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Lisburn is gearing up for their Circuit of Ireland visit

By Sammy Hamill

Published 26/02/2016

Elfyn Evans
Elfyn Evans

Lisburn will play host to the ceremonial start of the Circuit of Ireland Rally.

Drivers from the European, British and Irish Tarmac championships will cross the start ramp in Market Square from 6.30pm on April 7 following a qualifying stage near Antrim earlier in the day which will decide the running order.

European champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz from Poland, Russian Alexey Lukyanuk, Welshman Elfyn Evans - fresh from back-to-back WRC2 wins in the World championship - Finland's Max Vatanen and leading Irish drivers like Keith Cronin, the Moffett brothers and Marty McCormack are expected to be in the line-up.

Meanwhile, the Moffetts, Sam and Josh, will use tomorrow's Fivemiletown-based Spring Rally as a final warm-up ahead of the start of the British championship in Wales next week.

Former Pirelli Star Driver Mark Donnelly, who won both the Bushwhacker and Glens of Antrim rallies last season, heads the entry list in his S10 Subaru but the Moffetts line up next in their matching pair of R5 Ford Fiestas as they get in some last minute practice on gravel roads before the Mid Wales Rally, which kick-starts the revamped BRC series tomorrow week.

Using the event for a similar purpose is Castlederg teenager Adam Bustard, who scored an impressive class win and 10th place overall in his little R2T Ford Fiesta on the Red Kite Rally in Wales last weekend.

He will line up against another rising star, Jon Armstrong from Kesh, who won the DMACK Tyres shoot-out and is bound for their R2 Fiesta series in the World championship.

The Omagh Club entry list also includes the Subarus of Enda McNulty and Marty McKenna as well as Niall McCullough, Michael Carbin and Frank O'Brien in Mitsubishis. The strongly supported two-wheel-drive division is headed by Adrian Hetherington and Frank Kelly in their Ford Escorts.

The Dickson Insurance-backed event starts from Eskra at 11am.

Belfast Telegraph

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