Ulster Rally Ahead for Citroën Racing Trophy Ireland Drivers as the Trophy Gets Social!
August 13, 2012 by Andrew Bushe
Round five of the Citroën Racing Trophy Ireland 2012 takes place on the Ulster International Rally on the 17th-18th August. The event run by the Northern Ireland Motor Club has attracted the most exciting C2 R2 Max line up this season, and with the added competition of all the R2 class competitors in the British Rally Championship it’s going to an amazing race over the fourteen special stages which lie in store, and with extra live coverage on offer to report all of the dramas.
Opposition in the R2 class is going to be very strong. With such an exciting line up, and Citroën Racing offered a 5000€ prize for winning the R2 class outright, a former CRT champions has registered again for the Trophy and has decided to make an exciting return. Donegal’s Adrian McElhinney won the 2009 and 2011 CRT Ireland Trophies, and he is back in a newly built right hand drive C2 Max, and looking forward to the Ulster Rally challenge. “Once I heard about the superb entry of front wheel drive cars, I decided to put an entry in” commented Adrian.” I had originally planned to be out in Donegal, but work commitments took priority, so it’s brilliant to be back out on the Ulster. We had a wee run out in this new car to shake it down on the ALMC Stages, so it will be interesting to see how we will fare against the top British Championship crews, and of course the top Irish C2 crews.” Adrian’s cousin Damien will be in the co-driver’s seat.
Of course the importance at this stage is very much on the championship, and Kevin O’Connor from Askeaton, County Limerick is in command, after victories in West Cork, the IRC Circuit of Ireland and Donegal events. Kevin however will want to prove his pace against this quality field and he will have to bear in mind that the newly registered crews could well steal a few points. With the significant prize money available, the usual 3500€ available for the CRT Ireland win, but upped to 5000€ if they take R2 outright, it’s a big incentive to Kevin who is on a limited budget.
Westport’s David Carney lies second after what has been a good season to date, the highlight being a win in Killarney. Steve Wood from Aberystwyth in Wales has also entered and his consistency has also come more speed on each round to date. Kieran Daly who showed so well in Killarney, and was second in Donegal will not start this round, but Armagh’s Sean Agnew will with Peter Deery in the hot seat. Sean has been adapting to his newly upgraded car this year and is looking forward to the Ulster.
Another new registration for the CRT Ireland series is Preston driver James Ford, who acquired Desi Henry’s old C2 Max this year. “I decided to go the C2 Max route after starting the year in a 300 horse power MK2 Escort. It’s a bit different to drive, but the C2 is a good package, and I am getting more used to front wheel drive driving. We had some brake problems on the Jim Clark Rally, but we think we have cured those, and we had a good run out on the Rally of the Midlands, winning the class by a few minutes. We plan to do the Tyneside stages, on Otterburn, just before the Ulster, but the Ulster will be my first rally in Ireland, so it will be a new challenge for us.”
This year’s Todds Leap Ulster International Rally will once again be based at the excellent venue of the Junction One shopping complex in Antrim, and will include six stages on Friday, including runs over the awesome Torr Head and Glendun stages, two of the best tarmac special stages in Northern Ireland. It promises to be a fantastic battle of the 1600cc class R2 front wheel drive rally cars.
Getting Social on the Ulster!
The Ulster International will see a new experiment by the Citroën Racing Trophy for the UK and Irish runners, as we have a major social media drive. End of stage interviews, results, in-car footage, blogs and exclusive interviews will all be posted live on the Citroën Racing Trophy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts over the weekend.
You can follow the progress of the Citroen Racing Trophy via Facebook at facebook.com/citroenracingtrophy on Twitter and via You-tube.
As a further incentive Charles Hurst and the CRT organisers have put up three prizes with the winners selected from a prize draw, from those who follow the Citroën Racing Trophy on Twitter and like the Facebook page to follow the latest news. Prizes as follows:
1st A unique framed and signed Citroën WRC team print and a passenger run in a DS3 R3 rally car on a rally test day!
2nd A Citroën Racing light-weight rally jacket
3rd A Citroën Racing soft shell rally jacket
There are truly prizes for everyone this weekend on the Citroën Racing Trophy!
Citroën Racing Trophy Ireland- Points after Round Four
1 Kevin O’Connor 985pts
2 David Carney 849
3 Steve Wood 704
4 Kieran Daly 375
5 Joe McGonigle 311
6 Sean Agnew 217
7 Paul Manton 179
8 Peter Barrable 145
9 Stephen Greeney 72
10 Andrew Hockridge 43