Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

The new look Nutts Corner just the Jobb

After a five year break rallycross returns to the Nutts Corner circuit this weekend.

Now under new management, and with noise issues resolved, the refurbished circuit hosts two rounds of the Fuchs Open Championship on Saturday and Sunday, a championship currently led by an Ulsterman.

Irish champion Derrick Jobb won the opening round at Croft in the north of England and leads the points standings in his Ford Escort.

Back-to-back wins on home territory driving seat in what promises to be a key weekend in the series.

But the Fintona driver will face strong opposition from 2007 and 2008 Open champion Mark Watson (Citroen Xsara), Tommy Graham (Ford Fiesta), Andy Grant (Ford Escort RS2000), Ollie O'Donovan (Peugeot 306), Steve Mundy (Ford Focus) and the English Masters champion Mike Manning (Ford Puma).

Mike Turpin (Vauxhall VX220) shook the Super National category at Croft.

Jamie Lea (Toyota MR2) had been on pole position but a bad start left him chasing Turpin and the championship favourite to settle for second place ahead of Mike Howlin (Ford Fiesta).

Over 20 cars are entered in the Super National category, including several Irish competitors like Stanley Bovill (Vauxhall Astra), Sam Bovill (Vauxhall Corsa), James McVicker (Renault Clio) and Don Shannon (Volvo S40).

Much attention will centre on the RX150 Racing Championship in which two of Ulster's top rallymen, Kris Meeke and Kenny McKinstry, will be making guest appearances in the spectacular little buggies.

Meeke, who will be heading off shortly for the next round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in the Azores, has driven the buggies several times in the past, and indeed is unbeaten in them, but they are all new to McKinstry.

Circuit of Ireland winner Eugene Donnelly had also hoped to take part but has been ruled out by a family commitment.

The meeting will also include the Ulster Rallycross Masters, which will be the final event of the weekend for the top eight fastest competitors from the category A finals.