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Friday 20th July 2018 

National Hot Rods

An excellent entry of seventeen competitors arrived for the opening round of World Series NI, amongst them Podge McQuaid in his tidy Tigra B and Classic Hot Rod star Thomas Dilly, back for another crack at the Nationals in an ex-Wilcox Tigra A. A new title sponsor, Simpson Race Exhausts, has come on board for the new campaign and it was Adam Maxwell who initiated proceedings with a tidy victory in the opening heat, while Dilly acquitted himself well to claim second. Derek Martin was third across the line, but failed to follow the new scrutineering protocol after the race and was subsequently removed from the results. Ian McReynolds from Lurgan opened his win account with a determined drive in heat two, but a second place finish for Maxwell in this one was more than enough to earn the Crumlin racer pole position for the 30 lap final.

Maxwell, World Champion back in 2016, was immediately under pressure in the feature race from Adam Hylands. The pair fought it out side by side for a number of laps in a terrific scrap. Hylands looked to have gained the upper hand when he squeezed in front on lap 6, but ran wide into turn one which allowed Maxwell to come straight back into the lead once more. There was no let up for the leader however as Bell now loomed large in Maxwell’s mirror. Bell was soon on the attack and immediately headed for the outside line. Maxwell defended his position vigorously as the two former World Champions slugged it out in an entertaining and clean dice that provided a great spectacle for the fans. A determined Bell stuck to his task and eventually edged his way right around the outside of Maxwell to take it up, and once clear steadily pulled away from the field to earn the coveted Richard Turtle Memorial Trophy after an impressive performance. John Christie slipped under Maxwell to claim second position at the chequered flag, with the top six rounded out by Maxwell, Carl Sloan, Shane Murray and Hylands. The Richard Turtle Memorial event was kindly sponsored by Townparks Car Sales and Greers Volvo.

Stock Rods

Veteran racer Wilfie McNiece rolled back the years to secure the Irish Masters title after a controlled drive in the Stock Rod final.  Seventeen entrants lined up for the opening heat which did not get too far before a caution period was required with Alastair Bolton in wall at turn four. When the action resumed Steve Gooch edged his way to the front and sped away for a good win in his Vauxhall Corsa. Liam Irwin from Ballymoney led the field away in heat two, but Gooch was quickly into his stride once more and roared through for a convincing second win of the evening. Under the rules of racing that brace of victories meant that Gooch had to start further back on the grid for the final. 2015 Irish Champion McNiece made the most of this opportunity to pull away into the lead, while Gooch picked his way through the pack towards the front. Eventually the pair ran first and second and were soon joined by Aaron Moody who motored through in his Citroen Saxo to create a three way battle for the lead. There was little to separate the trio all the way to the flag, but McNiece coolly reeled of the remaining distance to record his first final win of the season ahead of Gooch and Moody. McNiece also collected a new Yokohama Tyre for his efforts, courtesy of Moody Cars.

Group Two Lightning Rods

The GP2 racers contested the MM Recovery sponsored Challenge Cup where two reverse grid qualifying heats would determine the grid positions for the final. The first of these qualifiers brought a win for returnee Andy McLeister, before Kilrea’s Joshua McMullan outran the field to secure the honours in heat two. McLeister’s results earned him pole position for the Challenge Cup race, with Daniel Rodgers alongside on the front row. It was McLeister who made the break at the green flag, where Irish Champion David Reynolds from Ballymena edged through into second. Reynolds would prove to be the leader’s shadow for the entire race, but McLeister never put a wheel out of place to record his second win of the night. Reynolds was a close second, with Rodgers a creditable third.

Street Rods

Newcomer Warren Thompson steered his Ford Fiesta to back to back victories in the heat races, which earned him a place further back on the grid for the final. James Taylor led initially in the feature race, but Thompson soon eased ahead to complete a polished hat-trick of wins.  Irish Champion Taylor Broggy followed the winner home, with Taylor, Norman Mitchell and Ashleigh Mark the other finishers.

photo's thanks to Ken Reay

thanks to meeting Sponsors: Simpson Race Exhausts, Greer's of Antrim (Volvo)

Townparks Car-Sales & MM Recovery

click for Official Results (20.07.18)




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