Untitled Document


MEETING REVIEW

Friday 19th & Saturday 20th May 2017

 

National Hot Rods 2017 Irish Open Championship & 40th Anniversary Trophy

Defending Champion Dave Casey headed up the ten entrants for the Irish Open Championship, along with current British Champion Adam Hylands and 2013 World Champion John Christie. Jaimie McCurdy, Ben McKee, Conor McElmeel, Andrew Stewart, Davy McKay, Phillip McCloy and Kenny McCann completed the runners for the first of three qualifying heats on Friday evening, where Hylands drew first blood ahead of Christie and Casey. In the second qualifier Casey got the jump on McCurdy during the opening lap and pulled away for a good win. McCurdy held on for second, while Christie got the better of Hylands this time to finish third. The final qualifier turned into a duel between Christie and Hylands where the winner would lockdown pole position for the championship final. Christie coolly withstood the pressure from Hylands all the way to the flag, with McCurdy in third.

When the point were totalled up it was Christie on pole with Hylands alongside, followed by Casey and McCurdy on row two. The final was first up on Saturday afternoon where Hylands made a strong attempt to get ahead over the opening lap. Christie managed to keep his nose in front and crucially Casey got between Christie and Hylands during this opening phase, while further back a touch between McKee and McCurdy sent McCurdy’s Ginetta into a half spin. The field didn’t get much further before the yellow flags were out to retrieve some bodywork from the track which had fell off McCloy’s Peugeot. At the resumption Christie soon set about building a gap over the rest while Casey had his mirrors filled by an eager Hylands. Their battle played straight into Christie hands who continued to extend his lead lap by lap while McCurdy, McKee and McKay worked their way onto the tail of the second place battle. Christie stretched his advantage out to half a lap as a determined Casey held off his pursuers and eventually Hylands took to the outside line in an attempt to break the stalemate. He gave it a good go to, but Casey resolutely stuck to his defensive line and eventually Hylands was shuffled backwards into the pack. Up front Christie had a commanding three quarter lap advantage and stroked the Fiesta home for a comprehensive victory. Casey’s dogged drive earned him a hard fought second, with the final podium slot going to McCurdy. McKee was next across the line, but earned a two place penalty for the earlier incident with McCurdy, which promoted McKay and Hylands into fourth and fifth Stewart and McCann completed the finishers.

The final National race of the weekend was for the 40th. Anniversary Trophy with the grid formed as a reverse of the Irish Open final. By this stage the rain had arrived to leave the track slick and it was McCloy who gingerly headed up the field in the opening stages. Christie was on the move again however and swooped around the outside of everyone to take it up on lap 4. Hylands followed suit shortly afterwards and the pair were very evenly matched from there to the end. Christie never put a wheel out of place though and completed a near perfect weekend with victory in the 40th. Anniversary Trophy race, just like he had done 10 years earlier in the 30th. anniversary race, and in the same car too!

Stock Rods 2017 Nations Cup & 40th Anniversary Trophy

The Stock Rods started their weekend with the Nations Cup where two reverse grid qualifying heats determined the grid for the final. Welcome Scottish visitor James Gray edged out Wilfie McNiece and Adam Sloan to take a fine win in heat one, before Stephen McCready powered home ahead of Matthew McKinstry and Steve Gooch in heat two. The heat winners shared the front row for the final, with McNiece and Jack Kennedy on row two. McCready got great drive around the outside on the first bend and once out front put the hammer down immediately. From that point until the chequered flag McCready never eased his pace and won handsomely in the end. Gray was good value for second after another impressive run, with McNiece in third.

Saturday’s heat races were run from graded starts. Gray chalked off another win in the first of these before Graham Moore got in on the act in heat two. Those heat results determined the starting positions within each grade for the final where the track was now wet after a quick shower. Yellow grader Moore led them all away in this one, but Jack Patchett was quickly up to speed from the blue grade and motored through on lap 3. Gray followed suit a few laps later, built McCready was on the move too and relegated the Scotsman on lap 9. McCready eased around the leader a lap later to take it up and complete a great weekend’s work with victory in the 40th. Anniversary Trophy. Another driver to enjoy a fine weekend was Gray and the Scotsman relegated Patchett to secure the runner-up spot, with the top six rounded out by Patchett, Gooch, Johnny McCloy and Jason Clyde.

Group Two Lightning Rods 2017 National Championship & 40th Anniversary Trophy

The Group Twos also did a double stint over the weekend, with their National Championship first up on Friday. David Reynolds and veteran Kenny Carson took a win apiece in the qualifiers, but two consistent finishes earned Irish Champion Clive Wilson pole, with Richard Purdy alongside on the front row. Purdy got a great run at the green flag and was very close to getting in at the first bend, but Wilson just managed to keep his rival at bay. As the rest squabbled over second Wilson stretched away to a comfortable victory, with Purdy good value for second and Reynolds in third.

Saturday’s races followed a similar format with the heat wins going to Reynolds and David Nesbitt on this occasion. The heat winners shared the front row for the final and would be the main protagonists in the early stages. Reynolds got the drop at the green to lead, but was under all sorts of pressure from Nesbitt as the race progressed. Wilson and Purdy latched onto the frontrunners too as the pressure on Reynolds continued unabated for lap after lap. Eventually Nesbitt dropped out at half distance, but Wilson soon took up the challenge and was all over the back of the leader. Reynolds took it all in his stride however to nail down the 40th. Anniversary Trophy after a hard fought win over Wilson, Purdy, Carson, George Esler and Paul Nesbitt.

Junior Rods 2017 Supreme Championship

Friday evening’s meeting saw the youngsters throw up three highly eventful races as they contested their Supreme Championship. Newcomer Mark Crawford continued his excellent start to the season with a brace of victories in the qualifying heats. Heat two featured a big rollover for the immaculate Vauxhall Corsa of Jack Morrow, from which Jack thankfully merged unscathed, and a hefty crash for Leah Hughes which earned Shea Duff a disqualification. Crawford qualified on pole for the final with Matthew Drysdale alongside for company on the front row. It was Crawford who led initially before Joshua McKinstry worked his way to the front with some handy work through the backmarkers. Once in clear air again however Crawford grabbed the place back to complete his hat-trick of wins ahead of McKinstry and Samuel Wilson.

F2 Stock Cars 40th Anniversary Trophy

The Twos joined the fun on Saturday where there was a first outing of the season for Craig McConnell, who took the opportunity for a run out in his old car with current owner Martin Conlon away on holiday. Paul Crooks continued to impress with a flag to flag win in the opening heat, before Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid returned to winning ways with an eye catching run through the field in heat two. The track was wet for the final, where the starting positions within each grade were determined by the heat results. This one was only just started when the yellows were flying again with Bradley McKinstry embedded in the wall at Fisherwick bend. With McKinstry’s car retrieved the action got underway again, with the bumpers flying in once more, particularly in a fierce battle between Conor Hughes, Graham Fegan and Kincaid. Eventually Hughes worked his way clear and looked to have this one sewn up until disaster struck just 5 laps from home when the #929 car retired with a mechanical issue. Fegan was in the perfect spot to take maximum advantage and duly scuttled home to lift the 40th. Anniversary Trophy. Sam McKay finally enjoyed a welcome upturn in fortunes and displayed good pace on his way to a fine second place finish, with the top six rounded out by Kincaid, Gordy McKee, Ryan McCrory and Mark Rainey.

Super Saloons 40th Anniversary Trophy

An improved showing of 11 cars took part where the heat race brought a win for Gareth Robinson in his quick Ford Fiesta. Conditions were slippery for the 40th. Anniversary Trophy final as Steven Elder soon discovered when his Vauxhall Astra rode the wall on the exit of turn two. That brought out a caution period during which Colin Clifford’s Toyota was spun out by another car. Clifford was reinstated into his position at the time the yellow flags were put out and the remaining runners set off again with Robinson at the head of affairs. Clifford was on a charge however and worked his way through from fifth place to the lead within 8 laps. Once out front Clifford eased away over the remaining distance to secure the silverware, with Robinson forced to settle for second on this occasion.

Photo's thanks to DPP

thanks to meeting Sponsors: Townparks (Vauxhall), Ross Park Motors

ASD Racing Products, Edwards Motorsport, Foster Forklifts & Plant & Total Perfection

click for Official Results (19/05/17 & 20/05/17

 

 

 

 

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