MEMBERS of the Todds Leap Ulster Rally’s organising committee were left speechless at the British Rally Championship’s (BRC) end of season awards night in Manchester on Saturday when Rally NI was again named Rally of the Year.

The BRC Rally of the Year award was first presented in 2003 with the Ulster Rally taking the honours in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2012. This year the same Todds Leap Rally N.I team had cause for double celebration on Saturday, Clerk of the Course Lewis Boyd accepting the award on behalf of the organisers and hundreds of volunteers for the fifth time on his 50th birthday.

2013 threw up a new set of challenges for the Ulster Rally team as the entire five-event rally shifted across Northern Ireland to Fermanagh and South Tyrone for the first time.

Clerk of the course, Lewis Boyd, was taken aback with the award, but he was keen to pay tribute to his fellow volunteers.

“We were very surprised to receive the award for the event in its first year in Fermanagh,” he beamed “but none of it would be possible without the hard work and support from our 800 volunteers, Fermanagh District Council, Todds Leap, Sport NI, the Fisher Foundation, Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the many local businesses who helped us deliver such a high quality enjoyable event. Everyone involved should give themselves a massive pat on the back.”

CAPTION: Todds Leap Ulster Rally officials, from left, Paul Biggerstaff, safety officer, Philip Murray, event director, Lewis Boyd, clerk of the course, and Ian Connolly, chief marshall, celebrate being named the best rally in the British Rally Championship for the sixth time and for the second year in a row.