Untitled Document


MEETING REVIEW

Friday 23rd June 2017

Group Twos

Two graded heats preceded the Grand Prix Series Final and the points scored in these two races would be added to those already accumulated in the previous rounds to determine the grid positions for the finale. Johny Gillespie has endured a frustrating campaign to date, but a recent final win at Nutts Corner hinted at a return to form. The former World Cup winner showed his true speed again with a solid win in the opening heat, where a late race caution was required after George Esler struck the wall a hefty blow on the exit of turn two. Gillespie continued his upturn in fortunes with another strong win in the second heat, where Mark Goldie and Paul Nesbitt tracked the winner home. When the points were tallied up Richard Purdy and Freddie Fleck shared the front row for the final, with Goldie and David Reynolds on row two. A textbook start saw Purdy edge into the lead while Reynolds nipped into second, followed by Fleck, Goldie and Nesbitt. This leading group of five edged out a slight gap over the rest with Purdy still at the head of proceedings despite the close attentions of his pursuers. Eventually Purdy, Reynolds and Fleck broke free of the rest and it was still all to play for as the lapboards appeared. The top three were running nose to tail at this point, but Purdy skilfully managed the situation to take the chequered flag after a faultless performance. Reynolds was a gallant runner-up, with Fleck a strong third and the top six places were filled out by Nesbitt, Goldie and Wilson.

 

Stock Rods

A couple of drivers would unfortunately get no further than practice which left nineteen starters for the opening heat. Liam Irwin looks to be finding his feet in the Stock Rod class and led this one until lap five when Niall McFerran skirted ahead. There was drama in the main pack on lap eight when Jason Clyde was forced over the infield marker tyres at turn one, which launched his Vauxhall into a big rollover! A caution period was required to clear that up, with Johnny McCloy caught up in the ensuing melee as well. McFerran made no mistake from the restart and won handsomely in the end, while Stephen McCready made great progress from the red grade to chase the victor home. Nutts Corner promoter Ian Thompson wasted no time settling into the lead of heat two, but quickly had McFerran for company. The pair fought out a real nip and tuck battle all the way to the flag, but Thompson managed to keep his nose in front and secured a tidy win ahead of McFerran and Matthew McKinstry. The points scored in those heat races determined the starting positions within each grade for the final, which was Round Two of the FG Race Fabrications Series. McFerran looked a likely favourite for this one from the front row of the yellows and quickly nipped ahead of Irwin on lap two to take it up. Fellow yellow grader Thompson swiftly followed suit and the pair proved to be uncatchable in this one, running strongly in first and second until the chequered flag. McKinstry and McCloy battled hard over third for much of the way, but the pair were eventually reeled in by McCready over the closing laps. McKinstry managed to hold onto fourth, with Aaron Moody coming on strong over the closing laps to secure fifth. McCloy claimed a solid sixth spot in his budget 16v Vauxhall.

 

Junior Rods

An impressive 16 car field assembled for the opening round of the Gold Roof Series. Novice Jack Morrow wasted no time asserting his authority in heat one where the Micro F2 star stretched out a healthy lead over Andrew Woods in the opening laps. Mark Brogan and Joshua McKinstry led the chasers until the entire field was pulled up with only 3 laps to run when Matthew Drysdale got out of shape along the start-finish straight and mounted the wall which pitched his Peugeot into a rollover. A messy restart brought further problems in the pack and the race was eventually declared without running its full distance, with the result taken from the last full lap completed under green flag conditions. Heat two followed a similar pattern with Morrow quickly into an unassailable lead. Brogan was his closest challenger in this one, with Jamie Hunter in third. The results scored in the heat races determined the starting positions within each grade for the final. Morrow was quickly away from pole in the white grade and was never challenged throughout to claim a maximum points haul. Brogan and McKinstry completed a solid night’s work in second and third, while Stuart Percy made impressive ground from the red grade to secure fourth at the flag.

 

Super Saloons / Street Rods

The Super Saloons and Street Rods were combined for their three races. The opening contest was only a few laps in when a tangle between Colin Clifford and Gareth Robinson left Robinson’s Fiesta overturned at the exit of turn two. The fallout from that reduced the grid still further and left the way clear for Richard Nicholl to dominant proceedings. Nicholl romped to an untroubled hat-trick of wins and was followed home in the final by Louise Donnell and newcomer Stephen Howwit. In the Street Rod section Norman Mitchell was the star of the show. Mitchell took victory in both heats races plus the final, where he was followed home by Shannon Morrow and Jacqui Hodge.

 

Photo's thanks to DPP

Ballymena Raceway would like thank all the meeting Sponsors

Sperrin Switchgear, Bobby Johnston Garage Services

& FG Race Fabrications

click for Official Results (23/06/17)

 

 

 

 

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