WATCH: TV's Pamela Ballantine and King Kenny McKinstry team up for Lurgan Park Rally victory

Michael Scott


Michael Scott


Thursday 20 January 2022 16:45

Lurgan Park is normally a world of tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the main roads and busy town centre.

But, for one weekend a year between 1980 and 2017, that peace and quiet would be replaced by the roar of rally cars.

The Lurgan Park Rally attracted huge crowds to the town and attracted some big names too – Kenny McKinstry and Bertie Fisher often battled it out for honours in the event’s heyday, and World Rally Championship competitors such as Kris Meeke and Gwyndaf Evans are listed as former winners. Garry Jennings was the last winner of the event in 2017.

In that same year it was announced that the event would not take place due to “a number of obstacles too difficult to overcome”.

While many people loved the event, many also felt that the impact the event had on the park, including damage caused to the grounds, meant that the event should be shown the red flag.

Announcing that the event would not be run in 2017, North Armagh Motor Club director William Fullerton explained: "We face an ever increasing cost of meeting health and safety standards and this, combined with the potential bill for repairing the grounds should it happen to be a wet event, we feel is too big a risk to take."

In this video shared by the Motorsport Ireland page on YouTube, we wind the clock back to 1996 when McKinstry was King of the Park once again, aided by his navigator Pamela Ballentine!

TV presenter Pamela was a reporter at the time for the popular RPM programme, which aired on UTV.

Let us know your memories of the Park Rally – do you think it should make a return or were you happy to see it go? Let us know in the comments.

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