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Latest News

 

GOLDEN OLDIES DRIVERS REUNION NIGHT @ THE RACES

 

The Raceway is holding a Golden Oldies drivers reunion night on Friday 18 September, we are inviting drivers along who raced at the Raceway in the past whether you raced 1300 Stockcars, Superstox, Super Rods, Stock Rods, Saloon Stock Cars, Hot Rods or Production Cars we would like to hear from you - everyone welcome.

If you would like to attend or know of any ex drivers who would like to attend the reunion night. please get in touch by either emailing or filling in the reunion attendance form below.

bmrovalracing@yahoo.co.uk

click for reunion form

 

 

Meeting Reviews - Friday 21st August & 22nd August 2015

TOP PERFORMANCE FROM McKANE

 

Oval racers from across the province demonstrated their skills during two days of keen competition at Ballymena Raceway’s Speed Fest event on August 21 & 22.  All in all twenty seven races were contested over the two days with a number of championship titles decided during the course of the weekend.  The stand out performer proved to be Steven McKane from Ballymena who went home with two of the big prizes on offer and in two different formulas to boot! Stock Rod British Champion McKane returned to his Group Two Lightning Rod roots on Friday evening and proved his versatility with a convincing victory in their World Cup race, before reverting back to his normal Stock Rod on Saturday evening to lift the UK Masters title as well.

While McKane has been a regular visitor to victory lane during a success laden season for the Ballymena man the weekend events at Raceway also provided a host of new winners, not least Adam Sloan from Kells. The nineteen year old steered his Vauxhall Corsa home to a first ever final win in the Premier Cup race on Friday evening and backed that up with a solid run to third place in the UK Masters behind star names McKane and Wilfie McNiece.

Another racer celebrating a first ever final win on Friday evening was Gordy McKee from Templepatrick. The former Lightning Rod star switched to the ultra competitive F2 Stock Car division for 2015 and has been steadily getting to grips with his new car as the season progressed. McKee’s improved performance was underlined with a win in the Supreme Cup after surviving a last bend attack from double heat winner William Murray. McKee continued his winning ways with a heat win on Saturday before Graham Fegan powered through to capture the Irish Masters Trophy ahead of McKee and Ryan McCrory.

Another first time victor was young Jaimie Hunter. The teenager secured the Junior Rod Irish Masters title in his Vauxhall Corsa ahead of Joel McPeake and Jack Patchett after another entertaining display from the youngsters. The high speed National Hot Rods were in action on Saturday evening to contest Round 3 of the PC Paints & Components World Series. Andrew Stewart from Portadown qualified on pole position after a brace of heat wins in his Vauxhall Tigra and led the final for a long way too until a late race skirmish saw Gilford’s Nigel McCauley emerge victorious ahead of Gary Wilson and Stewart Doak.

Other winners over the weekend included Jason Clyde, who successfully defended the GP2 Irish Open title on Saturday evening after a close battle with Andy McLeister and Garvagh’s Karl Smyth who scorched to a hat-trick of wins in the Euro Stocks Irish Grand Prix event. Saturday’s meeting also included a superb display of Ford and Mini road cars, with the DNA Tuning Coleraine sponsored awards being up for grabs.

Sponsored by: William Moody & Son Car-Sales, CP Dynes Drainage Contractor, Anderson Race Engines, Redz Piano Bar & Grill.

Ford/Mini Fest 2015 kindly Sponsored by: DNA Tuning (Coleraine)

click for full review

 

 

WILSON JUMPS TO TOP OF NATIONAL HOT ROD TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Gary Wilson has jumped to the top of the McConville Recovery Specialists Track Championship for National Hot Rods at Ballymena Raceway following the latest round of the championship on August 7. Wilson started the evening in third position in the overall standings, behind John Christie and Carl Sloan, but a string of top 5 finishes in the opening round of the new World Qualifying Series propelled the Ballyclare man to the head of the track points chart on 263 points. Sloan remains in second place, 21 points behind Wilson, with Christie in third (225 points) and Jaimie McCurdy in fourth (213 points).

The Track Championship covers all nine National Hot Rod fixtures at Ballymena Raceway in 2015, with the highest points scorer being crowned Track Champion and collecting a prize of £500 courtesy of McConville Recovery Specialists.

Round 7 of the series takes place at Raceway next weekend (August 22), with the final two rounds scheduled for 11 September and 9 October.  

click for NHR Track Championship Points

 

 

McLEISTER EXTENDS LEAD IN GROUP TWO NATIONAL SERIES

 

Andy McLeister extended his lead at the top of the Group Two Lightning Rod National Series following Round 4 at Ballymena Raceway on August 7. McLeister has increased has advantage slightly, from 7 to 13 points, over Irish Open Champion Jason Clyde, who is now joined in second spot by Nigel Doherty. Matthew Curran and Rodney Stewart occupy fourth and fifth positions, while David Gillespie rockets into sixth following his hat-trick of wins on August 7.

Round 5 of the National Series takes place at Raceway on September 11.

click for Gp2 Lightning-Rods National Series Points

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 7th August 2015

National Hot-Rods 2016 WQR 1

Hat-trick for Heatrick

 

It proved to be an evening of firsts at Ballymena Raceway on August 7 where all four final winners picked up their first silverware of the season at the Showground’s oval. Mark Heatrick left the big names trailing in his wake to record an impressive hat-trick of wins in the opening Round of the National Hot Rod World Qualifying Series. Heatrick led the final from start to finish in a dominant display with Gary Wilson and Derek Martin the place men in the feature race.

Thomas Greer staved off a last bend assault from Conor Hughes to lift the Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy in the F2 Stock Car division. Hughes and Greer split the heat wins between them and the final turned into a battle of wits between the pair. Hughes managed to chase down the long time leader on the final bend and went in hard with the bumper, but Greer rode out the challenge well to nip home ahead of Hughes and Craig McConnell.

Heatrick wasn’t the only hat-trick hero at the Broughshane Car Dismantlers sponsored meeting as David Gillespie bounced back to form with a trio of victories in the Group Two Lightning Rod class. Gillespie made short work of the heat races from a yellow grade starting position and even an elevation to the blue grade for the final made no difference as Gillespie squeezed home just ahead of Andy McLeister with Nigel Doherty in third.

Junior Rods completed the classes on display and Matthew Milliken made it a clean sweep of first time final winners and it was also Matthew’s first ever final win at Raceway to boot! Milliken gave some indication of what was to come with a tidy win in the opening heat before Joel McPeake continued his improved form with a good win in heat two. It was Milliken who stamped his authority on the final right from the start to secure his second win of the night, while Jack Patchett nipped ahead of Leah Hughes on the last bend to snatch second. Unfortunately Patchett was subsequently removed from all results when his car failed a post race technical inspection, which promoted Hughes to second and Samuel Wilson to third.

Sponsored by: Broughshane Car Dismantlers

click for full review

 

 

WOOLSEY IS NATIONAL CHAMPION FOR 2015

 

photo thanks to www.mkpics.net

National Hot Rod racer Gary Woolsey was the big winner on a busy weekend of oval racing on the UK mainland. The National Hot Rods contested their prestigious National Championship at Hednesford Hills Raceway on August 1&2 with defending champion Glenn Bell taking victory in the first of six qualifying heats which were staged on Saturday. Adam Hylands, Derek Martin and Adam Maxwell also recorded heat victories, but a brace of wins for Shane Bland earned the Englishman pole position for the 75 lap final on Sunday, with Bell alongside side on the front row followed by Hylands and Woolsey on row two.

It was Bland who led the first half of the final before Hylands edged his way ahead around the 50 lap mark. The Portadown ace looked well set to add the National title to his European crown until a puncture slowed the 54 machine and triggered a chaotic lap from which Maxwell emerged at the front of the pack. Just like his namesake however Maxwell was destined not to see the chequered flag either when the 76 Tigra ground to a halt which left Woolsey at the head of proceedings. The former British Champion coolly completed the remaining distance to earn a well deserved first National title and was joined on the podium by fellow Ulstermen Stewart Doak and Jaimie McCurdy. Oxfordshire’s Jason Kew finished fourth, with the top sixth rounded out by another pair of the province’s best, John Christie and Carl Sloan. Next across the finish line were Gary Wilson, Nigel McCauley and Thomas Dilly to make it eight Northern Ireland drivers in the top ten, a truly exceptional effort from the drivers.

Later in the day Woolsey capped a memorable weekend for the NW Property Developments team with a storming victory in the NHRPA Championship.

Meanwhile across in Norfolk almost 60 Saloon Stock Cars gathered at the Adrian Flux Arena in Kings Lynn to contest their 2015 National Championship. The East Anglian drivers dominated the qualifying heats on Saturday evening at their local track, with Michael Allard, Jake Banwell, Carl Waterfield, Darren Barnett and Daniel Parker taking a win apiece on the fast shale oval. Waterfield’s consistent results earned him pole position for the final with Craig Barnwell alongside on the front row while some steady finishes for Kieran McIvor saw the Coleraine man safely through into the feature race. It was Waterfield who took control of the National Championship on Sunday and the 2009 World Champion led for 19 of the 20 laps until David Aldous came in with an exquisite last bend hit to snatch the title on the run to the flag ahead of Waterfield and Simon Venni. McIvor performed admirably once again on the unfamiliar loose surface to record a top ten finish in this one, before Jack Banwell rounded out a terrific weekend of Saloon racing with victory in the Steve Newman Memorial.

Some of our drivers are off on their travels again this weekend, with Stock Rod racers Richard Taylor and Ian Thompson booked in to compete at the Grand Prix event which is being staged during Ringwood Raceway’s Tornado IX Speedweekend down in Hampshire. As always we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable weekend.

 

 

AMENDMENT TO JUNIOR ROD GOLD ROOF SERIES POINTS

 

Shea Duff leads 2015 Gold Roof Series after Rd 2

A post race examination was carried out on the Junior Rod of Jack Kennedy following the Junior Rod final at Ballymena Raceway on July 17. The outcome from these checks has now been reviewed by the promotion and unfortunately Kennedy’s Vauxhall has been removed from the official results for the meeting. Subsequently the points chart for the RPM Car & Commercial sponsored Gold Roof Series has been updated accordingly.

The final round of the Gold Roof series takes place at Raceway on October 2. The points scored in the two heat races that evening will be added to those already accumulated at Rounds 1 & 2 to calculate the grid positions for the series finale.

click for 2015 RPM Gold Roof Series Points

 

Meeting Review - Friday 17th July 2015

National Hot-Rods 2015 Irish Masters

Christie is the Masters Champion

 

Changeable weather conditions required the drivers to show their mettle when short circuit motorsport returned to Ballymena Raceway on July 17. Scattered showers visited the Showground’s track throughout the evening and ensured variable track conditions for the racers throughout the 15 race programme of events. The National Hot Rod drivers had to be on full alert when one of the showers corresponded with the start of their Matt Roach Racing backed Irish Masters event and it was John Christie who judged the conditions with aplomb to steer his Vauxhall Tigra home for a convincing win ahead of Carl Sloan and Gary Wilson.

Another racer on top form was Richard Taylor who took the honours in the Evans Waterless Engine Coolants sponsored Stock Rod Irish Grand Prix. Taylor led the event from start to finish after qualifying on pole position in his Vauxhall Corsa, with Irish Open Champion Gareth Bevan and Niall McFerran completing the top three finishers.

The Group Two Lightning Rod racers competed for the Challenge Cup where Johny Gillespie added his name to the list of winners after a tough battle with Nigel Doherty. No such problems for Trevor McFaul in the Euro Stocks division where the Garvagh man strolled to a perfect hat-trick of wins in his rapid Honda to collect the Golden Helmet Trophy. Junior Rods completed the classes on display and the youngsters put on some fantastic racing throughout the evening with series leader Shea Duff taking the final honours in Round 2 of the RPM Car & Commercial Gold Roof Series. Antony Kincaid accounted for the opening heat while Joel McPeake earned his first ever win at Raceway in heat two.  

Sponsored by: Matt Roach Racing, RPM Car & Commercial Sales & Evans Waterless Engine Coolant

click for full review

 

 

Euro Stocks Tyre Announcement

 

 

In an effort to improve grid numbers it has been decided that Eurostocks drivers must run at least one Toyo T1R Tyre on the front of their car on Friday 17th July.

From the beginning of August all cars must be fitted with four Toyo T1R Tyres only.

 

Meeting Review - Saturday 4th July 2015

Saloon Stock-Cars 2015 Irish Open Championship

#219 Luke Grief lifts the Silverware @ the Corner

 

photo's thanks to DPP

Ballymena Raceway staged the 2015 Irish Open Championship for the Saloon Stock Cars at Nutts Corner on July 4 where visiting drivers from England and Scotland joined the best from the province to contest the Whitemountain 4x4 sponsored event. Stuart McCammon sped to victory in both qualifying heats which earned the County Armagh driver pole position for the final with Coleraine’s Anthony McIvor alongside on the front row. It was visitor Luke Grief who motored through from row two however to take up the early running and the English star never put a wheel out of place to secure the title for the first time after a commanding display. Irish Champion Ryan Wright proved to be the best of the locals in a solid second place with the podium positions completed by Anthony McIvor.

The F2 Stock Cars headed the support action with a strong entry of 18 cars on hand to contest their Randall Motorsport SuperCup. Former Junior Rod Irish Champion Sean McFerran demonstrated great pace in the heat races where the rookie reeled of an impressive brace of victories to secure pole position for the closed grid final. Graham Fegan sat menacingly on the front row alongside McFerran and the recent Challenge Cup winner displayed his liking for the big occasion once more to lead this one from start to finish with a very controlled display. Ryan McCrory chased hard and kept Fegan honest throughout what was a very quick race, but the Irish Open Champion had to settle for second in this one, while Christopher Kincaid sprinted through from row six to finish third after problems in the heat races.

It proved to be a successful night all round for the McFerran clan as Niall McFerran scorched to his first final win in the Stock Rod division! The teenager only made his debut in the formula last month but has really hit the ground running in the senior ranks and romped home to victory in their feature race to become the eighth different driver to win a Stock Rod final in the province this season. Irish Open Champion Gareth Bevan followed the winner home after a sound effort from the red grade, with Wilfie McNiece in third. The heat victories were split between McNiece and McFerran.

Group Two Lightning Rods and Junior Rods completed the formulas on display and there was drama in the GP2 final where on the road winner David Gillespie was penalised for an incident during the race which handed the victory to Ballymena stalwart Kenny Carson. Gillespie secured victory in one of the earlier heats and Brian Edgar accounted for the other. A pleasing entry of 15 Junior Rods provided some great racing with a few big smashes along the way too!   Jack Kennedy took the honours in heat one before Cole McFall registered his first Junior Rod win after a strong drive in heat two. Jack Kearney and McFall both enjoyed spells out front in the final before the ‘big two’ of Antony Kincaid and Kennedy skipped through from the back of the pack to take it up. There was little to choose between the pair but Kennedy got the better run through the back marking traffic in the closing laps to edge ahead for his second win of the evening, with Kincaid in second and McFall in third.

Ballymena Raceway would like to thank all the Nutts Corner track staff for their help with staging this meeting.

Sponsored by: White Mountain 4x4 Land Rover Specialists

click for official results

 

 

MURPHY STRIKES GOLD AT NATIONAL HOT ROD WORLD FINAL

 

 

photo's thanks to mkpics.net

It was a case of everything but the gold roof for our National Hot Rod racers at Foxhall last weekend where Shane Murphy wrote his name into the history books as the Republic of Ireland’s first ever oval racing World Champion. The Cork man was joined on the podium by three of our Northern Ireland stars, Andrew Murray, Glenn Bell and Adam Maxwell, as the province’s racers secured 5 places in the top ten of the World Final and also recorded victory in 4 of the 5 National Hot Rod support races over the weekend after a great effort all round.

There was drama before the track action even began when Jaimie McCurdy withdrew from the World Final on Friday due to a family matter, the teenager’s spot on the grid going to Simon Kennedy. Saturday morning brought the Hot Laps qualifying session to determine the World Final grid and it was Murphy who took pole with a lap of 14.65 secs. Murray joined him on the front row after posting a time of 14.71 secs, with Bell on the inside of row two (14.76 secs) alongside defending champion Chris Haird. The rest of the National Hot Rod action on Saturday centred on the support cars and the battle to grab the last spot on the World Final grid via the Wild Card race. Mark Heatrick inherited victory in the opening heat after the car of on the road winner Jason Copper failed post race checks, while victory in heat two went to Scotland’s John Sibbald. The heat winners occupied the front row for the Wild Card race and it was Heatrick who made the break at the green to dive into the lead. European Champion Adam Hylands quickly breezed up behind the leader however and the pair fought out a tough race long battle which was eventually settled by the steward, with race winner Hylands demoted in the final result which handed victory, and that World Final spot, to Heatrick.

The World Final was first up on Sunday and it was Murphy who stepped off pole to lead the opening stages of the CP Dynes sponsored feature race, before a caution period was required with international entrant John van den Bosch stranded on the turn. 2013 World Champion John Christie was a retirement at this point with axle troubles and at the restart Bell pulled off a good move to take over out front. Gradually however Murphy closed back in on the tail of the Northern Ireland Champion and eased ahead to take the lead once more. Murphy pulled steadily clear over the remaining distance to confirm a comprehensive victory, while Murray nipped ahead of Bell in the closing laps to snatch the runner-up spot and record his best ever finish in the World Final. Bell was forced to settle for third, with Maxwell an impressive fourth, like Murray his best result in a World Final. Derek Martin brought his Tigra home in eighth with Stewart Doak in tenth to make it 5 Northern Ireland drivers in the top 10 finishers, while World Final rookies Nigel McCauley and Kennedy both made it all the way to the chequered flag in eleventh and nineteenth place respectively. Conditions had worsened by the start of the World Final Revenge race where McCauley made light of the wet track to power home for a dominant win, before Maxwell rounded off the afternoon with a fine win in the Nick Thomas Memorial Final, with Hylands the runner-up.

Ballymena Raceway would like to congratulate Shane on his World Final victory. Shane is well respected by his peers and we have no doubt will prove to be a fitting holder of the gold roof. We would also like to applaud the fantastic set of results recorded by the Northern Ireland National Hot Rod racers over the weekend. Once again you were a credit to the province and your success underlines the strength in depth that the formula currently enjoys in Northern Ireland. Raceway would also like to send our congratulations to Scott Cochrane from Portadown on winning the Spedeworth Lightning Rod World Final over the weekend. 970 was definitely the number to have your money on!

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 12th June 2015

Stock-Rods 2015 British Championship - McKane is the new Champion

BriSCA F2 Stock-Cars 2015 Challenge Trophy - Graham takes third Title

 

 

It proved to be a great night for the province’s oval racers at Ballymena Raceway on June 12 where the two main prizes on offer both remained in Northern Ireland. Steven McKane from Ballymena enjoyed his biggest success to date after a dramatic win in the Stock Rod British Championship. McKane squeezed ahead of long time leader Derek Conner on the very last lap of a pulsating final to grab the British title, and was followed home by Wilfie McNiece from County Armagh and Larne’s Gareth Bevan to make it a clean sweep of the podium position for Northern Ireland drivers.

Another local driver with cause for celebration was Belfast ace Graham Fegan who trumped a star-studded line-up to capture the F2 Stock Car Challenge Trophy for a third time. Fegan dealt a telling blow on main rival Christopher Kincaid at the first bend of the final and then set a relentless pace out front to steadily pull away from the field for a dominant win. Antrim’s Ryan McCrory came on strong in the closing stages to grab the runner-up spot at the chequered flag, with Scottish Champion Chris Burgoyne in third.

The Heritage F2 Stock Cars made their first ever appearance in Northern Ireland and provided the local fans with a fascinating glimpse of how Stock Car racing used to look in a bygone era.  Jack Bunter and Pete Welland split the heat wins before Nigel Finegan just kept a rapidly closing Welland at bay to secure their Irish Challenge Cup. Group Two Lightning Rods completed the classes on display and after a brace of heat wins for Keith Lyttle it was Matthew Curran who strolled to victory in the meeting final.

Sponsored by: RW Signs, Protech Shocks, Isuzu Truck & Gaz Shocks

click for full review

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 5th June 2015

National Hot Rods Richard Turtle Memorial Cup

#54 Adam Hylands adds to growing collection of Awards

 

European Champion Adam Hylands added the Richard Turtle Memorial Cup to his growing collection of National Hot Rod awards at Ballymena Raceway on June 5. Hylands led the feature race from start to finish, but had to resist a strong challenge from John Christie over the closing laps before securing the silverware, with the final spot on the podium filled by Gary Wilson. As well as the Richard Turtle Memorial Cup the winner also received four new Hoosier Tyres courtesy of event sponsors Townparks Car Sales and Greers of Antrim VOLVO.

Another racer with good cause for celebration was Wilfie McNiece who left the Raceway £500 richer after victory in the Hill Contracts Supreme Series for Stock Rods. Following heat wins for Adam Sloan and McNiece the points were tallied up over all the races in the series to determine the grid positions for the shoot out decider. The results placed McNiece on pole with Gareth Bevan alongside on the front row and it was McNiece and row two starter Steven McKane who quickly settled down into the front running positions. After a flat out battle of speed between the pair it was McNiece who coolly kept his rival at arm’s length to claim the big money prize and head into next week’s British Championship event at Raceway in the best possible manner. Yokohama Champion McKane was a gallant runner-up, with Bevan the best of the rest in third.

On a perfect dry evening that produced some fast racing at the Showground’s oval the line-up of classes in action was completed by the Group Two Lightning Rods, Euro Stocks and Junior Rods. Once again the Group Twos continued to throw up a variety of winners as white grader Keith Lyttle became the fifth different GP2 final winner at Raceway in 2015! The earlier heat races brought success for Darryl Reid and Andy McLeister. Irish Champion Stephen Doherty was the class of the field in the Euro Stocks division where his Honda motored away for a convincing win in the final. Aaron McMullan’s immaculate Honda Civic accounted for the heat event.

The youngsters in the Junior Rods put on their usual energetic showing with Samuel Wilson just holding sway over a fast finishing Antony Kincaid to secure his first final win at Raceway in 2015. Wilson also accounted for one of the heat races, with the other win falling to Matthew Milliken.

Sponsored by: Greer's of Antrim, Townparks & Hill Contracts

click for full review

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 22nd May 2015

National Hot Rods 2015 World Series Round 13

Driver of the Day - #199 Jaimie McCurdy wins WQR 13 Final

 

The mild spring sunshine produced a pleasant backdrop for some very fast short circuit motorsport action at Ballymena Raceway on May 22, where the full schedule of races was concluded in efficient fashion by 10pm. The racers took full advantage of the favourable conditions to produce some close competition, with the twelve race programming producing no less eleven different winners! F2 Star Graham Fegan was the only driver to carry the chequered flag twice during the evening, but his hat-trick hopes were ruined in the final by Christopher Kincaid who powered away from the field to clinch overall victory in the McGill Motorsport Series. It proved to be a good night for the Antrim based Kincaid family as Christopher’s younger brother, Antony, was also celebrating after an emphatic win in the Junior Rod Supreme Championship.

Another driver on top form was Jaimie McCurdy from Broughshane who took a significant step towards qualification for this year’s National Hot Rod World Championship with a determined final win on Friday evening. McCurdy was also the top points scorer at the meeting, which earned the teenager the PC Paints and Components Driver of The Day award, and puts him in a strong position to secure the remaining slot on the World Final grid with only one qualifying round remaining.

The Eco Flame Boiler Services backed fixture also included races for the Group Two Lighting Rod division and once again the victories were spread around in this budget formula. Mark Turtle and Matthew Curran split the heat wins before Stewart Nicholl made it four different final winners from their four outings at Raceway this season.

Sponsored by: Ecoflame Boilers & Service & McGill Motorsport

click for full review

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 24th April 2015

National Hot Rods 2015 World Series Round 10

Max Power as Tommy does Well

Rain failed to dampen the spirits at Ballymena Raceway on April 24 where the oval racers coped admirably with the tricky track conditions to produce an absorbing set of events for the fans to enjoy. Top of the bill was Round 10 of the PC Paints & Components World Series NI for the National Hot Rods. Before their opening heat newly crowned European Champion Adam Hylands and Scottish Open Champion Glenn Bell were given a lap of honour in recognition of their successful exploits in Scotland the previous weekend and the pair received a warm reception from the home fans. That’s as good as it got for Adam unfortunately, as the new Champion was caught up in an incident during the first heat which brought a premature end to his evening. It proved to be that sort of night for the Nationals, with incidents and talking points a plenty in all three races. One man that avoided most of the drama however was Tommy Maxwell from Antrim, who recorded a heat and final double victory which earned him the Driver of the Day accolade. The most popular win of the evening undoubtedly went to heat two winner Keith Martin, a fitting reward for all his hard work in getting the 994 car repaired after his spectacular crash on Good Friday.The Stock Rods contested the opening round of their Hill Contracts Supreme Series and the 1400cc class is certainly starting to recapture some of its former buzz as the drivers served up some harum-scarum stuff throughout. If you thought Martin’s crash was a big one on Good Friday, well young Matthew McKinstry matched that and raised the stakes again in his Stock Rod! McKinstry produced the most spectacular moment of the evening when the seventeen year old from Nutts Corner flipped his Vauxhall Nova into an enormous multiple rollover. Thanks to the stringent safety rules of oval racing the plucky seventeen year old thankfully emerged unscathed, which is more than could be said for his sorry looking car! It was another teenager, Adam Sloan, who romped to his maiden successes in the heat races before Sammy Graham opened his account for the season in the final.The Junior Rods made their first appearance of the season at Raceway to contest the opening round of the RPM Car & Commercial Sales Gold Roof Series. Joshua McKinstry and Shea Duff split the heat wins before Duff motored home to a well judged win in the final ahead of Antony Kincaid and Jack Kennedy.Group Two Lighting Rods completed the classes on display and produced a different winner from each of their three races. Brian Edgar and Darryl Reid recorded victories in the heat races with Andy McLeister the runner-up in both. McLeister turned the tables in the final however to take home the silverware, with Jason Clyde and Nigel Doherty the place men in this one.

Sponsored by: Cirrus Plastics, Hill Contracts & RPM Car & Commercial Sales

click for full review

 

 

HYLANDS FLING! – ADAM CROWNED EUROPEAN CHAMPION IN SCOTLAND

 

Adam Hylands announced his arrival on the National Hot Rod stage with a splendid victory in the European Championship at the Lochgelly Raceway in Scotland on April 18.  The twenty-four year old from Portadown, who only made a full-time switch from the 2-Litre Hot Rod division into the elite National Hot Rod section at the start of the season, beat the best from Germany, Holland, England, Scotland and the Republic of the Ireland, plus all the top names from Northern Ireland, to capture the coveted crown.  Three consistent results in the qualifying heats earned Hylands pole position for 45 lap European showdown where the Portadown powerhouse had to be on his metal to withstand some concerted pressure from Scottish star Robert McDonald over the opening stages. McDonald’s challenge gradually faded however as Hylands exerted his authority on the race to ease his Vauxhall Tigra home for his first major title win in the National Hot Rod division. On the road runner-up Jason Kew from Oxfordshire received a three place penalty from the officials, which promoted Andrew Murray and Stewart Doak into second and third positions to make it a clean sweep of the podium places for drivers from the province. The Northern Ireland dominance continued the following day when Portadown’s Glenn Bell captured the Scottish Open title!Ballymena Raceway would like to congratulate all the National Hot Rod racers from Northern Ireland on their fantastic set of results over the weekend. Our new champions are sure to receive a warm welcome home when Raceway hosts Round 10 of the PC Paints and Components World Series NI on Friday evening.

 

 

Meeting Review - Friday 3rd April 2015

National Hot Rods 2015 WQR 8 - Edwards Motorsport Trophy 

McCauley wins Heat & Final Double

The temperature may have been cool, but the track action was certainly hot as the new season at Ballymena Raceway was ushered in with the usual mixture of thrills and spills on Good Friday. Nigel McCauley was the big winner in the National Hot Rods as the Gilford man finished the evening as top points scorer at Round 8 of the PC Paints & Components World Series NI. The other heat brought a victory for Andrew Stewart, while race two featured a horrific crash for former World Champion Keith Martin.

A very encouraging entry of 22 cars took to the track for the Yokohama Tyres Stock Rod Championship and it was local lad Steven McKane who fought off the stiff completion from England and Scotland to clinch the title for the first time. Scotland’s Derek Conner was runner-up in his Vauxhall Corsa with the podium positions completed by Wilfie McNiece.

F2 Stock Car Irish Champion Craig McConnell enjoyed the perfect start to his Raceway campaign with a faultless hat-trick of wins in the opening round of the McGill Motorsport Series. The Bangor man also posted the fastest F2 lap of the evening to earn himself the £50 Hot Lap bonus, and was followed home in the feature race by Mark Rainey and Gary Blair.

Group Two Lightning Rods and Euro Stocks completed the programme at the Gilmore Engineering sponsored opening fixture. Mark Turtle collected the Group Two silverware after a brace of heat wins for Johny Gillespie, while Stephen Doherty motored to a heat and final double success in the Euros.

Sponsored by: Gilmore Engineering, McGill Motorsport & Edwards Motorsport

click for review

 

 

McCONVILLE RECOVERY SPECIALISTS SPONSOR 2015 TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP

Ballymena Raceway is thrilled to introduce McConville Recovery Specialists as the title sponsor for our National Hot Rod Track Championship in 2015. The Track Championship will cover all nine National Hot Rod fixtures at Ballymena in 2015, the World Qualifying Rounds on April 3 & 24, May 22, August 7 & 22, September 11 and October 9, plus the Richard Turtle Memorial Cup on June 5 and the Irish Masters on July 17, with the highest points scorer being crowned Track Champion and collecting a prize of £500. Based in the heart of Mid-Ulster McConville Recovery Specialists operate a quick and professional 24-hour call out service that covers the entire province. Their dedicated and efficient team provides a swift and reliable response to any emergency, accident or motoring situation, including misfuelling, flat battery / jump starts, wheel changing and lock outs. Full details of all the services provided by McConville Recovery Specialists can be found on their website www.mcconvillerecoveryspecialists.co.uk and their all important emergency contact number is 07842424436. In addition the top 3 finishers in the overall Track Championship will receive trophies which have been kindly presented by SHP Engineering.The promotion would like to sincerely thank John McConville and Sonny Howard for their support of National Hot Rod racing at Ballymena Raceway in 2015.

 

Ballymena Raceway 2015 Season Preview

The start of the 2015 season at Ballymena Raceway is now just around the corner with a total of sixteen meetings planned during the year at the Showground’s track. The new season roars off the starting grid on Good Friday (April 3), with regular meetings scheduled right through the year until the season finale on October 9. Things haven’t been standing still over the winter months at the Showground’s oval with additional resurfacing works on both bends completed during the closed season. That’s sure to see the lap times tumble even further at the Raceway during 2015 and those times will be even more significant to the drivers this year with the introduction of our Hot Laps reward scheme for 2015. At each meeting during the season one class from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, National Hot Rods and ORCi Stock Rods will be selected to receive the Hot Laps reward and the driver who records the fastest lap time over the course of the evening will receive a £50 bonus. Full details of the scheme are now available on our website, while the drivers will get a first opportunity to sample the new track surface at our test evening on March 28.As far as the fixture list for 2015 is concerned the promotion has decided to streamline the number of classes on the roster, with the 2015 programme based around our core classes of National Hot Rods, BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, ORCi Stock Rods, Group Two Lightning Rods, Euro Stocks and Junior Rods. Unfortunately that means no space on the programme for the Open Hot Rod or Speed Stock classes, which both sadly struggled with low grids, and reluctantly the Saloon Stock Cars will also not feature at the Raceway in 2015 following the well documented issues with the safety wall at their 2014 Irish Open meeting. The council and Raceway management continue to examine potential solutions which will allow the Saloons to return to the Raceway in the future, but for this season it has been decided to temporarily suspend the class from our schedule. Our colleagues at Nutts Corner Raceway have kindly picked up the slack to ensure that the Saloon drivers still enjoy a full schedule of fixtures for the year ahead and have also graciously granted us use of their excellent track to host the Saloon Stock Car Irish Open Championship on July 4. The simplification of our line-up will mean a much more settled feel to each and every meeting at the Raceway this season, but we still have room for a few new features along the way too! Most notable is expected to be the development of our Mini Twos class for the 6 to 11 year old age group. One of the Twos was demonstrated by Declan Og McFerran at our New Years Day meeting and since then we are delighted to say that orders for these cars are now well into double figures. Further demonstrations will take place at both Ballymena and Nutts Corner throughout the year as more cars are completed, with a view to a permanent introduction when numbers permit. At the other end of the sport’s time line we take a step back into the rich history of the F2 class at our meeting on June 12 when we welcome along the Heritage F2 Stock Cars for their first ever visit to the province. This formula reflects the early years of the sport, with the cars built in line with the F2 specifications from the 1960s, and is sure to provide a great trip down memory lane for fans and drivers alike. That’s not the only first at the Raceway in 2015 either, as we plan to welcome along the circuit racing Legend Cars for a track debut on September 18.The season gets underway with our traditional Good Friday meeting on April 3 where the Stock Rods compete for their Yokohama Championship.  The National Hot Rods resume their World Qualifying trail that evening too and the Speed Kings return to Raceway for another World Qualifier on April 24. The month of May will see racing on May 8 & May 22 before the Raceway proudly hosts a special memorial race for the National Hot Rods on June 5 in honour of former National star Richard Turtle.  One week later, on June 12, the Raceway presents a double bill of championship action where the Stock Rod British Championship and F2 Challenge Trophy will both be settled. Other dates for your diary include the Irish Masters Championship for National Hot Rods on July 17 and our double-header over the weekend of August 21 and 22, where the feature event is the Stock Rod UK Masters. This weekend is sure to provide some hectic action from the 1400cc rods, while the fine programme of support races includes another World Qualifier for the National Hot Rods, the Group Two Lightning Rod World Cup and the F2 Stock Car Supreme Championship, making these two days of short oval racing not to be missed. During September Raceway will host the Irish Championship races for the Junior Rod, Euro Stock and Group Two divisions, before the Stock Rods resolve their domestic championship on October 2. The Raceway season is wrapped up on October 9 and what a spectacle lies in store that evening where the packed race card features the Group Two Golden Helmet Trophy, always one of the most keenly contested races of the year, plus the Euro Stocks Champion of Champions. The Stock Rod Challenge Cup and Junior Rod Top Teen Trophy are also up for grabs, while the National Hot Rods are back on World Qualifying duty to provide a fitting conclusion to another season of short circuit motorsport at Ballymena Raceway. Are you ready to go racing in 2015?

click for full class by class preview

 

Hot-Lap Sponorship Details for 2015

We are delighted to announce further details of our Hot Laps reward scheme for 2015. One formula has been selected to receive the Hot Lap bonus at each and every one of our meetings during the season, with the driver who sets the fastest lap time during that meeting collecting a £50 prize. The Hot Lap rewards have been split equally between the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars, National Hot Rods and ORCi Stock Rods, with each class competing for this extra reward on five occasions during the campaign. The Saloon Stock Cars have not been forgotten about either and will collect a Hot Lap bonus when we host their Irish Open Championship at Nutts Corner on July 4.

Ballymena Raceway would like to sincerely thank all the individuals and businesses who have stepped forward to support the Hot Lap programme for 2015.

Fixture Date Formula Hot-Lap Sponsor
3rd April BriSCA F2 Stock Cars Gilmore Engineering
24th April National Hot Rods Ross Park Motors
08th May BriSCA F2 Stock Cars CJS Contracts
22nd May National Hot Rods Sid's Ices
5th June National Hot Rods Sloan Motorsport
12th June ORCi Stock Rods Ross Park Motors
4th July Saloon Stock Cars Still Available
17th July National Hot Rods KR Photo Imaging
7th August BriSCA F2 Stock Cars Buckna Autos
21st August BriSCA F2 Stock Cars NI oval TV
22nd August ORCi Stock Rods Wm. Moody & Son Car Sales
11th Sept National Hot Rods LM Autospares
18th Sept ORCi Stock Rods Hayes Filling Station
25th Sept ORCi Stock Rods Nicholl Motorsport
2nd October BriSCA F2 Stock Cars DmAc
9th October ORCi Stock Rods Ballykeel Valet Service & MOT Preparation

 

 

#54 Adam Hylands unveils his new NHR Tigra

plus National Hot-Rods 2015 Spec. now available

Adam Hylands unveils his new National Hot Rod after a very successful 2 Litre Hot Rod career, Adam is set to transfer his winning ways to National Hot Rods and is set to debut his car @ Ballymena Raceway on Good Friday. Despite the ultra competitiveness of Northern Ireland World Qualifying series, Adam is still hopeful that he can get on the grid for the big one at Ipswich. Without doubt the NHR #54 machine will be one to watch.The new National Hot-Rods 2015 Specifications & Rules are available by clicking on the link below.

click for National Hot-Rods 2015 Spec.

 

 

Gp2 Lightning-Rods 2015 Spec. now available

Gp2 Lightning Rods 2015 Specifications are now available to view with the Ford Escort Mk5/Mk6, Focus Mk1/Mk2 Peugeot 206, Vauxhall Astra Mk5 and VW Golf Mk3 now added to list of eligible cars permitted to race. Other additions to the rules allow drivers to lighten Flywheels if they wish with engine mountings being free.

click for Gp2 Lightning Rods 2015 Spec.

 

 

2015 Raceway Fixtures now online

The eagerly anticipated 2015 fixtures are now available to view and what a line up of events we have for you. The new season blasts off with a practice night being held on Saturday 28th March starting @ 6pm and finishing around 9pm.  The Raceway season begins proper the following week on Good Friday night (3 April) with the National Hot Rods contesting 2015 World Qualifying Round 8.Full season preview will be added shortly.

click for 2015 Raceway Fixtures

 

 

Latest ORCi 2015 Rules of Racing available

 

The ORCi 2015 Rules of Racing are now online for all the drivers to view. Any changes made from the last version are highlighted in RED bold.

click for ORCi 2015 Rules of Racing

 

Junior Rods 2015 Specifications are now online

 

The Junior Rod formula will see a new lower age limit being introduced for 2015 racing season with drivers now being allowed to race from their 10th Birthday.Some minor changes to the 2015 Specifications will see no competition shocks allowed with cars now being permitted to run the Stock Rod type rear panel as a bumper.

click for Junior Rods 2015 Spec.

 

 

Euro Stocks 2015 Specifications are now available

The new 2015 Euro Stock Specifications are now available for viewing by clicking on the link below.2015 will see the Euro Stock formula run a 15" rim with the introducing of the TOYO T1R Tyre with the following sizes being permitted for use to suit gearing: 195/55/15, 195/50/15 or 205/55/15. Any driver may use tyres which they have stockpiled up until the end of July 2015. The introducing of this rule will hopefully see all the cars evenly matched and help bring more drivers on board with the price for the T1R tyre being very reasonable. Other changes to the rules will allow drivers to run negative camber on the driver's side front wheel with positive or negative camber also being permitted on the rear wheels.

click for Euro Stocks 2015 Spec.

 

 

2015 Fixtures

Forthcoming Events

Friday 11th September 2015 @ 7.15pm
National Hot Rods 2016 WQR 4
Gp2 Lightning Rods 2015 National Series Rd 2
Euro Stocks
Junior-Rods & Stock-Rods

Sponsored by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The information provided on this website is © Ballymena Raceway 2015, unless otherwise stated and may not be reproduced without permission.

Contact Ballymena Raceway by e-mail bmrovalracing@yahoo.co.uk