McCormack thrilled to make the world stage
Former British junior champion Marty McCormack is a surprise name added to the list of Irish drivers who will contest the next round of the World rally championship in Portugal.
The Draperstown driver, who also won the British F2 championship in 2011, joins an April 3/6 line-up which already includes Kris Meeke, Robert Barrable and Alastair Fisher.
McCormack will drive an R5 Ford Fiesta run by the Italian A-Style team.
It means, unfortunately, he will miss the European championship Circuit of Ireland which starts just under a fortnight later.
"It had always been the plan to do the Circuit but this opportunity came up and it was too good to miss," explained McCormack, who won the two-wheel-drive category on the Circuit when it was a round of the Intercontinental Challenge in 2012.
"I'm disappointed I won't be out at Easter but how often do you get the chance to go and do a World championship rally? I couldn't say no."
He has limited experience of four-wheel-drive cars although he did stand in for Sweden's Patrick Flodin in the Petter Solberg team's S2000 Fiesta in the Tour de Corse two years ago.
His Italian Ford, co-driven by David Moynihan, will compete in the same WRC2 category as Barrable who intends to have his Tunnocks Fiesta shipped back from Portugal in time to start the Circuit on April 18.
Meanwhile, Fisher is returning to the World championship to contest the new Citroen-based six round Junior WRC series. It begins in Portugal where he led the Citroen Top Driver competition last year until his Citroen DS3 drowned out in a river ford.