Belfast Telegraph

Top drivers hailed on special night

By Sammy Hamill

Northern Ireland’s motorsport champions of 2012 will be honoured at the Armagh City Hotel tomorrow night.

Derek McGarrity, Ivor McCullough and Steven Ferguson are among the long list of winners who will be called on stage at the Association of Northern Ireland Car Club’s annual awards dinner.

All the 2012 prize winners are, of course, already known except for one — the Association’s overall Motorsport Award which goes to the person who has made a significant impact during the season past. It is decided by the votes of the member clubs and will only be revealed at the end of the night.

ANICC secretary Nicky Moffett reports there have been almost a dozen nominations, reflecting, he says, a year in which there were many outstanding performances without providing one stand-out performer.

It was autotest expert Ferguson who took the 2011 award after a season in which he won the NI, Irish and British titles, a feat he repeated in 2012 as well as leading Northern Ireland to the international Ken Wharton Trophy.

McCullough doubled up, too, winning back-to-back NI championships as well as defending his Brands Hatch Festival title.

As well as McGarrity winning his third NI rally title, Darren Gass brought the premier Irish Tarmac rally championship back across the border for the first time in three years.

One man whose name is not among the prize winners must surely be high in the list of nominations — Garry Jennings.

Even though he lost out to Gass in the Tarmac series, and conceded his production title to Sam Moffett Jennings still stood out, not just because of his Donegal International victory or becoming Irish forest champion but as much for his enthusiasm, exuberance and sheer commitment.

Belfast Telegraph


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