NI’s Motorsport Celebrates Outstanding Achievement and Success.
February 6, 2014 by Tony Gregory
Despite being a relatively small country, Northern Ireland has again showed it is bursting with motorsport talent and that was evident at the recently held annual Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs (ANICC) awards evening. With an impressive array of more than 200 trophies, the finest competitors in the country were present at the Armagh City Hotel to receive their accolades and awards for the 2013 season.
All motorsport disciplines were represented from autotesting to racing, hillclimbing and rallying, the star-studded evening was a night to remember. On hand to present many of the awards was special guest Alan Drysdale, Chairman of 2 and 4 Wheel Motorsport Steering Group Limited.
Rallying heavy featured during the evening and positively there was a number of young competitors on hand to receive trophies including Adam Bustard, the winner of Northern Ireland Formula 1000 Juniors where 14 to 17 year olds compete against each other in specially prepared 1000cc cars.
Together with presentations honouring all the ANICC Championship winners, ANICC also presented their Clubman of the Year Award to Wendy Blackledge from Enniskillen highlighting special recognition for her services to motorsport both as an administrator for Enniskillen Motor Club over the last 25 years and also as a very successful International Rally Co-driver.
It came as no surprise to learn that the winner of the 2013 Northern Ireland Motorsport Award was Kris Meeke. The award is voted for by members of the media, local motor clubs and ANICC council members and is regarded as the number one prize in Northern Ireland motorsport. Kris previously won this award in 2009 and with him now leading the Citroen WRC team for 2014 and last weekend confirming his talent with podium finish on the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally it shows just how much the motorsport community in Northern Ireland respect his achievements.
Kris said: “Receiving this award is humbling as I know there are many others who have achieved more than I did this year however it is important to know that I have so much support from my home. The Monte Carlo was a most testing event having to contend with ice and snow and my result was the perfect start to the year.”
Speaking on behalf of the ANICC, Chairman Henry Campbell, said: “This has been a tremendous evening for Northern Ireland Motorsport. This small country has the ability to produce some exceptional driving talent and in 2013, many achieved their personal goals and have been recognised on the International stage.”
“Whilst I also congratulate Kris Meeke on being selected for the 2013 ANICC Motorsport Award, I feel it is important to offer support and congratulations to all of our award winners. I wish everyone a safe and successful year’s motorsport during 2014.”
With the triumphs of 2013 behind them, competitors are gearing up towards another successful season. Many championships are already underway and there are sure to be some tight battles in all disciplines. More details about all forms of four-wheeled motorsport in Northern Ireland can be found online at www.anicc.org.uk.
MAIN AWARD WINNERS:
ANICC 2013 MOTORSPORT AWARD
Recipient Kris Meeke
ANICC 2013 CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Recipient Wendy Blackledge
AUGHRIM FILLING STATION AUTOTEST CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 NI Autotest CHAMPION Steven Ferguson
CARRYDUFF FORKLIFT / MSA N I STAGE RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 Northern Ireland Stage Rally Champions Derek McGarrity and James McKee
S.W ADAIR TYRES SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 Sprint Champion John Morgan
MILLERS OILS HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 Hill Climb Champion Graham Thompson
NORTHERN IRELAND FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 NI FF1600 Champion Ivor McCullough
McGRADY INSURANCE NI NAVIGATION RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
2013 Navigational Rally Champions Leslie Young and Lewis Boyd
McGRADY INSURANCE JUNIOR 1000 RALLY CHALLENGE IRELAND
2013 Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Champions Adam Bustard and Brian Bustard