Latest News  Fagg returns to Ulster with TT ace Dunlop
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Michael and Rob fighting the conditions on their way to a National
podium on the 2016 Ulster Rally

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Archive News

Photo courtesy of DM Images (Barry Murphy)

Isle of Man rally co-driver Rob Fagg heads west across the Irish Sea this week in preparation for the John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally where he will once again team up with motorcycle road racing and Isle of Man TT ace Michael Dunlop.


Dunlop and Robert Graham & Co Chartered Quantity Surveyors sponsored Fagg will return to the Londonderry-based event twelve months on from a podium finish in the National category, and they head into the event hopeful of repeating that success.

While Rob has had a busier year to date than 2016, the event will mark only Michael’s second appearance on the stages this year, the first being Irelands only three-day rally, the Joule Donegal International back in June. With Burger Man Catering-supported Fagg alongside, the pair finished the tough event 18th in the national category, despite suffering a couple of incidents on the opening two days which would cost them around 4 minutes.

While the overall result did not do justice to the performance, from looking at the stage times it was clear to see that despite limited time behind the wheel Dunlop is a force to be reckoned with in both his class and against much more seasoned drivers.


“It’s a shame Michael cannot compete on more events as he would certainly benefit from it, as despite it he shows great pace on the stages” commented MC Locksmiths-backed Rob, “We had a strong run back in June and it was just a shame we had a couple of incidents. Otherwise a top ten finish was on, and the pace we showed on the final day gave an indication of what Michael can do.”


Ahead of this weekend’s event, as is usual with the closed road events, Dunlop and Fagg will have the opportunity to undertake a reconnaissance of the stages that lie in wait. The pair will benefit from a route which largely resembles that of the previous year, allowing them to carry over information into this year’s pacenotes. 


“It will certainly be a benefit that the majority of stages are the same as last year, or have very fine amendments” explained Fagg, “It will allow much of the work we put in last year to be re-used and allow Michael to concentrate on fine tuning them to get those vital extra seconds.”


The Ulster Rally gets underway at approx. 1pm on Friday with a Ceremonial Start in the centre of Derry, before crews head out for a loop of three stages which will be repeated after a service break providing an opening leg of 50 miles, completing the day at around 10pm.


A traditional early o'clock start greets the crews on Saturday with the first car due out of Parc Ferme at 7am. Just a single stage makes up the opening loop before a short service then a further three stages over 34 miles. That format is repeated to bring the total stages to eight and miles to 85 as crews begin to complete the event just before 6pm.


The progress of Michael and Rob can be followed at

Rob is supported in 2017 by Robert Graham & Co Chartered Quantity Surveyors, JR Hinchliffe Plumbing and Heating, Burger Man Catering, MC Locksmiths and Organic Construction Solutions.