Author: Graham Baalham-Curry

Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.

First run in 1905, the prestigious Cultra Hillclimb is one of the world’s oldest speed hillclimbs and it’s set to return on Saturday 8th June 2024 to the Ulster Transport Museum, taking in the grounds around Cultra Manor at the nearby Ulster Folk Museum and is generously supported once again by Porsche Centre Belfast. Organised by the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club of Northern Ireland, who reignited the event twenty-four years ago, around 100 drivers will don their race suits and helmets to charge up the 640-metre-long course against the clock in the most eclectic array of machinery. Last year’s winner,…

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Despite the cancellation of the British Hillcllimb Championship segment of this year’s Craigantlet hillclimb, round two of the Motorsport Supplies Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs (ANICC) Championship for the other 69 ‘local’ drivers went ahead. The overall winner of this event was Tim Woodside from Dunadry in his 2.9-litre Pilbeam MP82 with a time of 50.66 seconds (an average of 58.9 mph). Tim also won the first round of the ANICC Championship at Croft Hill Climb (Holywood, Co. Down) in April and appears to be setting the pace for others to follow. The ANICC Championship Sponsor, Alan Cassells from…

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Alex Summers arrived into Belfast last Friday from Henley In Arden, with his DJ Firestorm for scrutiny at Campbell College along with twenty other competitors from the Motorsport UK British Hill Climb Championship (BHC) presented by Nova Motorsport to entertain us all on the Patterson Electronics Hytera Communications UAC Craigantlet Hill Climb, kindly supported by Belfast City Council. Alex won the event in 2023 and has repeated his triumph topping the leader board with a time of 45.23 seconds for which he received the Dunlop Trophy and as he recorded the fastest time of the day he also collected the…

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Located on the edge of Holywood in County Down sits the Creightons Green Road which comes alive to the sights and sounds of racing cars each and every spring. Those involved with motorsport will know that this stretch of road signals the start of the Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship and an event that is hosted by the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club of Northern Ireland. It sees competitors meander their way up this short but technical course towards Whinney Hill and see’s everything you can imagine with 4-wheels from vintage Alfa’s to Subaru Impreza’s, from a classic Porsche 911 to a…

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A car mad Belfast teenager finishes project that had been shelved for a decade, in time for one of the provinces biggest car shows, DubShed. Meet Rory McClay and his Vauxhall Viva that rips up the Haynes Manual of conventional restoration in favor of a custom rat-mod look with more horses than the Cheltenham Festival. When I was in my mid-teens, I was almost certainly trying hard to injure myself on my BMX or heading into the woods with my mountain bike and a shovel to build jumps. But for 16-year-old Rory, life outside school is all about learning to…

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Double vision for Jim Hutchinson with pair of Escorts that provide the Portadown man with smiles per miles whether he be on pole position or simply grabbing a pint of milk. Now, the purists reading this will be spitting their tea out in disgust at these fine machines being referred to as Escorts, and they are quite entitled to, as in reality these cars only share the silhouette of Ford’s first Escort model. Albeit in ‘bubble arch’ guise. Designed and built by SHP Engineering in Ely, England, they are best known as an RSR, which is the name SHP gave…

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Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003 Mazda celebrated twenty years of success across four generations with their ‘3’ model which has achieved over six million global sales. The fourth and current generation Mazda 3 saw the debut of Mazda’s groundbreaking Skyactiv-X Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) petrol engine technology, now updated to e-Skyactiv X it sits alongside the e-Skyactiv G engine in the line-up, both of which feature Mazda M Hybrid 24V mild-hybrid systems. Since the launch of the current generation of Mazda3, 17,847 have been sold in the UK, bringing the cumulative UK sales total for Mazda3…

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Korean manufacturer Kia has a vast family within their Ceed model, but what happens when you outgrow the entry-level hatchback, when you’re too cool for the Sportwagon, and when you’re too stylish for the crossover styled XCeed? You go and order the head of this family, the ProCeed, that’s what happens. Referred to as a shooting brake, this incredibly sleek Kia takes inspiration from both an estate car and a coupe giving it an appearance that would make anyone look twice. Although not offering the true practicality of an estate, the Proceed offers a higher spec than its siblings. Looking…

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The MG Car Club’s MG100 Cavalcade is a month long celebration of 100 years of the MG Marque, with Geoff and Linda Mansfield travelling from John O’Groats to Land’s End visiting all the UK geographical Centres of the Club (MGCC) writes Terry Ingles. Their journey also commemorates Geoff’s drive in his 1931 MG M Type Sportsman Coupe from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2021, this time with the car on a trailer and only being used on selected parts of the route. They also carry a life size figure of the founder of the MG Marque, Cecil Kimber, as…

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The newest motorsport series to hit the country – The Buggy Ireland Championship – started over Easter with the first motorbike engine-based crosskart buggy exclusive event on the island of Ireland to take place at Kirkistown Race Circuit. Such was the high-level of competition from nine manufacturers, Casmat driver Mark McLernon won the time trial format by just 1.8 seconds from MV Racing’s Chris Irwin. Not only did the Hillsborough man win but snapped up the additional LDR Buggy Hire Pacesetter Trophy for the fastest single run time of the day to boot while Jason Curran was titled with the…

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Stewartstown’s Steven Ferguson got his 2024 autotest season off to a flying start, as he took the win at the first round of the McMillan Specialist Cars NI Autotest Championship. The Autotest Drivers Club hosted this event at the Transport Training Services, Nutts Corner on Saturday 2nd March. With thirty cars lining up to start, it was poised to be a day of stiff competition and proved to be so. It was Ferguson who would finish the day on the top step of the rostrum in his Mini Special, with Peter Grimes 14.5 seconds behind in second and Andy Blair…

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Northern Ireland’s largest and one of its longest running motoring events, this year’s Dubshed showcased over seven hundred cars, both inside and outside. With doors being open from 12-6 on Saturday and Sunday, it was pretty much impossible to see around everything. With an incredibly high standard of display cars, which, as usual were carefully hand-picked by the GTI NI team, clearly still has VW Group cars at its core, but with a much broader range of cars from 911s and RS Audis, to JDM legends and bonkers drift cars thanks to DriftGames and their expansive display. Huge crowds of…

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