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MEETING REVIEW

Friday 14th July 2017

National Hot Rods World Series NI Rd 1 plus Richard Turtle Memorial Cup

A number of late cancellations and withdrawals resulted in a reduced entry of 15 cars for the opening round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI. The track was very damp for the first heat, where the grid line-up included former track favourite Sticky Torrens. The popular Ballymoney man was making a return to the local race scene after an absence of over thirty years! Former British and National Champion Gary Woolsey was another welcome returnee in his Ginetta, but it was Derek Martin from Dungannon who held off a fast-finishing Glenn Bell to secure victory in the opener, with Northern Ireland Champion Shane Murray in third. Adam Hylands was forced to retire from the opening heat with car problems, but bounced back in style with a commanding victory in heat two, with Bell the runner-up once again.

 

Those consistent finishes earned Bell pole position for the final, where the winner would receive the Richard Turtle Memorial Cup in remembrance of former National Hot Rod star Richard Turtle. The rain had stopped by this time and the outline of a dry area was now visible on the racing line, which resulted in a variety of tyre combinations throughout the field as the drivers speculated on which set-up would suit best. Bell nipped into the lead straight away, but his race was over after a couple of laps when his Vauxhall pulled up abruptly at Suffolk bend. Adam Heatrick took over out front with John Christie in hot pursuit, and the pair quickly eased away from the rest of the field. Further back Jaimie McCurdy diced for third with Hylands and Martin, but the front two were in a race of their own. As the laps ticked down the leaders were locked in heavy backmarker traffic and Heatrick had to be extra careful with Christie right on his back bumper and ready to pounce at any opportunity. Heatrick coolly navigated his way through to confirm a fine win, with Christie a close second and Martin in third. Such had been the pace of the front pair that they lapped everyone up to fifth, with McCurdy and Murray the only others to finish on the lead lap.

 

Stock Rods 2017 Irish Masters

Scottish visitors Jim Pitcaithly, Trevor Calvin and Cameron Doak joined the best from the province for the Irish Masters event. Two reverse grid qualifying heats determined the grid positions for the title race and the 19-car opening heat was led for a long time by Garvagh’s Johnny McCloy, until Michael McFall roared through in the latter stages to grab the honours ahead of Sam McKinstry and McCloy. Heat two was dominated by McCready, who led from start to finish, with Jason Clyde and British Champion Pitcaithly occupying the places in this one.

 

McCready and Clyde shared the front row for the final, with McFall and Pitcaithly on row two. Aaron Moody was an early retirement as McCready eased in to an early lead, while Clyde, McFall and Pitcaithly embarked on an entertaining tussle for second. Eventually McFall broke free of this battle to begin the chase after leader McCready, but the Antrim man was well clear by this stage and eased home for a comprehensive victory. McFall was good value for second, while Pitcaithly just piped Clyde to third after a race long battle between the pair. Irish Champion Adam Sloan was fifth after a promising first outing in his new Corsa C model and McKinstry rounded out the top six finishers.

 

Group Two Lightning Rods 2017 Supreme Trophy

 

William Donnell and David Nesbitt split the heat wins in the Group Two division and the pair were the main players in the final as well. Donnell led this one from the start, but gradually Nesbitt hunted the leader down until he was right on Donnell’s back bumper for the final lap. Donnell was not going to be denied at this late stage however and calmly stroked it home for his first final win of the season closely followed by Nesbitt, with Ballymena’s David Gillespie in third after one of his best runs this season.

 

Street Rods 2017 Irish Grand Prix

A season’s best entry of seven cars arrived for the new Street Rod class, with Dermot McCann and Richard Nicholl both making their debut appearances. With several others cars also nearing completion the signs are encouraging that the fledgling formula will make steady progress during the second half of the season. Norman Mitchell and Ronnie Donnell enjoyed a heat win apiece and were both involved in an interesting three way dice for the final honours along with Taylor Broggy. There was nothing to separate this trio and a grandstand finish looked on the cards until the race was halted just two laps from home when Jacqui Hodge rolled her Vauxhall Corsa on the back straight. The result was declared at this point with Donnell the winner ahead of Broggy and Mitchell.

Photo's thanks to DPP

Ballymena Raceway would like thank all the meeting Sponsors

Greer's of Antrim (Volvo), Townparks (Vauxhall), Alloy Clinic

& Hankook Performance Tyres

click for Official Results (14/07/17)

 

 

 

 

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