have made it here to the end, cos there were times when we really wondered if we would. The stages were really tough and testing for us, and Torr Head for me in the dark was something else too y'know, fantastic stage that was. Derek's guys have all worked really hard to get us here tonight, so I am pleased for them as well. Its good too for our sponsors in that they see we don't give up and will try right to the end to obtain a result for the team, they are just as much part of the team as Ciaran and I are"

Team Manger Willie Woods watched the pair drive back into Service and said
"Its been a really tough event, but then thats the hallmark of Ulster Rallies down the years. Its a short sharp compact event and you have to work very hard to get a result or a finish here, so its been a decent end to the event for us. Joe and Ciaran worked very well together, and had a bit of fun along the way and thats no bad thing"

Classic Fightback For Evans To Keep Title Hopes Alive

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:48 PM

Welshman Elfyn Evans kept his hopes of the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship alive with a sensational performance on round five of the series which comprised the Toddsleap International Rally of Northern Ireland.

Although he and Aberystwyth co driver Andrew Edwards had to eventually settle for a fifth place finish on the Antrim-based event in the TEG Sport Pirelli Shoot Out sponsored Subaru Impreza N15, it was a case of what might have been had the 22 year old from Dolgellau not dropped over two and a half minutes with a puncture on the very first stage.

It meant an uphill task for the crew but marked the start of a fantastic comeback drive which would end in Evans winning an amazing nine of the remaining 13 stages around the closed Ulster tarmac roads in his attempt to salvage vital championship points.

Fastest on both Glendun and Torr Heads stages on Friday evening, Evans had clawed his way up from 32nd place after SS1 to hold tenth at the overnight halt such was his pace to claim four stage wins.

Saturday saw Evans back on the pace although he dropped a little time on the opening two tests but still moved up to seventh position. However, on the final six stages, Evans set fastest time on five of them to secure sixth overall at the finish just over two minutes down on the winner. However, with winner Garry Jennings not being a registered BRC contender, it meant a top five placing for the Welsh crew and their Carnforth-based team.

The result sees Evans maintain second place in the 2011 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship going into next month's International Rally Yorkshire.

Elfyn Evans:
"I am happy with the result. After the puncture on SS1 and having to replace a turbo at second service, we are happy with our pace and fifth place points was the best we could achieve in the end. To set nine fastest stage times is very encouraging and all credit to the team for doing another great job."

Lynn Newby - TEG Sport Team Director:
"Elfyn drove a fantastic rally and had it not been for clipping a rock and getting the puncture on SS1 it would have been perfect. To be fastest on nine remaining stages was a wonderful achievement after losing so much time early on. The crew and the team have done a brilliant job once again and we are looking forward to the next round in Yorkshire whereby hopefully, Elfyn can take another victory to add to the International Rally of North Wales earlier this season."

Photos

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:41 PM

Round Up:

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:39 PM

ULSTER (WRC) RALLY - McNULTY LEAPS TO ULSTER WRC SUCCESS…

Tim McNulty and co driver Paul Kiely won the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster WRC Rally after a weekend long battle with 2010 winner Derek McGarrity.

McNulty, from Co Meath, initially held second place behind McGarrity through Friday and most of Saturday before edging into a 0.3 second lead on the eleventh test at Langford Lodge on the eastern edge of Lough Neagh.

On the next stage, both Subaru drivers stopped the clocks on 7:13.3 after 8.98 miles of the Tardree test and McNulty made his intentions clear on stage thirteen by crossing the line 18 seconds faster than McGarrity with one stage left to run before the Junction One finish.

McGarrity retaliated on the final stage, taking back 3 seconds from the Meath man but it wasn’t enough to prevent McNulty from taking his first Ulster victory, and the lead of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Armagh’s Darren Gass, fresh from a second victory in Lurgan Park a few weeks ago, slotted into third place ahead of Killarney winner Daragh O’Riordan with Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett in fifth.

Rally NI – Rally NI Success for Jennings & McCormack…

Fermanagh driver Garry Jennings, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, scored a start to finish win on Rally NI, a counting round of both the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Jennings was fastest on the first stage of the event as others hit trouble. Expected front runner Elfyn Evans suffered a puncture which relegated him to 32nd after stage one but started his fight back immediately two with fastest time on stage two. Elfyn would record a further eight fastest times in his Subaru during the two day event and would eventually haul himself back into sixth overall by Saturday afternoon.

Much was also expected of Carryduff’s Jonny Greer in the Skoda S2000 after his second place on the Jim Clark Rally in June. Set up problems, then transmission woes kept him out of the main battle for the lead, eventually finishing fifth overall.

Another driver expecting to figure well in the results was British Championship leader David Bogie.The Scotsman settled quickly into fourth overall, a position he retained right to the end despite rear suspension issues mid way through Saturday.

Meanwhile, at the top of the Rally NI leader board, Jennings held the upper hand over nearest rival Martin McCormack in his factory backed Citroen DS3R3. McCormack, from Draperstown, was at a grip disadvantage compared to Jennings in the wet and changeable conditions during Friday evening but when the grip levels improved he was able to record two fastest time during Saturday.

After 14 stages, Jennings, co driven by Letterkenny’s Rory Kennedy, crossed the finish ramp at Junction One with a lead of 17 seconds from McCormack and as Jennings is chasing Irish Championship points, McCormack becomes the first two wheel drive winner on a British Championship round since Mark Higgins in 2000.

Longford’s Tommy Doyle finished a fine third overall and second two wheel drive in his Renault Clio R3 ahead of Bogie, Greer and the recovering Elfyn Evans.

Ulster Historic Rally – Local Success for Dessie Nutt…

Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride took victory in Category 1 of the Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally. Nutt, from Castlerock, held an advantage of over 5 minutes in his yellow Porsche 911 from his nearest persuer, Rikki Proffitt, as the crews crossed the finish line on Saturday afternoon. 1977 Ulster Rally winner Derek Boyd, with daughter Roisin co driving, finished third in another Porsche 911 ahead of the little Mini Cooper S of Rory Tougher and Harry Armour.

In Category 2, David Stokes and Guy Weaver took the win in their MkI Escort RS1600 ahead of Millstreet’s Mark Falvey and Colin Moynihan with Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson making it a trio of Mk I Escorts on the podium.

In Category 3, last years winner, Manxman Connor Corkill, lost out toWelsh crew Tomas and Eurig Davies, both driving Mk II versions of the Escort with Rob Smith and Shaun O’Gorman in third in a Vauxhall Chevette HSR. The 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Historic entry also included a class for FIA Class Historic cars. Four cars entered the category with three time Ulster winner Jimmy McRae, with Pauline Gullick co driving, adding to his tally with the category win in the Porsche ahead of the Escort RS of John Keatley and Dean Beckett and husband and wife team, Ernie and Karen Graham in third.

Ulster Challenge Rally – Rowe Rules the Roost…

Jack Rowe and Alex Lee took back to back wins on the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Challenge Rally. The British Rally Championship feeder series joined in behind the main events and was a double header event – each day was treated as a separate event for points scoring.

Challenge Rally 1 run over the Friday afternoon and evening stages, including two runs in the dark through the classic Glendun and Torr Head stages.

The Citroen C2 of Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor held the initial advantage after the first run through Glendun, 10 seconds ahead of second placed Matt Edward and Sam Collis’s MG ZR with Rowe and Lee just 0.4 seconds behind in third in their Ford Fiesta.

The positions remained unchanged through the next test, Torr Head, but on the third stage - Knockboy, Rowe overhauled Edwards to slip into second with just 4 seconds now separating Rowe from the leading Citroen of Sykes. On the fourth test Sykes dropped 15 seconds to Rowe to hand the lead over and another fastest time for Rowe on the final stage of the day secured the top spot in preparation for day 2.

Challenge Rally 2 started of drier than the previous day and with just four stages on offer for the crews, all was to play for from the off. Richard Sykes started off like he did the previous day by posting the first fastest time. Richard Archer slotted into second with Rowe’s Fiesta in third.

Archer got into his stride on the second stage of the morning, the Corsa driver posting a time 10 seconds faster than Rowe with Sykes third fastest, but still maintaining his lead of the event. Stage three and Archer was again fastest from Rowe, but Sykes retired his Citroen from the lead with mechanical issues and then it all went wrong for new leader Archer on stage four. The Corsa ran wide onto the grass on a fast left hander and collected a tree, and as always the tree came out best and the Corsa went no further.

Jack Rowe arrived back at Antrim with another maximum points haul with the Clio Simon Moore and Emma Morrison in second place.

Ulster National Rally – Kirk Takes National Win…

Strabane Car Dealer Pat Kirk emerged as the winner of the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster National Rally after main rival, 2010 winner George Robinson, crashed out on stage 10.

Kirk, co driven by Peter Ward, had put his Mitsubishi Lancer at the top of the time sheets on the first test on Saturday morning, just 1.7 seconds faster than the Robinson Subaru. George retatilated on the next stage to take the lead by 10 seconds but Kirk was in determined mood, reducing the deficit by 2 seconds on the Slieve Gallion test before the fateful stage 10 where Robinson slipped off the road and out of the Rally.

This allowed top two wheel drive Escort MkII of Fintan McGrady into second overall ahead of the Sunbeam of Irish Modified Championship contender Geoffrey Dolan in third. However, trouble was to hit McGrady on the next stage - a loss of time dropping him back to fifth overall.

Another name making steady progress up the leader board was 17 year old Amy Cox. The Omagh lass had put her Escort G3 into the top ten after the second stage and would eventually finish a highly creditable 6th overall on her first attempt on the Ulster Rally.

Meanwhile, Kirk held off Dolan to take the win with Fintan McGrady hauling himself back up to third ahead of Ryan Loughran in fourth, Pete Gibson in fifth and Amy Cox in sixth.

Full Results

Posted: August 26, 2011 1:30 PM

Combined Ulster/Rally NI:
1 Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 46m 43s,
2 Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 46m 58s,
3 Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 48m 39s,
4 Daragh O’Riordan/Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 49m 48s,
5 Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 51m 27s,
6 Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Citroen DS3 R3T) 1h 51m 44s,
7 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC) 1h 53m 02s,
8 Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Clio R3) 1h 53m 03s,
9 David Bogie/Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 1h 53m 21s,
10 Jonny Greer/Dai Roberts (Skoda Fabia S2000) 1h 53m 27s.

DESI HENRY TOP C2 SEED ON ULSTER RALLY

Posted: August 17, 2011 7:06 PM

21 year old Portglenone driver Desi Henry is the top Citroen Racing Trophy seed on this weekend’s Ulster International Rally. Last year Desi claimed 17th overall, and third of the Irish C2 runners home, but this year he is aiming for even better. “I am certainly going to go for it, and I am out to try and win it” commented Desi. The opposition is stiff, the 1600cc Citroen C2 R2 Max running in the R2 class, which has twenty entries, including the top C2 UK and Irish crews, the Renault Twingo’s and Ford Fiesta’s. Desi currently leads the Citroen Racing Trophy UK, picking up top points on the Jim Clark and Pirelli rallies. The season started with two non finishes with mechanical problems on the opening Sunseeker and Bulldog forestry events. On the Pirelli Rally in the Carlisle forests, things were going really well until a roll cost him valuable time, but he still clocked up maximum points in the Citroen Racing Trophy. On the last round however, on the Scottish tarmac for the Jim Clark rally, everything worked together and Desi and co-driver John Rowan recorded a fabulous 10th overall finish and 3rd two wheel drive car home.

In preparation for the Ulster, Desi contested the Tipperary Stonethrowers rally two weeks ago, shaking down the car, and also getting used to a new co-driver, the highly experienced Crawford Henderson.
“John has been great, and very good in the co-driver seat, but with work commitments it’s difficult, so I have Crawford in the car at the moment. I am hoping to learn a bit from Crawford’s vast experience, and he’s plenty of experience in making pace-notes. You learn something from everybody, and I think I have improved my pace-notes already. Last Sunday we completed the recce for the Ulster. The stages look very good, fast and flowing which will be enjoyable to drive, and I feel we have made a good set of pace-notes, and more committed ones than we made for our first outing on the Stonethrowers.”
Desi is also part of Team C2 R2 Max, and along with Joe McGonigle, the two crews are joint second in the BRC Teams championship at present, behind the Autosport Technology Twingo’s. Indeed Desi plans to finish off the British series this season, with the Trackrod forestry rally in Yorkshire taking place in a month’s time, and the legendary Rally Isle of Man the final round in October.

Car R15, the PRH Construction/ Woodland Kitchens C2 R2 Max, will be one to watch out for this weekend, as the County Antrim crew tackles the fabulous County Antrim tests, with classics such as Torr Head, Glendun and Tardree on the rally route. It all kicks off in Antrim at 14.00 hours on Friday, with the service area based at the Junction One complex and the finish there at 17.50 on Saturday.

Rally Programmes:

Posted: August 17, 2011 8:03 AM

Details on:

McElhinney Leads Citroen Trophy Ireland Into Round Four in Ulster

Posted: August 17, 2011 7:54 AM

In the third round of the Citroen Racing Trophy Ireland in Donegal, it was Scott McElhinney who took a start to finish victory on his home round. Scott leads the series into the fourth of six rounds on the Ulster Rally, with the Wexford and the Cork 20 International the final rounds in the championship, but the Donegal town driver is a little pensive as he approaches the weekend.
“It’s my first time starting the Ulster from the Antrim base, so I haven’t the experience of those roads. It will be hard to know, and at this stage anyone can win the Trophy. We are only half way through the championship.” Adrian’s C2 R2 Max engine is just back from a rebuild in Oreca in France, having been down on power earlier in the season.
“I will have to see what’s happening on the first day and run the engine in a bit too. In Donegal we got away handy enough, but we will just have to wait and see this weekend.”

Second in the points race is Cork’s, Kieran Daly, winner of the opening West Cork round. Kieran took part in the Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally two weeks ago, finishing tenth overall, and a finish is a priority this weekend.
“We need a finish. The engine failure in Killarney means it’s important for us to score on all the rounds. I think if we can get a pace we a comfortable with, and go for a good end result, that’s the plan for weekend.”
English driver Joe Shrimpton is third in the standings. The former rally-crosser picked up useful points in West Cork and Killarney but Donegal wasn’t just as kind and he cannot be ruled out this weekend. Mark Sheahan took a fabulous second round win in Killarney, but an early excursion in West Cork and an off in Donegal whilst chasing Scott McElhinney make his points tally lower than it could have been. The Limerick driver also contested the Ulster last year, setting some good day two times after an engine misfire plagued him on day one. Fifth in the points Graham Colfer is a non starter on the Ulster, due to a lack of finances.

Donegal’s Joe McGonigle is sixth in the standings has been concentrating on the Citroen Racing Trophy UK mainly this season. On the Irish scene, a big roll on the opening West Cork round was followed by mechanical failure in Killarney but he scooped third placed points in Donegal. Desi Henry along with Joe is part of Team C2 R2 Max, which is contesting the teams section in the British Rally Championship. Desi hasn’t appeared on the Irish Trophy this season, but his last result in the UK; on the tarmac of the Jim Clark yielded 10th overall and 3rd of the two wheel drive crews. Desi has the experienced Crawford Henderson alongside him this weekend, and his car will be run by John McKillop.

Cookstown’s Samantha Thom will be is really looking forward to the Ulster in her DJ Motorsport C2 R2 Max. Her fourth place in Donegal was good reward for a good effort all weekend in her first season in the Citroen Trophy. Mayo’s David Carney picked up fourth in West Cork, and retired in Killarney, but not before being fastest C2 on the first Molls Gap stage. However he never really got off the mark in Donegal, eventually retiring with a broken drive-shaft, so it will be interesting to see if he can replicate those fast Killarney times this weekend.

For Dubliner Peter Barrable, it’s his first proper International Rally, having obtained all of the necessary signatures to enter the main Ulster International event. Peter set some good times in Donegal, before a costly puncture, and is rapidly improving as he learns more about rallying and his C2 R2 Max. The set up on the car shouldn’t be far away. His brother Robert, last season’s UK and Irish Citroen Trophy winner, borrowed the car back for the Stonethrowers Rally two weeks ago. A magnificent third overall proves that the C2 R2 Max is still very much a force to be reckoned with, with only a WRC Subaru and Group N Evo 9 finishing in front of it, and that Robert hasn’t lost his ability to drive the C2.

An added attraction will be the DS3 R3 of Marty McCormack. The Draperstown driver, seeded number six, leads the two wheel drive category in the British Rally Championship, and will face stiff opposition from the R3 Clio’s of Mark Donnelly and Tommy Doyle, not to mention the C2 R2 Max’s and the other competitive R2 runners. They include Estonian Siim Plangi, and Finn Mikko Pajunen in their Twingo’s.

The Ulster roads always provide high drama for the Citroen mounted crews. The varying nature of the classic stages will see the little 1600 pocket rockets bombing down the Glendun stage, and tackling the tortuous Torr Head test, and with the significant prize money up for grabs and the championship race continuing, expect face paced action from the Citroen Racing Trophy runners.

Also on a positive note championship co-coordinator Raymond Moore is working on plans for 2012. In the CRT UK plans are afoot for DS3 and C2 prizes. The Irish Trophy also looks set to cater once more for the C2 competitors, in what is the biggest prize fund available in Irish rallying.

Points before Round Four- Ulster Rally
1 Scott McElhinney 22pts
2 Kieran Daly 18
3 Joe Shrimpton 12
4 Mark Sheahan 10
5 Graham Colfer 8

McGARRITY/McKEE LEAD THE ULSTER AWAY…

Posted: August 15, 2011 6:42 PM

With just a few days to go to the start of the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally, the top challengers are making their final preparations for the motorsport weekend, beginning on Friday the 19th August.

2010 winner Derek McGarrity leads the Todds Leap Ulster Rally away from Courthouse Square in Antrim’s Town Centre at 2pm on Friday afternoon. McGarrity, with co driver James McKee, heads an assortment of Subaru Impreza’s in the World Rally Car section which includes the leading Irish Tarmac Rally Championship contenders.

Donegal winner Tim McNulty starts at number two ahead of Cork’s Daragh O’Riordan, who claimed his maiden International win this year in Killarney.
Armagh’s Darren Gass, fresh from his second win on the recent Lurgan Park Rally starts at four ahead of the current Tarmac Championship leader Kevin Barrett.

Former NI Rally Champion Connor McCloskey had been assigned the sixth place on the starters list, but essential parts for his Subaru will not be delivered in time and he has had to withdraw his entry.

Next up is Rally NI, which hosts the front runners in the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship. Scotsman David Bogie tops the entry list and heads the series with three wins out of four so far this season and will be confident in his tarmac form after the recent Jim Clark Rally win. Carryduff’s Jonny Greer will start just behind Bogie. The Skoda Fabia driver has recorded two fourth’s, a third and a second so far this season and he may well have his best chance to complete the chain after seeing both his championship rivals claim victory on their own home events so far this year.

Leading Irish Group N contenders Garry Jennings and Alan Ring are next up ahead of top two wheel drive contenders Martin McCormack, in his factory backed Citroen DS3, Mark Donnelly and Tommy Doyle in a pair of Renault Clio R3’s with Sam Moffitt and Alan Carmichael in Mitsubishi Lancers rounding out the top ten Rally NI contenders.

The Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally is next up with a fine selection of over 50 contenders, and cars, fighting for the Dunlop/Wanago British Historic title.
Isle of Man driver Connor Corkill, winner of the inaugural Historic event in 2010, leads the crews out to the North Antrim Stages in his Escort RS1800. He will be expecting stiff opposition from fellow Ford drivers Will Onions and David Stokes at two and three with Cookstown’s Keith McIvor leading the local challenge in his Porsche 911 at number four.

Top Belgian Historic crew Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard are seeded at five and sixth seed Rob Smith brings his Vauxhall Chevette back to Antrim after loving his first visit in 2010. Ernie and Karen Graham slot in to the seventh spot in another Escort RS ahead of three time Ulster Rally winner Jimmy McRae in a Tuthill built Porsche 911. Tim Pearcey and Rupert Lomax round out the Ulster Historic top ten.

The Todds Leap Ulster Challenge Rally, which runs in parallel with the British Rally Championship, follows the Historic event with Richard Archer topping the list in his Opel Corsa Kit Car ahead of Simon Moore in a Renault Clio and Richard Sykes in a Citroen C2.

The Todds Leap Ulster National Rally joins the fray on Saturday morning with 2010 winner George Robinson leading the way. Top NI two wheel drive contender Fintan McGrady starts at two ahead of Alastair Cochrane, both driving highy competive MkII Escorts. Leading Irish Tarmac Modified Championship contender Geoffrey Dolan fits in at number four ahead of Strabane’s Pat Kirk and Markethill’s Winston Henry.

A new feature of the event this year is the Rally Information Hub which will be located in a marquee at the Junction One Shopping Centre.

The Hub will provide all the latest news and driver interviews, with live results and video footage displayed during Friday and Saturday. Rally fans and autograph hunters will also get the opportunity to get up close for a chat and photo with their rally heroes.

Rally Programmes, which include full entry lists, Stage maps and Rally schedules, are now available to purchase at 44 selected locations throughout the province and the event will receive ‘on the hour’ updates on Downtown/CoolFm, courtesy of Carsport Magazine.
Brian and Liz Patterson will again be providing their usual topical and entertaining Rally Bulletins throughout the weekend and live results and stage times can be found on the event website, www.ulsterrally.com, as well as the complete list of Rally programme outlets.

The action kicks off from Courthouse Square, Antrim on Friday 19th August at 1.30pm, with cars returning to the Junction One Service Park and the Rally Information Hub throughout the weekend.

The Official finish in Junction One is scheduled for 3pm (Historic Rally) and 5.45pm (International Rally) on Saturday 20th August.

Further information is available from the event website

Todds Leap Ulster Rally - Top Entries:

Posted: August 15, 2011 6:36 PM

Ulster (WRC) Rally
W1 Derek McGarrity / James Mc Kee Subaru Impreza WRC
W2 Tim McNulty / Paul Kiely Subaru Impreza WRC
W3 Daragh O'Riordan / Tony McDaid Subaru Impreza WRC
W4 Darren Gass / Enda Sherry Subaru Impreza WRC
W5 Kevin Barrett / Sean Mullally Subaru Impreza WRC

Rally NI
R1 David Bogie / Kevin Rae Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9
R2 Jonathan Greer / Dai Roberts Skoda Fabia S2000
R3 Elfyn Evans / Andrew Edwards Subaru Impreza N15
R4 Garry Jennings / Rory Kennedy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9
R5 Alan Ring / Adrian Deasy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9
R6 Martin McCormack / David Moynihan Citroën DS3 R3
R7 Mark Donnelly / Barry Mc Nulty Renault Clio R3
R8 Tommy Doyle / Liam Moynihan Renault Clio R3
R9 Sam Moffett / James O Reilly Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
9 R10 Alan Carmichael / Ivor Lamont Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10

Ulster Historic Rally
H1 Connor Corkill / Mark Perryman Ford Escort RS1800
H2 Will Onions / Dave Williams Ford Escort RS
H3 David Stokes / Guy Weaver Ford Escort RS1600
H4 Keith McIvor / David Burns Porsche 911
H5 Stefaan Stouf / Joris Erard Ford Escort RS1600
H6 Rob Smith / Shaun O'Gorman Vauxhall Chevette
H7 Ernie Graham / Karen Graham Ford Escort RS
H8 Jimmy McRae / Pauline Gullick Porsche 911
H9 Tim Pearcey / Neil Shanks Ford Escort RS1800
H10 Rupert Lomax / David Alcock Ford Escort

Ulster Challenge Rally
C1 Richard Archer / John Connor Opel Corsa
C2 Simon Moore / Emma Morrison Renault Clio
C3 Richard Sykes / Simon Taylor Citroen C2R2 Max
C4 Matt Edwards / Sam Collis MG ZR 586
C5 Jack Rowe / Alex Lee Fiesta R2
C6 Phil Scholes / Bradley Johnson Ford Fiesta
C7 Alex Parpottas / Chris davies Ford Fiesta
C8 Jamie Brown / Craig Burgess Ford Fiesta ST
C9 Tony Simpson / Stefan Arndt Ford Fiesta
C10 Kevin Vondy / Nicholas Kaighin Vauxhall Corsa

Ulster National Rally
M1 George Robinson / Tommy Speers Subaru Impreza WRC
M2 Fintan McGrady / Mark Hanna Ford Escort MkII
M3 Alastair Cochrane / Gary McElhinney Ford Escort
M4 Geoffrey Dolan / Connor Murphy Talbot Sunbeam
M5 Pat Kirk / Peter Ward Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9
M6 Winston Henry / Robert Harold Ford Escort RS1800
M7 Paddy McVeigh / Stephen O'Hanlon Subaru Impreza N12B
M8 Niall Henry / Paul Hughes Subaru Impreza N12
M9 Ian Millar / Ronan O'Neill Ford Escort
M10 Dominic Carson / Billy Regan Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9

Irish Tarmac Championship Tussle Continues At Ulster Rally!

Posted: August 12, 2011 9:36 PM

The Irish Tarmac Rally Championship blasts back into action on 19/20 August with the Todds Leap Ulster Rally!

The Antrim based event marks the penultimate round of Ireland's most prestigious rally series, and it could prove pivotal in the tussle for the Irish Tarmac Championship crown.

Four drivers are separated by just 10 points in the Championship tables, and with 16 points awarded for a victory, it is anyone's game.

Seeded first on the road, Derek McGarrity is not among the Championship title contenders. Having retired from the opening round of the series, he went on to win round two, the Circuit of Ireland Rally. That has been the former champion's only points haul to date, after he decided not to contest round three and retired from round four, the Donegal International Rally.

As a result, McGarrity's 2011 title challenge has faded but that won't deter him from focussing on a second successive Ulster Rally victory. With James McKee co-driving, they will be concentrating on staying at the front of the pack in their Subaru Impreza WRC.

Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely are seeded second, and they also hold second position in the Irish Tarmac Championship standings. The Impreza WRC crew have two wins behind their belts this season, and are only two points behind Championship leaders, Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally.

Barrett is renowned for his consistency, and has scored on three out of the four rounds this year. Engine troubles resulted in his retirement from round three, the Killarney Rally of the Lakes, and although he is seeded at number five this Ulster Rally weekend, he could be a dark horse to extend his Championship lead.

So too could number three seeds, Daragh O'Riordan and Tony McDaid. Also in an Impreza WRC, they secured their maiden Tarmac series victory just a few months ago in Killarney. Confidence is building as every event passes, and with just six points standing between them and the Championship leaders, O'Riordan will be striving to add victory number two to his résumé.

Two non-championship competitors complete the World Rally Car entries for the event, with Darren Gass and Enda Sherry starting at number four in their Impreza WRC. They will be joined by former Northern Ireland Champions, Connor McCloskey and Francis Regan, also in an Impreza WRC.

In the production category, Alan Ring and Adrian Deasy will be hoping to build on their success to date. They currently hold fourth in the overall Championship standings, 10 points behind leader Kevin Barrett, as well as the outright Group N lead.

Ring's Championship Group N rivals during the Ulster Rally will include former works driver, Garry Jennings, as well as Sam Moffett, Liam Egan and Willie Mavitty.

The battle for the Modified Trophy will also continue in Ulster's lanes, with current leader, Geoffrey Dolan, hoping to maintain his Championship advantage.

The event is a counting round of the Irish Tarmac Historic Championship, and the historic, post-historic and classic categories have also received stunning entries.

Competitors will leave service at Antrim's Junction One on the Friday at 1.35pm, before crossing the Barbican Gate start ramp at approximately 2.00pm. Crews will return to Junction One for service for the duration of the event, which will feature 14 stages over the course of two days. The winners will be crowned on Saturday afternoon.

Marty's Big Breakfast - (Fri) 19 Aug 11

Posted: August 12, 2011 7:45 PM

Would you like to ask Marty & David some questions on preparations for their home round of the British Rally Championship?
Would you like to see the new BRC class leading Citroen DS3 before it hits the stages of the Ulster Rally?
Would you like to meet Sainteloc, the Trophee Andros winning French team who prepare and run the car?
Would you like to come along for a coffee & a croissant?

If so, please join us at the Termoneeny Community Centre (www.termoneeny.com) on Friday, 19th August at 8.45 for a 9.00am start.

For more details email: caroline@mccormackdrilling.com

Countdown to BRC Ulster encounter

Posted: August 12, 2011 12:30 PM

After a 12-week summer break, the clock is now counting down for the fifth round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship: the Todds Leap Ulster Rally. The international element of the event, which is now called Rally NI, takes place on Friday and Saturday 19 & 20 August and represents the second of the British Championship’s three asphalt rallies this season.

The annual visit to Northern Ireland by Britain’s premier series is well and truly etched into the calendar. It holds lots of memories – both good and not so good - for lots of crews and, over the years, has often become a turning point for the fortunes of many.

So far this season, the man most fortunate is current Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship leader David Bogie who, together with co-driver and fellow Scot Kevin Rae, has taken his Mitsubishi Lancer to three wins out of the four rounds so far and finished second on the other. And, whilst two of these victories were on gravel, the third was on tarmac, which goes to prove that the canny 24-year old from Dumfries is a force to be reckoned with whatever the surface.

Currently second in the championship and just 12 points behind is Elfyn Evans. After winning the Pirelli Star Driver Award at the end of 2010, the young Welshman is this year campaigning the bright red, Pirelli-liveried Subaru Impreza. He has already shown that he is a worthy winner of this coveted prize by scoring two-fourths, a third and his very first outright BRC victory on his home event, the Bulldog Rally of North Wales.

However, there is no doubt that the leading pair will come under intense pressure this weekend from those who regard the Ulster Rally as their home event. One such driver is Carryduff’s Jonny Greer, who currently lies third and, with only four points separating him from Evans, he’ll be ready to pounce given half the chance.

Indeed, Greer is well and truly on course for his first win: two fourths, a third and then a second on the Jim Clark Rally – the Championship’s first asphalt event of the season – means that he is now up to speed in his S2000 Škoda Fabia. He and co-driver Dai Roberts have only one step to go to make it to the top of the podium and that opportunity may well present itself in Ulster.

And, whilst Scotland, Wales and Ireland are represented by the leading trio of drivers, English honour is upheld by fourth-placed Adam Gould. A fourth and two third-places so far this season means that he is 15 points behind Greer but unfortunately, the Subaru driver and his co-driver Seb Marshall are not able to compete this time round whilst they re-assess their budget for the remainder of the season.

Another English Subaru driver follows in fifth: Tom Clark, who is honing his skills at an alarming rate, bearing in mind he only turned 18 in May! However, he won his class in Ulster last year, so he and co-driver Alistair Wylie are no strangers to this event.

Next in the overall standings – just one point behind Clark - is another competitor from Northern Ireland. Driving a factory-supported Citroën DS3, Marty McCormack from Draperstown and co-driver David Moynihan from Cork are not only sixth in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship standings overall, but also lead the fiercely contested Formula 2 category for two-wheel drive R1, R2 and R3 cars.

They make no secret of the fact that, while they are eager to win the F2 title, they are out to record a podium finish on home asphalt. And, if previous form is anything to go by, they may well spring a surprise on their four-wheel-drive rivals.

The Todds Leap Rally NI features a total competitive distance of 127 miles, with the rally HQ and service park located at Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre on the northern side of Antrim. The first car leaves the start at Barbican Gate in the town centre at 13.35 on Friday afternoon and, after the initial leg of six stages, returns for the overnight halt at 22.50. Leg two on Saturday gets underway at 06.40 and sees a further eight stages before crews cross the finish line at 17.50.

Provisional Top 10

Posted: August 12, 2011 12:13 PM

Ulster (WRC)

  1. Derek McGarrity/James McKee (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  2. Tim McNulty/Paul Kiely (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  3. Daragh O'Riordan /Tony McDaid (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  4. Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  5. Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Subaru Impreza WRC)
  6. Conor McClusky/TBA (Subaru Impreza WRC)
Rally of Northern Ireland
  1. David Bogie /Kevin Rae (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
  2. Jonathan Greer/Dai Roberts (Skoda Fabia S2000)
  3. Elfyn Evans/Andrew Edwards (Subaru Impreza N15)
  4. Garry Jennings/Rory Kennedy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
  5. Alan Ring /Adrian Deasy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
  6. Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Citroen DS3 R3)
  7. Mark Donnelly/Barry McNulty (Renault Cilo R3)
  8. Tommy Doyle/Liam Moynihan (Renault Cilo R3)
  9. Sam Moffett/James O Reilly (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
  10. Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)

BHRC preview, round five: Ulster Historic Rally

Posted: August 11, 2011 3:17 PM

After rave reviews for the 2010 event, contenders in the Dunlop/Wonago MSA British Historic Rally Championship return to the Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally (19/20 August) for round five of the championship.
The event marks the start of the asphalt element of the championship and comes after four gravel rallies in and a strong BHRC contingent is within the 48-strong historic event for the Antrim-based rally.

Category One
Starting the event proudly at the head of the overall title race is the Category 1 Porsche 911 of Rikki Proffitt and Phill Harrison. Proffitt has had his best ever season so far, but is surprised to be leading the championship by the significant margin of 16 points. Proffitt has been consistently quick across the four gravel rallies to date, but knows that the Ulster Rally will be one of his toughest challenges as he goes up against two local aces. Former champions Dessie Nutt and Geraldine McBride have endured a troubled start to the season with their Porsche 911, but will surely be bang on the pace on their home rally.
Equally, local legend and former Ulster Rally winner Derek Boyd and his daughter Roisin will be strong in their 911.
Elsewhere in Category 1, for the pre ’68 cars, the Lotus Cortina of Paul Mankin and Peter Scott is overdue a strong run after being plagued by misfires, while brothers John and Stephen Moxon take their Volvo Amazon to Ulster for the first time after competing on the Isle of Man every year for three decades. At the bottom of the engine size ranks is the rapid Sunbeam Imp Sport of Geoff Taylor and Steve Greenhill.

Category Two
A non-finish after a driveshaft failed on the Severn Valley Stages has dented the title bid of reigning champions David Stokes and Guy Weaver in their Category 2 Ford Escort Mk1, but they know that a strong run this weekend will shoot them right back into contention. The big rivals to Stokes are Belgians Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard and Rupert Lomax/Dave Alcock in their similar Escorts. Stouf and Erard don’t have benefit of a year’s experience on this rally, but they are very quick on asphalt and should push Stokes hard, while the ever-spectacular Lomax is another strong contender. Chris Browne and Liz Jordan are another quick pairing in class C5, while local crew Keith McIvor and David Burns will surely be bang on the pace in their class C4 Porsche 911.
In class C3, for the Pinto-engined Ford Escorts, it is Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson should set the pace as they return to the BHRC after recent rallying trips to Barbados and Sweden. Ian Drummond and Yvonne Coppin offer opposition in their Escort Mk1, along with England-based Ulsterman Philip Wylie, who is partnered by seasoned co-driver Howard Pridmore in another Escort Mk1. Lining up to challenge the Escort domination of class C3 is the increasingly rapid Porsche 914 of Welsh crew Richard Morgan and Tim Madeley, who went to Ulster last year and loved the whole experience. In class C2, for the 1600cc cars, youngsters David Kirby and Ben Friend head the entry.

Category Three
Category 3 is for the cars from 1975 to 1981 is dominated by the Ford Escort Mk2s. Top of the pack and challenging for the overall BHRC title are Will Onions and David Williams, who had a superb run a year ago on their first visit to Ulster. A good weekend this time could really set Onions up for an overall title bid over the second half of the season and with an extra half set of points to be won in Ulster, it is all to play for.
But Onions has a gaggle of rivals, including 2010 Ulster Historic Rally winner Connor Corkill who is partnered by Mark Perryman in his Escort Mk2. Having sat out the first half of the season due to university studies, Corkill is now eager to go rallying again and should be a major force. Another big rival to Onions is his good mate Rob Smith, partnered as usual by Shaun O’Gorman in his Vauxhall Chevette. Like Onions, Smith had precious little asphalt experience when he went to Ulster a year ago, but he loved the event and goes back this time as a strong contender.
More rapid Escort Mk2s are entered for Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks, Roger Kilty/Lynette Banks, Alan Walker/Jez Rogers, James Slaughter/Geoff Dearing and Nick Woodman/Simon Mills, while a couple of very rapid Porsche 911s add to the depth of quality of the Category 3 field. Jimmy McRae, a former winner of the Ulster Rally, needs little introduction as one of the most successful and experienced competitors in British rallying. Although he’s a bit light on recent asphalt experience, Jimmy is a true legend of the sport and, partnered by Pauline Gullick, will be a key contender in both the overall rally and the Tuthill Porsche Challenge.
Also Porsche 911-mounted will be Manxman Adrian Kermode with local co-driver Maurice Beckett and they could rival the very best of the Escorts, while the superb Opel Ascona 400 of Steve Magson and Geoff Atkinson is also showing excellent pace this season and adds to the glorious variety of Category 3. That variety takes in the raucous Mazda RX7 of Jake Scannell and Adrian Stevens, which will make its asphalt rallying debut.
Away from the top two classes of Category 3, in class D3 it is Graham Waite and Gill Cotton to the fore in their ex-Magson Opel Ascona. They usually run Waite’s Volvo Amazon in Category 1 and fly on the gravel events. But the big Volvo is not ideal for asphalt evens so they have switched to the Opel for this rally.

The Ulster Historic Rally is organised by the Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd. For more details about the event, please visit the website at: ulsterrally.com The historic rally starts from Antrim on Friday afternoon (19 August) and finishes on Saturday afternoon.

ULSTER RALLY MOVES UP A GEAR…

Posted: August 7, 2011 8:18 PM

With entries now closed for the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally, the pace of the preparations now move up a gear as the contenders for each of the five events included in the August 19th /20th motorsport weekend take shape.

Just over 140 crews applied to secure their place in the starting list, and Rally fans are again in for a treat, with a rich variety of machinery vying for the podium positions come Saturday afternoon.

Leading the cars away from the Antrim Town Centre start on Friday afternoon will be the modern rally supercars as the battle resumes for the lead of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship . No less than six Subaru Impreza WRC cars line up for the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster WRC Rally.

Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett currently holds the upper hand in the Irish Tarmac series ahead of Donegal winner Tim McNulty. Just two points separate the two with third placed Daragh O’Riordan still in the hunt after scoring his maiden International win on this years Killarney Rally of the Lakes.
2010 Ulster WRC Rally winner Derek McGarrity will be keen to add to this years Circuit of Ireland victory by trying for an Ulster double while Armagh’s Darren Gass, fresh from two wins on the trot in Lurgan Park, will be looking to continue his current good form. Add 2008 Northern Ireland Rally Champion Connor McCloskey to the mix in a recently aquired S12 Impreza and the action on the Ulster WRC Rally is sure to be fast and furious.

Todds Leap Rally NI, featuring the competitors from the Dulux Trade British Rally Championship and Irish Tarmac Championship, slots in behind the WRC cars and will also include some strong local interest.
Jonny Greer comes to Antrim on the back of a gradually improving BRC season so far in the Skoda Fabia S2000. On the cars debut on the Sunseeker Rally back in February, Jonny finished sixth overall and followed that up with fourth on the Bulldog, third on the Pirelli International and second overall on the Jim Clark Memorial. The pressure will be on the Carryduff driver to complete the chain and claim the top podium spot on home ground at the Junction One finish.

British Championship leader David Bogie, and second placed Elfyn Evans, will be among a number of drivers intent on keeping Greer off the top step while some of the Irish Group N drivers like Alan Ring and Garry Jennings could also upset the form book in their Mitsubishi Lancers.

Draperstown’s Marty McCormack (pictured above) brings his factory backed Citroen DS3 to Ulster as the BRC two wheel drive leader and will be expecting strong opposition for the category win from the Renault Clio R3’s of Tommy Doyle and Mark Donnelly.

Another Donnelly to feature on the Rally NI entry list is Eugene Donnelly. Eugene scored three Ulster Rally wins in 2005, 2006 and 2009 but finds himself in the opposite side of the car this year as co driver for New York driver Liam Egan in a Subaru Impreza N12.

The Citroen Racing Trophy UK & Ireland series get their first chance to get together this season and ten of the C2R2’s are included in the entry with Desi Henry, Joseph McGonigle and Scott McElhinney expected to set the pace.

Add in the latest European young drivers, including the two car Renault Twingo entries for Finland’s Mikko Pajunen and Estonian Slim Plingi and the leading Ford Fiesta Sporting Trophy contender , Jussi Kumpumaki, again from Finland, Rally NI lives up to it’s International status.

The Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally provides a ‘blast from the past’ with the leading contenders from the Dunlop/WONAGO British Historic Rally Championship making a welcome return to the province.

Last years Ulster Historic Rally winner, Connor Corkill, will be keen to get the better of rival David Stokes after losing out to the veteran driver on the recent Harry Flatters Rally in Mid-Wales. Also enjoying a good run in Wales was Bangor driver Dessie Nutt. The 2009 British Historic Champion, with co driver Geraldine McBride, was third overall on the event which provided the ideal warmup for the Ulster Historic Rally.

However, the 2011 Historic Rally line up contains a gaggle of other drivers capable of taking the overall win, including Ernie Graham, Belguim’s Stefaan Stouf, Will Onions and Rob Smith. Cookstown driver Keith McIvor is one of the leading Porsche contenders, with 12 examples included in the entry, including Jimmy McRae. Many will be keeping an eye on the progress of the Scottish Rally legend who has already chalked up three wins on the Ulster Rally, his first coming in 1981 in an Opel Ascona, with win number two in 1986 in a Metro 6R4 and again in 1988 in a Ford Sierra Cosworth.
Can Jimmy add another surprise win to his tally to equal the four victories held by the late Bertie Fisher?

Local Historic interest also includes past NI Rally Champion Stephen Mawhinney in a Sunbeam Lotus, Gary Owens, John Keatley, Derek Boyd, Reggie Britton, Raymond Johnston and Andy Johnston.

In the Todds Leap Ulster National Rally, George Robinson returns to defend his 2010 win with opposition expected from Pat Kirk, Niall Henry and Paddy McVeigh. Leading Irish Tarmac Modified Championship contender Geoffrey Dolan can expect stiff competition from Alistair Cochrane, Fintan McGrady, Ian Miller and Winston Henry for two wheel drive honours on the Saturday only event.

Other notable National entries include Omagh lass Amy Cox. The teenager made her rally debut in 2010 shortly after passing her driving test and was celebrating recently after scoring a class win on the Circuit of Ireland.

Last but not least is the Todds Leap Ulster Challenge Rally which runs in conjunction with the main British Rally Championship.
Richard Archer will be among the leading contenders on the event in his Opel Corsa Kit car with opposition expected to come from the Citroen C2 of Richard Sykes and the Renault Clio of Simon Moore..

The Todds Leap Ulster Rally kicks off from Courthouse Square, Antrim on Friday 19th August at 1.30pm, with cars returning to the Junction One Service Park throughout the weekend.

The Official finish in Junction One is scheduled for 3pm (Historic Rally) and 5.45pm (International Rally) on Saturday 20th August.

The event includes 14 special stages and 7 visits to the Central Service Park based at Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre, Antrim.

More Details:

Entries Received

Posted: August 7, 2011 8:16 PM

Available at:

Todds Leap Ulster Rally Guide 2 online...Entries still available...

Posted: August 2, 2011 2:24 PM

Rally Guide 2 is now available to download for Rally NI, Ulster (WRC), Ulster Historic, Ulster Challenge and Ulster National Rallies.

Rally Guide 2 can be viewed/downloaded from the Rally Website.

Entries still available at the standard entry fee...

Even though we have received nearly 140 entries so far, places are still available for all five events in the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally.

The event organisers will not apply the late entry fee for anyone still wishing to secure a place on the entry list provided that the entry is made using the online entry system before the final closing point at 17:00 hrs on Wednesday 3rd August.

The Online Entry System and Event Regulations are available on the 'Competitor Page' on the event website and competitors have a choice 5 events:

Ulster Rally Early Entry Date Fast Approaching...

Posted: July 25, 2011 11:45 PM

Competitors are reminded that the early closing date for entries for the Ulster Rally & Rally NI is Wednesday 27th July.

TODDS LEAP Ulster Rally, incorporating Rally NI, will be held on the 19/20 August and will host the premier UK & Irish Rally Championships including the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Dunlop/Wonago MSA British Historic Championship and the BRC Challenge.

To avoid the 'late entry fee', your place on the entry list can be quickly secured using the Online Entry System which will again be available as an option for all 5 events and competitors are urged to make use of the system which will greatly streamline and speed up the process.

The Online Entry System, event Regulations and Entry Forms are available on the competitor page at the rally website and competitors have a choice 5 events:

McRae to make Tuthill Porsche Challenge return in Northern Ireland

Posted: July 16, 2011 10:58 PM

Jimmy McRae will return to the Tuthill Porsche Challenge when he contests the Toddsleap Ulster Historic Rally in August.

McRae, who was victorious on his Tuthill Porsche Challenge debut on April’s Pirelli Historic Rally, will be a favourite for victory in the new-for-2011 category, which supports five rounds of the Dunlop/WONAGO.com MSA British Historic Rally Championship. The Ulster Historic Rally marks the only asphalt event of the Tuthill Porsche Challenge season.

The five-time British rally champion, 67, has won the modern section of the Ulster Rally on two previous occasions, triumphing in 1981 and 1986. He also won the historic section of the Killarney Rally, driving a Tuthill Porsche. He said:
“Competing on the asphalt of Ireland is always a huge challenge, but it’s a place that holds some great memories for me. In a Porsche you benefit from better traction on the slippery asphalt, but you have to watch yourself over all the bumps. Having said that, it’s been a while since I’ve driven a proper asphalt rally, so I’m sure there’ll be a bit of catching up to do. I’m really looking forward to it though and it's great to be back behind the wheel of a Tuthill Porsche 911 again.”

McRae, from Lanarkshire in Scotland, will once again drive in the Tuthill Porsche Challenge under the JLT Rally Team banner, this time deputising for John Lloyd. He last drove for the team in April on the Pirelli Historic Rally in place of regular driver, Andrew Barnes.

Richard Tuthill, the Challenge founder, said he was delighted that McRae would be making a second appearance in the series at the wheel of one of the identical Francis Tuthill-prepared Challenge-specification 3.0-litre 911s.

“It’s another great boost to the Challenge to have a driver of Jimmy’s calibre back in one of our cars alongside our regular competitors,” said Richard Tuthill. “We’ve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Jimmy and he showed on the Pirelli Historic Rally in April that he’s still got plenty to offer behind the wheel of historic Porsches. Not only is Jimmy a force on gravel but he’s a force on asphalt too so we can’t wait to see how he performs on the only Tarmac round of the Tuthill Porsche Challenge.”

Before his appearance on the Ulster Historic Rally, McRae is taking part in the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival from July 14-26 aboard a Tuthill Porsche-prepared 911.

The Ulster Historic Rally is based on closed-public roads around the town of Antrim north east of Belfast and begins with a ceremonial start at 1420hrs on Friday August 19. Leg one features six all-asphalt stages with a further six taking place on leg two, Saturday August 20. The first car is due to cross the finishing ramp in Antrim at 1500hrs on Saturday.

Jimmy McRae to make Historic Ulster return with Tuthill Porsche Challenge…

Posted: July 13, 2011 3:47 PM

Scottish Rally legend Jimmy McRae will make a welcome return to Antrim in August when he tackles the Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally in a Tuthill built Porsche 911.

McRae, from Lanarkshire in Scotland, was victorious on his Porsche Challenge debut on April’s Pirelli Historic Rally and will again be a favourite for victory on the Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally, a counting round of the Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the Tuthill Porsche Challenge.

The five-time British, and twice Irish Rally Champion first made his mark on the Ulster Rally in 1979, finishing second to Finnish team mate Pentti Airikkala in a Chevette HS and contributing to a notable first ever one-two for Vauxhall on an international event.

Jimmy’s first Ulster win in 1981, driving the Opel Ascona 400, set him on course for a unique double, winning both the British Open and the Irish Tarmac Championship in one year. Staying with Vauxhall/Opel for the next few seasons, and moving up to the Manta 400, Jimmy was always in the thick of the Ulster Rally action, battling with the similar works cars of Russell Brookes and Fermanagh’s Bertie Fisher against the new breed of four wheel drive supercars.

Jimmy had to wait to 1986 to get his hands on a supercar of his own and delivered Ulster victory number two at the wheel of the fearsome Rothmans backed Metro 6R4 and a change to the rear wheel drive turbo Ford Sierra Cosworth brought the tally of victories to three in 1988.

Commenting on his return to the Antrim based event, Jimmy said;
“Competing on the asphalt of Ireland is always a huge challenge, but it’s a place that holds some great memories for me. In a Porsche you benefit from better traction on the slippery asphalt, but you have to watch yourself over all the bumps. Having said that, it’s been a while since I’ve driven a proper asphalt rally, so I’m sure there’ll be a bit of catching up to do. I’m really looking forward to it though and it's great to be back behind the wheel of a Tuthill Porsche 911 again.”

Richard Tuthill, the Challenge founder, said he was delighted that McRae would be making a second appearance in the series at the wheel of one of the identical Francis Tuthill-prepared Challenge-specification 3.0-litre 911s.

“It’s another great boost to the Challenge to have a driver of Jimmy’s calibre back in one of our cars alongside our regular competitors,” said Richard Tuthill. “We’ve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Jimmy and he showed on the Pirelli Historic Rally in April that he’s still got plenty to offer behind the wheel of historic Porsches. Not only is Jimmy a force on gravel but he’s a force on asphalt too so we can’t wait to see how he performs on the only Tarmac round of the Tuthill Porsche Challenge.”

Before his appearance on the Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally, McRae will take part in the Barbados Historic Rally Carnival from July 14-26 aboard a Tuthill Porsche-prepared 911.

Backed by Antrim Borough Council, Junction One, title sponsor Todds Leap and NITB, the award winning two day Ulster Rally will feature a five race line-up including Rally NI, the Ulster (WRC) Rally, the Ulster Historic Rally, and the Ulster Challenge and the Ulster National Rally.

The Todds Leap Ulster Rally encompasses127 competitive miles, 300 road miles and 14 stages in the Antrim and Mid-Ulster regions. Set to kick off at lunchtime on Friday 19th August with a ceremonial start at Courthouse Square in Antrim, the rally finishes at Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre on Saturday 20th August.

Originally held in the Antrim area in 1976 when the inaugural Ulster Rally took place, the international event returns to the region for a third time after last year’s successful event which was voted Best British International Rally for the second consecutive year. Rally HQ will be based at the Holiday Inn Express at Junction One and the event’s Central Service Park will be located in a section of the outlet shopping complex’s extensive car parks. Organisers expect 300 drivers and co-drivers, supported by over 600 service crew, to be competing in up to 150 rally cars over the two day period.

The 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally is a counting round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Tuthill Porsche Challenge 2011, Citroen Racing Trophy UK & Ireland, the Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy UK & Ireland, the Suzuki Swift Cup and the BRC Challenge including the Fiesta Sport Challenge and the Super 1000 Rally Series.

In 2010 the event attracted nearly 27,000 spectators, visitors, officials, and competitors from Ireland, the UK and further afield and generated over £2 million for the local economy. It’s also set to be broadcast on local TV, nationally and on global networks reaching an estimated audience of 30,000 on Rally Week-end.

Regulations / Entry Form available for all Sections.

Posted: July 4, 2011 11:28 AM

Hot on the heels of the Official Press Launch comes the confirmation that the entries are now open for the award winning Todds Leap Ulster Rally on 19/20 August.

The event Regulations and Entry Forms can now be downloaded from the competitor page on the event website and competitors have a choice of up to 5 events, detailed below, in which to enter:

Todds Leap Ulster (WRC) Rally
– National A Status event for World Rally and Group A four wheel drive cars only including competitors contesting the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The rally covers 127 miles over 14 stages.

Todds Leap Rally NI
– International Status event for homologated cars included in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship (non WRC), Citroen Racing Trophy, Fiesta SportTrophy and the Swift sport Cup. Rally NI covers 127 miles and 14 stages.

Todds Leap Ulster Historic Rally
– National A status event catering for competitors contesting the Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship, Irish Historic Tarmac Rally Championship, Tuthill Porsche Challenge and the Water End Properties Asphalt Cup. The Historic event will compete over 12 stages and 105 miles.

Todds Leap Ulster Challenge Rally
– National B event for competitors registered for the BRC Challenge which includes the Fiesta Sport Challenge and the Super 1000 Rally Series. The challenge event runs over two legs, with a total of 81 miles over 9 stages.

Todds Leap Ulster National Rally
– National B event providing classes for modified cars including competitors from the Irish Tarmac Modified Challenge. The National event is a one day rally, which takes in 8 stages and 77 stage miles.

Entries can be secured using the Online Entry System which will again be available as an option for all 5 events and competitors are recommended to make use of the system which will greatly streamline and speed up the process of placing an entry in the required event.

The early closing date for entries is 27th July and entries will finally close on the 3rd August; so competitors are urged to secure their place now for the 2011 event.

"Generations” Gear up for 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally

Posted: June 29, 2011 4:28 PM


Drew Wylie, Amy Cox, Michael and Dessie Nutt at the Launch of the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally


Father and son duo Dessie and Michael Nutt joined forces with Drew Wylie and up and coming star Amy Cox at Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre to launch this year’s Todds Leap Ulster Rally which is set to take place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th August.

Backed by Antrim Borough Council, Junction One, title sponsor Todds Leap and NITB, the award winning two day event will feature a five race line-up including Rally NI, counting towards the Dulux Trade MSA British and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championships and Ulster Historic Rally, one of 8 rounds in the Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship. Also on the programme is the international, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally for WRC cars and national events the Ulster Challenge and the Ulster National Rally.

Entries are set to open on Monday 4th July and organisers, Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd anticipate a top line up of local and international competitors including British Rally Championship leader, Scotland’s David Bogie, Welshman Elfyn Evans, currently second in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, Carryduff’ s Jonny Greer and Magherafelt driver Marty McCormack both third and sixth respectively in the British Rally series. Also likely to compete this year is 2010 Rally NI winner Craig Breen, George Robinson from Ballymena and Fermanagh man Alastair Fisher.

Special guest’s at today’s launch Dessie Nutt, 2009 winner of the British Historic Championship, his son Michael, regular Historic competitor Drew Wylie and young Omagh driver Amy Cox, who recently won her class at the Circuit of Ireland, are also likely to add their names to the 2011 entry list.

The Todds Leap Ulster Rally encompasses127 competitive miles, 300 road miles and 14 stages in the Antrim and Mid-Ulster regions. Set to kick off at lunchtime on Friday 19th August with a ceremonial start at Courthouse Square in Antrim, the rally finishes at Junction One International Outlet Shopping Centre on Saturday 20th August.

Originally held in the Antrim area in 1976 when the inaugural Ulster Rally took place, the International event returns to the region for a third time after last year’s successful event which was voted Best British International Rally for the second consecutive year. Rally HQ will be based at the Holiday Inn Express at Junction One and the event’s Central Service Park will be located in a section of the outlet shopping complex’s extensive car parks. A new feature of this year’s event will be a spectator information hub at Junction One sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. This will bring up to date rally information, results and action replays direct to spectators and shoppers throughout Rally Week-end. Organisers expect 350 drivers and co-drivers, supported by over 600 service crew, to be competing in up to 175 rally cars over the two day period.

Ballygawley based multi-activity centre Todds Leap is once again backing the race as title sponsor and managing director Benny O’Hanlon said, “Todds Leap is pleased to be sponsoring the Ulster Rally for the fourth consecutive year. As Northern Ireland's leading outdoor activity centre we are totally dedicated and committed to supporting regional events which support the tourist trade and the local economy. The Todds Leap Ulster Rally attracts thousands of spectators to Northern Ireland each year and reaches a wider global audiences show casing the region at its sporting best. Todds Leap is looking forward to another successful rally and we wish the organisers, participants and supporters all the best for what will be a thrilling event.”

Valerie McLernon, retail operations manager of Junction One who hosted today’s launch said, “During rally week-end last year Junction One was absolutely buzzing and it was fabulous to attract new audiences to the Junction One retail experience. Junction One is an integral part of Antrim’s tourism offer and we were delighted to support the rally by providing central service parks, Rally HQ at Holiday Inn Express and by hosting the official finishing ramp for all five Ulster Rally events.”

The 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally is a counting round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship, the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Dunlop/WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship, the Tuthill Porsche Challenge 2011, Citroen Racing Trophy UK & Ireland, the Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy UK & Ireland, the Suzuki Swift Cup and the BRC Challenge including the Fiesta Sport Challenge and the Super 1000 Rally Series.

In 2010 the event attracted nearly 27,000 spectators, visitors, officials, and competitors from Ireland, the UK and further afield and generated over £2 million for the local economy. It’s also set to be broadcast on local TV, nationally and on global networks reaching an estimated audience of 30,000 on Rally Week-end.

Clerk of Course Michael Johnston paid tribute to key sponsor Todds Leap and partner Antrim Borough Council saying, “It’s wonderful to be back in Antrim again this year. The course will undoubtedly challenge both old hands and newcomers to the race. This is the fourth year that Todds Leap has been the main sponsor of the Ulster Rally – their passion for the event is awesome and we are delighted to have them on board again.

“In addition to cash funding, Antrim Borough Council have provided support and facilities in kind including their excellent Vanguard depot. We’re very pleased today to welcome and thank representatives of our many sponsors whose support is especially appreciated in today’s difficult economic conditions. We’re also grateful to Junction One for hosting today’s launch event and of course for enabling us to create a Central Service Park in the shopping centre’s large car park.”

Chair of Development & Leisure Committee at Antrim Borough Council, Alderman Sam Dunlop comments, “We are delighted to welcome back the Todds Leap Ulster Rally to Antrim. The last two years have been a fantastic success and a great boost for the Borough. With teams and spectators travelling from all over Europe, there is no doubt that an event of this calibre will contribute significantly to the tourism sector and boost the economy of the Borough. We are proud to support this event."

TODDS LEAP IS ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINE SPONSORS OF THE 2011 ULSTER RALLY

Posted: June 22, 2011 2:35 PM

One of the highlights of the sporting calendar in Northern Ireland - the 2011 Ulster Rally - has been secured through with the announcement today that Todds Leap has committed further significant sponsorship to the event.

The Ulster Rally is the only rally in Ireland to be part of both the British Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. Attracting competitors from as far a-field as Australia and spectators from throughout the UK and Ireland, the Todds Leap Ulster Rally is followed by millions throughout the world via TV programmes, media reports and the Rally WebPages.

Managing Director of Todds Leap, Benny O’Hanlon, commenting on the company’s sponsorship of the event said:
“Todds Leap is pleased to be committing another round of support to the Ulster Rally. As Northern Ireland’s No.1 activity centre, it is a natural alignment to be associated with this premiere event and tourist attraction.
“Our association with the Ulster rally has been great for us at Todds Leap. We share the same determination to deliver safe and exciting fun to our customers and the Todds Leap Ulster Rally has put our name in front of a huge TV and media audience which we could not have achieved by any other means. This exposure has helped us grow our business and I would strongly encourage other progressive businesses to become associated with this prestigious event.”

Michael Johnston, Clerk of the Course of the 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally, said:
“We are delighted that Todds Leap has once again backed the rally. Given the economic climate their support has been invaluable in allowing us to put together another incredible programme of events that is sure to please and thrill the participants, the spectators and the worldwide audience.”

The 2011 Todds Leap Ulster Rally is being held on 19 and 20 August and is again being hosted by Antrim Borough Council. New to this year’s event will be a spectator communications hub which brings spectators into close contact with cars and drivers.
Results screens and commentators will keep spectators up to date with the latest action. There will be autograph opportunities and space for sponsors product promotion and advertising.

Ferry Deals available

Posted: June 21, 2011 12:43 PM

The discount will be available on bookings on the following Stena Line ferry routes between the 12th and 23rd August:

  • Stranraer/Belfast
  • Holyhead/Dublin
  • Holyhead/Dun Laoghaire
  • Fishgard/Rosslare
More details are available on the "Competitors" page of the event website:

Ulster Rally Guide 1 now online...

Posted: May 30, 2011 2:25 PM

The organisers of the 2011 TODDSLEAP Ulster Rally have published Rally Guide 1 for the August 19/20 rally weekend.

Ulster Rally Guide 1 has been created to give all the information you will require to successfully secure an entry for the 2011 event and will assist you to plan your travel, accommodation and your provisional event service details prior to your arrival in Antrim.

The 2011 Ulster Rally will comprise the following events:

Toddsleap Ulster (WRC) Rally: counting towards
-Irish Tarmac Rally Championship

Toddsleap Rally NI: counting towards
-Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship
-Irish Tarmac Rally Championship
-Citroën Racing Trophy UK
-Citroën Racing Trophy Ireland
-Ford Fiesta Sport Trophy UK
-Swift Sport Cup

Toddsleap Ulster Historic Rally: counting towards
-Dunlop / WONAGO MSA British Historic Rally Championship
-Tuthill Porsche Challenge
-Water End Properties Asphalt Cup
-Irish Historic Tarmac Rally Championship

Toddsleap Ulster Challenge Rally: counting towards
-BRC Challenge
-Super 1000 Rally Series
-Fiesta Sport Challenge

Toddsleap Ulster National Rally: counting towards
-Irish Tarmac Rally Championship ‘Modified Challenge’

To view/download a copy of ULSTER RALLY GUIDE 1 visit the Competitors page at

Event Website / Details

Posted: January 2, 1990 3:04 PM






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