Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Meeke up against Nagle in Aussie rally

Kris Meeke will line up against his Intercontinental Challenge winning co-driver Paul Nagle in next month's Rally Australia.

Nagle has been called in to replace the injured Mikko Markkula alongside Volkswagen's reigning IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen for the Australian round of the World series where Meeke will be making his second appearance for the Citroen team.

Meeke and Nagle won the IRC title in 2009 and later went on to join the Mini team but in recent times the Killarney man has been partnering Craig Breen in the European championship while Meeke has been re-joined by fellow Ulsterman Chris Patterson.

Norwegian Mikkelsen, who spent his early years competing in Ireland's Tarmac championship, was forced to make a late withdrawal from last week's Rally Germany after scans showed Markkula had sustained two fractured vertebrae.

Meanwhile, penultimate car race meeting of the Ulster season takes place at Kirkistown on Saturday where Formula Ford champion Ivor McCullough can wrap up the Northern Ireland title for a third year in a row.

There are only four rounds remaining in the series, two on Saturday with the final two at Mondello Park in the Leinster Trophy meeting next month.

McCullough has again dominated the championship and has the title virtually in his grasp although that will be all the more incentive for drivers such as Jonny McMullan and Adrian Pollock to keep him waiting.

The meeting will also see outright lap record holder Philip Shields heading the Formula Libre entry list with his GP2 Dallara and, given the right conditions, pushing to lower record still further.

Qualifying is from 9.390am with racing starting at 1.30pm.

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