Northern Ireland is a relatively small country, but it is packed with motorsport talent which was highlighted at Saturday night’s annual Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs’ (ANICC) awards evening!
There was an impressive array of more than 220 perpetual cups and crystal trophies which were presented to the finest competitors in the country who were present at the Armagh City Hotel to receive their accolades and awards for the 2018 season.
All motorsport disciplines were represented from junior rallying and autotesting to racing, sprinting, hill climbing and stage rallying, the star-studded evening was a night to remember.
It was fantastic to acknowledge a clean sweep for Northern Ireland Clubs and Volunteers in the prestigious JLT/Motorsport UK Club and Volunteer of the Year awards, with Enniskillen Motor Club lifting the overall Club of the Year award and John Comiskey lifting the overall UK Volunteer of the Year award.
Northern Ireland also celebrated three category winners and all will attend the Motorsport UK Night of Champions at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on Saturday 26th January 2019.
On hand to present many of the awards was Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK.
Together with presentations honouring all the ANICC Championship winners there were also other surprises in store. The ANICC presented a very well deserved 2018 Clubman of the Year Award to William Heaney from Bangor marking his contribution to the sport through the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club, as an outstanding club official at events for over 30 years and also a successful competitor in local race and speed Championships.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2018 ANICC Northern Ireland Motorsport Award which was presented to triple British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington for his achievements in winning this prestigious Championship again in 2018.
This award is voted for by members of the media, local motor clubs and ANICC council members and is regarded as the number one prize in Northern Ireland motorsport. Colin has previously won this award in 2014 and on receiving the award this year, Colin said: “This is a great honour for me to receive this award at home and it means a great deal to me to know that I have such immense support from motorsport in Northern Ireland.
The BTCC is very competitive and I have been dubbed ‘the Keke Rosberg of Touring Car races’ taking a Championship win with only one race win all season.”
Speaking on behalf of the ANICC, Chairman Henry Campbell, said: “This has been a tremendous evening for Northern Ireland Motorsport. This small country has the ability to produce exceptional driving talent and many achieved their personal goals in 2018 and have been recognised across the world and UK.
Henry expressed his personal support for all volunteers who work in the sport from Northern Ireland and particularly again this year with Northern Ireland Clubs and Volunteers claiming all the major awards from Motorsport UK.”
“Finally, Henry also congratulated Colin Turkington on receiving the Northern Ireland Motorsport Award and said: “It is important to offer support and congratulations to all of our award winners. I wish everyone a safe and successful year’s motorsport during 2019.”
With the triumphs of 2018 behind them, competitors are gearing up towards another successful season. Many championships are already underway, and there are sure to be some tight battles in all disciplines. More details about all forms of four-wheeled motorsport in Northern Ireland can be found online at www.anicc.org.uk.
MAIN AWARD WINNERS:
ANICC 2018 NORTHERN IRELAND MOTORSPORT AWARD
Recipient Colin Turkington
ANICC 2018 CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Recipient William Heaney
SAM BOWDEN GARAGE SERVICES AUTOTEST CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 NI Autotest CHAMPION Steven Ferguson
McGRADY INSURANCE / MSA N I STAGE RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 Northern Ireland Stage Rally Champions Derek McGarrity and Paddy Robinson
S.W ADAIR TYRES SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 Sprint Champion Adrian Pollock
MILLERS OILS HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 Hill Climb Champion Gerard O’Connell
NORTHERN IRELAND FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 NI FF1600 Champion Matt Round-Garrido
McGRADY INSURANCE JUNIOR 1000 RALLY CHALLENGE IRELAND
2018 Junior 1000 Rally Challenge Champion Marcus McElwee and John Henderson
JLT/Motorsport UK Club of the Year – Overall UK Club Enniskillen Motor Club
JLT/Motorsport UK Volunteer of the Year – Overall UK winner John Comiskey
JLT/Motorsport UK Volunteer of the Year – Steward/Clerk Category winner Paddy Haveron
JLT/Motorsport UK Volunteer of the Year – Marshals Category winner Denis Arundell
JLT/Motorsport UK Volunteer of the Year – Other category winner Lucinda McKee
JLT/Motorsport UK Volunteer of the Year – Other category runner-up Mark King
Images courtesy of John O’Neill – Sperrins Photography
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