McCormack boys step in to hand Amy big chance
Just when it seemed Amy Cox's budding rally career had all but stalled, she has been given a second chance thanks to the support of British Championship contender Marty McCormack and his brother Greg.
The Beragh girl rocketed up through the junior ranks in her early teens, becoming the first driver - boy or girl - to win the All Trak Championship three years in a row.
But, after a promising transition to senior rallying while still at school, she ran into a problem familiar to many young drivers - a lack of funding.
Apart from a couple of outings in her local Bushwhacker Rally, Amy's career all but petered out. Now the McCormacks have stepped in and she is back on board their S2000 Skoda Fabia for tomorrow's Go Tour of the Sperrins, round two of the Northern Ireland Championship.
It will be Amy's fourth appearance in the car that Marty McCormack used before he switched to his newer R5 Skoda.
Brother Greg said: "The car was sitting here and it seemed a shame not to put it to good use. We've long seen the potential Amy has and we're happy to give her the opportunity to drive it."
Partnered by Greg's daughter Caron, Amy finished eighth on her first outing in the Skoda on the Sunset Rally, the final round of last season's NI series, losing a top-six place when she was caught in a sudden deluge and overshot a corner.
It was rain-soaked, too, for the first round of this year's Championship at Bishopscourt and Amy steered her way to a cautious 14th before a Sperrins warm-up on the May Day Rally at St Angelo, finishing 21st.
But tomorrow will be her first closed road special stage event since the Ulster Rally back in 2013 and Amy says she will be keeping an eye on the weather, posting on Facebook: "The May Day Rally was a good shakedown ahead of the Sperrins and I'm looking forward to getting the Skoda out on closed roads. A bit of sun would also be nice!"
She and Caron start at No.27 but, given an event break, expect to see them mixing it with the men much higher up.