Mayor in the Fast Lane with Charity Fundraising Drive

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, enjoyed passenger rides in rally cars around County Down’s Kirkistown Race Circuit last weekend as part of a drive to raise money for charity.

During her term as Mayor, Councillor Douglas is raising money for Bangor Foodbank and Community Support, Newtownards Foodbank, and North Down and Ards Women’s Aid.

A number of events are taking place throughout the year to raise money for the charities and at a recent quiz and charity auction, the thrill-seeking Mayor was the highest bidder for a passenger ride in a fully prepared rally car.

Rally driver Olivia Chambers and her Ford Anglia rally car with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas. Image: Graham Baalham-Curry.

The prize was kindly donated by rally driver, Olivia Chambers, and after enjoying a few laps sliding around the slippery track in a Ford Anglia during the crisp winter’s morning, the Mayor also took the opportunity to go for a spin in a modern Fiesta R5 with multiple N.I. Rally Champion, Derek McGarrity, as well as an Escort MkII with multiple two-wheel-drive champion, James Kennedy.

Mayor Karen Douglas in an Escort MkII with multiple 2WD Champion, James Kennedy.
Mayor Karen Douglas in a Fiesta R5 with multiple NI Rally Champion, Derek McGarrity.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, said:

“I have always had an interest in cars and motorsport so when Olivia Chambers kindly donated the prize for the charity auction, I was determined to win it. She is a fabulous driver and I was delighted to have my first taste of motorsport with her at the excellent Kirkistown Race Circuit. Then to have an experience with champion drivers Derek McGarrity and James Kennedy in their more modern cars was the icing on the cake!” 

To date, the Mayor has raised over £4000 through various charity events. All funds will be split between her three chosen charities at the end of her term. For more information or to make a donation, visit

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