The 500 Motor Racing Club of Ireland presented their awards for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons at The Ballymac Hotel, near Lisburn on Saturday 8th January 2022.
With attendance numbers being slightly lower than in previous years, in most cases, only trophies belonging to those present were handed over.
Donal O’Neill compered the evening and began by announcing that Ingo Dohnke, father of Fiesta racer Timon, had made the journey from Germany to lend his support to the event. As such he had been asked and agreed to present the awards.
The 2020 awards were given out first.
Strangford driver, Megan Campbell, was first up and collected her trophy for 3rd in the Fiesta Championship.
Next up were the BMW330i Cup winners. Derry driver, Gavin Kilkey took 1st place. Lisburn driver, Greer Wray was 2nd and his brother, Keith, from Dundonald was 3rd.
Paul Sheridan, from Randalstown, won the Mod-5-Cup for Mazda MX5s.
In the Roadsports Championship, Moira driver Kieron Smyth took 2nd overall and 1st in Class A.
In Formula Ford 1600, The Randalstown Rocket, Alan Davidson, took 2nd overall and won the Pre-90 class. Chris Hillis, from Drumbo was 2nd in the Pre-90 and Ballymena veteran, Henry Campbell, was 3rd.
The 2021 awards were next and once again, Alan Davidson, was wearing down a trench from his table to the stage, collecting trophy after trophy. He took 2nd Overall in the Formula Ford 1600 and won the Pre-90 Class again.
However, this time it was the “New Kid On The Block”, Brandon McCaughey, from Ballycastle who took 2nd place in the Pre-90s. Henry Campbell picked up the 3rd place trophy on behalf of Ryan Campbell.
Paul Sheridan took 3rd in the Modi-5-Cup for Mazda MX5s and Megan Campbell took another 3rd place in the Fiesta Championship.
In the BMW 330i Cup, Greer Wray took 2nd place and this time his brother, Keith, won!
In the Saloon Championship, Isle of Man driver, now resident in Dublin, Dan Keelan, took a popular 3rd place. 2nd was Keith Wray and 1st was the compere for the evening, Donal O’Neill, who hails from Nutt’s Corner.
The Marshal Of The Year trophy went to Nigel McCutcheon.
The award for Rookie of the Year went to Brandon McCaughey.
John Harris, who prepares many of the FF1600 cars, won the Personality of The Year Award.
The audience thought that everything had been awarded but it turned out that Ingo had brought a number of gifts with him. He gave 2022 calendars to both Donal O’Neill and Richard Young as leading organisers of the 500MRCI and he seemed to have something for everyone connected with the Fiesta class.
He finished by giving a touching speech about how welcome he and Timon had been made to feel by everyone at Kirkistown during 2021.
Final championship standings for 2021 can be viewed here – https://kirkistown.com/final-championship-standings-for-2021/
Words: DONAL O’NEILL | 500 MRCI Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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