McCLOSKEY FIT FOR HOME EVENT Kilrea's Connor McCloskey will join regular co-driver Robbie Durant for the Ulster International Rally this weekend in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. The event is a round of both the British Rally ...
McCLOSKEY FIT FOR HOME EVENT
Kilrea's Connor McCloskey will join regular co-driver Robbie Durant for the Ulster International Rally this weekend in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
The event is a round of both the British Rally Championship and Mitsubishi's Evolution Challenge and Connor has a good seeding in both. A combination of being tenth BRC runner, fifth Evo Challenge and experience of the event should bode well for the youngster from County Londonderry. The pair had a difficult start to the season but sixth place on the Isle of Man has provided a much needed boost.
"The car was basically new for the Manx," said Connor, "and we hadn't really had a chance to test it. But I have had a bit more time in it since and should be fresh for the start, as it is only about an hour from my house." The duo have not contested the Ulster together before but Robbie is confident that the pace notes will work well. "We have done enough events this year that the 'notes have never been a problem," he explained, "and after the really changeable character of the Isle of Man, making these 'notes should be easier."."
Despite two punctures Connor had a good debut on the Ulster in 2006 finishing fourth Evo, a result he would like to improve on this year, "There are about ten Evo Challenge guys out this weekend," he said, "so it will be a good battle whatever happens. The start of the season means we can't hope to be near the top in the points, but it is always more interesting when you have to push hard. We really want to get back into the rhythm of the lanes here so we're fresh when we do Rally Ireland later in the year."
The rally is based at the Armagh City Hotel with loops of stages centred on the adjacent service area. A full entry of more than eighty cars will head off from the start ramp in the Mall on Friday afternoon at 2.45, returning for an overnight halt.. The remainder of the 121 mile route is completed on Saturday, with the finish back at the Mall at around 5pm and presentations later in the City Hotel.