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James McKeefry and Farnborough District Motor Club have been named the MSA JLT Volunteer and Club of the Year respectively, following a record number of entries and a highly competitive field showcasing the best of UK motorsport.

McKeefry was nominated by the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs (ANICC). He has been part of Magherafelt & District Motor Club for over 30 years and was praised for his ‘conviction focused on making motorsport safer and more accessible to all’. McKeefry supports not only his local club but also many others. He does a significant amount of work to promote the sport and also links local charities with motor clubs.

McKeefry said: “Being awarded the JLT MSA Volunteer of the Year award came as a complete shock. I didn’t even know I had been nominated by my motor club, but I am very honoured and very proud. The awards cover a number of categories – such as marshalling, medical and stewards – but the Volunteer of the Year award is the overall prize. To win that is incredible.”

Meanwhile the Association of Central Southern Motor Clubs (ASCMC) supported Farnborough DMC’s winning entry for the clubs’ accolade. Farnborough DMC works with three other clubs (Sutton & Cheam, Dolphin and Craven) to organise the annual Abingdon CAR-nival, which has raised more than £275,000 for charity over the last 20 years. Farnborough DMC takes motorsport to new people by attending local community events and running taster events, resulting in a growing membership. It has also adapted its existing events to encourage new and younger members, for example by running a number of Production Car Autotests during the year.

Simon Taylor, Club Chairman, said: “It’s a great boost for us and hopefully it will also raise our profile locally, too. In 2016, we had no less than 17 planned competitive events – including 12-car rallies, a single-venue stage rally, sprints, slaloms, trials, autosolos and scatters – as well as the community and taster events.”

McKeefrey and representatives of Farnborough DMC will receive trophies and prize cheques during the MSA Night of Champions ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club in London on 28 January.

In total there were 105 entries and nominations across both awards, which included a range of sub-categories. The volunteer category winners were:

– Steward/Clerk: Wilson Carson (Ulster Automobile Club)
– Medical/Rescue/Recovery/Safety: Rupert Hine (Scottish Hillrally Club Ltd)
– Technical Official: Patricia Laverty (Magherafelt & District Motor Club Ltd)
– Marshal: Keith Gault (Enniskillen Motor Club, Motorsport Marshalling Partnership)
– Other: Margaret Simpson (BMMC).

Meanwhile second place in the club awards went to Larne Motor Club, with Ulster Automobile Club coming third. Devizes and District Motor Club, Enniskillen Motor Club and Clitheroe and District Motor Club all received Highly Commended status. Dave V Thomas received Highly Commended status in the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

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