Meeke takes top Ulster award
Kris Meeke has been honoured with the 2009 Northern Ireland Motorsport Award.
The Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion was named as the outstanding driver of the year at the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs dinner and awards ceremony in Portadown at the weekend.
In a year of unprecedented success for Ulster competitors, Meeke’s performances for the Peugeot UK team in the global IRC series were recognised as being exceptional by his local clubs, competitors, officials and press.
It was a point Meeke made in his acceptance speech, saying, ‘it was special to be honoured at home’.
He also said his win on the Sanremo Rally which clinched the championship was the highlight of his career so far.
Meeke was chosen ahead of British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington and Adam Carroll who led Team Ireland to victory in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport.
Carroll missed the ceremony because he was in Spain testing.
His A1GP success was recognised with a special achievement award which also went to Turkington, record-equalling Irish Tarmac rally champion Eugene Donnelly and UK Citroen Cup winner Marty McCormack.
Other NI champions to receive their awards included George Stevenson (sprints), Graham Thompson (hillclimbs), John Ferguson (Formula Ford), Peter Grimes (autotests), Willie McKeown and Patrick McCollum (navigation rallies) as well as Derek McGarrity and James McKee (stage rallies).
Robert McDaid was chosen as clubman of the year while Ronnie Trouton and Robin McKinney received lifetime achievement awards.