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.

When I first saw images of the Ioniq 6 posted on the social media channels of my go-to Hyundai dealer, I was rather unkind to its appearance. But after spending a week driving one, I have grown to like it. Up against it with rivals such as the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 Fastback, or the EQE Saloon from Mercedez-Benz, Hyundai really need to be on their A-game to ensure its latest EV is up to the demands of EV owners, especially business users. Amidst a sea of SUV’s and crossovers, the Ioniq 6 looks very unconventional, given its sleek…

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A slight change of name, extended range, and more refinement are welcomed to updated Kia Niro EV which, being the second best-selling EV in the UK soon after launch, is certain to remain popular. Family sized and more practical than meets the eye, the Niro EV is a great challenger to all-electric rivals such as the Hyundai Kona, MG ZS, Nissan Ariya, or the Megane E-Tech from Renault. At a glance, the Niro EV is a decent size and quite futuristic looking. A gloss black C-pillar area, giving a distinctive appearance. The interior offers an abundance of space, and with…

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Last year Honda launched an all-new model named the ZR-V which sits between the more affordable and smaller HR-V and the makers much more family friendly and subsequently more expensive CR-V. All coming with Hybrid powertrains, the HR-V starts from just over £30,000, with the range topping Plug-in Hybrid CR-V starting from almost £54,000. The all-new ZR-V starts from just shy of £40,000 and aims to offer owners the compact size of the HR-V but with the practicalities of the CR-V. Built upon the underpinnings of the Honda Civic, the ZR-V shares all that is good about Honda’s flagship passenger…

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An area of around ten miles surrounding First Kilraughts Presbyterian Church came alive to the sights and sounds of classic MG’s on Saturday 17 February 2024 with the thirty-fourth running of the Derek Walker Memorial Classic motorsport event. Organised by the MG Car Club Ulster Centre, with event HQ based at the Stranocum place of worship, around 45 drivers started the event in an eclectic mix of machinery from classic MG’s to original Mini’s, a handful of very nimble Toyota’s, and an abundance of MX-5’s. With a huge range of experience competing on the day, from novices to multiple autotest…

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The latest Mazda MX-5 continues the winning formula that has seen more than 24,000 fourth-generation MX-5s sold in the UK since its launch in 2015. A revamp across the MX-5 range last year has led to new names for various grades, but the winning formula is very much the same no matter if you opt for the traditional ‘roadster’ (better know as the convertible) or the ‘retractable fastback’ (RF) which see’s the MX-5’s appearance change greatly thanks to the motorised hard top. Having successfully competed in a motorsport prepared MkI MX-5 many years ago, I fully understand, appreciate, and get…

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The 2023 SW Adair Tyres Northern Ireland Sprint Championship was celebrated at Edenmore Golf & Country Club in Magheralin on Saturday 20th January 2024. Around 120 guests filled the room, and these comprised of award winners, their family, and friends, as well as members of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs. The meal was well received, and presentations were made between courses. The awards started with the ladies, as follows: The Heaslip Ladies Challenge Trophy was introduced around three years ago, and sponsor, Jimmy Heaslip was called upon to present the awards. Taking her maiden win was Amy Hawthorne,…

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This year’s Northern Ireland Rally Championship was supported once again by McGrady Insurance, it was a familiar start to the season with a visit to the fastest racing circuit in Ireland as Kirkistown hosted the single venue stage rally event. A quick look down the entry list suggested something in the region of six potential winners and all eyes were on reigning champion, Jonny Greer, to see if he could hold off this stiff opposition to retain his title and become a four-time Northern Ireland champion. Here’s how the season unfolded… Round 1, North Armagh Motor Club, Eurocables Belfast Kirkistown…

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The name McGimpsey is one that is engrained within clubman motorsport in Northern Ireland, and it looks set to remain at the top end of the time sheets for many years to come as Ryan McGimpsey becomes Northern Ireland Hillclimb Champion for the first time. The championship didn’t come easy, and heading into the penultimate round, Ryan’s brother, Ricky, had every chance to take the crown from his younger sibling after a tit for tat battle all year on some of our provinces finest closed public roads. Either way, we knew the trophy was going to end up in Newtownards…

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The McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK NI Forest Rally Challenge got underway at the start of the year as over seventy crews headed into the Samsonas backed Fivemiletown Spring Rally on the 25 Februrary. Mark Donnelly and Stephen O’Hanlon took the slenderest of victories on the Omagh Motor Club event, but sixth overall was enough to secure Ryan Caldwell and Shane Byrne in their Skoda Fabia R5 maximum championship points. Paul Britton and Peter Ward bagged points for second placed championship driver in their Subaru Impreza N16. Whilst third went to Alan Smyth and Arthur Kierans in their Ford Escort MkII.…

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First launched almost thirty years ago the Kia Sportage is now in its fifth generation and is designed and developed especially for the European market but it is the brand’s best-selling model globally. Built using 100% green energy at Kia’s Slovakian production facility, this latest model is built on Kia’s brand-new ‘N3’ architecture which sees it 30mm longer, 10mm wider, and 10mm higher than before with a 10mm longer wheelbase. DriveWise advanced driver assistance systems created to seamlessly support the driver during everyday driving situations and parking manoeuvres feature alongside a sleek yet muscular exterior design which comes with the…

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The quiet hills above Holywood in County Down come alive each spring to the sounds and smells of racing cars and 2023 was no different as the ANICC Motorsport Supplies Hillclimb Championship got underway in April. Here’s how the season unfolded: 15th April – TSCC, Croft Ryan McGimpsey got off to a great start with a maximum points haul at the opening round in his Jedi MkI. His brother, Ricky, hot on his heels finished second, with Phil Dorman picking up third placed points. John Donnelly and Robert McGimpsey finishing the top five respectively. In the categories, Roger Gage was…

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Edenmore Golf & Country Club in Magheralin was the venue for the 2023 Motorsport Supplies sponsored Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championship awards ceremony which was held on Saturday 20th January 2024. Around 120 guests filled the room, and these comprised of award winners, their family, and friends, as well as members of the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs. The meal was well received, and presentations were made between courses. As usual, there was a fair bit of banter amongst everyone which, as customary, ended with tales of late braking, worn tyres, broken diffs, and outlandish claims from those who have…

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