Belfast Telegraph

McCormack on double Belgian bid as he opts out of Donegal

 

Off again: Marty McCormack
Off again: Marty McCormack

By Sammy Hamill

While most of his Irish rivals are focussing on the next big home event, Donegal International Marty McCormack is turning his attention to Belgium.

The former British Junior champion from Draperstown is off to this weekend's Rally van Wervik with his Tiger Risk R5 Skoda Fabia, an event he will use as preparation for Ypres Rally a fortnight later.

The historic Ypres Rally is round four of the British Championship and is also one of McCormack's favourite events despite causing him considerable pain in recent years. His Skoda was heavily damaged in a first stage accident in 2017 and he crashed out again last year.

But he is heading back to Flanders, first to Wervik and then Ypres where Kris Meeke's victory in 2009 remains the only one by an Irish driver.

McCormack will be joined in the June 28 entry list by Craig Breen who will head straight to Belgium after the Donegal Rally finishes on June 23.

Breen, who leads the Irish Tarmac Championship after four wins in a row, is not contesting the British series but has marked Ypres down in the 'bucket list' of events he wants to win.

He has been there three times in the past, taking third in 2013 but failing to finish in the flowing two years during his European Championship campaigns. Now he returns to drive one of the new R5 Volkswagen Polos for the Bernard Munster team.

A surprise entry is former Tarmac champion Darren Gass, while the entry list also includes top Irish youngsters Josh McErlean, leader of the BRC Junior series, James Wilson, William Creighton and Marty Gallagher.

McCormack is fourth in the British standings despite missing the Pirelli International because of work commitments and he will line up against the top three in the series, leader Tom Cave, 2018 Ulster Rally winner Matt Edwards and David Bogie.

Meanwhile, John Morgan was the overall winner of the TSCC's Classic sprint at Kirkistown on Saturday, setting fastest time in his Pilbeam.

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