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History

History 2017-03-15T20:19:00+00:00

Ulster Rally History 1976 – 1985

 

1976 – The inaugural Ulster Rally finished with a string of Porsches filling the podium places, Cahal Curley the victor, Dessie McCartney second and Brian Nelson third. Billy Coleman finished 7th in the Chequered Flag Lancia Stratos, with Jimmy McRae 8th and first Group 1 in a Vauxhall Magnum. Ford Motor Co entrants Roger Clark and Ari Vatanen retired their Escort RS1800s. Ron Neely was a very creditable 10th in his Cooper S.

 

1977 – Although Porsches did not dominate like the previous year, Adrain Boyd’s brother Derek won in a Carrera in 1977. Russell Brookes was second in an Escort and Finn Pennti Airikkala third in a Chevette HS. Hannu Mikkola retired his Toyota Corolla and Jimmy McRae won Group 1 in a Vauxhall Magnum, from Bertie Fishers Escort RS2000.

1978 – John Taylor won the Ulster in 1978 in a semi works Escort. Second was Ernest Kidney in an Escort and Brian Nelson third in a Porsche. This was the inaugural year of the Tarmac Championship and the Ulster has been in it to some degree every year since. Top seed and previous years winner Derek Boyd retired his Triumph TR7. John Lyons finished 6th and first in Group 1 in an Escort RS2000.

 

1979 – Pennti Airikkala was here in a work Vauxhall Chevette HS. He won by a margin of exactly one minute from team-mate Scot Jimmy McRae in a similar car, with the Saab 99 of Swede Stig Blomqvist third. Malcolm Wilson and Henri Toivonen both retired their Total Oil (GB) Escort RS1800s. Sean Campbell was Group 1 winner in his Escort RS2000.

 

1980 – Dessie McCartney won the Ulster in 1980, this time based in his home town of Larne, with the Chevette HSR. The only non-home entry in with a chance of winning was Jimmy McRae, however Derek Boyd finished second with Robin Lyons third, both driving a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Jimmy McRae retired his Chevette HSR. Sean Campbell won Group 1 in an Opel Ascona 2000i, finishing 7th overall. Austin MacHale finished 10th in his Escort RS2000.

 

1981 – Jimmy McRae was once again present in GM machinery in 1981, this time an Opel Ascona 400, winning from Bertie Fisher who was in an Escort. Brendan Fegan finished third in his Chevette HSR. Austin MacHale finished 7th overall and first in Group 1 in an Escort RS2000.

 

1982 – Fisher wins his first international with a fine drive in his Escort, with Per Eklund second in a works Celica and the Ascona of Ian Cathcart third. Bertie Fisher has felt strongly over the past couple of years that Irish asphalt rallying needed legal pace notes. When the International Ulster Rally announced the use of notes, Fisher came out of semi-retirement. Torrance Crockett won Group A (formerly Group 1) in an Escort RS2000.

 

1983 – Swede Stig Blomqvist returned and won the Ulster in a works Audi Quattro. Bertie Fisher was second in his new Manta 400 and Russel Brookes third in a Chevette. Per Eklund finished 8th and first in Group A in Team Toyota GB entered Toyota Corolla GT. Louise Aitken was third in Group A in a Ford Motor Co entered Escort 1600i. German Driver Harald Demuth retired the Audi Sport UK entered Audi80 Quattro.

 

1984 – Obliterating the opposition could be one of the terms used to describe Walter Rorhl’s victory in the all new Audi Quattro Sport. He finished with over a 4 min margin from nearest challenger Russell Brookes in a Manta. The next three slots were also filled by Mantas, McRae, Fisher and Coleman finishing third to fifth respectively. David Mann finished 10th and first in Group A in his Toyota Corolla. Per Eklund retired his Corolla as did Malcolm Wilson in an Audi Quattro A1.

 

1985 – Just like the Circuit earlier in the year, McRae and Brookes were locked in a battle of supremacy, both in Manta 400’s and both under GM Dealer Sport orders. McRae was allowed to win the Circuit, but Brookes got his own back on the Ulster where he was allowed to win after another Ding Dong battle with Jimmy. Finn Michael Sundstrum was third in a Peugeot 205T16. Top seed Michelle Mouton had a short rally retiring her Audi Quattro after stage 1. Tony Pond was 8th overall and first Group A in his Rover Vitesse, ahead of Per Eklund in a Toyota Celica Supra. Pennti Airikkala was first in class 5 with his Vauxhall Astra GTE.

Ulster Rally History 1986 – 1995

 

1986 – McRae in a Rothmans Metro 6R4 won ahead of Mark Lovell in an RS200 with Michael Sundstrum third in a Peugeot 205T16. Harri Toivonen finished fourth in a Metro 6R4, with Louise Aitken-Walker an excellent 7th in a Nissan 240 RS. Dave Metcalfe won Group A in an Astra GTE and Leo Shaw was first in the Group N category for standard cars in his Toyota Corolla. Norwegian John Haughland, a regular visitor to Ireland, finished 10th in his Skoda 130 LR.

 

1987 – Mark Lovell won in a works Sierra with Bertie Fisher second in the Manta and McRae third in another Sierra. Swedish driver Sebastian Lindholm and David Llewellin finished 8th and 10th respectively in the Audi Sport UK entered Audi Quattro Coupe’s. Malcolm Wilson retired his Peugeot Talbot Sport entered 205 GTi, while Louise Aitken-Walker won the class with her 205 GTi. Leo Shaw was again the Group N winner in his Toyota Corolla.

 

1988 – McRae took top spot and surprisingly Lovell came second in his Sierra RS Cosworth, considering various problems including a wrong tyre choice, two diff failures and spending two and half minutes in a ditch. Malcolm Wilson was third in the GM Dealer Sport Vauxhall Astra GTE. Swede Kalle Grundel finished 8th in his Talbot Sport entered Peugeot 309 GTi. Colin McRae won his class and finished 12th overall in a Vauxhall Nova. Gwyndaf Evans was the Group N winner and 9th overall in a Sierra RS Cosworth. Pennti Airikkala retired his Mitsubishi Starion.

 

1989 – The Welsh Wizard, Gwyndaf Evans won in a Sierra Cosworth ahead of Brookes in another Sierra and David Llewellyn third in the Toyota Celica GT Four. Swede Hakan Eriksson finished 6th in his class winning Peugeot 309 GTi, with Norwegian John Haughland’s class winning Skoda Favorit 136L in 8th place. Frank Fennell in a Sierra Cosworth was first in Group N and just outside the top 10, in 11th place. Top 10 seeds, Malcolm Wilson, Astra GTE, Pennti Airikkala, Mitsubishi Galant VR and Mark Lovell, Sierra Cosworth all retired.

 

1990 – Although David Llewellyn finished four minutes ahead of Bertie Fisher in his Celica GT Four, the margin is not a decent reflection on the competition. Llewellyn had many problems but seemed to pull back much time, while his competition from Wilson and McRae struggled for grip in their Sierras. Bertie Fisher had a rally of his own with a new high revving engine for his BMW M3 and the tyres were quickly shredded to bits, but on day two and stages around his home territory as well as drier roads helped him keep a constant pace to eventually finish second overall. Graham Middleton was third in another M3. Wilson retired and McRae finished in 8th. Gwyndaf Evans won Group N and finished in 7th place. Our Scandinavian visitors John Haughland and Hakan Eriksson both retired.

 

1991 – It was nine years since Fisher won the event in his Escort MkII and it was not looking promising in 1991 as he trailed a certain Scot, Colin McRae, by 37 seconds at the end of day 1. However McRae had a puncture and retired a few stages later, Leaving Fisher to cruise home as winner in his Sapphire 4×4, with Russel Brookes second in a Sapphire Cosworth. Richard Smyth was an excellent third in his Sierra Cosworth. Finn Mika Solberg retired his Group N Mitsubishi Galant VR and the Group N category was won by Robbie Head in a Sierra Cosworth, who finished in 5th place. In 1991 The Northern Ireland Motor Club also ran a Historic Rally, which was won by Brian Powley in a Porsche 911.

 

1992 – While the Circuit of Ireland dropped out of the British Championship, the Ulster Rally remained part and just as he had done on the Manx, Colin McRae, in the Subaru Legacy RS, dominated the Ulster, this time a staggering ELEVEN minutes ahead of David Greer in second and Frank Meager in third, both in Sierras. Louise Aitken-Walker in 6th place was the Group N winner in the Sierra Cosworth. Top 10 seeds, Kenny McKinstry and Bertie Fisher both in Subaru Legacy RS, plus Alistair McRae, Sierra Cosworth all retired.

 

1993 – Malcolm Wilson dominated to give the Michelin Pilot Escort Cosworth its maiden win on the British Open series. Bertie Fisher, Subaru Legacy RS, who finished second couldn’t keep up with the sheer pace of the Pilot Escort which was more or less WRC spec, Two more Subaru Legacys filled the next two places, with Alister McRae third and Kenny McKinstry fourth. Stephen Finlay, incidentally in the ex-Fisher Sapphire, had put up a strong performance to maintain a top three place, but several erratic offs and then engine worries ended his rally. Gwyndaf Evans in 6th place was the Group N winner, with Tony Pond an excellent 10th in a Metro GTi 1.4.

 

1994– Wilson convincingly won in 1994, setting fastest times on 16 of the 19 stages, in his Michelin Pilot Escort, with team mate Stephen Finlay in second. Kenny McKinstry was third in the Legacy and fourth and first F2 car was future world champion Tommi Makinnen in a Nissan Sunny GTi. Mark Rowe in an Escort Cosworth finished first in the Group N category. Norwegian Bruno Arntsen finished acreditable 10th in his Opel Astra GSi. Fisher rolled his Impreza 555, on stage one and the oil lost resulted in an engine failure later in the event. Finn Sebastian Lindholm retired his VW Golf GTi after stage 1.

 

1995– A somewhat subdued Stephen Finlay admitted he couldn’t keep up to Bertie Fisher’s pace on the Ulster Rally 1995, which he won with a minute and a half to spare in his Subaru Impreza. Finlay was second in the Michelin Pilot Escort, with Liam O’Callaghan third in his Celica Turbo 4WD. These three were the main contenders in a mainly F2 car dominated event. Despite their ability to perform they could not match the 4×4 Group A cars. Alistair McRae was first F2 car in fifth place in a Nissan Sunny GTi, while French man Alain Oreille finished in 7th place in an F2 Renault Clio Williams. Trevor Cathers won Group N in a Subaru Impreza WRX, finishing outside the top ten. A Historic Rally was re-introduced and was won by Sean Campbell in a Porsche 911.

Ulster Rally History 1996 – 2006

 

1996 – Bertie Fisher in his Impreza was the only non-F2 car to finish in the top ten of a predominantly British Rally Championship rally and won with over three minutes to spare from his nearest F2 rival Robbie Head in the Renault Megane. Gwyndaf Evans and Kenny McKinstry finished third and fourth respectively, both in Escort RS2000s. Eamonn Boland had been in third until the penultimate stage when mechanical problems put him out of the rally. Trevor Cathers in the Subaru Impreza WRX won Group N ahead of Finnish visitor Olli Harkki in a Mistsubishi Lancer RS Evo 3. F2 runners Alistair McRae, VW Golf GTi, Harri Rovenperra, Escort RS2000, Alain Oreille, Reanault Maxi Megane, Mark Higgins, Nissan Sunny GTi and Finn Tapio Laukkanen, VW Golf GTi as well as Finn Mika Korhonen in a Group N Lancer Evo 3 all retired. The Historic Rally was won by John Keatley in a Porsche 911.

 

1997 – The entry on the 1997 Ulster was dominated by F2, GpN and homologated cars, with all the BRC works and privateer teams out in force, meaning very few Group A cars started, and any with a chance of winning. Andrew Nesbitt was one of those Group A drivers, but various skirmishes and spins demoted him from a chance of winning outright, eventually finishing third in his battered Celica. Winner was Mark Higgins in the F2 Nissan Sunny GTi, having pulled big gaps of nearly 10 seconds a stage on the second day, from his nearest rival and eventual second place winner Gwyndaf Evans in the screaming Escort Kit Car RS2000. David Mann in a Proton WIRA Persona was first in Group N, finishing well outside the top ten. Leading F2 retirements were Tapio Laukkanen, VW Golf GTi and Neil Wearden, Honda Civic VTi. Czech driver Jindrich Stolfa finished in 14th place in the Skoda Felicia Kit Car. A National Rally was included in the schedule and Ian Greer won in his Toyota Celica Dessie Nutt won the Historic Rally in a Porsche 911.

 

1998 – Group A cars were not allowed on the Ulster or Manx so could not win outright for championship points, but Gwyndaf Evans won the Ulster Rally in the Seat Ibiza Kit Car by almost a minute from Martin Rowe in his Renault Megane and fourteen seconds behind was Alistair McRae in a VW Golf. Fourth was another Golf, driven by Raimund Baumschlager, with Tapio Laukkanen fifth in a Renault Megane Maxi. Finn Marko Ipatti finished 7th and first Group N in a Mitsubishi Carisma GT. Finn Jarmo Kytolehto, Vauxhall Astra and Swede Mats Andersson, Escort Maxi both retired. Geoff Jones gave the Nissan Micra Kit Car its debut and finished in 14th place. Dessie Nutt was again victorious in the Historic Rally in his Porsche 911.

 

1999 – Again, the Ulster was F2 dominated and none of the main tarmac championship contenders could compete in the main field. The Ulster was won by Neil Wearden in the Vauxhall Astra from Gwyndaf Evans in the Seat Kit car, with Mark Higgins third in the VW Golf. Derek McGarrity was first Group N car in 4th place, while Neil Simpson was an excellent 5th in a Diesel Golf. Tapio Laukkanen finished down in 10th place in the Renault Magane Maxi. Leading crews Mark Rowe, Renault Megane Maxi, Jarmo Kytolehto, Astra Kit Car, Ramund Baumschlager, VW Golf GTi, and Tony Gardemeister, Seat Ibiza all retired. The Historic Rally was won for the third year in a row by Dessie Nutt in a Porsche 911.

 

2000 – The Northern Ireland Motor Club introduced a raft of forward thinking and innovative changes to the rally. Including Spectator areas with easy access, good viewing, results service and commentary at some was one of the new ideas. Rather than promote a full Ulster Rally a smaller challenge one-day event was promoted to test out all the new ideas. Ian Greer won the rally in a Toyota Corolla, with Peadar Hurson second in an Escort Cosworth and Philip Shaw third in a Ford Escort.

2001 – No rally, foot and mouth disease.

 

2002 – For the first time in many years the Ulster and Manx rallies allowed full Group A cars to complete in the main field. Andrew Nesbitt was true class on the Ulster just as he had been for the previous few seasons, setting fastest times on 14 of the 15 special stages. In the Impreza he finished over 2 minutes ahead of second place Jonny Milner in a Toyota Corolla, with Daniel Doherty third in another Impreza. Gwyndaf Evans was the first S16 car in 5th place in a MG ZR, with Trevor Cathers in 9th place, the first Group N in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5. Leading retirements were Guy Wilks, Kris Meeke and Martin Rowe, all in Ford Pumas. Philip Wylie won the Historic Rally in his MGB.

 

2003 – Finn Tapio Laukkanen only the second Finn to win the Ulster, the first being Pennti Airikkala in 1979, won in 2003 in the Subaru Impreza WRC, with fellow Impreza driver Derek McGarrity in second, some two minutes behind. In third was 2002 second place finisher Jonny Milner in a Toyota Corolla WRC. Jarri Matti Latvala, the young 18 year old Finn and former Airikkala protégé came in fourth in a Ford Focus WRC. First non WRC driver home was Kris Meeke in fifth place and first S16 car in a S1600 Corsa had a graet battle over the weekend with MG driver Gwyndaf Evans whose car halted at the end of the last stage. Nesbitt who had been leading by a minute and a half from Laukkanen, clipped a rock on a stage in the Sperrin Mountains and shortly after his car left the road. Roy White won the Group N category in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo7. Stephen Hall driving a Triumph TR4 won the Historic event.

 

2004 – This year saw Mark Higgin’s second coming. He won in his Stobart Focus WRC with over 2 and a half minutes to spare from Eugene Donnelly in his Corolla WRC. Austin McHale finished a further 2 minutes in another Focus WRC in third. Although Austin had been coming to the Ulster on and off for over 20 years by this stage, this was actually his first podium finish on this prestigious event. Andrew Nesbitt in the Impreza WRC who was challenging Mark Higgins in the opening stages crashed heavily on the third stage which put him out of the event. Gwyndaf Evans in the Ford Puma S1600 was first S16 car in 7th place, with Dessie Keenan in a Lancer Evo7 first in Group N. A National Rally was again included and Camillus Bradley was first in an Escort MkII, with Mervyn Johnston winning the Historic Rally in an Austin Mini Cooper.

 

2005 – In 2005 Eugene Donnelly claimed his first win on what he called his ‘home event’, certainly his home international anyway. He brought his ‘wee Corolla’ home in first in one piece, but it was not an easy task, he finished just 8 seconds ahead of eventual second place finisher Tim McNulty in his Impreza WRC after having battled with each other throughout much of the second day. Early leader Nesbitt in a hired Impreza WRC retired with engine troubles, nothing more than a plastic oil cap which popped, forcing him to stop to ensure he didn’t seize the engine. Two time winner Mark Higgins had a big spin early on but despite this was leading well ahead of Donnelly, until a driveshaft gave way on the last leg of stages and his rally was essentially over. Third place went to Derek McGarrity in an Impreza WRC, half a minute behind McNulty. Seamus Leonard won the Group N category in a Lancer Evo 8, with Brian O’Mahony first in the S16 Category. In 2005 the National Rally was a round of the MSA British Tarmac Championship and was won by John Price is a Metro 6R4. John Keatley was first in the Historic Rally in an Escort MkI.

 

2006 – Donnelly’s second win came in 2006, again same team and car as 2005, but his competition was slightly different. Group N cars were back as the main winning class of the BRC from this year onwards again and six of the top ten finishers were Group N’s, compared to only one the year previous. Kris Meeke in a S1600 C2 surprised many by leading on day one for short time in perfect bone dry conditions, and held second until day 2 when it poured, leaving Kris with a major disadvantage to the WRC’s On the second day he slid into a ditch, losing four minutes, he did finish, albeit back in 12th place, but still first in the S16 category. Second place went to Eamonn Boland in his Focus WRC, over a minute behind Donnelly and third Garry Jennings some minute and a half off Boland in his Impreza WRC. Gwyndaf Evans had an excellent 5th place and first Group N in a Lancer Evo9. Tony Davies was first in the National Rally in his Subaru Impreza WRC, and Ray Cunningham won the Historic event in a Morris Mini Cooper.

Ulster Rally History 2007 – 2016

 

2007 – Kris Meeke had a comfortable win, leading from start to finish, in an Impreza WRC, finishing over 2 minutes ahead of second place man Eugene Donnelly, also in an Impreza WRC, with Eamonn Boland third in another Impreza WRC, over 2 minutes behind Donnelly. Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen entered, but did not start. Group N was won by Mark Higgins in a Subaru Impreza, with Conrad Rautenback first S16 in 9th overall. Andrew Nesbitt and Tim McNulty both retired their Impreza WRCs. John Price was the National winner in his Metro 6R4, with Alan Jardine first in the Historic Rally in his Escort MkI.

 

2008 – Eamonn Boland and Kevin Lynch had a close battle for the lead throughout the event with Eamonn coming out on top by just under half a minute, both in Subaru Impreza WRC’s. Mark Higgins in a Group N Subaru Impreza was an excellent third, just over a minute and a half behind Lynch. Citroen entered Simon Jean-Joseph in the C2R2 Max, which was in its debut season. However Jean-Joseph was unable to come and his place was taken at the last moment by Sebastien Ogier. Ogier won his class by over 5 minutes and finished 13th overall, beating much more powerful machinery. David Armstrong in a Subaru Impreza WRC won the National Rally. Keith McIvor was first in the Historic event in his Porsche 911.

 

2009– 2009 saw one of the closest finishes, when Eugene Donnelly in a Skoda Fabia WRC, edged out the Ford Focus WRC of Gareth MacHale by 14.1 seconds, after a rally long battle. Derek McGarrity was over 2 minutes behind the battle for the lead in third place in an Impreza WRC. Mark Higgins had a close battle with Gwyndaf Evans, winning Group N by under 9 seconds in an Impreza. The British and Irish Championship catered for a number of one categories and the Ulster also hosted a round of the Renault Sport Clio R3 West European Trophy, with entries from Belgium and Holland as well as UK and Ireland. The Category was won by Belgian Kris Princen, his main rival Kevin Abbring going off on the first stage. Camillus Bradley in an Escort MkII won the National rally, with Ernie Graham wining the Historic Rally in a Ford Escort RS.

 

2010 – This year provided a much, much closer finish then 2009, with Derek McGarrity’s Impreza WRC edging out Gareth McHale’s Ford Focus WRC by 1.1 second. The Ulster consisted of 5 separate events and in third overall was Craig Breen in a Fiesta S2000, who won the Rally NI event, which was for non-WRC homologated cars, mainly S2000 and Group N cars. Citroen, through PH Sport debuted their DS3 R3, with Brian Bouffier driving and won his class by over 12 minutes was fifth non- WRC car home. George Robinson in an Impreza WRC was first in the National Rally. The Historic Rally was a round of the MSA British Historic Rally Championship and the Category winners were: Ray Cunningham, Morris Mini Cooper S; David Stokes, Ford Escort RS 1600 and Connor Corkill, Ford Escort MkII.

 

2011– Another extremely close result with Tim McNulty in his Impreza WRC finishing, just 14.7 seconds ahead of Derek McGarrity’s similar car. Darren Gass in another Impreza WRC fished third, just under 2 minutes behind McGarrity. Garry Jennings was first in Rally NI and fifth overall. Pat Kirk in a Group N Mitsubishi EVO 9 won the National Rally, while the category winners in the Historic Rally were: Dessie Nutt, Porsche 911; David Stokes, Escort RS1600 and Tomas Davies, Escort RS1800.

 

2012 – Darren Gass had a winning margin of over a minute from Garry Jennings, both in Impreza WRC’s. Daragh O’Riordan, also in an Impreza WRC finished third over two minutes behind Jennings. Keith Cronin won Rally NI and fifth overall in a Citroen DS3 R3. The National Rally was won by Frank Kelly driving his Escort MkII RS, with the Historic Rally category winners: Dessie Nutt, Porsche 911; Julian Reynolds, Ford Escort RS1600; Tomas Davies, Escort RS1800 and Rob Smith, Vauxhall Chevette, first in the FIA App K category.

 

2013 – Garry Jennings, in the Impreza WRC, finally made the top step of the podium finishing over a minute ahead of second place man Derek McGarrity in a Focus WRC, with Donagh Kelly a distant third, also in a Focus WRC. Osian Pryce was first in the Rally NI category and fourth overall. Derek McGeehan was first in the National Rally in his Mini WRC. The Historic Rally category winners were: James O’Mahoney, Volvo 144S; Richard Hill, Escort RS1600; Ryan Barrett, Escort RS1800 and Rob Smith, Escort RS1800.

2014 – The 2014 Rally was an extremely sad event for the Organisers of the event. An accident at the end of the third stage resulted in the tragic death of local driver Timothy Cathcart. The Organisers cancelled the remainder of the event and declared the results up until that point, with Garry Jennings first, Declan Boyle second and Eugene Donnelly third all in Impreza WRC’s. The National Rally was cancelled as the crews had not started. The Historic category winners were: James O’Mahoney, Volvo 144S; Stanley Orr, Escort MkI; Shaun Rayner, Escort RS2000 and Rob Smith, Escort RS1800.

 

2015 – Top seed Garry Jennings was looking for a first – to make it three wins in a row, a feat not previously achieved, but on the first stage Jennings engine in the Impreza would not perform and finished the stage in 12th place. Some time was lost in trying to find the problem, which appeared to be lose turbo pipe and Garry set fastest time on the second stage, but had incurred a 40 second penalty, being 4 minutes late to the stage. Donagh Kelly was now leading the rally, however as the Irish Tarmac Championship was at stake he was driving to ensure a finish. Jennings set a string of fastest times and by the second stage on day 2 he had taken the lead of the rally. He started the final stage with a comfortable lead of 40 seconds over Kelly. Drama struck within sight of the finish line of the stage when the car burst into flames and Jennings rally was over. This left Kelly a comfortable winner in his Focus WRC, with Desi Henry taking an excellent second in a Skoda Fabia S2000 and Derek McGeehan a distant third in his Mini WRC. McGeehan also won the National Rally, with Mervyn Johnston, Austin Mini Cooper; Shaun Rayner, Escort MkI; Adrian Kermode, Porsche 911 and Raymond Johnston, Escort RS1800 the Historic category winners.

 

2016 – The BRC returned after a year’s absence and along with Tarmac championship allowed R5 cars as the main contenders in both championships, resulting in two very competitive series. Alistair Fisher lead initially in his Fiesta R5, however he had a puncture on stage 3 and dropped to 5th place, leaving Elfyn Evans, also in a Fiesta R5 in the lead. Elfyn continued at the front adding another Evans Ulster win to the two his father Gwyndaf had in 89 and 98. There was battle behind for the next four places, Keith Cronin had been in second place chasing down Evans, until he had gearbox issues in the Citroen DS3 R5 which required a change of box resulting in road penalties dropping him down to fifth. Fisher fought back to finish second, with Jonny Greer holding off the challenge of David Bogie and Cronin to finish third in the Citroen DS3 R5. Cronin had to settle for fifth behind Bogie in the Skoda Fabia R5. Alan Carmichael in a Mini WRC won the National event, with Richard Hall, in a Lotus Sunbeam first inthe combined categories 1 – 4 and Andy Johnston winning the FIA App K category in his Vauxhall Chevette HSR.

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