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Paddy Hopkirk to lead mini-rally in Belfast

Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk

Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk

Rally legend Paddy Hopkirk will lead a cavalcade of Minis, old and new, as well as cars rallied during his rally career, from Stormont at 10.30am on Saturday, February 22.

He will be driving the replica of his 1964 Monte Carlo winning Mini Cooper, 33EJB which is owned by Graham McConnell from Donaghadee.

Hopkirk will be followed by Jimmy McRae, seven times winner of the Circuit of Ireland Rally, who will drive the Shawcross Art Mini.

Anyone with a Mini despite its vintage can enter the cavalcade, the entry fee is £20 and the proceeds will go to Integrated Education Fund for Northern Ireland and SKIDZ.

The entry form can be downloaded from www.paddyhopkirkgala.com.

Ari Vatanen will drive the Ford Fiesta which he and David Richards drove into fourth place on the 1974 Monte Carlo Rally and he will be accompanied by John Mulholland who is the owner of the Fiesta and also sponsor of the cavalcade.

Former F1 driver John Watson as well as Cathal Curley and Adrian Boyd, both former Circuit of Ireland winners will also be in the line up. The first stop will be at Belfast City Hall where Paddy will receive a scroll from the Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Paddy receiving the Freedom of the City.

He was honoured in January 1964 but never received an official document so it is just a tad late, fifty years and one month to be precise.

Following the ceremony Hopkirk will lead the cars to the Titanic Quarter where they will be lined up on the Titanic slipway behind Titanic Belfast.

 

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