Ulster Rally - 19-20 Aug 16

Posted: February 22, 2017 6:23 AM - 16286 Hits

Round 6 - 2016 Tarmac Championship
Round 6 - 2016 British Rally Championship
Round 6 - 2016 Northern Ireland Rally Championship

John Mulholland Ulster Rally Officially Best Round of the 2016 MSA British Championship

Posted: February 22, 2017 6:23 AM

The John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally was selected by the sport's governing body, the MSA, as the best round of the 2016 British Rally Championship. The award was presented at the ANICC Awards night by Jonathan Day MSA Director of Development and Training to Gary Milligan the Clerk of the Course.

The 2016 ANICC Awards event took place on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Armagh City Hotel.

Every MSA recognised motor club in Northern Ireland is a member of the Association of Northern Ireland Car clubs(ANICC). The ANICC promotes all the Northern Ireland Championships and annually presents those championship awards, together with other awards to motorsport personalities and Clubs that have achieved success and recognition during the year.

In Car

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:38 AM

Andy Johnson / Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette HSR) SS7

Oran Donnelly & Paul Hughes (Ford Escort MkII) SS3

John Devlin / John McCarthy (Talbot Sunbeam) SS13

Kyle White & Sean Topping (Citroen C2 R2) SS8

James Wilson & Kyle Diffin (Peugeot 106) SS2

Video Clips

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:35 AM

Champion's drive by Elfyn Evans on Ulster Rally

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:28 AM

Elfyn Evans and co-driver Craig Parry won the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally this weekend (19/20 August) and with it claimed the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship title.

The DMACK British Rally Team crew continued their impressive success rate, making it four wins from six in Britain’s premier rallying series in their Ford Fiesta R5. Ulsterman Jonathan Greer, in a Citroen DS3 R5, equalled his season best with a smooth and controlled drive to second, whilst Scottish driver David Bogie took the final step on the podium in his Skoda Fabia R5 – making it three manufacturers in the top three.

The legendary Ulster Rally got underway at lunchtime on Friday 19 August in front of a large crowd in the heart of Derry/Londonderry city centre. From there, crews took on 48.62 competitive miles on the first day before a mammoth 85.24 miles on the second, totalling 133.86 miles through the challenging lanes of Northern Ireland. Heavy rain on both days made for greasy and demanding conditions, which created difficult tyre choices, as teams attempted to predict the conditions for every stage of the event – hoping for the smallest of advantages over their rivals.

Evans enjoyed an opening day battle with series returnee Keith Cronin and non-registered Alistair Fisher. The World Championship star struggled with tyre choice on the first day but still got the best out of his DMACK-shod Fiesta to chalk up a 4.5 second lead over a hard charging Cronin overnight. On the final day the Dolgellau-based driver showed his class as he eked out a 1:07.6 second lead over Fisher at the finish, to take the 2016 Ulster Rally spoils and with it the 2016 MSA British Rally Championship title.

The Ulster Rally also marked a special anniversary in the Evans household as Elfyn’s success comes twenty years on since father Gwyndaf won the same title on the Ulster Rally back in 1996. Elfyn becomes the 38th different name on the BRC trophy after a dominant season, picking up four wins along with a third place on the Pirelli Carlisle – the Circuit of Ireland providing the only blot on his copy book as a mechanical retirement forced him out of the event lead.

Ulsterman Greer piloted his Pirelli-backed Citroen DS3 R5 to a fine second this weekend, equalling his season best, which he achieved on the Circuit of Ireland back in April. Greer had a trouble free run to capitalise on his ‘Joker’ nomination, doubling his points to put him in hunt for the runners up spot going into the season finale. Bogie started quietly in sixth overall but some inspired tyre choice on Friday evening put him on the cusp of the rostrum heading into the overnight halt. With Cronin’s demise Saturday lunchtime, the Scottish driver pounced in his striking Skoda Fabia R5, to take his first podium since the Circuit of Ireland.

Multiple BRC Champion Cronin made a welcome return to the series after missing the previous few rounds. The Irishman came back with a bang as he fought tooth and nail with Evans until the lunchtime service on Saturday. Gearbox and differential gremlins had worked their way into the Citroen DS3 R5, however, and disaster struck when the three-time champion could not select a gear when leaving the service area. After swift and frantic work by the DGM Motorsport crew, the team managed to get back on the road again, but lost two much time with penalties after leaving service late. Eventually the Citroen driver hung on and finished a respectable fourth overall in the BRC section.

The Ulster Rally saw Irish drivers come to the fore with their local Tarmac knowledge paying dividends on the bumpy and challenging asphalt. Sam Moffett and Desi Henry were both hoping to be in the podium hunt but retirements on the second day put paid to their weekends. Marty McCormack, in his Kumho-shod Skoda Fabia S2000, was the first naturally aspirated machine home in fifth, while Circuit of Ireland winner Josh Moffett had a troublesome event but still managed to secure a top six finish.

Rhys Yates has been improving as the season has unfolded and the Michelin-supported Fiesta R5 driver took a fine seventh place at the Derry/Londonderry finish. Tom Cave had a disappointing event by his usually high standards. Transmission failure on the first day saw his Fiesta R5 running in two-wheel-drive configuration for most of the stages. A spirited drive on the final day brought the young Welshman back into the points come the end of the event with eighth.

BRC2 Champion Matt Edwards wrapped up the title on the previous event and decided to step up to the BRC1 category for the final two rallies. Edwards set some promising times for his first run on Tarmac in the Fiesta R5 and took home two championship points with a promising ninth place in the BRC. Tarmac-ace Alex Laffey took his first outright points on the Ulster, improving on every stage to round out the top ten BRC runners.

In the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship, Vauxhall ADAM R2 driver Robert Duggan has been the man to beat all season long and the Ulster Rally was to be no exception. Duggan had waited all season to play his ‘Joker’ to double his points and he timed his decision to perfection. With Gerard Conway sat alongside, the Irish pair didn’t put a foot wrong as they led from start to finish, taking their fourth victory this season and with it the Junior BRC laurels. The pair, like Evans and Parry, have an unassailable lead in the series heading into the final round on the Isle of Man.

Behind Duggan there was an initial fight between Norwegian Sindre Furuseth and local driver Adam Bustard. The pair traded times until an inspired Furuseth, in his Renault Twingo R2, found his form to edge clear of the Ulsterman by the end of the first day. Bustard has had a troubled week as he sustained heavy damage on a local gravel rally the previous weekend. Burning the midnight oil, an inspired drive by Bustard saw the Ford Fiesta R2T driver claim his third podium position in 2016 – making it three marques of cars in the top three and highlighting the competiveness of the series.

MH Motorsport stablemates Will Graham and Nabila Tejpar both banked solid points to move them up the order in the Junior BRC standings with a fine fourth and fifth respectively.

Although not registered for BRC3, Belfast-based Will Corry made his debut in the striking Toyota GT86 CS-R3 on the Ulster Rally, entertaining the thousands of spectators lining the stages with its sideways antics. A respectable run by Corry in the Japanese machine allowed co-driver Brynmor Pierce to take co-driver points and for Toyota to pick up manufacturers’ points.

With BRC4 championship leader Tony Simpson absent in Northern Ireland, round six of the BRC was to see incredible pace from two Irish young-guns. Callum Devine in an Opel ADAM R2 led from start to finish in the category in his Kumho-backed machine. Devine’s pace put him an outstanding 17th overall while Marty Gallagher also impressed in his Peugeot 208 R2, claiming a respectable 25th overall to move them closer to the summit of the BRC4 table. Devine’s win in the class makes him the fourth different winner in the BRC4 category.

National Rally Cup winner Robert Blomberg made it at hat-trick of victories, stamping his authority on the NRC standings. Initial event leader Donnie Macdonald retired on Saturday morning with turbo woes while second placed runner Lee Hastings retired with gearbox problems on the same stage. Blomberg, after a string of good results, has put himself into the pound seats ahead of the title decider on the Manx in September. The Swede was also the recipient of the SORT Oil Spirit of the Rally Award for running his Mitsubishi Mirage single handed throughout the event

Quotes from the Ulster Rally:

Ulster Rally First Overall – Elfyn Evans – Ford Fiesta R5
“The event was really tough, in fact it was probably the toughest of the season with the weather changing all the time, stage conditions changing constantly – it was difficult to keep up with everything and do the job in hand. After making a few wrong tyre choices yesterday we played it safe and erred on the side of caution on the second day to make sure we held our advantage and take the win.

“It feels pretty good to win the BRC title. We had hoped it was possible to wrap-up the title on the Ulster but in rallying anything can happen so we still needed to finish in a certain position and be in front of Tom [Cave] and Fredrik [Ahlin]. To combine it with a win is very special and it’s nice to be going home with the championship, especially 20 years since my Dad [Gwyndaf Evans] won the title on this event.”

Ulster Rally Second Overall – Jonathan Greer – Citroen DS3 R5
“We were very happy with the first stage as our pace was very good and we were pleased to be where we were in this competitive field. From stage one we tried to stay at that level of pace and go for a good result. It was difficult finding the right tyre choice but we did our best and the car ran perfectly all weekend. It is great to be back on the BRC podium and its great to have done it against the calibre of drivers that were here. It makes it that extra bit special.”

Ulster Rally Stages Rally Third Overall – David Bogie – Skoda Fabia R5
“This has to be one of the toughest rallies I have ever done, from the recce, through to two long days of rallying. The conditions were very difficult with mud, water, gravel, shiny Tarmac – there were so many factors to make it difficult. We had a wheel bearing collapse on the last stage with a mile to go. We made a repair to get the car to the finish and that was very stressful as I thought it was the Scottish Rally all over again! We are very happy to get back to the finish in third place.”

DMACK Junior BRC First Overall – Robert Duggan – Vauxhall ADAM R2
“We are delighted to have won the rally. Our mind-set coming into this event was to try our very best and try and wrap-up the title, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The other boys were very quick so we also had to push hard from the word go and we pushed it all the way to the end. It was a very tough event and most certainly the toughest event I have done. Words cannot describe the feeling, it just hasn’t sunk in yet, it is amazing. It is a huge team effort from family, friends, the Vauxhall team –everything just clicked and it has been a very good year. We couldn’t have asked for much more!”

Carmichael Tops the N.I Scores on Challenging Ulster Rally!

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:27 AM

The Northern Ireland Motor Club had put a big effort into the all new John Mullholland Motors Ulster Rally, with its base now in Derry/Londonderry, service at Ebrington Square and fourteen stages south of the city, including the famous Barnes Gap and Rousky tests on the Saturday. It was not unusual for the Ulster Rally in its forty year history to have mixed weather conditions, but in 2016 the weather was exceptionally changeable making the stages slippery and tyre selection a lottery! With the rally a round of the MSA British Rally Championship and the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, there was a lot going on.

Derek McGarrity with his Ford Fiesta WRC, elected to miss this sixth round of the MSA ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship, the championship leader still hanging onto a healthy points advantage. Indeed only one WRC car competed on the event- the Mini WRC of Alan Carmichael and Ivor Lamont who won the National B event, was thirteenth overall in the Ulster Rally general classification and took maximum McGrady NI points. This was despite a one minute fifty second road penalty on day two when the crew took a wrong turning, making them late for a special stage. However there were no wrong turns on the actual stages, as the Ballymoney driver out enjoyed his run.
“I am very happy with where we ended up” said Alan. “It’s was a really good event, and very well run. The conditions were muddy but the stages were class! It started off well on stage one and I was happy with our time which wasn’t too far off some of the faster runners, despite having to slow for a few cars off in front of us. On day two things were flowing even better and I was pleased with some of our times. I really enjoyed the Rousky stage, although we had a moment on the first running. I didn’t hear Ivor calling a tight corner (6 left) after a medium corner (3 left) and we scrabbled round just missing a concrete gate-post! The car went well though and the Michelin tyres were excellent in the wet. It’s been hard to get time away this year with new business commitments. We were out on the Circuit of Ireland, and then on the Dogleap stages as a shake-down for the Ulster, but I would consider a proper go at the N.I series next year.”

Leading the two wheel drive championship, Camillus Bradley and Crawford Henderson were looking forward to stages not too far from home, and duly put in a fine run, ending up fifteenth overall as the 2.5 Escort slithered through the slippery stages. It was a position that saw Camillus taking second place N.I Championship points to consolidate his second place in the series. “We never seemed to get the tyre choices right all weekend, but we thoroughly enjoyed the event. It really was a tough event, but a good event” said Camillus. Chris Armstrong had valiantly led the 2wd race in his MK2 until a final stage retirement, whilst road-racer Michael Dunlop put in a fine drive to take third in that National B event, ahead of Oran Donnelly and Paul Hughes who took third placed N.I points in their MK2. Alastair Cochrane was the fourth highest points finisher. Not so fortunate was championship sponsor Fintan McGrady with Ray Fitzpatrick co-driving and they made a promising start. “I think we are going to call this Ulster Rally-cross!” said Fintan. “It’s so slippery but fun”. However the conditions caught them out as they slid off on stage eight. John Devlin in his Sunbeam and Davy Armstrong in his MK2 Escort survived and clocked up more points for the 2wd championship. Lying seventh overall in the driver’s championship before this rally, Lisburn’s Jonny Morrow in his Mitsubishi Evo 6 had a time consuming off on stage one, and some mechanical niggles on day two, but managed still to finish thirty-seventh in the National B event.

Adam Bustard closed in on the lead of the N.I Junior Championship for drivers under twenty-three in his Fiesta R2T, which had been hastily re-prepared after an off the previous weekend. The Castlederg driver once again was nineteen seconds ahead of his old Junior 1000 rival Kyle White in his C2 R2 Max, but Kyle retired on stage ten with a broken drive-shaft. Keady’s James Wilson in his 106 Peugeot leads the point’s race and was showing well on this rally until he got stuck in a hedge for ten minutes on stage seven. Both Conor Cochrane (MK2 Escort) and Ryan O’Kane (R3 Honda Civic) were retirements with excursions.

Historic Championship leader Drew Wylie elected to miss this round and it was left to former NI Historic Champions Andy Johnson and Jim McSherry, from County Down in their Vauxhall Chevette HSR to take a faultless victory. They finished almost five minutes ahead of the next McGrady registered Historic crew, Richard Hall and Declan Campbell who were using a Lotus Sunbeam for the first time, and won class H1. Malcolm Pedlow in his BMW 2002 once again picked up points to retain second in the Historic championship.

In class one for Group N cars up to 2000cc Ian Dickson was second taking maximum points in his Fiesta ST from Neil Monaghan’s similar car and Michael Nutt third in his Honda. Omagh’s Alan Smyth topped class four in his hired Citroen C2 R2 Max to consolidate his points lead.

Round seven of the McGrady series is back to gravel for the Omagh Motor Club’s Bushwhacker Rally on the 24th September.

Rob Duggan/Ger Conway Win The MSA DMACK Junior British Rally Championship Title

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:25 AM

Victory for Killarney pair Rob Duggan and Ger Conway in the Junior category of the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally at the weekend clinched the DMACK Junior title in the British Rally Championship for the Kerry duo. This was their fourth Junior win of the year.

This lucrative prize provides funding for Duggan, last year's Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year and the current holder of the Billy Coleman Award, to take a huge step forward in his rally career by tackling five rounds of next year's World Rally Championship.

The only problem Duggan had during the two days of stages in the Sperrin Mountains was when he bent a suspension arm on his Vauxhall Adam on the second of fourteen stages, but his service crew replaced it and he stayed well clear of his title rival, Sindre Furuseth of Norway, to the finish, winning by almost two minutes.

Outright winner of the Ulster Rally was Welshman Elfyn Evans, who also took the overall British title in his Fiesta. He led for most of the event, with three times champion Keith Cronin of West Cork his closest challenger until late problems dropped Cronin's Citroen DS3 to fifth place.

With just three stages left, the worried looking Corkman arrived back into service in Derry city with gearbox problems. His crew managed to change the unit, but he was still unable to select gears, and the extra lateness this cost him dropped him behind NI drivers Alastair Fisher and Jonny Greer, and Scotsman David Bogie.

Cronin's hopes of winning the Clonakilty Blackpudding Tarmac series now depend on a good result in the final round, the Acesigns Cork 20, in October.

McCormack back on form!

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:23 AM

Marty McCormack and navigator David Moynihan had a very controlled drive on the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally netting them a fine 6th overall, but it wasn't an easy ride!

After breaking his wrist, Marty returned to rallying for the Ulster Rally round 6 of the British Rally Championship. Having not driven the car in anger since May it was going to take some time to acclimatize to it. This was evident at the end of stage 1, as he found himself trailing the leaders by nearly forty seconds.
“It was up there with the trickiest stages I have ever done, some of the corners were dry and some were wet but most were covered in mud! It was treacherous! Like everyone else, we went out on the wrong tyres for the conditions, this caused us to have a couple of big moments, so I decided to just pace myself, get to the finish of the stage and take it from there”. “We have been a long time out of the car so it’s all about getting the confidence back to push, which is not easy in these conditions!”

Finding a better rhythm on the drying stage 2, Marty went 6th quickest to climb to 10th overall.
“Stage 2, went much better, I was back into the driving, which was encouraging.” Another good time through stage stage 3 cemented their 10th position and left them within striking distance of the top 7. Marty commented at service “Those stages were unbelievably slippery, so much mud has been brought onto the road by the local farmers, it is like driving on ice in some places! We got through it, many didn't, so we have to be happy we are here and in one piece!”

Another 3 stages finished off day one of the event, with Marty taking some impressive times. He finished the day 10th overall and only 20 seconds off 7th. It was a very good showing for his first time back in the car after a number of months. Day two and the conditions were equally as unpredictable. It was obvious that tyre choice was going to be the story of the rally. A brace of quick times on the opening stages vaulted Marty up the leader-board and by mid day service the Tiger Risk Skoda Fabia S2000 was holding 7th and less than 20 seconds behind 6th.

With 4 stages left Marty went on the attack to reel in 6th placed man Josh Moffett. Finally on the penultimate stage he passed Josh, to claim the position. He held the position through the final test and crossed the finish ramp in 6th place overall and 5th British Rally Championship crew. This finish moves Marty and David into 8th overall in the championship after what can only be described as a disaster of a season. Marty is now hoping to compete on the final round of the British Rally Championship, the Rally Isle of Man in September. Marty has not competed on the event since he 2009 where he finished 7th overall and won the R2 category behind the wheel of a Citroen C2 R2. He will be hoping for more of the same this September!

You can keep up to date with Marty on Twitter @martymccormack and Facebook.com/marty.mccormack1. Marty is competing this season with the support of Tiger Risk Partners, P McCormack and Sons Ltd.

Tom fights back to take top-ten result in Uster and hold second place in championship

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:21 AM

A fight back through the field to 10th overall on day-two of the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally was the best result that Tom Cave and co-driver James Morgan could hope for, considering the issues they had to overcome on day one. Following a puncture and a broken driveshaft on Friday, they climbed 13 places on Saturday and, in doing so, scored enough points to retain second place in the MSA British Rally Championship standings.

A successful test during the week leading up to the event meant that Tom and the Spencer Sport team had the chance to set up their Fiesta R5 for the Northern Irish roads. It meant they put themselves in an excellent position to challenge for a podium place and keep the race for the BRC wide open.

Representing the sixth round of the MSA British Rally Championship, the Derry/Londonderry-based event featured three stages run twice on Friday afternoon. This was followed by a further four stages run twice on Saturday that combined, provided an overall competitive distance of 134 miles. But it was the weather rather than the distance that caused drivers the biggest challenge before the start at Friday lunchtime, as the intermittent rain made choosing the right tyres a lottery.

A considered start, bearing in mind the slippery conditions, saw Tom and James emerge from the first stage in fifth place overall, but then about three miles into the eight miles of stage two something hidden in the grass at the side of the road punctured the front off-side tyre. Choosing to drive the rest of the stage rather than stop and change the wheel saw only 30-seconds lost and, with a further 12 stages still to go, a chance of yet another podium position was still on the cards at that point.

However, a fairly innocuous spin - which was perhaps inevitable in the conditions - was to cause a far bigger issue to that of the puncture. With the car sideways on in a narrow section of road, it required some quick thinking by Tom to get the Fiesta pointing in the right direction again. As he spun the car round under power, something happened to the car’s front near-side driveshaft that meant the Fiesta was reduced to two-wheel-drive.

The Aberdovey driver did a great job of nursing the car through the day’s remaining two stages, but frustratingly, over four minutes was lost and he and James - from Hirwaun - ended the first day in 23rd place. A great effort by the Spencer Sport team during the evening service halt saw the Fiesta back to 100% for Saturday’s eight stages and it was now down to the two Weshmen to claw back as much of the deficit as possible.

Setting a series of front-running stage times - two of them second fastest - Tom and James had a trouble-free day on Saturday and battled their way back through the field to end the event tenth overall and eighth of the British Rally Championship crews. Whilst this hard-earned position was enough to keep them in second place in the championship stands, fellow Welshmen Elfyn Evans and Craig Parry won the event and in doing so secured the 2016 BRC title with one round remaining.

“We were really pleased with our pace on Saturday, but Friday’s problems lost us so much time”, explained Tom. We’ve never finished outside the top four in the British Rally Championship this season, so we’re of course disappointed not to do so again and to lose our chance of battling for the title on final round.

“I really must thank the Spencer Sport team for doing such a great job and for fixing the car on Friday evening. It ran faultlessly on Saturday. The whole team pulled together and we all did the best we possibly could in the circumstances.

“I must also congratulate Elfyn and Criag for winning the event and therefore become BRC Champions. They would have been difficult to catch on the final round whatever happened this weekend, so for us to retain our second place in the championship is as much as we could have hoped for.”

Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship - Fisher & Noble in Pole Position heading to the final round

Posted: September 27, 2016 6:17 AM

Alastair Fisher & Gordon Noble in a Ford Fiesta R5 have moved into the lead of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Championship with one round to go. Second place overall behind rally winner Elfyn Evans on the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally was enough to move them into the championship lead with just the AceSigns Cork 20 International Rally remaining. Keith Cronin & Mikie Galvin had to settle for fifth overall after a late gearbox problem cost them road penalties but they still move into second in the championship which now appears to be a straight shootout between Cronin and Fisher. Seventh place was enough to see Josh Moffett & John Rowan move into third overall in the championship as the Monaghan driver keeps his series hopes alive.


Posted: September 27, 2016 6:12 AM

It’s a double win for Elfyn Evans at the end of the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally as he wins both the International Rally and the MSA British Rally Championship. Ironically, Elfyn’s dad Gwyndaf also claimed the BRC title exactly 20 years on the 1996 Ulster Rally.

Elfyn summed up the rally;
“It’s been a really tough weekend with really difficult weather conditions. The stages were also very tricky but we’re really glad to be here having won both the Ulster and the Championship.”

Evans and co-driver, Craig Parry in their Ford Fiesta R5, led the rally on 11 out of the 14 stages but it was a hard won battle with both Alistair Fisher and Keith Cronin pushing hard on the slippery roads.

With intermittent rain all weekend, there were tough tyre choices to be made. Fisher held an initial advantage over the first 3 stages on Friday before collecting a puncture on stage 4. However he managed to pull himself back up from 5th place to 2nd overall to hand on to his lead of the 2016 Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship. He goes into the final round in Cork just 2 points ahead of Keith Cronin.

A great drive from Jonny Greer secured him third place overall. He put in a steady performance throughout the two day event then really pulled out the stops in the last few stages when he came under pressure from Keith Cronin.

Cronin was on course for second place at the end of the penultimate loop of stages but a gearbox change at the last service halt earned him a time penalty and knocking him back to 5th overall.

Road racer and 13 times TT winner, Michael Dunlop did himself proud on four wheels, winning his class and finishing 3rd overall in the National Rally. Event sponsor, John Mulholland in his Skoda Fabia S2000 also made steady progress although he dropping back from 22nd after a puncture on the third last stage, it dropped him down the field to finish 49th overall.

Cousins Kevin and Stephen Horgan in their Honda had a good run to win the Junior section of the rally following Rurai McCaffery and Seamus McTigue’s retirement with mechanical problems.

Garry Jennings, Sam Moffett and Stephen Wright all suffered mechanical issues which forced them into retirement on day two.

As sponsor John Mulholland said that it was a great event;
“We’re pleased with how the rally has gone this year with lots of positive comments. It’s a good group of people and moving forward, we’ll get everyone together and see how we can build on the event making it bigger and stronger for next year.”

Commenting at the finish, Clerk of the course, Gary Milligan said;
“This has been a tremendous weekend of motorsport and a great way to celebrate the Ulster Rally’s 40th year. The changeable weather conditions proved challenging for all the drivers, and the Organisers over the fourteen stages which made for an interesting event for rally fans”.

“I would like to congratulate not only the winners but everyone who supported the event whether they were a competitor, sponsor, spectator or one of the 800 volunteers that make the Ulster Rally such as success.”


Posted: September 27, 2016 6:02 AM

 1 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) 2:11:15.4
 2 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 2:12:23.0
 3 Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroën DS3 R5) 2:12:40.8
 4 David Bogie/James O Reilly (Škoda Fabia R5) 2:13:15.8
 5 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroën DS3 R5) 2:13:22.8
 6 Martin McCormack/David Moynihan (Škoda Fabia S2000) 2:15:47.3
 7 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5) 2:17:09.1
 8 Rhys Yates/Tom Woodburn (Ford Fiesta R5) 2:17:10.8
 9 Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Škoda Fabia S2000) 2:17:44.6
 10 Tom Cave/James Morgan (Ford Fiesta R5) 2:18:09.7

1 Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (BMW Mini WRC) 1h 21m 31s,
2 Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 23m 08s,
3 Michael Dunlop/Rob Fagg (Ford Escort MkII) 2h 26m 41s.

Class Winners
Class A1:  Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) 
Class A3:  Will Corry/Brynmor Pierce (Toyota GT86 CS-R3) 
Class A4:  Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty (Opel Adam) 
Class H1:  Richard Hall/Declan Campbell (Lotus Sunbeam) 
Class H2:  Andy Johnson/Jim McSherry (Vauxhall Chevette HSR) 
Class B1:  Robert Reilly Jnr/Eamon Conway (Honda Civic) 
Class B2:  Paul Britton/George Tinsley (Subaru Impreza ) 
Class B3:  Shane McLaughlin/Fiona Devlin (Ford Escort) 
Class B4:  Alan Smyth/Macartan Kierans (Citroën C2 R2 Max ) 
Class B5:  Michael McDaid/Daire Maguire (Ford Escort MkII) 
Class B6:  Michael Dunlop/Rob Fagg (Ford Escort MkII) 
Class B7:  Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Ford Escort) 
Class B8:  Robert Blomberg/Lars Andersson (Mitsubishi Mirage R5) 
Class B9:  Alan Carmichael/Ivor Lamont (Mini WRC) 

Leaders After:
SS1-3 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 
SS3-14 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)

Stage Winners
SS1 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 
SS2 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 
SS3 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS4 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS5 Fredrik Ahlin/Morten Erik Abrahamsen (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS6 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS7 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS8 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS9 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroën DS3 R5)
SS10 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS11 Elfyn Evans/Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5)
SS12 Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta R5) 
SS13 Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroën DS3 R5)
SS14 Fredrik Ahlin/Morten Erik Abrahamsen (Ford Fiesta R5)


Posted: August 19, 2016 7:48 AM

"Amendment to Regulations
7.1 Tyres
Due to weather and road conditions, Stewards and Officials of the Ulster Rally have confirmed that competitors have a free choice of tyres (Class A1-6 are still limited to 18 tyres total)"

McCormack Returns to the BRC!

Posted: August 19, 2016 4:42 AM

Marty McCormack and the Tiger Risk Rally Team returns to the British Rally Championship for this weekend’s Ulster Rally. Marty was absent from the last two rounds of the championship, the Scottish Rally & the Nicky Grist stages after breaking his wrist, but he is really looking forward to returning to the stages.

“I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the Tiger Risk Skoda! It was very difficult to miss the last two rounds of the championship but it had to be done.” After some rest and recuperation Marty is now feeling better than ever before and wants to get back to where he left off. The championship returns to its first full tarmac round since the Circuit of Ireland in April where Marty almost clinched his first BRC victory, but it was cruelly taken away by a mechanical issue. “I am delighted to be back on tarmac again, after the run we had at The Circuit, there are a lot of positives to take from it and myself and David are hoping to bring that pace to the Ulster and be able to challenge for top points.”

The team has had a torrid time in the championship thus far, starting in February at the Mid Wales Stages Rally, where the rally ended before it even started, “We were on our way to the first stage of the event when the front diff broke. That was hard to take after the build up to the first event of the year, to not even get a stage was very tough.”

Next up was the Circuit of Ireland, possibly one of Marty’s finest drives ever! He got the best out of the car getting the best out of it, dicing at the top of the field for the entire event. Entering the final few stages of the event it looked like Marty was going to claim his maiden British Rally Championship win “It was all going so good! We were leading the BRC crews which was unbelievable and with 5 stages to go all we had to do was bring the car home, do nothing foolish, but on stage 10 the fuel pump let go and we ground to a halt at the side of the road. It was truly gutting!”

Things went better at the Pirelli Carlisle Rally with Marty claiming his first points of the season with a 5th place overall. The extremely fast nature of the stages hampered the team progress, as they suited the newer, turbo, R5 specification cars more. Following this things took a turn for the better, as he along with his neice, Caron on the pacenotes won their local Tour of the Sperrins Rally. Marty put in a valient drive to claim victory ahead of stiff competition. Spirts were high heading to the next rally, Kenotek Ypres Rally in Belgium one of Martys favorite events. After finishing a supurb 8th overall in last years rally, expectations were high, but 2016 was not to be. Marty broke his wrist prior to the event a did not start the rally. Wrist now healed, Marty is ready to get back behind the wheel and tackle the Ulster Rally.

With a capacity entry and over 25 R5/S2000 cars it promises to be one of the most hotly contested round of the BRC. You can keep up to date with Marty on Twitter @martymccormack and Facebook.com/marty.mccormack1. Marty is competing this season with the support of Tiger Risk Partners, P McCormack and Sons Ltd.

Irish Driver Duggan On The Brink Of British Junior Title

Posted: August 17, 2016 6:12 AM

Rob Duggan, the reigning Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, heads to this weekend’s John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally on the verge of becoming the inaugural DMACK Junior British Rally Champion.

The 23 year old Killarney driver has excelled this season, picking up a trio of wins in his Vauxhall Adam leaving him and co-driver Ger Conway with a commanding 25 point advantage over his nearest rival, Norwegian Sindre Furuseth. Duggan’s lead is all the more impressive given he has yet to play his double points “joker”, something all his rivals have already done.

Speaking ahead of the weekend Rob said:
"I'm really looking forward to the Ulster Rally, it will be great to get back to Irish tarmac, my favourite surface. Now that we are truly comfortable in the Vauxhall Adam we have decided to play our double points joker this weekend. If all goes well, there is a possibility we can secure the championship this weekend which would be brilliant, but I’ll try and put that out of my mind and treat the rally the same as I have every other round. We’ve had a great championship to date and I really want to keep the momentum going. Since the opening round in Wales we haven’t been off the podium and the car and my pacenotes have improved with each event. Physically and mentally I’m in a very good place at the moment. We had a fun day out on the Stonethrowers Rally in Tipperary in my brothers rally car a few weeks ago which myself and Ger used to refine our tarmac pacenotes and we’re confident we can get the result we need this weekend.”

Open to any driver under the age of 26, the DMACK Junior British Rally Championship is a competitive proving ground for crews as they have the chance to tackle some of the best forest stages and tarmac tests in the British Isles in FIA-homologated R2 cars. Should Rob wrap up the title this weekend, he will take a huge step onto the world stage as the 2016 DMACK Junior BRC Champion will be awarded a subsidised drive in the 2017 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy on five World Rally Championship rounds, with the winner benefiting from testing before every round as part of the package. The winner of the 2017 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy will themselves receive a funded drive in an R5 car on selected events during the 2018 WRC season.

The 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally gets underway from the Guild Hall Square in Derry City on Friday 19 with an autograph session ahead of the official start at 12:30. The event will be based at Ebrington Square during the weekend. After a short shakedown stage, the rally will get underway in the afternoon with 6 tests all held to the east of Strabane with the later stages running into darkness. The action will resume early on Saturday with 8 further stages including the notorious Barnes Gap and Rousky tests.

British Rally Championship set for titanic Ulster Tarmac tussle

Posted: August 12, 2016 11:20 AM

The MSA British Rally Championship has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, taking in rounds in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and so far this season, three different event winners as well as eight different crews have stood on the podium in the opening five rounds.

Championship leader, Elfyn Evans, in his DMACK British Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5 has already recorded a hat-trick of victories. The World Rally Championship star has shown his quality, taking the spoils on the Mid Wales Stages, Scottish Rally and Nicky Grist Stages – and comes to the Ulster Rally as the favourite for outright victory. The Welshman, with Craig Parry sat alongside, wont have it their own way as a chasing pack will all want to topple the series leader.

Tom Cave has been improving in pace as the campaign has unfolded, having never been out of the top four with James Morgan on the notes. Cave is desperate to take a win in 2016 and will pull out all the stops to beat fellow countryman Evans in his Michelin-shod Fiesta R5.

Swedish sensation Fredrik Ahlin and Norwegian navigator Morten Erik Abrahamsen (Ford Fiesta R5) have had a rollercoaster of a season to date. The Pirelli-backed driver pushed Evans all the way on the opening round before landing his first win on round three, the Pirelli Carlisle Rally two months later. Costly errors on the Circuit of Ireland and the Nicky Grist Stages, along with a mechanical failure on the Scottish, put the Scandinavian in third on the championship points board.

Ahlin is one man who is hoping for the luck of the Irish to help bring him back into the title fight. CA1 Sport teammate David Bogie (Skoda Fabia R5) with Irish co-driver James O’Reilly find themselves seventh in the standings. The Scottish driver has shown blistering pace this season and will want to harness the speed and return to the podium, which he last achieved on the Circuit of Ireland.

In 2016, drivers have elected to play their ‘Jokers’ to double their points. Two drivers yet to play their card are dark horses for rostrum honours. Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Ford Fiesta R5) won the BRC element on the Circuit of Ireland and Jonathan Greer/Kirsty Riddick (Citroen DS3 R5), who finished just behind the Fiesta pairing, will want to emulate their success on home ground this weekend.

Watch out too for a whole host of series returnees. Multiple BRC champion Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Citroen DS3 R5) will want a strong BRC finish to show his class. Local stars Marty McCormack and David Moynihan in their Skoda Fabia S2000 held the lead on the Circuit of Ireland, before a heart-wrenching fuel pump failure denied them a home win. A committed driver, McCormack won’t hang around in his Kumho-backed machine.

Matt Edwards and Will Rogers have had a phenomenal season in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 in the BRC2 category, wrapping up the title on the previous round – the Nicky Grist Stages. The pair will be eager to shine on the Ulster as the crew step-up to the BRC1 category, driving a brand-new Ford Fiesta R5.

In the DMACK Junior BRC, Irishman Robert Duggan and Gerard Conway lead the way in the Vauxhall ADAM R2 after securing a trio of wins. Duggan has shown fine form on both gravel and asphalt surfaces and has a commanding championship lead heading into his second home event. The Vauxhall star is the only driver in the top seven who has yet to play his ‘Joker’ card this season and he could secure the title on home soil next weekend.

Two drivers who will be keen to prevent Irish celebrations are ADAM R2 team-mate Mattias Adielsson and Renault Twingo R2 pilot Sindre Furuseth. Swedish driver Adielsson has yet to win a BRC round, despite coming close on several occasions. Mattias loves the Tarmac and will be pushing for ‘win or bust’ on the Northern Ireland lanes. Furuseth’s first experience of Tarmac came on the Nicky Grist Stages. Despite his inexperience, the Norwegian will be gunning for glory in his French pocket-rocket.

Local rising-star Adam Bustard with Aaron Johnston on the pacenotes will hope to emulate their Circuit of Ireland podium on home turf this weekend. The pair are chasing a top four finish in the championship standings and are looking for the Ulster to springboard them onto a good end of season run in their Ford Fiesta R2T.

The striking Toyota GT86 CS-R3 will return to the series after BBC Top Gear star Chris Harris’ outing on the Mid Wales Stages earlier in the year. Behind the wheel of the BRC3 car on the Ulster will be Belfast-based driver Will Corry who will want to show the true potential of the car in Tarmac-trim.

In BRC4, the battle between Marty Gallagher (Peugeot 208 R2) and Callum Devine (Opel ADAM R2) is set to enrage once again as both look to haul in series points leader Tony Simpson, who has elected to miss the Irish round.

In the National Rally Cup for non-FIA homologated machines, Swedish star Robert Blomberg leads the way in his exciting Mitsubishi Mirage. Circuit winner Donnie Macdonald (Mitsubishi Evo 9) will want to return to winning ways this weekend as Ashley Field, in a rather potent Darrian T90 GTR, will want to put the cat amongst the pigeons on the Tarmac event.

BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell is eagerly anticipating round six of the championship.

“The BRC is all set for a two-day titanic Tarmac test,” enthused Campbell. “It is great to be returning to the legendary Irish asphalt and all the challenges it brings.

“The day on Tarmac on the Nicky Grist Stages helped competitors get their eye in for the remainder of the season. Crews will be looking forward to the all-asphalt Ulster Rally as it will be new for the majority of the competitors with its new base in Derry/Londonderry. The event has such heritage and it is great for the BRC to be part of it. Not only will our teams battle each other, they will also go head-to-head against the Irish Tarmac Championship runners for the outright win. The pace is going to be phenomenal.”

The new-look BRC takes in seven events across the British Isles as it tours England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland before culminating on the iconic lanes of the Isle of Man. Asphalt special stages and gravel tests will see the country’s best drivers in the best cars fight for overall supremacy on the best events, while the action will feature throughout the year on Channel 4 and BT Sport.

The final event will count for double points, while each driver has one ‘Joker’ to play on one of the first six rounds. Selected a week before each round, a ‘Joker’ can only be played once and will enable a driver to double the points scored on that nominated event.

Keep tabs on all the latest BRC developments by visiting www.msabrc.com or following us on social media: MSA British Rally Championship on Facebook and @MSA_BRC on Twitter using #BRC

R5 specification Mitsubishi gets facelift / Garry Jennings tests revised Mirage ahead of Ulster Rally

Posted: August 12, 2016 7:27 AM

Manufacturers of the R5 specification Mitsubishi, Mpart AB of Örebro in Sweden, are pleased to reveal a facelift update for the car. The main changes include new front and rear sections of the bodywork that are in keeping with the 2016 design for the standard production Mirage and Space Star models.

In addition to the new panels, Mpart AB has taken the opportunity to carry out a series other small updates and refinements around the car. Head of the Mitsubishi R5 project Tomas Weng explains that, whilst the intrinsic shell remains the same, the new additions will make a difference:

"The new panels replicate the 2016 updates that have appeared on the road-going version of the car. Because of the wider grille aperture and revised design, cooling efficiency and airflow around the car is improved. The updates are all part of ensuring the car remains competitive in its class and reflects the aesthetic changes that have been introduced by the manufacturer."

Garry Jennings tests revised Mirage ahead of Ulster Rally

The first Mitsubishi Mirage to incorporate the updates is that of the UK-based Spencer Sport team, who are the official distributors of the car in the UK and Ireland. It will be driven competitively for the first time on the forthcoming Ulster Rally that takes place on 19th & 20th August, by former Irish Tarmac Champion Garry Jennings.

Following a test in Wales this week, where Jennings - accompanied by his regular co-driver Rory Kennedy - drove the facelift R5 specification Mitsubishi for the first time, he said:

"It didn't take long to feel comfortable. It's a very drivable and nimble car. We did some work on set ups and, while it's different from what I usually drive, I soon got used to the power delivery and the Mitsubishi's excellent handling and brakes. I'm confident there's plenty of speed in the car, so we're in a great position ahead of next week's pre-event tests in Ireland."

Mpart and Spencer Sport are anticipating considerable interest in the updated version of the Mirage, particularly from drivers and teams in the UK and Ireland who are looking for a right-hand-drive version of an R5 or R5+ specification car, as the Mitsubishi is currently the only car of its kind to offer a LHD and RHD option.


Posted: August 8, 2016 4:55 PM

Gary Milligan, the Clerk of the Course of the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally, says he is delighted with the quality entry for the 2016 event which takes place in Derry/ Londonderry on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August.

Gary, who heads the team responsible for the move to the Maiden City, is especially excited by the level of local young talent entered in the Rally, which has also been boosted by the late entry of 13 times TT winner Michael Dunlop in a Ford Escort.

He said: “I’m delighted with the class of entries we have received for this year’s event, which includes more than 25 R5 and S2000 cars, and I know the combination of the British, Irish and Northern Ireland Championship contenders will provide a real spectacle for the fans over the two days. Local drivers like Alistair Fisher, Desi Henry, Martin McCormack and Jonny Greer are on the top of their game right now, and we have a few new drivers coming up through the ranks like Callum Devine, William Creighton, Adam Bustard, Kyle White and Marty Gallagher who are really getting noticed this season. They now have a fantastic opportunity to make their mark on home turf”.

MSA British Rally Championship leader Elfyn Evans will lead the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally away from the Guild Hall Square at lunchtime on Friday 19 followed by Irish Tarmac Rally Championship contenders Alistair Fisher and Keith Cronin. Norway’s Fredrik Ahlin makes his debut on the Ulster at number 4 ahead of David Bogie, Josh Moffett, Desi Henry and Martin McCormack. At number 9 is three times Ulster winner Garry Jennings who has entered in a development Mitsubishi Mirage and rounding out the top 10 is Sam Moffett.

Other notable entries in the top 20 include 2010 winner Derek McGarrity, Jonny Greer, Joe McGonigle, Tom Cave and Stephen Wright. Other drivers to look out for include Wesley Patterson, Camillus Bradley and Alistair Cochrane who are expected to be at the head of the 2 wheel drive battle in their MkII Escorts and we can also expect a fantastic battle among the Opel Adam’s of Robert Duggan, Callum Devine and Norways’s Mattias Adielsson. Also keep an eye out for our event sponsor John Mulholland who wheels out his Skoda S2000 on his home event.

This year’s event in its new home with brand new stages promises ultra-close action, and with 140+ entries, there will be cars to please every generation. Get all the information on drivers, timings and where to see the action in the Official Ulster Rally Programme, available to pre-order online or in your local newsagents from Friday 12 August from outlets throughout NI. Check out www.ulsterrally.com for more details.

You can also tune in and listen to all the live action as it unfolds from this year’s two day event with online live Rally Radio. Supported by John Mulholland Motors, the British Rally Championship and the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship, this new radio service is free and easy to use, just log onto any one of the following websites and click on the ‘John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally Listen Live’ radio: Ulster Rally Ulsterrally.com, John Mullholland Motors Johnmulhollandmotors.com, MSA BRC msabrc.com and TROA irishtarmac.com.

The 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally gets underway from the Guild Hall Square in Derry/Londonderry on Friday 19 with an Autograph Session ahead of the official start at 12:30. The event will be based at Ebrington Square during the weekend

Spencer Sport confirms Garry Jennings will drive Mitsubishi Mirage on Ulster Rally

Posted: August 6, 2016 3:30 AM

Spencer Sport is pleased to confirm that former Irish Tarmac Champion Garry Jennings will drive the team’s R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage on the forthcoming John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. The experienced asphalt specialist will enter the event’s national category in a new face-lift version of the car.

Having commenced discussions with the team about the possibility of entering the event a few weeks ago, Spencer Sport is delighted that the three-times winner of the Ulster Rally has agreed to drive for the southwest Wales based team, as its manager Charlie Jukes explains:

“As Spencer Sport is the UK and Ireland distributor for the R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage, we are always looking to extend the development of the car and increase the level of exposure surrounding it. Therefore, when the opportunity came up to have someone in the car with the experience and profile of Garry, we were very happy to bring things together to make this happen.”

The car Jennings will drive will have come fresh from the factory in Sweden. It will be the first of the R5 specification Mitsubishis to appear with the new face-lift front and rear ends that coincide with the cosmetic updates of the standard Mirage model.

“I’m extremely pleased to be asked by Spencer Sport to drive the Mitsubishi Mirage on the Ulster Rally”, said Jennings. “I’ve been watching the development of the car since it was launched. It looks fantastic and I’ve heard some excellent reports. They say it’s great to drive but there’s really only one way to find out.

“I know it’s going to be different from the WRC car I usually use, but I’m looking forward to finding out what the Mirage is like and working the team to establish a good Irish Tarmac set up, as well as helping them promote the car over here.

“I have to thank Spencer Sport for this opportunity together with my personal sponsors, especially ‘Go’, Irish Access Mats and Donnelly Group, for their support.”

Jennings, from Kesh, will test the car for the team during the week leading up to the rally. He will be co-driven on the event by his regular co-driver, the highly experienced Rory Kennedy from Letterkenny. They will be joined by their Spencer Sport teammates, Welshmen Tom Cave and James Morgan in their Fiesta R5, who are currently lying second in the MSA British Rally Championship.

Taking place on 19th & 20th August, the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally will host the sixth round of the British Championship and the sixth round of the Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac Rally Championship, as well as a round of the McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Rally Championship and the FIA Celtic Rally Trophy.

The event begins at 13.00 on Friday from Derry/Londonderry town centre and, following an overnight halt, will re-start at 08.00 on Saturday morning. After completing a total of 14 stages and 134 competitive miles over both days, crews will return to the town for the finish from 18.00 onwards.

The Spencer Sport team is supported by: Spencer ECA, Michelin, Oil 4 Wales, Reeds Construction & Engineering, Trefeddian Hotel, PIAA lights, Speedline wheels, Rugbi Industrial Supplies, Nicky Grist Motorsports, Omega Lubricants and Atech Racing.


Posted: August 6, 2016 3:28 AM

Top motorcycle racer, Michael Dunlop, 13 times TT winner joins this year’s line up at the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally in its new venue in Derry/Londonderry.

Michael, who has an impressive lineup of top titles on two wheels, now hopes to add a four wheel title to his collection as he competes in a Ford Escort MkII 2 litre (class B6) with co-driver, Rob Fagg.

Barry McKenna from DEN Motorsport who supplied the car has been working with Michael to get it ready for the Rally.
“Michael will have his first chance to get a real feel for the car when he competes at the MJM Dogleap Rally in Ballykelly on Saturday 6 August. It’ll give him a chance to really test the car out, get a feel for the handling and give us a chance to do some more prep before the Ulster. ”

Gary Milligan, Clerk of the Course welcomed Michael as one of the 146 competitors in this year’s event.
“Michael is a great motorcycle racer and it will be spectacular to watch him in the two wheel drive Ford Escort. Spectators will be in for a real treat and it’ll make for some stiff competition amongst the top drivers.”

To listen to all the action live and follow Michael throughout the event, tune into Rally Radio. The free and easy to use news service will be available through any of the following websites: Ulster Rally Ulsterrally.com, John Mullholland Motors Johnmulhollandmotors.com, MSA BRC msabrc.com and TROA irishtarmac.com.

Alternatively follow us on twitter, facebook and Instagram. @ulsterrally


Posted: July 29, 2016 4:30 PM

Tune in and listen to all the live action as it unfolds from this year’s John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. Supported by John Mulholland Motors, the British Rally Championship and the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship.

Rally Radio regulars Chris Rawes from Rawcast Media and Xavier McCartan will be joined by Toni Kelly who herself is no stranger to live Rally Radio and the trio intend to keep a world-wide audience up to date with two days of action as it happens as this year’s much anticipated event.

Chris and Xav have worked together worldwide for several years and have extensive experience producing live broadcasts for rally fans, Chris is the voice of the ERC Radio and TV reporting on programmes from the European Rally Championship and Xav works on a day to day basis in rallying in the UK and Ireland.

Xav commented;
“We are really looking forward to reporting on this year’s John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally bringing a real flavor of the action and up to date information with exciting end of stage comments from the drivers and all the latest news. The Ulster has always been a favourite event of mine and for Chris, Toni and myself to be able to provide Radio coverage this year is superb. No matter where you are in the world you can tune in but it will really add to those who are spectating around the stages of the new venue.”

Gary Milligan, Clerk of the Course is looking forward to bringing this new service to the event;
“Its only with the support of John Mulholland Motors, British Rally Championship and the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship that we are able to offer this new and exciting service this year. Having moved to the new venue in Derry/Londonderry for this year, Rally Radio will really add to the experience for everyone, those competing, service crews, spectators and especially those rally fans that can’t make it to the event.”

This new radio service is free and easy to use, just log onto anyone of the following websites and click on the ‘John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally Listen Live’ radio: Ulster Rally Ulsterrally.com, John Mullholland Motors Johnmulhollandmotors.com , MSA BRC msabrc.com and TROA irishtarmac.com.

Entries Received

Posted: July 20, 2016 9:03 AM

Available at:

2016 JMM Ulster Rally Early Entry Closing date is 27th July...Don't miss your place on the entry list!

Posted: July 20, 2016 8:56 AM

The entry list for the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally has been rising steadily in the last few days with the total number of crews who have secured their place on the starters list now approaching the 100 mark.

For those who have not already submitted an entry, the fastest way is to follow the link below to the Ulster Rally website, click on your preferred event and use our simple on-line entry form. You can also download a copy of the Supplementary Regulations, our Pre-Event Information booklet and see who has entered already. - Link below

Crews are reminded that the early closing date for entries at the standard rate is the 27th July. Entries received between 27th July and the final closing date of 3rd August will be subject to the late entry fee.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Derry~Londonderry in August....and hope you have a safe and successful Ulster Rally

JMM Ulster Rally News - Historic City Welcomes Ulster Rally To Ebrington

Posted: June 29, 2016 6:35 AM

A host of Rally stars joined organisers and special guests at the historic Guildhall Square, Londonderry, for the launch of the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. This year’s event promises both competitors and race fans an action packed weekend of motorsport on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2016 centred at Ebrington Square in Derry/Londonderry, with stages throughout County Londonderry.

In celebrating its 40th year, the event has a new home in this historic city along with new sponsors John Mulholland Motors and Derry City and Strabane District Council. With a host of new stages the race line up will welcome the newly formed FIA European Rally Trophy (Celtic Trophy), the return of the British Rally Championship as well as the highly popular Clonakilty Blackpudding Irish Tarmac and the McGrady Insurance MSA Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championships.

Ulster Rally Clerk of Course, Gary Milligan is excited about this year’s new home at Ebrington;
“It is an honour to be at such a prestigious venue as the Guild Hall to launch the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally. Cathal Curley was the winner of the very first Ulster Rally way back in 1976 in a Porsche 911 so it’s fitting that we are in Derry/Londonderry, 40 years later, to launch the 2016 event. We have the ideal event base at Ebrington Square and as rally fans know from previous Ulster Rallies, the area is well stocked with classic and challenging stages”.

“But it’s not just the venue and stages that make these events, the stars of the event are the drivers, co-drivers and their cars and this year’s Ulster Rally promises a fantastic array of machinery crossing the start ramp in the Guildhall Square at lunchtime on Friday 19th August.

We especially welcome the re-vamped British Rally Championship back onto the Ulster Rally stages and we are looking forward to the battle for supremacy between the R5 cars in the British series and the Irish Tarmac Championship regulars and we are hopeful that our local home-grown talent will again be fighting for pole position in their respective categories in all the major championships included in this year’s event.

Gary continues;
“It’s always a challenge moving to a new venue, but with the support of our new sponsors Derry City and Strabane District Council and John Mulholland Motors, along with the Tourism NI, our local stage sponsors and our many hundreds of volunteers, we believe we have all the right ingredients to make the 40th Ulster Rally the best one yet.”

Headline Sponsor, John Mulholland Motors is based in Randalstown and Campsie and John himself was one of the first to put in his entry for this year’s event.
“Rallying is a passion of mine so I’m thrilled to have the association with the Ulster Rally for the next three years, bringing the sport closer to the public and the fans that support it. I myself have a Skoda S2000 so I’m looking forward to the challenge of these new stages.”

Welcoming the event to its new home, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said;
“We are very proud to be hosting the event, especially marking its 40th year celebrations, and we look forward to showcasing our wonderful district and the surrounding areas to a new audience.

“The Ulster Rally is one of the most significant events in the sporting calendar in terms of attracting a dedicated audience of sports enthusiasts, and there is no doubt that the event will be a major attraction which will have a major impact on our local economy. It’s a fantastic opportunity to attract new visitors to the beautiful North West and we look forward to welcoming you all in August.”

Entries for the event are now open and the organisers, Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd anticipate a top line up of local and International competitors and a host of Irish and Northern Ireland Rally Championship frontrunners. Also included in this year’s Ulster Rally programme is the popular Historic section and the recently introduced Junior category which will be incorporated into the Saturday afternoon stages.

John Mulholland Motors confirmed as headline sponsor of the Ulster Rally

Posted: April 28, 2016 10:45 AM

Launching the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally at Guildhall Square in Derry~Londonderry are
L-R Gary Milligan (CoC) Mayor of Derry City & Strabane Council,
Alderman Hilary McClintock, John Mulholland, Adam Bustard and Ian Connolly.

John Mulholland Motors announced this morning that they will be the headline sponsor of the Ulster Rally for the next three years.

Speaking from his extensive dealership complex at Randalstown, Dealer Principal John Mulholland, a well-known rally driver himself, said that he was "delighted to be the new sponsor of the Ulster Rally for 2016, 2017 and 2018, a rally with a proud history and reputation for exciting competition".

The John Mulholland Motor Group is synonymous with the Skoda, Ford and Hyundai brands, with branches in Randalstown and Campsie. John Mulholland Motors was first founded in 1988 by John and Alicia Mulholland in Randalstown, County Antrim. They soon became the largest Skoda Retailer on the island of Ireland and recently won the most coveted title of "The UK's No. 1 Skoda Retailer of the Year". The Hyundai brand followed some five years later and then latterly Ford in 2008.

The business has expanded into Eglinton in the North West of the Province with Skoda and Hyundai and today, John Mulholland Motor Group is still the only Skoda and Hyundai franchise with multiple representations in the province.

John commented,
"Rallying has been a passion of mine since I was a young boy and it's a privilege for my company to be associated with such a high profile event. When I heard that Derry/Londonderry was being considered as the Host City for the next three years, this was a "no brainer" for us, especially since all the brands we represent, Skoda, Ford and Hyundai, are all actively involved in rallying and feature at the highest levels of motorsport throughout the world.

I myself have a Skoda S2000 and all of this will give us a real opportunity to bring the sport closer to the public in the North West".

Robert Harkness, speaking on behalf of The Northern Ireland Motor Club said
"This is an extremely exciting time for us as John Mulholland Motors are a highly ambitious company and share our aspiration to promote the Ulster International Rally to the maximum number of people in the province and beyond in the years ahead. With John Mulholland Motors as the Headline Sponsor, this feels like a natural fit with his Skoda, Hyundai and Ford brands all competing on the World Rally Stage".

Gary Milligan, Clerk of the Course of the 2016 John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally, commented that
"John has been a regular competitor on the Ulster Rally over many years and we are delighted to now have him as the headline sponsor. This will be an exciting year of new beginnings for the Ulster, with the move to Derry/Londonderry and now a new Headline Sponsor in John Mulholland Motors".

The Ulster Rally was formed in 1980 and is an International Permit Motor Rally promoted by The Northern Ireland Motor Club Ltd under the national regulations of the UK motorsport governing body, the MSA and as appropriate to the International Sporting code of the FIA, the world governing body of motorsport.

The John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally 2016 is a counting round of The FIA European Rally Trophy (Celtic Trophy), The Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac Championship, The British Rally Championship and the McGrady Insurances Northern Ireland Rally Championship.

Full details of the location and route will be announced at the rally launch in Derry/Londonderry towards the end of June 2016."


Posted: February 18, 2016 11:33 AM

Cllr Elisha McCallion with Ulster Rally's Gary Milligan and Ian Connelly
confirm the arrival of the 2016 Ulster International Rally in the Derry City & Strabane District

Northern Ireland's premier motor rally, the Ulster International Rally, is taking place in Derry and Strabane this summer, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion has confirmed.

Speaking at the official launch of the Derry City and Strabane District Council's 2016 festival and events calendar, the Mayor said she was delighted that the city and district will host the Rally on 19 and 20 August, which is one of a select number of events included in the prestigious MSA British Rally and TROA Irish Tarmac Rally Championships.

"Securing the Ulster Rally is a major coup for us and the Council is delighted to be supporting the organisers of this premier sporting event in the city and district. Motor racing and rallying is an extremely popular sport in the North West region and we are hugely excited about international rally drivers and competitors travelling from all over the world to compete in this fantastic competition," she said.

Gary Milligan, Clerk of the Course for the Ulster Rally, thanked the Mayor for the warm welcome extended to the event by the Council and its Officials. He said that the organisers shared her excitement at bringing the Ulster Rally to Derry and Strabane. "With the magnificent Ebrington complex as our base, the support of the Maiden City Motor Club and the unique opportunity to hold part of the rally on the Foyle waterfront, we believe we can make this a truly memorable event for both competitors and the many visitors it will attract to this great City."

The Mayor added that the Ulster Rally was a fantastic addition to the already action packed events calendar for 2016 which see the return of events such as the annual Spring Carnival which includes St Patrick's Day celebrations, the Ubuntu Global Festival and more in a packed programme of fun for all the family taking place from March 17 - 20 , followed closely by the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, from 28 April - May 02 which attracts tens of thousands of music lovers to venues across the district and the Angling Festival in Strabane on 07 and 08 May.

The 2016 Ulster International Rally will play host to the revamped British Rally Championship, the Clonakilty Black Pudding Irish Tarmac and the McGrady Insurance NI Rally Championship's as well as the newly created FIA Celtic Rally Trophy, ensuring that a fantastic variation of rally cars and drivers will tackle the Strabane and Derry stages in August.

Event Website

Posted: February 18, 2016 11:33 AM

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