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MEETING REVIEW

Friday 28th September 2018 

Stock-Rods 2018 Irish Championship

Fourteen cars took to the track for the 2018 Irish Championship with Niall McFerran and 2016 Champion Adam Sloan on the front row of the grid. McFerran bolted long before the green flag had dropped on the first attempt to start the race and that scrappy opening to proceedings was quickly pulled up by the steward. Sloan’s Vauxhall Corsa received some damage during this aborted start and in the interest of expediency the marshalls mended bodywork which was fouling on a rear tyre. The second time of asking proved to be a much tidier start with McFerran straight into the lead, while Kurtis Reid and Sloan battled side by side for second. Reid got his nose in front until a slight mistake on the exit of turn four allowed the train of Sloan, Jack Kennedy, Aaron Moody and Steve Gooch to motor through on the inside. Reid’s race went from bad to worse on lap 7 when his Corsa collided with a marker tyre at the entry to turn 3 which brought out the yellow flags. Both Andrew Morrow and Sam McKinstry were eliminated by the steward at this stage for passing under the yellow flag and the remaining runners were lined up for a rolling lap in preparation for the restart. Halfway through the rolling start Shea Duff scarpered from the back of the grid and passed every other car before the green flag was out! It was no surprise that the black flag awaited him next time around. By this stage Sloan was right on the leader’s back bumper and looking for a way through as McFerran adopted some very defensive tactics to maintain his advantage. The leader received the blue flag for a number of laps requesting that he hold a consistent inside or outside line as the train of cars grew ever longer behind him, with the top six now running nose to tail. This logjam created numerous instances of contact between the cars in this group until McFerran managed to create some breathing space over the closing laps. At the chequered flag the order was McFerran, Kennedy and Sloan, followed by Jason Clyde, Ashley Graham, Thompson and Gooch. Following lengthy deliberations McFerran, Kennedy and Clyde were all penalised which gave a top three of Sloan, Graham and McFerran. Regrettably Niall declined to accept his third place and drove off circuit, which also meant his car was not presented to the post race checks and automatically disqualified him from the race. Kennedy therefore came into third position, with Thompson fourth, Clyde fifth and Gooch in sixth. A post race review of events determined that Sloan should be removed from the results for receiving outside assistance, with Graham declared the 2018 Irish Champion.

This is not the way that anyone wants to see an Irish Championship race decided, least of all the steward who has to make these contentious calls which very seldom prove universally popular.  

Group Two Lightning Rods 2018 World Cup

Two roof colour heats determined the grid positions for the 2018 World Cup and it was the blue grade which dominated the first of these as Joshua McMullan led home Daniel Rodgers, with novice Corey Hamilton an encouraging third. These three would prove the main protagonists in heat two as well, where McMullan poked his way through on the inside of the battling Hamilton and Rodgers on lap 6. The contact didn’t go unnoticed by the steward however who docked McMullan two places for his troubles, which handed the win to Cullybackey’s Rodney Stewart.

The results in the heat races determined the starting positions for the closed grid World Cup race and pitted together McMullan and David Reynolds on the front row. This one didn’t get too far at the first time of asking before Irish Champion Paul Nesbitt went on a spectacular rollover during the opening lap. McMullan and Reynolds went at it hammer and tongs at the restart with very little to separate them. Soon they were joined at the front by Clive Wilson who managed to squeeze up the inside of Reynolds at Fisherwick bend to grab second. As the laps tickled down Wilson was all over the leader, but McMullan was right on point to successfully meet the challenge and secure the honours. Wilson was a very close second, with the top six rounded out by Stewart, Reynolds, David Gillespie and Freddie Fleck.

Junior Rods 2018 Stadium Championship

First up for the Junior racers was their Stadium Championship where Matthew Drysdale and Cole McFall occupied the front row of the grid, with Jack Morrow and Mark Crawford on row two. It was Drysdale who made the break at the green flag with Morrow quickly up to challenge the race leader. Morrow’s Corsa looked the quicker of the two and the former Micro F2 racer started to press the leader around the wide outside. Morrow looked like he was going to make it all the way round too until the pair collided on the exit of turn two, which sent Morrow abruptly into the marker tyres and earned Drysdale a disqualification for his part in the incident. McFall therefore inherited the lead at the restart, but it proved short-lived as Crawford nipped through almost instantly. His Vauxhall Corsa sounded far from healthy at times, but Crawford managed to coax it home to the flag ahead of Jonathan Brown and McFall. An earlier incident with Ty Richardson earned Crawford a two place penalty however and saw Brown crowned as Stadium Champion. Afterwards Crawford was removed altogether from the result and loaded up from the meeting for verbal abuse towards a race official.

 

F2 Stock Cars Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy

A light field of cars arrived to contest the annual Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy and it was Portglenone’s Aidan McFerran who recorded a decisive flag to flag win in the opening heat. Sam McKay scampered home to the flag in heat two and the Ballyclare racer doubled up with another victory in the final to claim the Cromie Trophy for the second time. Track Champion Craig McConnell and Thomas Greer were the only other finishers.

 

Street Rods 2018 Gold Cup

Ashleigh Mark led them away in heat one before Ben Carvill slipped ahead on lap 3 and scampered home for a tidy win in his Renault Clio. In heat two Mark’s Ford Fiesta held sway until lap 7 when Carvill made his move to earn his second win of the night. The one to watch in the final however was Shannon Morrow who motored home to secure her second final win on the trot ahead of Norman Mitchell, Carvill and Mark.

thanks to meeting Sponsors: Valley Roofing, Ringside Cafe

FG Race Fabrications, Lee Smart Racing Products

& Bobby Johnston Garage Services

click for Official Results (28/09/18)

 

 

 

 

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