Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

All the winners as Ulster's motor clubs honour World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea


By Sammy Hamill

The members of Northern Ireland's car clubs have handed their top award for 2017 to Jonathan Rea, a motorcyclist.

A triple world champion of course but in a season when Kris Meeke won two rounds of the World rally championship, Colin Turkington was runner-up in the British Touring Car Championship and Charlie Eastwood was crowned British Porsche Carrera Cup champion, the Northern Ireland Association of Car Clubs voted to present their Motorsport Award of the Year to Rea.

The World superbike champion from Ballyclare was in Australia preparing for the new season and the award was collected by his father Johnny who said: "This is a fantastic honour for Jonathan to receive this award from all his motorsport supporters at home and he sincerely appreciates this support from four-wheeled clubs and members."

Rea was one of five nominees for the award along with Meeke, British Junior rally champion Callum Devine, new NI rally champion Jonny Greer and Daniel Harper, the 17-year-old Ginetta Junior driver who has been selected for the lucrative Porsche GB scholarship.

The dinner saw winners from all branches of Ulster motorsport recognised, including Jonny Greer and his Scottish co-driver Kirsty Riddick, who became NI stage rally champions for the first time.

Honoured, too, was Omagh official Barry Arundell who was named Volunteer of the Year by the UK's governing body, the MSA. Ballynahinch Motor Club were runners-up in the MSA's Club of the Year category.

The main winners were:

Clubman of the Year: Jackie Elliott; Sam Bowden Garage Service NI Autotest champion: Paul Mooney; McGrady Insurance NI Stage Rally champions: Jonny Greer and Kirsty Riddick; S W Adair Tyres Sprint champion: Michael Roche; Millers Oils Hillclimb champion: Chris Houston; McGrady Insurance Junior 1000 Rally Challenge: Sam Adams and Andrew Bushe; NI Formula Ford champion: Niall Murray.

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