Kris Meeke races to top award
Kris Meeke squeezed in a visit home between the Monte Carlo and Swedish rounds of the World rally championship to pick up the Northern Ireland Motorsport Award for 2013.
He was in Armagh on Saturday night to learn that he had been chosen by his fellow members of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs as the outstanding Ulster driver of the past 12 months.
Meeke, now leading the Abu Dhabi Citroen team in the World championship, was surprised to come out on top of the poll for a second time. He was also chosen in 2009 after winning the Intercontinental Rally Challenge series.
"I know there are many others who have achieved more than I did in the past year but it is important to know that I have so much support at home," he said.
"The Monte Carlo was a really testing event, having to contend with ice, snow and everything else but my third place was the perfect start to the year."
Also honoured on the night the ANICC marked its 50th anniversary was Wendy Blackledge, chosen as Clubman of the Year, the award highlighting 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.
Over 200 trophies were handed out by Alan Drysdale, chairman of the 2&4 Wheels Steering Group, to successful competitors across Ulster motorsport.
Principle award winners were: Northern Ireland autotest champion: Steven Ferguson; NI Stage Rally champions: Derek McGarrity and James McKee; NI Sprint champion: John Morgan; NI Hillclimb champion: Graham Thompson; NI Formula Ford champion: Ivor McCullough; NI Navigation Rally champions: Leslie Young and Lewis Boyd; Junior 1000 Rally Challenge champions: Adam Bustard and Brian Bustard; Clubman of the Year: Wendy Blackledge.