Kells Stock Rod ace Carl Sloan improved as the evening went on at a slippery Ballymena Raceway on Friday night, wrapping up the night’s events with a controlled drive to victory in the Stock Rods Final.
In the opening race of the night Sloan, son of 1980’s Hot Rod superstar Robin, scythed through the field to third spot behind winner Sammy Graham. Graham had driven a fine race from the front of the grid to hold off former Irish Champion Alastair Bolton at flagfall and record a popular if somewhat surprise win.
In the feature race, Graham set the early pace before a clash with Stevie McNeice left both on the sidelines. Their misfortune opened the way for Sloan to cap his improvement by powering his Corsa through to a superb win. Another former Irish Champion, Craigywarren strar Micky McFall, chased hard but there was no budging Sloan from the top spot and a great win, and Micky had to be content with second slot ahead of Cardwell.
Double Victory for McCurdy
There was plenty to smile about for Aughafatten teenager Jaimie McCurdy on Friday night at Raceway, as he steered his Corsa to a brace of wins in some of the closest Junior Rod action seen at the town track for some time.
McCurdy laid down a marker with a fine drive in heat one, moving ahead to take the chequered flag ahead of Niall McFerran and rapid Nissan driver Mark Graham.
Graham was the man to beat in the second heat, stealing through to victory ahead of a determined looking McCurdy with Peter Stewart, more usually seen in action at Aghadowey Stadium, starring in third on his Raceway debut. Come final time, the young stars of the future produced one of the best races seen at the town track in many a year. For quite a time there was a frantic six car battle for the lead, with the young drivers showing excellent car control as they jostled and battled for position.
Gracehill’s Peter Greer led the way, but as he was challenged by McCurdy they were baulked by a backmarking car, dropping them back into the clutches of Graham, Aaron Moody and Stewart. There was no quarter gained, and certainly none given, as they battled side by side to the line, with Graham being in the box seat when it mattered at the chequered flag, ahead of Greer and McCurdy.
The Race Steward then ruled that some of the nail biting action was just too close for comfort, and duly docked Graham, Greer and Stewart places in the final analysis for contact during the race. McCurdy thus inherited the win to complete his double, ahead of Moody and the demoted Graham after a superb evening’s racing from the youngsters.
ProStocks 2012 Challenge Cup
The ProStocks class were making a welcome Raceway visit from their usual home at the new Tullyroan Oval, and they too produced three excellent races in the battle for their 2012 Challenge Cup.
The opening heat took a number of attempts to get started, but once underway it was Lurgan driver James Litter who moved through to take the win ahead of recent form man in the class Adrian McKinstry and Portadown’s Lee Davison. Davison then powered through to win heat two, with McKinstry again second in his Sierra ahead of Irish Champion Billy Finnegan Jnr.
With the final grid lined up in aggregate points order from the heats, Davison had annexed pole spot and quickly settled into the Challenge Cup lead. He was soon embroiled in a great scrap for the top spot which also involved Litter, Finnegan, World Champion Tam Agnew and Open Scottish Champion Ryan Abernethy.
With the bumpers being put to good use, Davison managed to break free entering the closing stages and keep himself ahead of any last lap attack from eventual second man Litter. Finnegan made his long journey from Ardglass worthwhile with third.
Fast Freddie Lands His Own Trophy!
The Group 2 Lightning Rods as always produced the biggest grid of the evening, and the fiercely competitive class saw three different winners during the meeting.
Broughshane driver Jason Clyde, who always excels in wet and slippery conditions, carved his way through from the blue grade to take a fine first heat victory, ahead of former Irish Champion Shane Gault, now running from the yellow grade after a run of bad form in recent months.
Gault made no mistake in the second encounter, powering his Peugeot home to record the win with Freddie Fleck netting second and Brian Edgar taking his second third place finish of the evening.
Edgar set the early pace in the feature race, but was soon overhauled by Gault who moved into the lead. Fleck was on a charge though, and with the conditions to his liking he soon took up the running at the head of proceedings.
A late race caution period for drama on the Raceway brought Clyde right into contention for the closing laps, but Fleck held on to sensationally win his own trophy as the meeting was being sponsored by his own Broughshane Car Dismantlers concern! Clyde took second ahead of Gault in third.
Photo's thanks to John Wolsey of Racemart