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Friday 1st June 2018 @ 7.15pm

National Hot-Rods 2018 Hankook Performance Tyres World Series Rd 14

Junior-Rods 2018 Irish Masters

Prolites 2018 Gold Rush Series Rd 1

Gp2 Lightning-Rods & Street-Rods

Meeting Review - Friday 27th April 2018

BIG IAN BY THE SMALLEST MARGIN!
THOMPSON TAKES STOCK ROD THRILLER

 

Ian Thompson went home with the Stock Rod silverware on April 27 after one of the closest finishes ever witnessed at Ballymena Raceway! A superb feature race for the Stock Rods developed into a thrilling three way dash to the finish line between Thompson, Niall McFerran and Raymond Harper. Thompson, promoter at neighbouring Nutts Corner Raceway, led from the early stages, while Harper and McFerran made steady progress from the rear of the pack. At the start of the final lap Harper and McFerran were fixed onto the leader’s tail and Harper took to the outside line in a bold effort to grab the glory! Thompson defended for all his worth around that last lap and the pair were still side by side as they exited the final turn. At this point McFerran spotted a gap on the inside of Thompson and got a run on both to make it a three way charge to the chequered flag! The trio were literally inches apart as they crossed the finish line as one, but the decision went the way of Thompson, with McFerran and Harper classified in second and third after a breathless finish.

Craig McConnell saved his best for the BriSCA F2 Stock Car final to leave his rivals trailing in the conclusion of the Simpson Race Exhausts Series. Gavin Fegan romped home to an eye catching brace of victories in the heat races, but when it really mattered in the final McConnell rose to the occasion and quickly edged out a small advantage at the start. Bradley McKinstry and Fegan chased hard throughout, but neither could make any impression on the leader due to the consistency of McConnell’s laptimes as the Bangor man stroked it home for an impressive win, which earned him a brand new exhaust system courtesy of series sponsor Simpson Race Exhausts.

In the Junior Rods newcomer Declan Og McFerran marked himself done as one to watch with a polished heat and final double in the opening round of the Wash’N’Dash Gold Roof Series. Ballymena’s Mark Crawford made great strides from the rear of the pack to claim a hard earned second place finish in the final, with heat two winner Matthew Drysdale in third.

Group Two Lightning Rods and Street Rods completed the race programme at the P.A. Nesbitt sponsored fixture. Points Champion George Esler bounced back to form with a hard fought win in the Group Two division and James Taylor recorded his first ever race win in the Street Rod final.

 

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Sponsored by:

PA Nesbitt Grass & Machinery Sales & Services

Simpson Race Exhausts & Wash n Dash

Double Happiness Chinese

 



Meeting Review - Friday 13th April 2018

National Hot-Rods 2018 World Series NI Rd 10
#960 Mark Heatrick takes the Silverware

 

Friday the thirteenth proved to be no nightmare for National Hot Rod star Mark Heatrick as the County Armagh racer recorded his first final win of 2018 in Round 10 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI at Ballymena Raceway on April 13. It was Carl Sloan who rocketed home in both heat races and led the final for a long way too before Heatrick made his move amongst the backmarkers in the closing stages to claim the silverware ahead of Sloan and Jaimie McCurdy. On an evening of sometimes ill-tempered racing from certain parties the steward was kept busy, with Adam Heatrick, Stewart Doak, Simon Kennedy and John Christie amongst those to receive penalties.

In the Stock Rod division Ashley Graham made it four different final winners in as many meetings at Raceway this term with a hard fought victory in their meeting final. Graham was under all sorts of pressure in the closing stages from a train of cars, but expertly kept his cool to earn his first final win of the season and a new Yokohama tyre courtesy of Nicholl Motorsport. Current form man Kurtis Reid enjoyed success in both heat races.

The Group Two Lightning Rods contested the opening Round of their Muppet Motorsport Series and the yellow grade continued to dominate proceedings. Jason Darragh is the earlier frontrunner in the series after a well judged heat and final double at the opening round, while fellow yellow top David Gillespie accounted for the other heat. The Prolites completed the McElmeel Mobility Services sponsored meeting and brought a second final win on the trot for William Donnell.

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Sponsored by: McElmeel Mobility Services

Muppet Motorsport

 



Meeting Review - Friday 6th April 2018

#958 Shea Duff storms to Stock-Rod Final Victory

 

 

Junior Rod Irish Champion Shea Duff recorded his first ever final win in the senior ranks after victory in the Stock Rod final at Ballymena Raceway on April 6. The talented teenager switched into the Stock Rod category for 2018 after reaching the upper age limit for junior racing and expertly steered his Vauxhall Corsa home to a handsome win in the meeting final. Another relative newcomer to Stock Rods, Andrew Morrow, tasted success in the opening heat before Niall McFerran raced through the field for an eye catching win in heat two.

 

The Raceway was stubbornly damp in patches throughout the meeting after heavy rainfall earlier in the day and provided a tricky test for all the racers. The F2 Stock Car competitors were also adapting to their new control tyre on the outside rear for the first time and it was Bradley McKinstry who shone brightest in the Twos, with a perfect hat-trick of wins in Round Two of the Simpson Race Exhausts Series.

 

The Prolites made their debut appearance and it was William Donnell from Larne who wrote his name into the history books as their first ever race winner. Donnell went on to enjoy further success in the final, with Thomas Megarry the other race winner.

 

Group Two Lightning Rods and Junior Rods completed the race programme at the Sam McKay Contracts sponsored fixture. Adam Graham continued his good start to the 2018 season with a heat and final double in the GP2 class, while a dramatic Junior Rod final saw Ty Richardson capture the Next Gen Cup after long time leader Amy Bradford suffered a heart breaking engine failure in the closing stages.

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Sponsored by: Sam McKay Contracts

Simpson Race Exhausts



Meeting Review - Friday 30th March 2018
Stock-Rods - #17 Stephen McCready wins Yokohama Title

 

Stock Rod World Champion Stephen McCready demonstrated that he is still the man to beat at Ballymena Raceway in 2018 with victory in the Yokohama Championship on Good Friday. McCready was pushed all the way by Raymond Harper as the pair fought out a race long tussle for the crown, but the World Champion kept his rival at bay throughout to record his first win in the coveted Yokohama event. Harper was a valiant runner-up with Niall McFerran in third.

 

The National Hot Rods resumed their World Qualifying trail on Good Friday with Round 8 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI. Former British Champion Stewart Doak took full advantage of his advantageous starting position in the yellow grade to rattle off impressive victories in both heat races, but had to settle for second in the final as Glenn Bell rocketed through from the third row of the grid to claim an eye catching win.

 

Group Two Lightning Rods and Street Rods completed the race programme on Good Friday. A fraught Group Two final initially went the way of Joshua McMullan, but regrettably his car failed the post race checks and was subsequently removed from all results for the evening. After further penalties were applied Richard Purdy was promoted to first position, with Irish Champion David Reynolds in second and Jason Darragh in third. No such dramas in the Street Rods where Philip Porter departed Raceway with the silverware for the second week in a row.

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Sponsored by: Blok51, Bigger Digger Hire

& Polleysport



Meeting Review - Friday 23rd March 2018

Stock-Rods - Reid finds the Speed at Season Opener

 

The new season at Ballymena Raceway slipped into gear on March 23 where the dry but chilly conditions proved conducive to some quick racing. Before the track action commenced a minutes silence was impeccably observed within the stadium in memory of two friends of Raceway who passed away recently, Michael Thompson, former owner of Deano’s track catering unit, and Alan Connolly, a three times Stock Rod World Champion.

 

When the green flag dropped it was the Stock Rod division which once again caught the eye, as their keenly contested events produced three different winners. Following heat victories for Ashley Graham and Shea Duff it was Kurtis Reid who scampered home in the feature race for a welcome boast ahead of next week’s Yokohama Championship.

 

Disappointingly a few late call-offs meant that Craig McConnell and Sam McKay were the only F2 Stock Cars present and the pair duly helped themselves to a very handy haul of points, with McConnell the victor in all three races at Round 1 of the Simpson Race Exhausts Series.

 

The yellow grade proved dominant in the Group Two Lightning Rod section. David Gillespie kicked off the new campaign with a victory in the opening heat, before newcomer Joshua McMullan impressed with a heat and final double in their other two races. Philip Porter went one better and recorded a perfect hat-trick of wins in the Street Rod section, while the Junior Rods produced some of the closest racing of the night. Ty Richardson steered his new Vauxhall Corsa to victory in heat one before Mark Brogan took the honours in heat two. Brogan repeated the trick again in the final to claim the Top Teen Trophy, and was joined on the rostrum by Matthew Drysdale and Mark Crawford.

 

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, was a welcome visitor to Raceway on Friday evening! Councillor Reid had previously attended Raceway last season for the Stock Rod World Championships and Raceway officials and fans were delighted to see him back on Friday evening to present trophies at the council backed event.

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Sponsored by: Mid & East Antrim Borough Council & Simpson Race Exhausts



ALAN CONNOLLY – STOCK ROD SUPERSTAR

 

The promoters and officials at Ballymena Raceway are deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of 3 times Stock Rod World Champion Alan Connolly.

A proud son of Ballymoney, Alan’s initial interest in oval racing was kindled at his local Aghadowey Stadium, which Tommy Shaw and Billy Hodges had opened for Stock Car racing in the early seventies. Like many before and since young Alan’s initial entry into oval racing was through the Banger class and his first racing licence was duly taken out in 1981. 

In 1985 the Aghadowey promoters took the decision to introduce Stock Rods into Northern Ireland and the fledgling class quickly proved to be a big success. Alan, along with fellow Ballymoney based racers William and Mervyn Doey, signed up for the new formula and were licensed numbers 77, 78 and 79. The three cars were all painted in similar colours and raced regularly at both Aghadowey and Ballymena Raceway, which Tommy Shaw had taken control of during August 1985. Alan did not forget his Banger roots totally however, as he proved a very adept competitor in the annual Destruction Derbies at Aghadowey, and was nearly always amongst the last cars running!

It was no overnight success story for Alan in the Stock Rods, but with determination and effort the wins started to come, and by the start of the nineties Alan had established himself as a red grade driver. The purchase of then World Champion Roy McKane’s Toyota Starlet in early 1993 proved a real step forward for the team, and was underlined when Alan recorded a podium finish in that year’s World Final at Cowdenbeath. A first major title, the Irish, was claimed at Aghadowey Stadium in 1994 during a period of some fantastic battles with big rivals Frankie Lynn and Gregory McMillan. 1997 brought another breakthrough when the National Championship was secured at Hednesford, Alan’s first international success on the UK mainland. By the end of the nineties Alan had added two more Irish titles, plus a Yokohama Championship, to his list of achievements and was now considered a top contender for any Stock Rod crown.

The new millennium ushered in a year never to be forgotten by Alan and his team. The 2000 season began with another Yokohama crown at Easter and then the biggest title of them all, a first World Championship, was captured at Foxhall Raceway in Ipswich. Before the season’s end the European title, on home soil at Aghadowey Stadium, plus the British title at Cowdenbeath in Scotland had been added to complete a magnificent campaign.

By 2001 Stock Rod racing in Northern Ireland was centred at Ballymena Raceway and it proved to be something of a golden age for the class and indeed Alan himself. The World title remained in the province for five years in a row, with Alan’s further wins in 2002 (Northampton) and 2003 (Cowdenbeath) sandwiched between victories for Alastair Calvin (2001) and Glenn Bell (2004). The class produced some great racing during this period, with the likes of Connolly, Calvin, McFall, Best, Bolton, McAfee, McNiece and Bell going at it hammer and tongs. The records show that Alan was still the man to beat around Ballymena however. In 2002 he completed a clean sweep of all the Stock Rod titles on offer at The Showground’s oval, winning the Yokohama, Irish Open and Irish Closed titles, then successfully defended his Irish Open crown in 2003 and added a fifth Yokohama Championship in 2004!

With nothing left to prove in the Stock Rod division Alan now looked for a different challenge. A brief flirtation with Two-Litre Hot Rods preceded a move into National Hot Rods in 2006 at the wheel of the ex-Neal Smith Peugeot 206. Alan had actually raced a few National meetings back in the late nineties, but this was a much more serious effort to crack the elite Rod division. Three final wins in the first six rounds of the 2006/07 World Series suggested that Alan was getting to grips with the task in hand, but unfortunately health problems forced Alan to hang up his helmet in 2007 before we got to see the best of him in a National Hot Rod.

Alan will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the very best oval racers this province has ever produced, a tough, but fair, racer who was well respected by his peers and a hero for many on the terraces.

Aubrey, Tommy and the team at Ballymena Raceway, together with Alan’s former promoter at Aghadowey Stadium, Billy Hodges, extend our condolences to Alan’s family and friends at this sad time.

 



New Prolites 16v class to be introduced for 2018 season

 

The 2018 season will see the introduction of the new Prolites 16v class. This class is a semi/limited contact class and will see cars use the 1.6 16v Engine with very limited tuning permitted. Cars can run the full injection system or replace the injection by Weber/Carb and Manifold method. Any road tyre is permitted for use up to the price of £40.00. Size of Tyres permitted for use 185/60/14, 185/65/14 or 195/50/15. The Prolites formula will cater for the Ford Escort, Focus, Fiesta Mk6, Puma, Sierra, Peugeot 206, 207 & 307, Renault Megane Mk2, Vauxhall Astra Mk3, Mk4 and Mk5, Cavalier, Corsa C, Tigra, Vectra and VW Golf.

click for 2018 Prolites 16v Spec.

Send us an email if your interested in joining the new Prolites class.

email: bmrovalracing@yahoo.co.uk

 




Meeting Review - Monday 1st January 2018

Winternational - #75 Carl Sloan storms to Victory

 



A wet and windswept Ballymena Showground’s provided difficult track conditions for those hardy racers who braved the elements to compete in the Winter National Championships at Ballymena Raceway on January 1. The drivers demonstrated all their skills in this testing environment, especially in the headlining National Hot Rod division where the powerful machines proved a real handful. Two qualifying heats brought victories for Carl Sloan and Jaimie McCurdy and it was Sloan who went on to secure his second win of the day with a commanding performance in the final to finish well clear of runner-up Keith Martin, with Kenny McCann from Portadown in third.

In the other classes World Champion Stephen ‘Speedy’ McCready got his 2018 season off to the perfect start with a dominant flag to flag win in the Stock Rod final. McCready was the King of the Scene in Stock Rods during 2017 and confirmed his reputation as World No. 1 with another master class at Raceway to claim the Winter National crown. The F2 Stock Cars offered some great entertainment on the slippery surface with each of their three races providing a different winner. Irish Open Champion Christopher Kincaid stormed to victory in heat one, before Ballyclare’s Sam McKay snapped up the honours in heat two. The final developed into a fascinating scrap between Dean McCrory and returnee Craig McConnell. Their nip and tuck battle went right to the final bend where McConnell went in with a last gasp attack to unsettle the leader, but McCrory rode out the hit to confirm his second final win of the festive period.

Group Two Lighting Rods and Street Rods completed the race card at the McCarroll Plant Hire sponsored fixture. Irish Champion David Reynolds successfully defended the Winter National title in the GP2 class with a flag to flag win, while the Street Rod honours went the way of Points Champion Norman Mitchell.

 

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Sponsored by: McCarroll Plant Hire




Latest update on the Stock-Rods 2018 Specifications

 

Whilst work is continuing on the completion of the full set of rules for Stock Rods in 2018, the following information can be confirmed.

WEIGHT - The minimum car weight for rear wheel drive cars is 650Kg and front wheel drive cars is 720Kg. 

Additional weight/ballast must not exceed 20kg in total.

If more is required it must be achieved by adding additional strength to the rollcage, i.e. extra upright in chicken bar or similar which may also be constructed from solid bar.

CAMBER - The maximum amount of permitted positive camber on the driver’s side front wheel has been increased to 5o.

There are further clarifications of existing rules, to be detailed in due course.




Street-Rods 2018 Specifications now available

 

The new 2018 Street-Rods Specifications are available to download with a number of changes being made to the rules. Race numbers are already looking very promising for the new Season. With the following race numbers being allocated so far: 3, 4, 7, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 24, 39, 44, 60, 77, 84, 85, 90, 92, 121, 176, 185, 268, 360, 534, 979, 981, 985 & 996.

Street-Rods Introduction

Street-Rods is a standard non-contact class for 1200cc cars with very mininum tuning allowed.

This class is a great entry formula aimed at those who would love to race without being out the necessary expense. Cars can be built for around £600/£650.

Cars permitted for use are the Ford Fiesta Mk4, Mk5 & Mk6 - 1.2i 16v, Renault Clio Mk2 & Mk3 - 1.2i 8v & 1.2i 16v, Vauxhall Nova and Corsa B & C -1.2 8v carb, 1.2i 8v & 1.2i 16v. The only size of tyres permitted for use are 175/65/14. The driver’s door maybe skinned to allow the fitting of the chicken bars. Careful attention must be paid when fitting the fuel tank for injection cars with braided type fuel line being recommended for use. All cars must also run a non-return valve at the fuel tank.

If you require anymore info. on the above class or would like to reserve a race number please get in touch by emailing bmrovalracing@yahoo.co.uk

click for 2018 Street-Rods Spec.

 




Meeting Review - Friday 29th September 2017

Stock-Rods 2017 Irish Championship

 

McCready Claims another Title at Raceway Finale

 



World Champion Stephen ‘Speedy’ McCready wrapped up his impressive 2017 campaign with victory in the ORCi Stock Rod Irish Championship at the final Ballymena Raceway meeting of the season on September 29. McCready produced another dominant display to lead from flag to flag, with Niall McFerran his closest challenger after a strong drive in his Vauxhall Corsa. Former British Champion Raymond Harper has looked much more like his old self over recent outings and the Dundrod driver motored through to claim the final spot on the podium.

 

In the other classes at the Valley Roofing sponsored meeting Taylor Broggy wrote his name into the Raceway history books as the first ever Street Rod Irish Champion! Norman Mitchell and Ronnie Donnell joined the County Down teenager on the podium for this one.

 

Christopher Kincaid maintained his vice like grip on the BriSCA F2 Stock Car titles at the Showground’s oval after the Antrim ace clinched his fourth Track Championship in five seasons! Group Two Lightning Rods completed the classes on display and a great field of 23 cars assembled to contest the Golden Helmet Trophy event. The Nesbitt brothers, David and Paul, accounted for the qualifying heats, but it was pole sitter Clive Wilson who clung on to take the final honours after a fantastic four way lead battle which raged for the duration of the race.

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Sponsored by: Valley Roofing




Meeting Review - Friday 22nd September 2017

REYNOLDS AND DUFF CLAIM IRISH TITLES

 






Two new names were added to the list of Irish Championship winners at Ballymena Raceway on September 22 where David Reynolds (Group Two Lightning Rods) and Shea Duff (Junior Rods) secured victory in the biggest domestic race of the season for their respective classes. Reynolds steered his recently unveiled new car to a handsome win in the Group Two feature, while Duff fought his way passed National Champion Joshua McKinstry to claim the Junior Rod honours.

 

In the support races World Champion Stephen McCready underlined his pedigree with yet another final win in the ORCi Stock Rods and Christopher Kincaid blitzed the opposition to triumph in the Teng Tools Series for the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars. Street Rods completed the classes on display and their feature race brought a first final win of the season for Shannon Morrow.

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Sponsored by: Teng Tools, BRM Services, Nicholl Motorsport, Richard Purdy Paint Preparations & Kustom Racewear




Meeting Review - Friday 15th September 2017

National Hot-Rods 2018 World Series NI Rd 5

#342 Adam Heatrick Grabs WQR 5 Final Victory

 



A superb evening of racing was served up by all four formulas on show at the Raceway on Friday night with close, competitive action the order of the night. Portadown's Adam Heatrick had an excellent evening, as he took a heat and final double in the fifth round of the National Hot Rods World Series NI. Other feature race wins at the meeting, sponsored by Ross Hyndman Motors, fell to Newtownhamilton’s Wilfie McNiece (Stock Rods), Nuttscorner’s Joshua McKinstry (Junior Rods) and Larne racer William Donnell (Gp2 Lightning Rods).

A superb entry of eighteen cars came under starters orders for the fifth round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI for National Hot Rods. Stephen McGonigle set the early pace from the front of the grid in heat one, before losing out to Carl Sloan from Kells. This saw Sloan comfortably reel off the laps to take a well-deserved victory in heat one ahead of Keith Martin and Adam Heatrick. Heat Two saw Adam Heatrick take and excellent victory to finish ahead of Gary Wilson and John Christie. Heatrick had earned himself pole position for the final ahead of Wilson. After the initial shake up and things had settled down it was Adam Heatrick who took a deserved victory with Wilson superb value in second, Gary Woolsey in third, K Martin, Hylands and John Christie filling out the top six.

Before the opening Stock Rod event of the evening, Alastair Bolton and Wilfie McNiece were presented with a fine glass souvenirs by the promotion to say thank you for their long service to the sport and the Stock Rod class over the years. The Stock Rods raced for the Challenge Cup with impressive twenty-four car grid boosted by welcome visitors Jimmy Pitcaithly and Cameron Doak from the GMP Promotion and also making his debut in the formula was former Super Saloon driver Michael McMinn in a tidy looking Corsa C. Two graded order heat was the order of the night with the top point scorer starting in pole for the Challenge Cup Final. The opening the race of the night provided some of the best Stock Rod racing witnessed this season with Wilfie McNiece taking the honours closely followed home by Nuttscorner star name Raymond Harper in JB Race Engine powered Corsa C. Heat Two seen the reserve of result of Heat One this time with Harper powering home ahead of McNiece followed by Niall McFerran first of the Red graded drivers home with an excellent drive from the rear of the grid. McNiece consistency saw him on pole position for the Challenge Cup final, with Harper alongside on the front row. After some frantic opening laps, McNiece stayed at the front with star graded driver Steve Gooch, World Champion Stephen McCready closing Wilfie down over the final few laps a late move by McCready seen him docked two places for passing on the infield, so at the finish line it was McNiece followed home by a storming drive by Gooch, Harper, a demoted McCready in fourth, with Aaron Moody and Adam Sloan rounding out the top six.

A good field of Gp2 Lightning Rods produced some excellent racing, with newcomer Colin Crawley leading the field away for the opening number of laps, with blue graded drivers William Donnell and Ballymena’s Mark Goldie chasing hard, Goldie powered past in Vauxhall Astra to finish ahead of Donnell, Cullybackey’s Richard Purdy producing a fine drive from the rear of the grid to take third. Heat Two saw Goldie complete a heat double to claim this one with William Donnell coming home in second place ahead of former F2 Stock Car driver David Nesbitt in third. Goldie’s two heat wins had merited him an upgrade to Red grade for the final which allowed Donnell to romp home to victory in the final with returnee Harry Gilmore taking a good second place ahead of Mark Goldie, Paul Nesbitt, Rodney Stewart and David Nesbitt.

Another excellent field of sixteen Junior Rods produced some close and exciting racing. Up for grabs for the Junior Rods was the Gold Roof Series title, two graded order heats results would be added to the previous two rounds held earlier the season to form the Gold Roof Series Finale grid on the night. Heat One saw Larne lad Samuel Wilson complete a great win ahead of Matthew Milliken and Cole McFall. Jordan Nicholl produce his best drive of the season by winning Heat Two from Ballymoney’s Mark Brogan with Joshua McKinstry coming home in third place a result which would earn him in pole for the coveted Gold Roof crown. A polished performance in the final seen McKinstry claim a flag to flag victory to land the Gold Roof trophy ahead of Wilson, Shea Duff, Stuart Percy, Mark Crawford and Cole McFall. Next up for the Junior Rod formula will be 2017 Irish Championship which will take place this Friday night 22 September at the Showground's venue.

Sponsored by: Ross Hyndman Motors

 




Meeting Review - Speedweekend 2017

McCREADY’S GOLD – SPEEDY IS STOCK ROD WORLD CHAMPION!



Stephen McCready added his name to the list of oval racing World Champions from Northern Ireland after a dominant victory in the ORCi Stock Rod World Championship at Ballymena Raceway over the weekend of August 25/26. McCready has been the form driver around the Showground’s oval this season and his well deserved victory will go some way to banishing the disappointment of the 2012 World Final. On that occasion McCready was also first across the finish line, but subsequently lost the title when his car failed the post race checks. There were no issues with any of the top three cars this time around and McCready can now proudly carry the gold roof on his car for the next twelve months. Micky McFall kept the leader within his sights throughout the 40 lap encounter, but had to settle for a valiant second place finish in the end, with Scotland’s James Gray the best of the visitors in third.

 

A full programme of support races kept the crowds entertained as well with the rapid National Hot Rods in action on Saturday evening to contest Round 4 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI.  Round Three winner Mark Heatrick extended his good run with a comfortable victory in the opening heat before John Christie steered his Ford Fiesta home to a handsome success in heat two. The heat winners shared the front row of the grid for the final which developed into a tight nip and tuck battle between the pair. Heatrick seemed to have it all under control however until his Vauxhall developed problems in the closing laps which allowed Christie to sneak through for his second win of the night.

 

The Group Two Lightning Rods were in action on both days and produced their usual mixture of thrills and spills. Keith Lyttle and Brian Edgar tasted success in Friday’s heat races, but Darryl Reid upset the form book to run away with the World Cup Trophy final. The Irish Open Championship was up for grabs on Saturday evening. Johnny Gillespie and Irish Champion Clive Wilson shared the heat wins before pole sitter Paul Nesbitt enjoyed a flag to flag win in the final after a sterling drive in his Vauxhall Astra.

 

Gareth Robinson made a dream debut in the Street Rod formula with a heat and final double success in his immaculate Peugeot 206. Taylor Broggy scoped the other race in his Ford Fiesta. The young chargers in the Junior Rods contested their National Championship on Friday evening. Mark Brogan from Ballymoney romped home in the opening heat before Joshua McKinstry edged out Cole McFall in heat two after a great dice between the pair. McKinstry made his move early in the final and controlled this one from the front to become National Champion, with Samuel Wilson and Brogan in second and third. Graham Fegan secured the F2 Stock Car Supreme Trophy.

Sponsored by: Blok51, Wm Moody & Son Car-Sales Ballymena Barber Company, Trophiesni,  Muppet Motorsport, Crawftune Race Engines & Simpson Race Exhausts

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Meeting Review - Friday 18th August 2017

McCready Warms up for Stock-Rod World Championshp in Style



 A big grid of 22 Stock Rods took to the track which included Scottish ace driver’s Trevor Calvin and Jimmy Pitcaithly who have travelled over to gain some valuable track time and race prep before this weekend’s World Championship event. Heat one was blighted with a number of stoppages with Philip Wilson and Jason Clyde involved in a huge crash as they crossed the start and finish line not exactly what both drivers would have called ideal preparations for the big one.  Antrim’s Stephen McCready looked the class of the pack by landing another Raceway meeting Final with Wilfie McNiece settling for second and Niall McFerran coming home in third. The heat races earlier in the evening brought victories for McCready and Wilfie McNiece.

 

The Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy was up for grabs for the F2 Stock Cars where George Campbell came out victorious with his first big win to date. Sam McKay started of the evening by winning heat one with heat two being won by Superstar graded driver Christopher Kincaid.

 

The Junior Rods class competed for the Gold Roof Series Rd 2 trophy with an impressive 19 cars out on track. Larne driver Samuel Wilson took the home the Silverware with Stuart Percy and Shea Duff rounding out the top three on the podium step.

In the Group Two Lightning Rod class former F2 Stock Car driver David Nesbitt powered home his rapid Vauxhall Astra in the Final finishing well ahead of Paul Nesbitt and Johny Gillespie who rounded out the top three.

Sponsored by: Buckna Autos




Meeting Review - Saturday 29th July 2017

MARTIN ON TOP AT WORLD SERIES ROUND TWO




The race wins were certainly well distributed at the Ballymena Raceway fixture on July 29 where the twelve race programme produced no fewer than eleven different winners! Variable track conditions throughout the evening kept the competitors guessing on set-up and tyre choice, no more so than in the National Hot Rod section. Adam Hylands and Glenn Bell split the heat wins to share the front row of the grid for the final at Round 2 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI, but it was row two starter Derek Martin who stormed home to victory in this one, with Hylands and Adam Heatrick in second and third.

 

Stephen McCready and Niall McFerran occupied the front row of the grid for the final of the Stock Rod FG Race Fabrications Series and the pair would be the main players in an absorbing encounter. McCready got the drop at the green flag to lead, but could not shake off McFerran’s attentions as the pair circulated as one throughout. McFerran pressed hard for an opening, but McCready skilfully maintained his advantage to win yet another final, with McFerran forced to settle for second and Jack Patchett in third. The heat races earlier in the evening brought victories for Johnny McCloy and McFerran.

 

The Moffett Shield was the prize on offer for the F2 Stock Cars where Conor Hughes hunted down long time leader Kyle Beattie on the final lap to snatch victory in heat one. Antony Kincaid marked his first ever F2 appearance at Ballymena with a race win in heat two, but it was big brother Christopher who stormed home in a lively final which featured heavy impacts for Hughes and Scott Finlay, and a wall of death ride for Ryan McCrory after a last bender that Mick Sworder would even have thought twice about!

 

Street Rods completed the classes on display at the Isuzu Truck sponsored fixture. Taylor Broggy was the only driver to card more than one win all night and his heat and final double earned the teenager the Gold Cup award. William Donnell was successful in the opening Street Rod race.

A little piece of history was also made at the meeting when, for the first time ever in 40 years of racing at Ballymena, a lady starter officiated. Noleen Thompson took control of the starter’s rostrum and Miss Thompson carried out a first rate job on the flags, under the expert guidance of Mr. Starter himself, Ryan Wright, who performed the steward duties for the evening in race control.

Sponsored by: Isuzu Truck, FG Race Fabrications Moffett Family & Hankook Performance Tyres

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Meeting Review - Friday 14th July 2017

National Hot-Rods  - Heatrick wins Richard Turtle Memorial Cup



Ballymena Raceway hosted the opening round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI for the National Hot Rods on July 14 where changeable track conditions throughout the meeting ensured a difficult time for all the competitors. Derek Martin and Adam Hylands shared the heat wins in the slippery conditions, but the rain had eased by final time when Adam Heatrick stormed home to victory, which also earned the Tandragee man the coveted Richard Turtle Memorial Cup.

 

The Stock Rods competed for their Irish Masters title and produced three keenly contested races as the drivers continue the build-up towards their World Final at Raceway in August. Welcome Scottish visitors Jim Pitcaithly, Cameron Doak and Trevor Calvin joined the locals for his one, but it was Antrim’s Stephen McCready who stole the show with a master class in the final to romp home well clear of Michael McFall and Pitcaithly.  

 

Group Two Lighting Rods and Street Rods completed the classes on display and it proved to be a night to remember for the Donnell family from Larne. Firstly William Donnell won the Group Two Supreme Trophy and then his father, Ronnie, took the honours in the Street Rod final to complete a family double!

Sponsored by: Greer's of Antrim (Volvo), Townparks (Vauxhall), Alloy Clinic & Hankook Performance Tyres

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Meeting Review - Friday 23rd June 2017

Gp2 Lightning-Rods - Rick Wins 2017 Grand Prix Title



There were talking points aplenty at the Ballymena Raceway meeting on June 23 where some competitive racing was mixed in with a series of spectacular spills. The crowning of a new champion in the Group Twos and a rising star in the junior ranks were amongst the other headlines from an incident packed programme of races, just your typical night at The Raceway really!

 

Three rollovers during the opening five races set the tone for the evening. Gareth Robinson, Matthew Drysdale and Jason Clyde were the upturned trio, but happily all three were none the worse for wear. Things settled down a tad after that explosive opening, but there was still plenty of good racing on display. Main event on the programme was the final of the Group Two Lighting Rod Grand Prix Series. Polesitter Richard Purdy was tracked all the way by David Reynolds and Freddie Fleck in this one, but Purdy controlled things expertly from the front to score his biggest win to date.

 

It was a case of the Yellow Peril in the Stock Rod division, where all three race wins in Round Two of their FG Race Fabrications Series went the way of the yellow grade. Niall McFerran and Ian Thompson split the heats wins between them and also finished one – two in the final as McFerran captured his second win of the night. Stephen McCready was the best of the star grade in third after an eye catching run through from the rear of the field.

 

Last time out at Raceway Jack Morrow’s car ended up on its roof, but the Rathfriland lad’s fortunes were totally reversed on this visit! Morrow underlined his potential with a sublime hat-trick of wins in the opening round of the Junior Rod Gold Roof Series, where Mark Brogan and Joshua McKinstry joined him on the podium for the feature race. There were also hat-tricks for Richard Nicholl in the Super Saloons and Norman Mitchell in the Street Rods.

Sponsored by: Sperrin Switchgear, Bobby Johnston Garage Services & FG Race Fabrications

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Meeting Review - Saturday 10th June 2017

BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars 2017 Challenge Trophy

MIGHTY McKINSTRY WINS F2 CHALLENGE TROPHY



Nutts Corner racer Bradley McKinstry captured his biggest win to date with a resounding victory in the F2 Challenge Trophy at Ballymena Raceway on June 10. The province’s best were joined on the grid by racers from England and Scotland for two qualifying heats which preceded the Ryan Wright Signs & Embroidery sponsored feature event. The first of these brought a fine win for Sean McFerran, before defending Champion Nathan Maidment from Somerset underlined that he would not give up his crown lightly with a determined drive to win the second qualifier in very changeable weather conditions. The rain had stopped by final time where McFerran was the first to show. A caution period tightened the entire field onto the leader’s back bumper however and McKinstry quickly made a decisive move at the resumption of racing to progress into the lead. Once out front McKinstry would never be caught and stroked it home for a popular win, twenty years after his father Darren had won the same event back in 1997! Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid was a strong second, with UK Open Champion Luke Wrench from Cheshire in third.

Regrettably some late cancelations reduced the grid of Heritage F1 Stock Cars for their debut appearance in Northern Ireland. What these cars lacked in numbers they certainly made up for in sound as the wonderful noise of their V8 engines was amplified by the grandstands in the Showgrounds! Martin Makim from Preston secured the Irish Grand Prix title after a great run in the final at the wheel of his Wainman Senior car from 1979.

A splendid entry of 21 Stock Rods produced some great action as the racers battled it out for the Shock-Tec Supreme Trophy. Former Irish Champions Michael McFall and Raymond Harper split the heat wins before Steven McKane underlined the potential of his new Corsa C with a decisive win in the final. The Group Two Lightning Rods contested the MM Recovery Challenge Cup and produced a humdinger of a final. This one could have good one of three ways at the final bend, with Paul Nesbitt, Clive Wilson and David Nesbitt all in the frame, but it was Paul who managed to squeeze home in a blanket finish. The Micro F2 Stock Cars completed the programme on their first visit of 2017 to Raceway. Randalstown lass Rhianna Murray romped to victory in the opening race, then brought race two to a halt with a spectacular rollover! Tyler McClurkin dominated this one from the restart to score his first win of the night and doubled his tally with another polished display in their third race.

Sponsored by: RW Signs, MM Recovery, Redz Piano Bar & Grill & Shock-Tec

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Meeting Review - Friday 30th March 2018

Stock-Rods - #17 Stephen McCready wins Yokohama Title

 

Stock Rod World Champion Stephen McCready demonstrated that he is still the man to beat at Ballymena Raceway in 2018 with victory in the Yokohama Championship on Good Friday. McCready was pushed all the way by Raymond Harper as the pair fought out a race long tussle for the crown, but the World Champion kept his rival at bay throughout to record his first win in the coveted Yokohama event. Harper was a valiant runner-up with Niall McFerran in third.

 

The National Hot Rods resumed their World Qualifying trail on Good Friday with Round 8 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI. Former British Champion Stewart Doak took full advantage of his advantageous starting position in the yellow grade to rattle off impressive victories in both heat races, but had to settle for second in the final as Glenn Bell rocketed through from the third row of the grid to claim an eye catching win.

 

Group Two Lightning Rods and Street Rods completed the race programme on Good Friday. A fraught Group Two final initially went the way of Joshua McMullan, but regrettably his car failed the post race checks and was subsequently removed from all results for the evening. After further penalties were applied Richard Purdy was promoted to first position, with Irish Champion David Reynolds in second and Jason Darragh in third. No such dramas in the Street Rods where Philip Porter departed Raceway with the silverware for the second week in a row.

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Sponsored by: Blok51, Bigger Digger Hire

& Polleysport


2018 FIXTURES
Friday 1st June 2018
@ 7.15pm


National Hot-Rods
2018 Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI Rd 14
Junior-Rods
2018 Irish Masters
Prolites
2018 Gold Rush Series Rd 1
Gp2 Lightning-Rods
Street-Rods


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McCurdy Fuels

 

 

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