Stock-Rods 2012 Irish GP
McCormack's 'world' of warning
Twenty-one cars participated in the Irish Grand Prix, with visiting drivers from Scotland and Southern Ireland joining the best from the province. It was the visitors who took first blood when Tipperary’s Alan McCormack collected the chequered flag in the opening qualifying heat, followed home by fellow countryman Colm O’Sullivan with Carl Sloan the first Raceway regular in third. The second qualifier brought a victory for Micky McFall in his Vauxhall Nova. McFall, who had won 3 races from 3 starts at Aghadowey Stadium the previous day, controlled this one from the front to lead home Chris Gordon and Frankie Lynn.
The results in the two qualifying races decided the grid for the final and it was first heat winner McCormack who occupied pole position for the GP race with Gordon for company on the front row. McFall and O’Sullivan occupied row two with the top six on the grid completed by Stephen McCready and Gary Butler. It was McCormack who took it up at the start while O’Sullivan nipped ahead of Gordon to snatch second. As McCormack made his break out front Gordon pressurised O’Sullivan into a mistake to move into second with McFall and Stephen McCready in tow. McFall wasn’t finished there either and soon afterwards relegated Gordon as well to run second. A caution period to remove Butler’s Vauxhall Nova, which was stranded in a dangerous position at Suffolk bend following a spin, closed up the field and set up a grandstand finish. McCormack was not going to be denied at this late stage however and coolly reeled off the remaining laps in his quick Vauxhall Corsa to secure the Irish Grand Prix crown and also marked himself down as a real dark horse for the forthcoming World Championships at Raceway. McFall followed the winner home, with McCready, Gordon, Sloan and Lynn the next finishers.
Junior-Rods 2012 Next Gen. Cup
Steward soothes Dean’s ‘back’ pain
Thirteen youngsters took part in the Next Gen Cup and it was Aidan McFerran who sneaked through to victory in the first heat after long term leader Dean McCrory was delayed by a backmarker in the closing laps and dropped to second. McCrory would not be denied in the second qualifier however and moved ahead of early leaders Adam Brogan and Mark Rainey to seal the win with Jaimie McCurdy the runner-up in this one. McCrory qualified on pole position for the final and another victory looked a formality when the Antrim lad built up a handsome lead in his Peugeot 106. Just as in the opening heat however backmarkers were to prove troublesome for McCrory and this time it was even worse as the leader’s car was forced into the wall while he attempted to lap a slower car. McFerran and McCurdy crossed the line in first and second positions as the stricken McCrory machine limped around on the final lap to the chequered flag, but a post race review of the incident concluded that McCrory had been deliberately targeted by the back marker. As the race was within the final three laps the steward has the authority to reinstate the affected driver and this is exactly what happened as McCrory was rightfully awarded the Next Gen Cup. Judging by the crowd’s reaction on the lap of honour most inside the stadium agreed with the steward’s decision, with McCurdy and McFerran declared in second and third positions.
As in the Stock Rod class two qualifying heats were used to determine the grid positions for the Darren Alexander Transport backed Group Two Lightning Rod Challenge Cup race. Current form man Freddie Fleck continued his recent purple patch with another victory in the opener, before returnee Gary Thompson marked his come back with a victory in heat two. A brace of finishes within the top six was enough to earn the consistent Curtis Greer pole position for the final however, with David Wilson alongside on the front row, followed by Steven McKane and Liscinda Smyth on row two.
Gp2 Lightning-Rods 2012 Challenge Cup
Curtis is up for the Challenge
At the green flag it was Greer who immediately rocketed into the lead, but his advantage was short lived as the race was brought under caution when Mark Turtle rolled his Vauxhall Astra at Fisherwick bend. Greer took control again when the race resumed and a frantic battle for second between Wilson and McKane played right into the leader’s hands as it allowed Greer to pull steadily clear from his pursuers. Greer extended his lead to come home a very comfortable victor after a dominant display and added his name to the list of Challenge Cup winners which also includes his father James, who lifted the trophy back in 2007. McKane edged home in second with Wilson forced to settle for third, the top six completed by Samuel Montgomery, Kenny Carson and Smyth.
1300 Saloon Stock-Cars 2012 Iron Man Trophy
Hat-trick for Stewart
William Stewart departed Raceway undefeated after an easy hat-trick of victories in the 1300 Stock Cars. The disappointing entry of cars was depleted further when David Reynolds spectacularly rolled his Vauxhall Corsa during the opening laps of the first heat and was forced to retire from the rest of the meeting. Stewart set his stall out with a decisive win in the opening heat and his Vauxhall Corsa proved unstoppable in the other two races as well as the Antrim racer collected an untroubled hat-trick of wins and the Iron Man Trophy. Richard Taylor followed the winner home in the final with Chris Thompson and Michael Logan the only other finishers.
Open Hot-Rods 2012 Golden Helmet Trophy
Gurney strikes back to claim gold
Davy Gurney battled back from a disqualification in the opening heat to have the final say in the Golden Helmet race. Ten cars lined up for the opening heat, but the first lap had not even been completed when most of the field was caught up in a melee on the exit of Suffolk bend. Gurney was judged to have triggered the incident and was subsequently disqualified from taking the restart by the steward. Once things got underway for a second time it was defending Golden Helmet champion Paul Nevin who took victory in his potent Vauxhall Corsa. Gurney was back on track for heat two, but had to settle for third behind Bill McCurdy and Jaye Nevin, while heat one winner Paul Nevin damaged his car after a heavy contact with the unforgiving race wall. McCurdy qualified on pole for the Golden Helmet Trophy race after a win and a second place in the heat races with Jaye Nevin joining him on the front row, while ex-National men Gurney and Jason Winning lurked ominously on row two. A sluggish getaway from McCurdy allowed Jaye Nevin to take up the lead, but Gurney was all over the leader like a rash and went through into the lead by the end of the opening lap. A marker tyre had been knocked onto the racing line during those opening skirmishes however, so the whole field was halted and lined up again for a re-start. Once again the pole sitter dropped back at the start as Jaye Nevin took it up again in his Peugeot 206cc. His advantage was short lived however, as Gurney was on a real charge once more and smartly darted around the leader. Once out front Gurney motored clear of the pack in his Peugeot 205 and his opening heat problems were banished completely as the Londonderry man took a very satisfying win and the Golden Helmet Trophy. McCurdy followed the winner home, with the top six completed by Gareth Nevin, Davy McKay, Winning and Simon Kennedy.
Photo's thanks to John Wolsey of Racemart