Magic man McKinstry faces fight to hang onto his crown

Reigning champion Kenny McKinstry heads the entry for tomorrow’s Magic Bullet Rally at the Kirkistown Race Circuit for the beginning of the DGM/Carryduff Forklift Northern Ireland Rally Championship.

More than 80 entries line up for the North Armagh Motor Club event that will be contested over six stages — all within the confines of the Down venue.

McKinstry will have some strong competition with Derek McGarrity (Subaru WRC S14) and the Subaru WRCs of Conor McCloskey, Kevin Barrett, James Gillen and John McGaffin amongst the opposition. Top Group N exponent Neil McCance (Mitsubishi) should also be very competitive.

Keith White, James Kennedy, Fintan McGrady and John Waring, all in Ford Escorts, are just some of the drivers in the two-wheel drive section.

Meanwhile, seeded at 35, Laurie Smyth will pilot the McGeehan Motorsport MINI John Cooper Works WRC. The organisers will observe a minute’s silence in memory of Cyril Doherty, who took ill at last year’s event and passed away in hospital.

Also tomorrow, the ALMC Endurance Trial at the Luttrellstown Castle Resort Golf Club in north County Dublin will consist of a series of trials in Collon, Slane, Navan and Dunshaughlin with competing crews returning to Luttrellstown. Piers MacFheorais/Ian McCulloch (Mazda), Karl O’Donoghue/Padraig Farrell (Rover 200), Dermot Carnegie/Paul Bosdet (Ford Escort), George Treacy and his son George (Skoda) and Ted Gaffney/Karen Gaffney (Volkswagen) are some of the entries.

Well-known historic driver Frank Fennell (Mercedes Benz) and former Billy Coleman award winner Robert Barrable (Toyota Starlet) are also competing.

On Sunday, father and son duo Jimmy and James Lucey from Ballyvourney are the principal entries for the Skibbereen & District Car Club’s Loose Surface Autocross at Campbell’s Pit, Grancore, Clonakilty. The event is the opening round of the Munster Autocross series, with the first timed run at 10.30am. The latest round of the Irish Rallycross championship takes place at Mondello Park from 10.15am and the Hewison Autotest series continues in Swans Cross, County Monaghan at 11.30am.

The Carrick-on-Suir Motor Club have announced details of their early entry incentive package for the forthcoming Willie Loughman Forest Rally.

Crews who enter before next Friday will be eligible to participate in a draw offering accommodation for two in the Carraig Hotel (event HQ), a full refund of the entry fee or €225 refund of the entry fee.

The rally is the second round of the Valvoline Irish Forest Rally Championship.

Organisers of the British Rally Championship have announced that Competition Car Insurance has become the official insurance provider to the 2012 series.

The Dunlop Sexton Trophy for the Young Racing Driver of the Year has undergone a number of changes.

Motorsport Ireland have announced this year’s winner will receive a full season of racing in Formula Ford culminating in the World Cup at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone in 2013.

The car, which will be provided by Motorsport Ireland with backing from Dunlop and the Irish Sports Council, will be run by professional racing team Bernard Dolan Racing.

Akin to the Billy Coleman award, the winner of the racing award will receive a year of mentoring. Dubliner Mick Merrigan, who is synonymous with Formula Ford and the management of young drivers, will tutor the 2012 winner.

“I feel that the change in the rules for this award will encourage more young Irish drivers to compete in a variety of racing classes,” he said.

“Hence, it will improve the grids across Motorsport Ireland’s championships for 2012.”

The winner, who must be under 23 and competing nationally, will be chosen from the six drivers selected as the Dunlop Sexton Young Racing Driver of the Month from April through to September.

The top three will then be announced prior to the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Awards for 2012.

Alex Sinclair, chief executive of Motorsport Ireland, said: “This is an opportune time to refocus attention on the home scene and give one talented young racing driver a great chance to succeed in 2013.”

More in this section

CourtsMotorsportPlace: Kirkistown Race CircuitPlace: North Armagh Motor ClubPlace: DownPlace: Luttrellstown Castle Resort Golf ClubPlace: North County DublinPlace: CollonPlace: SlanePlace: NavanPlace: DunshaughlinPlace: LuttrellstownPlace: BallyvourneyPlace: Campbell’s Pit, GrancorePlace: ClonakiltyPlace: Mondello ParkPlace: Swans Cross, County MonaghanPlace: Carraig HotelPlace: SilverstonePerson: McKinstryPerson: Kenny McKinstryPerson: Derek McGarrityPerson: Conor McCloskeyPerson: Kevin BarrettPerson: James GillenPerson: John McGaffinPerson: Neil McCancePerson: Keith WhitePerson: James KennedyPerson: Fintan McGradyPerson: John WaringPerson: Laurie SmythPerson: Cyril DohertyPerson: Piers MacFheoraisPerson: Ian McCullochPerson: Karl O’DonoghuePerson: Padraig FarrellPerson: Dermot CarnegiePerson: Paul BosdetPerson: George TreacyPerson: GeorgePerson: Ted GaffneyPerson: Karen GaffneyPerson: Frank FennellPerson: Billy ColemanPerson: Robert BarrablePerson: JimmyPerson: James LuceyPerson: Mick MerriganPerson: Alex SinclairEvent: Magic Bullet RallyEvent: Forklift Northern Ireland Rally ChampionshipEvent: ALMC Endurance TrialEvent: Loose Surface AutocrossEvent: Munster Autocross seriesEvent: Irish Rallycross ChampionshipEvent: Hewison Autotest seriesEvent: Willie Loughman Forest RallyEvent: Valvoline Irish Forest Rally ChampionshipEvent: BritishEvent: World Cup at Brands HatchEvent: Walter Hayes TrophyEvent: DunlopEvent: Dunlop Motorsport Ireland AwardsOrganisation: Subaru WRC S14Organisation: Subaru WRCsOrganisation: MitsubishiOrganisation: Ford EscortsOrganisation: McGeehan Motorsport MINIOrganisation: MazdaOrganisation: Ford EscortOrganisation: SkodaOrganisation: VolkswagenOrganisation: Mercedes BenzOrganisation: Toyota StarletOrganisation: & District Car ClubOrganisation: Carrick-on-Suir Motor ClubOrganisation: Rally ChampionshipOrganisation: Competition Car InsuranceOrganisation: Motorsport IrelandOrganisation: DunlopOrganisation: Irish Sports CouncilOrganisation: Bernard Dolan RacingOrganisation: Formula Ford

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