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Friday 22nd September meeting practice will run as follows:

Gp2 Lightning-Rods, Junior-Rods, Street-Rods, BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars & Stock-Rods

starting @ 6.30pm sharp

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Meeting Preview - Friday 22nd September 2017

BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars 2017 Teng Tools Series Finale

Gp2 Lightning-Rods 2017 Irish Championship

Junior-Rods 2017 Irish Championship & Stock-Rods

 







IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE HEADER

AT RACEWAY

The short circuit motorsport action continues at Ballymena Raceway on Friday evening (September 22) with an Irish Championship double header topping the programme! The Group Two Lightning Rods and Junior Rods contest their biggest domestic title of the season and both events promise to be very keenly contested.

Randalstown’s George Esler starts on pole position for the Group Two event, with Ballymena’s David Reynolds alongside on the front row. Paul Nesbitt and Richard Purdy share row two, while 2016 Champion Clive Wilson begins the defence of his title from row three beside Rodney Stewart. The top ten places on the grid are rounded out David Nesbitt, Freddie Fleck, Matthew Curran and Mark Goldie, with Johny Gillespie and William Donnell amongst those looking to make progress from further down the field. The Group Twos have produced some very close racing all season and Friday’s championship decider could well be another cracker. Richard Purdy Paint Preparations has very kindly put forward a prize of a full paint job for the winner, and Nicholl Motorsport are generously putting up four new tyres which will be distributed amongst the top three finishers.

The Junior Rod Irish Championship looks equally compelling. The youngsters have provided some fantastic racing in 2017, with very healthy turnouts at each and every meeting. Crumlin’s Shea Duff has managed to hold down a superstar grade for the entire season, which is no mean feat when you consider the full grids that the class attracts. Shea will be starting at the front of the grid on Friday evening and is sure to be a major player in this one. Newcomer Mark Crawford started the season on fire and jumped straight from the white to superstar grade. Not surprisingly the wins dried up from there, but Mark is another who has qualified well for the championship race and is more than capable of a good result. If you’re looking for the form driver however, then look no further than Joshua McKinstry. The Nutts Corner lad has won the National Championship and Gold Roof Series on his last two visits to Ballymena. Can Joshua make it a hat-trick of title wins on Friday evening? Other likely contenders include Samuel Wilson, Matthew Milliken, Matthew Drysdale, Cole McFall, Stuart Percy and Jack Morrow, while the likes of Mark Brogan, Jamie Hunter, Jonathan Brown, Ty Richardson and Josh Gooch could well spring a surprise.

The BriSCA F2 Stock Cars contest the final of their Teng Tools Series on Friday evening. Conor Hughes currently tops the standings heading in to the final round, with Christopher Kincaid, Ryan McCrory, Gordy McKee and Bradley McKinstry also well in contention. The points scored in Friday’s heat races will be added to those already accumulated at the previous rounds to determine the grid positions for the Series Final. The overall winner will receive a £500 Teng Tools voucher.

ORCi Stock Rods and Street Rods complete the classes on display, with the first race getting underway in the Ballymena Showground’s at 7:15pm.

Sponsored by: Teng Tools, BRM Services, Nicholl Motorsport, Richard Purdy Paint Preparations & Kustom Racewear




Meeting Review - Friday 15th September 2017

National Hot-Rods 2018 World Series NI Rd 5

#342 Adam Heatrick Grabs WQR 5 Final Victory

 



A superb evening of racing was served up by all four formulas on show at the Raceway on Friday night with close, competitive action the order of the night. Portadown's Adam Heatrick had an excellent evening, as he took a heat and final double in the fifth round of the National Hot Rods World Series NI. Other feature race wins at the meeting, sponsored by Ross Hyndman Motors, fell to Newtownhamilton’s Wilfie McNiece (Stock Rods), Nuttscorner’s Joshua McKinstry (Junior Rods) and Larne racer William Donnell (Gp2 Lightning Rods).

A superb entry of eighteen cars came under starters orders for the fifth round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI for National Hot Rods. Stephen McGonigle set the early pace from the front of the grid in heat one, before losing out to Carl Sloan from Kells. This saw Sloan comfortably reel off the laps to take a well-deserved victory in heat one ahead of Keith Martin and Adam Heatrick. Heat Two saw Adam Heatrick take and excellent victory to finish ahead of Gary Wilson and John Christie. Heatrick had earned himself pole position for the final ahead of Wilson. After the initial shake up and things had settled down it was Adam Heatrick who took a deserved victory with Wilson superb value in second, Gary Woolsey in third, K Martin, Hylands and John Christie filling out the top six.

Before the opening Stock Rod event of the evening, Alastair Bolton and Wilfie McNiece were presented with a fine glass souvenirs by the promotion to say thank you for their long service to the sport and the Stock Rod class over the years. The Stock Rods raced for the Challenge Cup with impressive twenty-four car grid boosted by welcome visitors Jimmy Pitcaithly and Cameron Doak from the GMP Promotion and also making his debut in the formula was former Super Saloon driver Michael McMinn in a tidy looking Corsa C. Two graded order heat was the order of the night with the top point scorer starting in pole for the Challenge Cup Final. The opening the race of the night provided some of the best Stock Rod racing witnessed this season with Wilfie McNiece taking the honours closely followed home by Nuttscorner star name Raymond Harper in JB Race Engine powered Corsa C. Heat Two seen the reserve of result of Heat One this time with Harper powering home ahead of McNiece followed by Niall McFerran first of the Red graded drivers home with an excellent drive from the rear of the grid. McNiece consistency saw him on pole position for the Challenge Cup final, with Harper alongside on the front row. After some frantic opening laps, McNiece stayed at the front with star graded driver Steve Gooch, World Champion Stephen McCready closing Wilfie down over the final few laps a late move by McCready seen him docked two places for passing on the infield, so at the finish line it was McNiece followed home by a storming drive by Gooch, Harper, a demoted McCready in fourth, with Aaron Moody and Adam Sloan rounding out the top six.

A good field of Gp2 Lightning Rods produced some excellent racing, with newcomer Colin Crawley leading the field away for the opening number of laps, with blue graded drivers William Donnell and Ballymena’s Mark Goldie chasing hard, Goldie powered past in Vauxhall Astra to finish ahead of Donnell, Cullybackey’s Richard Purdy producing a fine drive from the rear of the grid to take third. Heat Two saw Goldie complete a heat double to claim this one with William Donnell coming home in second place ahead of former F2 Stock Car driver David Nesbitt in third. Goldie’s two heat wins had merited him an upgrade to Red grade for the final which allowed Donnell to romp home to victory in the final with returnee Harry Gilmore taking a good second place ahead of Mark Goldie, Paul Nesbitt, Rodney Stewart and David Nesbitt.

Another excellent field of sixteen Junior Rods produced some close and exciting racing. Up for grabs for the Junior Rods was the Gold Roof Series title, two graded order heats results would be added to the previous two rounds held earlier the season to form the Gold Roof Series Finale grid on the night. Heat One saw Larne lad Samuel Wilson complete a great win ahead of Matthew Milliken and Cole McFall. Jordan Nicholl produce his best drive of the season by winning Heat Two from Ballymoney’s Mark Brogan with Joshua McKinstry coming home in third place a result which would earn him in pole for the coveted Gold Roof crown. A polished performance in the final seen McKinstry claim a flag to flag victory to land the Gold Roof trophy ahead of Wilson, Shea Duff, Stuart Percy, Mark Crawford and Cole McFall. Next up for the Junior Rod formula will be 2017 Irish Championship which will take place this Friday night 22 September at the Showground's venue.

Sponsored by: Ross Hyndman Motors

 




Meeting Review - Speedweekend 2017

McCREADY’S GOLD – SPEEDY IS STOCK ROD WORLD CHAMPION!



Stephen McCready added his name to the list of oval racing World Champions from Northern Ireland after a dominant victory in the ORCi Stock Rod World Championship at Ballymena Raceway over the weekend of August 25/26. McCready has been the form driver around the Showground’s oval this season and his well deserved victory will go some way to banishing the disappointment of the 2012 World Final. On that occasion McCready was also first across the finish line, but subsequently lost the title when his car failed the post race checks. There were no issues with any of the top three cars this time around and McCready can now proudly carry the gold roof on his car for the next twelve months. Micky McFall kept the leader within his sights throughout the 40 lap encounter, but had to settle for a valiant second place finish in the end, with Scotland’s James Gray the best of the visitors in third.

 

A full programme of support races kept the crowds entertained as well with the rapid National Hot Rods in action on Saturday evening to contest Round 4 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI.  Round Three winner Mark Heatrick extended his good run with a comfortable victory in the opening heat before John Christie steered his Ford Fiesta home to a handsome success in heat two. The heat winners shared the front row of the grid for the final which developed into a tight nip and tuck battle between the pair. Heatrick seemed to have it all under control however until his Vauxhall developed problems in the closing laps which allowed Christie to sneak through for his second win of the night.

 

The Group Two Lightning Rods were in action on both days and produced their usual mixture of thrills and spills. Keith Lyttle and Brian Edgar tasted success in Friday’s heat races, but Darryl Reid upset the form book to run away with the World Cup Trophy final. The Irish Open Championship was up for grabs on Saturday evening. Johnny Gillespie and Irish Champion Clive Wilson shared the heat wins before pole sitter Paul Nesbitt enjoyed a flag to flag win in the final after a sterling drive in his Vauxhall Astra.

 

Gareth Robinson made a dream debut in the Street Rod formula with a heat and final double success in his immaculate Peugeot 206. Taylor Broggy scoped the other race in his Ford Fiesta. The young chargers in the Junior Rods contested their National Championship on Friday evening. Mark Brogan from Ballymoney romped home in the opening heat before Joshua McKinstry edged out Cole McFall in heat two after a great dice between the pair. McKinstry made his move early in the final and controlled this one from the front to become National Champion, with Samuel Wilson and Brogan in second and third. Graham Fegan secured the F2 Stock Car Supreme Trophy.

Sponsored by: Blok51, Wm Moody & Son Car-Sales Ballymena Barber Company, Trophiesni,  Muppet Motorsport, Crawftune Race Engines & Simpson Race Exhausts

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Meeting Review - Friday 18th August 2017

McCready Warms up for Stock-Rod World Championshp in Style



 A big grid of 22 Stock Rods took to the track which included Scottish ace driver’s Trevor Calvin and Jimmy Pitcaithly who have travelled over to gain some valuable track time and race prep before this weekend’s World Championship event. Heat one was blighted with a number of stoppages with Philip Wilson and Jason Clyde involved in a huge crash as they crossed the start and finish line not exactly what both drivers would have called ideal preparations for the big one.  Antrim’s Stephen McCready looked the class of the pack by landing another Raceway meeting Final with Wilfie McNiece settling for second and Niall McFerran coming home in third. The heat races earlier in the evening brought victories for McCready and Wilfie McNiece.

 

The Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy was up for grabs for the F2 Stock Cars where George Campbell came out victorious with his first big win to date. Sam McKay started of the evening by winning heat one with heat two being won by Superstar graded driver Christopher Kincaid.

 

The Junior Rods class competed for the Gold Roof Series Rd 2 trophy with an impressive 19 cars out on track. Larne driver Samuel Wilson took the home the Silverware with Stuart Percy and Shea Duff rounding out the top three on the podium step.

In the Group Two Lightning Rod class former F2 Stock Car driver David Nesbitt powered home his rapid Vauxhall Astra in the Final finishing well ahead of Paul Nesbitt and Johny Gillespie who rounded out the top three.

Sponsored by: Buckna Autos




Meeting Review - Saturday 29th July 2017

MARTIN ON TOP AT WORLD SERIES ROUND TWO




The race wins were certainly well distributed at the Ballymena Raceway fixture on July 29 where the twelve race programme produced no fewer than eleven different winners! Variable track conditions throughout the evening kept the competitors guessing on set-up and tyre choice, no more so than in the National Hot Rod section. Adam Hylands and Glenn Bell split the heat wins to share the front row of the grid for the final at Round 2 of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI, but it was row two starter Derek Martin who stormed home to victory in this one, with Hylands and Adam Heatrick in second and third.

 

Stephen McCready and Niall McFerran occupied the front row of the grid for the final of the Stock Rod FG Race Fabrications Series and the pair would be the main players in an absorbing encounter. McCready got the drop at the green flag to lead, but could not shake off McFerran’s attentions as the pair circulated as one throughout. McFerran pressed hard for an opening, but McCready skilfully maintained his advantage to win yet another final, with McFerran forced to settle for second and Jack Patchett in third. The heat races earlier in the evening brought victories for Johnny McCloy and McFerran.

 

The Moffett Shield was the prize on offer for the F2 Stock Cars where Conor Hughes hunted down long time leader Kyle Beattie on the final lap to snatch victory in heat one. Antony Kincaid marked his first ever F2 appearance at Ballymena with a race win in heat two, but it was big brother Christopher who stormed home in a lively final which featured heavy impacts for Hughes and Scott Finlay, and a wall of death ride for Ryan McCrory after a last bender that Mick Sworder would even have thought twice about!

 

Street Rods completed the classes on display at the Isuzu Truck sponsored fixture. Taylor Broggy was the only driver to card more than one win all night and his heat and final double earned the teenager the Gold Cup award. William Donnell was successful in the opening Street Rod race.

A little piece of history was also made at the meeting when, for the first time ever in 40 years of racing at Ballymena, a lady starter officiated. Noleen Thompson took control of the starter’s rostrum and Miss Thompson carried out a first rate job on the flags, under the expert guidance of Mr. Starter himself, Ryan Wright, who performed the steward duties for the evening in race control.

Sponsored by: Isuzu Truck, FG Race Fabrications Moffett Family & Hankook Performance Tyres

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Meeting Review - Friday 14th July 2017

National Hot-Rods  - Heatrick wins Richard Turtle Memorial Cup



Ballymena Raceway hosted the opening round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI for the National Hot Rods on July 14 where changeable track conditions throughout the meeting ensured a difficult time for all the competitors. Derek Martin and Adam Hylands shared the heat wins in the slippery conditions, but the rain had eased by final time when Adam Heatrick stormed home to victory, which also earned the Tandragee man the coveted Richard Turtle Memorial Cup.

 

The Stock Rods competed for their Irish Masters title and produced three keenly contested races as the drivers continue the build-up towards their World Final at Raceway in August. Welcome Scottish visitors Jim Pitcaithly, Cameron Doak and Trevor Calvin joined the locals for his one, but it was Antrim’s Stephen McCready who stole the show with a master class in the final to romp home well clear of Michael McFall and Pitcaithly.  

 

Group Two Lighting Rods and Street Rods completed the classes on display and it proved to be a night to remember for the Donnell family from Larne. Firstly William Donnell won the Group Two Supreme Trophy and then his father, Ronnie, took the honours in the Street Rod final to complete a family double!

Sponsored by: Greer's of Antrim (Volvo), Townparks (Vauxhall), Alloy Clinic & Hankook Performance Tyres

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Meeting Review - Friday 23rd June 2017

Gp2 Lightning-Rods - Rick Wins 2017 Grand Prix Title



There were talking points aplenty at the Ballymena Raceway meeting on June 23 where some competitive racing was mixed in with a series of spectacular spills. The crowning of a new champion in the Group Twos and a rising star in the junior ranks were amongst the other headlines from an incident packed programme of races, just your typical night at The Raceway really!

 

Three rollovers during the opening five races set the tone for the evening. Gareth Robinson, Matthew Drysdale and Jason Clyde were the upturned trio, but happily all three were none the worse for wear. Things settled down a tad after that explosive opening, but there was still plenty of good racing on display. Main event on the programme was the final of the Group Two Lighting Rod Grand Prix Series. Polesitter Richard Purdy was tracked all the way by David Reynolds and Freddie Fleck in this one, but Purdy controlled things expertly from the front to score his biggest win to date.

 

It was a case of the Yellow Peril in the Stock Rod division, where all three race wins in Round Two of their FG Race Fabrications Series went the way of the yellow grade. Niall McFerran and Ian Thompson split the heats wins between them and also finished one – two in the final as McFerran captured his second win of the night. Stephen McCready was the best of the star grade in third after an eye catching run through from the rear of the field.

 

Last time out at Raceway Jack Morrow’s car ended up on its roof, but the Rathfriland lad’s fortunes were totally reversed on this visit! Morrow underlined his potential with a sublime hat-trick of wins in the opening round of the Junior Rod Gold Roof Series, where Mark Brogan and Joshua McKinstry joined him on the podium for the feature race. There were also hat-tricks for Richard Nicholl in the Super Saloons and Norman Mitchell in the Street Rods.

Sponsored by: Sperrin Switchgear, Bobby Johnston Garage Services & FG Race Fabrications

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Meeting Review - Saturday 10th June 2017

BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars 2017 Challenge Trophy

MIGHTY McKINSTRY WINS F2 CHALLENGE TROPHY



Nutts Corner racer Bradley McKinstry captured his biggest win to date with a resounding victory in the F2 Challenge Trophy at Ballymena Raceway on June 10. The province’s best were joined on the grid by racers from England and Scotland for two qualifying heats which preceded the Ryan Wright Signs & Embroidery sponsored feature event. The first of these brought a fine win for Sean McFerran, before defending Champion Nathan Maidment from Somerset underlined that he would not give up his crown lightly with a determined drive to win the second qualifier in very changeable weather conditions. The rain had stopped by final time where McFerran was the first to show. A caution period tightened the entire field onto the leader’s back bumper however and McKinstry quickly made a decisive move at the resumption of racing to progress into the lead. Once out front McKinstry would never be caught and stroked it home for a popular win, twenty years after his father Darren had won the same event back in 1997! Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid was a strong second, with UK Open Champion Luke Wrench from Cheshire in third.

Regrettably some late cancelations reduced the grid of Heritage F1 Stock Cars for their debut appearance in Northern Ireland. What these cars lacked in numbers they certainly made up for in sound as the wonderful noise of their V8 engines was amplified by the grandstands in the Showgrounds! Martin Makim from Preston secured the Irish Grand Prix title after a great run in the final at the wheel of his Wainman Senior car from 1979.

A splendid entry of 21 Stock Rods produced some great action as the racers battled it out for the Shock-Tec Supreme Trophy. Former Irish Champions Michael McFall and Raymond Harper split the heat wins before Steven McKane underlined the potential of his new Corsa C with a decisive win in the final. The Group Two Lightning Rods contested the MM Recovery Challenge Cup and produced a humdinger of a final. This one could have good one of three ways at the final bend, with Paul Nesbitt, Clive Wilson and David Nesbitt all in the frame, but it was Paul who managed to squeeze home in a blanket finish. The Micro F2 Stock Cars completed the programme on their first visit of 2017 to Raceway. Randalstown lass Rhianna Murray romped to victory in the opening race, then brought race two to a halt with a spectacular rollover! Tyler McClurkin dominated this one from the restart to score his first win of the night and doubled his tally with another polished display in their third race.

Sponsored by: RW Signs, MM Recovery, Redz Piano Bar & Grill & Shock-Tec

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Meeting Review - Friday 2nd June 2017

National Hot-Rods 2017 World Series NI Rd 14

Murray makes his point to win Northern Ireland Series



Shane Murray is Northern Ireland’s new National Hot Rod Champion for 2017 after a nail biting conclusion to the Hankook Performance Tyres sponsored NI Series at Ballymena Raceway on 2nd. June. Murray began the final round in fourth place overall, behind John Christie, Jaimie McCurdy and World Champion Adam Maxwell. The two heat races brought victories for Ian McReynolds and Adam Heatrick, while the title contenders fought tooth and nail for every available point on offer. Heading into the last race of the fourteen round series Christie still occupied the top spot, but things could not have been closer in the table, with McCurdy just a single point behind and Murray only 2 point adrift! Heat two winner Heatrick started on pole for the finale and held off a strong challenge throughout from Adam Hylands to record his second victory of the night, but all eyes were on the scrap between Murray, Christie and McCurdy that would determine the destiny of the NI title. Murray held track position in this one and used it cleverly to create a battle between Christie and McCurdy which allowed Murray to pull away over the final laps. With Murray safely home in fifth it now all depended where his rivals finished and McCurdy got to the line a fraction in front of Christie which proved enough to land Murray the title by a single point!

 

There was some excellent racing too amongst the support classes at the Rodney Fleck Specialist Cars sponsored meeting. The Stock Rods produced three different winners, with Aaron Moody enjoying a welcome upturn in luck to record his first final win of the season despite a stern last lap challenge from Stephen McCready. It was a similar story in the Junior Rods as each race threw up a new winner. Mark Brogan and Leah Hughes split the heat victories before Jamie Hunter carried off the final silverware. Round Two of the Group Two Lightning Rod Grand Prix Series completed the programme where Brian Edgar resisted a gaggle of challengers to claim the spoils in a keenly contested final.

Sponsored by: Rodney Fleck Specialist Cars & Hankook Performance Tyres

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Meeting Review - Friday 19th May & Saturday 20th May 2017

BALLYMENA RACEWAY CELEBRATES 40th. ANNIVERSARY



Ballymena Raceway celebrated 40 years of Stock Car racing at the Showgrounds over May 19 & 20, where a marathon 25 race programme was completed over the two days. Main event of the weekend was the Irish Open Championship for the National Hot Rods and it was Crumlin’s John Christie who ran out a resounding and popular winner. Christie breezed home three quarters of a lap ahead of runner-up Dave Casey from Waterford, with local favourite Jaimie McCurdy from Broughshane in third. Later in the programme Christie also won the 40th. Anniversary Trophy before his father, legendary 5 times World Champion Ormond, thrilled the crowds by getting behind the wheel of the famous 962 car for a few demonstration laps.

The Stock Rods contested six highly competitive races over the course of the two days, where Steven McCready from Antrim proved to be the one to beat. McCready scorched to a dominant victory in the Inter Nations Cup on Friday evening and collected the 40th. Anniversary Trophy on Saturday after another convincing display. Scottish visitor James Gray recorded a brace of victories in his Vauxhall Corsa, with Graham Moore also amongst the wins.

The Group Two Lightning Rods were also kept busy over the two days and produced a set of keenly contested events. Irish Champion Clive Wilson added the National Championship to his title haul on Friday, before Ballymena’s David Reynolds kept his nose out front to claim the 40th. Anniversary Trophy on Saturday. Other race winners in the Group Twos included David Nesbitt and old hand Kenny Carson. The hard charging youngsters in the Junior Rods competed for their Supreme Championship on Friday evening where the track action was drama filled to say the least! Newcomer Jack Morrow rolled his Vauxhall Corsa in one the races, with Leah Hughes also involved in a big spill. Local lad Mark Crawford qualified on pole position for the final, but was made to work very hard by Joshua McKinstry before completing his hat-trick to be confirmed as Supreme Champion.

The F2 Stock Cars and Super Saloons joined proceedings on Saturday afternoon. Paul Crooks and Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid split the heat wins in the F2 division, but it was Graham Fegan who scampered home to win the 40th. Anniversary Trophy after long time leader Conor Hughes hit problems in the closing stages. A lively Super Saloon final was won by a delighted Colin Clifford after Gareth Robinson had taken the honours in the heat event.

Sponsored by: Townparks (Vauxhall), Ross Park Motors, ASD Racing Products, Edwards Motorsport Foster Forklifts & Plant Hire & Total Perfection

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Forthcoming Event

Friday 22nd Sept 2017 @ 7.15pm

                                                                          
BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars
2017 Teng Tools Series Finale
Gp2 Lightning-Rods
2017 Irish Championship  
Junior-Rods
2017 Irish Championship
Street-Rods
2017 World Cup
Stock-Rods

Sponsored by:
Teng Tools
BRM Services
Nicholl Motorsport
Richard Purdy Paint Preparations
Kustom Racewear
 

 

 

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