Gillian's all revved up as first female chief scrutineer for Circuit of Ireland
One of local sport's most popular and traditionally male-dominated events has employed its first female chief scrutineer.
Larne woman Gillian Magee has been appointed to the post for the Circuit of Ireland Rally - just in time for International Women's Day today.
Gillian is taking over from George Kennedy.
Among her duties will be the examination of all the competition vehicles and the competitors' personal protective equipment to ensure they conform to the current eligibility and safety regulations.
She has been involved with the Circuit of Ireland for more than 20 years.
"This is an exciting new challenge and I'm very much looking forward to this new role," Gillian said.
"For me the Circuit of Ireland Rally is a very special event and I have always immensely enjoyed being part of it, working with the organisers, competitors and volunteers.
"The atmosphere is unmatched and absolutely superb.
"I'm grateful to George Kennedy for his patience and training in recent years."
Gillian has spent the past two years shadowing Mr Kennedy and also travelled to Wales to work at Rally GB World Rally Championship.
Mr Kennedy, who was chief scrutineer for the Circuit of Ireland for almost 30 years, said he was delighted to pass on the job to Gillian.
"I have very much enjoyed the role over the years but knew it was time to pass the baton," he explained.
"Gillian is the ideal person for the position.
"She is familiar to the Circuit of Ireland Rally, has great people skills and is good under pressure."
Director Bobby Willis said Gillian's elevation to her new post was well-deserved.
He added that more and more women were getting involved with the prestigious event.
"Gillian is a talented scrutineer and I am delighted that, in this milestone 85th year for the Circuit of Ireland, we are welcoming our first female chief scrutineer to the team," he said.
- The rally will take place across Co Antrim, Co Down and Belfast from April 7-9. For full details on this year's Circuit of Ireland Rally, visit www.circuitofireland.net.