London-based John Reddington has become the first Irish driver to win the Flanders International Rally Challenge.
The seven-round series, now in its eighth season, is popular with UK-based club competitors, with over 30 crews registering this season. Galway native, Reddington (and co-driver Lorcan Moore who travelled from County Mayo for each round), driving a Millington-engined Ford Escort Mk2, entered the championship for the first time as part of a four-car London Irish Motor Club team.
He has contested Belgian rallies in the past, most notably the Monteberg Rally Sprint, and is also a former class winner in the Irish National Rally Championship. His championship success was confirmed after the recent Hemicuda Rally in Koekelare, the penultimate round of the series.
Reddington’s results marked only the second time the overall title was won by a two-wheel-drive car, a feat that even surprised series organisers.
Chairman, Kristof Denaeghel said: “For several years the FIRC has been dominated by the British but this year also saw a very strong Irish entry. So strong that FIRC rookies John Reddington and Lorcan Moore clinched the overall title at Hemicuda. No one could beat the Millington boys after an absolutely perfect season, with nothing but class wins and top general points scores. Last year was the first time ever a two-wheel-drive car won the overall title but no one expected it the year after, regarding the strong four-wheel-drive opposition. And certainly not with the last round still to come, so big congratulations.”
The final round of the series is the Six Hours of Kortrijk on November 25 and 26.
Other members of the London Irish Motor Club team include the all Sligo crew of Anthony O’Brien and Aidan Gannon who were the top Irish and British crew to reach the Hemicuda Rally finish. Mick Smith and Sean Moriarty (both Kerry) and Paul McDevitt (Donegal) and Pa Baker (Clare ) complete the four car team. All are members of the London Irish Motor Club.