McCormack victorious on comeback drive

Draperstown driver Marty McCormack returned to action in the Circuit of Ireland where he won the 2WD category
Draperstown driver Marty McCormack returned to action in the Circuit of Ireland where he won the 2WD category

BRITISH Formula 2 and Junior Rally Champion dominates 2wd on the Circuit of Ireland and is awarded the IRC’s prestigious ‘Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy.’

For his first event of the new season McCormack picked the third round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Donnelly Group Circuit of Ireland thus facing competition from the best of the British, Irish and global IRC regular competitors.

McCormack and Moynihan were reunited with the Saintéloc Racing team which delivered their outstanding results in both the 2011 British Rally Championship and on the stages of France’s round of the World Rally Championship – their last outing in November.

McCormack said ‘I knew I would be a bit rusty so it was important not to change too many things and we opted for Saintéloc and our 2011 winning car. The only other change being to Kumho tyres – in testing they looked like a promising option and definitely delivered on the rally.’

The event was not the straightforward run McCormack had hoped for with a catalogue of minor problems both mechanical and human.

McCormack added ‘We bent the rear suspension on a misjudged corner and David and I were under the car between stages stripping and realigning the rear hubs! After that we suffered both a puncture and progressively worsening gear selector problems which cost us so much stage time we ended up with a 22 minute gearbox change at the final service in order for us to regain sufficient time back to win’.

The ultimate recognition of Marty’s drive through adversity was the presentation of the ‘Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy’ by multiple Circuit of Ireland winner Jimmy McRae.

“After all the challenges we’ve faced this weekend, this really makes things better. I do see some connections when Colin came up from so many battles and so many difficulties, which is the sort of weekend we’ve had, it’s amazing to be thought of in this way,” said an emotional McCormack at the post event press conference.

“This rally was very much a one-off for Marty because of his money situation but he’s come out and taken the situation by the scruff of the neck. That’s one of the main reasons why he’s got this trophy,” said Jimmy.

“A couple of the winners told me last year that winning the award was as good as winning the rally itself.”

McCormack now currently lies in joint leadership of the IRC 2WD Cup and sees future IRC and WRC events as key to his progression.

“We continue to work with Citröen UK and may come back to the British Championship however we need to continue to prove our pace at IRC and WRC level and learn as much as we can about these specialist events’.

“I have to say our sponsors and supporters for this event have put in so much extra work to make it possible I am truly humbled. A bit like on this rally – I can only repay them by not giving in and delivering the win!”

Final Positions:

1st M. McCormack/D. Moynihan: (Citroën DS3) 2:10:16.6 – 11th overall

2nd T. Doyle/L. Moynihan: (Renault Clio R3): 2:10:37.1 – 12th overall

3rd J. Greer.D. Roberts: (Citroën DS3): 2:13:33.9 – 16th overall