Belfast Telegraph

McCullough hopes for strong end to season

By Sammy Hamill

By his standards it has been a relatively low-key end to the season for Northern Ireland's leading Formula Ford racer Ivor McCullough.

True, he has won the NI championship for a third year in a row but that was almost a foregone conclusion after his stunning early season form which saw him win four times.

The latter part of the championship has been tougher and although the Ballymena driver secured the championship last month, he has been missing from the top step of the podium for a while.

McCullough, however, will be aiming to end the Kirkistown season on a high this weekend in the Martin Donnelly Trophy before he heads for Brands Hatch to defend his Formula Ford Festival crown.

Presented by former Lotus F1 driver Martin Donnelly in memory of his father, the Donnelly Trophy is the most prestigious home race of the year and has seen McCullough successful on two occasions. Noel Robinson has also won twice and they will go head-to-head again on Saturday at the Co Down circuit in a bid to become the first three-time winner.

But with the likes of Kevin O'Hara, Stephen Daly, Niall McMurray and Noel Dunne, all Kirkistown winners this season, plus past Donnelly Trophy winners Neville Smyth and Patrick McKenna expected to line up on the grid, it promises to be far from a two-horse race.

And then there's former champion and Formula Ford record lap holder Jonny McMullan who bounced back to form at the Leinster Trophy meeting at Mondello 10 days ago when he won the Holmpatrick Trophy race.

Adding to the mix is English driver Oliver White who is making the trip from Bath to take on our home-grown talent.

There will be a full support programme, including further single seater action from the Formula Vees plus saloons/GTs and the Ford Fiestas and roadsports. Qualifying begins at 9-30am with racing scheduled for 1-30pm.

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