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Friday 20th July 2018

National Hot-Rods 2019 Simpson Race Exhausts World Series Rd 1

& Richard Turtle Memorial Trophy

Stock-Rods 2018 Irish Masters *** Gp2 Lightning-Rods 2018 Challenge Cup

& Street-Rods


The race to qualify for the 2019 National Hot Rod World Championship roars off the starting grid at Ballymena Raceway on Friday evening (7:15pm start). The National Hot Rods are a firm favourite with local fans and these Speed Kings of the ovals begin the trail which eventually leads to the World Final at Ipswich next July. Raceway fans will be keen to see some action at the Showground’s oval after a twelve week lay-off to accommodate work on the football pitch at the main arena.

The dust has only just settled on 2018 World Final, which was won for the first time by Hampshire’s Billy Wood, with John Christie the top finisher from Northern Ireland in second spot. Other racers from the province to make it into the top ten were Derek Martin in fourth, Adam Heatrick in sixth and Mark Heatrick in ninth, while Wild Card qualifier Adam Maxwell form Crumlin made it all the way from the back of the grid to eleventh position at the chequered flag. Maxwell also won the Betfred Trophy at the World Final weekend and Adam Hylands from Portadown walked away with the Nick Thomas Memorial Trophy.

Unluckiest driver at the World Final was undoubtedly Glenn Bell from Portadown. Bell, World Champion back in 2012, set the fastest lap in qualifying to earn pole position for the World Final and led the big race for over sixty laps. Cruelly a throttle problem on his Vauxhall Tigra thwarted his bid for glory.

The National Hot Rod class continues to thrive in the province and received another boast with the news that Simpson Race Exhausts will sponsor World Series NI in a deal that will see the final winner at each round receive a cash bonus. The new campaign is sure to be hotly contested, with the likes of Bell , Christie, Hylands and Shane Murray all expected to figure prominently once again. An impressive eighteen cars are booked in for the opening round including Derek Martin, Gary Woolsey, Jaimie McCurdy, Carl Sloan, returnee Thomas Dilly and 2016 Champion Maxwell.

An extra incentive for the racers this weekend will be the Richard Turtle Memorial Cup. The handsome trophy is raced for annually to remember former Raceway favourite Richard Turtle and will be presented to the winner of Friday’s National Hot Rod final. The race is kindly sponsored by Townparks Car Sales and Greer’s of Antrim VOLVO, two firms that enjoyed a close association with Richard down through the years.


2015 Adam HYLANDS 2016 Keith MARTIN 2017 Adam HEATRICK 2018 ????

Friday’s meeting also features races for the Stock Rod, Street Rod and Group Two Lightning Rod classes. The Group Two racers compete for the MM Recovery backed Challenge Cup. Irish Champion David Reynolds from Ballymena is always one to look out for, along with the likes of Rasharkin’s Jason Darragh, Richard Purdy from Cullybackey and 2017 winner Paul Nesbitt.


2006 Lyle MURRAY 2007 James GREER 2008 Samuel MONTGOMERY 2009 Stephen DOHERTY  
2010 Stephen DOHERTY 2011 Lyle MURRAY 2012 Curtis GREER 2013 Noel HAZLETT
2014 Noel HAZLETT 2015 Johny GILLESPIE 2016 Mark TURTLE 2017 Paul NESBITT 2018 ????

The Stock Rods contest their Irish Masters event this weekend, which is currently held by World No. 1 Stephen McCready. The Antrim Ace has already won the Yokohama and National titles in 2018 and will be the one to beat. Points Leader Niall McFerran captured the Irish Open title at Nutt’s Corner last month and will be another strong contender along with European Champion Raymond Harper. Jason Clyde is poised to debut his new Corsa B and will be keen to get back into the swing of things alongside Aaron Moody, Shea Duff, Kurtis Reid, Steve Gooch and Adam Sloan.

The green flag drops to get things underway in the Ballymena Showground’s at 7:15pm.

sponsored by: Simpson Race Exhausts, Greer's of Antrim (Volvo)
Townparks Car-Sales & MM Recovery



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