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Friday 2nd June 2017

National Hot Rods

Nineteen cars arrived for the final round of the Hankook Performance Tyres World Series NI where the destiny of the title would be decided. Ian McReynolds took up the running in heat one by lap 3 and the Lurgan man would never be headed to the flag after a tidy run. Adam Hylands and Keith Martin followed the winner home, while the battle for the title saw Jaimie McCurdy chip away at John Christie’s advantage with a fifth place finish. Heat two was led for a very long time by Phillip McCloy, but Mark Heatrick got his nose ahead right at the death to sneak a good win ahead in his Vauxhall Tigra. Shane Murray caught the eye with a strong run from the red grade which netted him third place at the flag behind McCloy, a result that brought Murray right back into contention for the overall crown. Heatrick and Hylands occupied the front row for the final and it was Heatrick who immediately charged into the lead, with Hylands tucked in behind and Keith Martin third. This trio soon eased away from the rest, where attention focused on the Murray / McCurdy / Christie battle for the championship. Christie had work to do, starting down in the second group, but was on the move immediately and soon pulled himself up onto McCurdy’s tail. Christie went for the outside and completed a tidy move to demote McCurdy, with Murray next in his sights. Murray had been trying to find a way around Adam Maxwell at this stage, but the appearance of Christie’s Fiesta in his rear view mirror signalled a change of tactics as Murray went on the defensive. That allowed Maxwell to pull away from the pair and their pace had dropped enough to bring McCurdy back into the equation. Christie decided the outside line would be the best option again, but couldn’t make the move stick this time as Murray upped his pace once more. That allowed McCurdy a run up Christie’s inside on the final lap and it came down to a matter of inches at the flag, with McCurdy just ahead by less than a tenth of a second! Up front Heatrick held sway to take his second win of the night, while Martin nipped under Hylands on the run to the flag to secure second. Maxwell and Murray were next up, with the top ten rounded out by McCurdy, Christie, Stewart Doak, Gary Wilson and McReynolds. When the final points were calculated it was confirmed that Murray was the new Northern Ireland Champion by a single point after a breathless climax to another exhilarating campaign from the province’s National Hot Rod racers.


Stock Rods

There was a Stock Rod debut for former Euro Stocks Irish Champion Alistair Christie in a splendidly finished self-built Vauxhall Corsa C, while ex-British Champion Steven McKane also unveiled a new Corsa C.  Kurtis Reid led for a long way in heat one until Michael McFall hunted him down on the very last lap to nip through for the win. Reid would not be caught in heat two however and recorded a first victory for his recently unveiled new car with a dominant flag to flag success. The final followed a similar pattern with Reid once again the pacesetter at the front. Aaron Moody was the man leading the charge on this occasion and eased ahead with three laps to run. It wasn’t over yet however as Moody had to withstand a spirited challenge from form man Stephen McCready on the final bend to secure the trophy. McCready’s robust efforts earned him a two place penalty from the steward, which promoted Reid and McFall into second and third. 


Group Twos

Seventeen cars lined up for the opening heat, but this one did not get very far before a spin by novice Nigel Kernohan triggered a massive pile-up on Suffolk bend which eliminated half the field! Thankfully Kernohan was able to walk away from the smash after some assistance from the track staff and the remaining runners set off again with Mark Goldie the eventual winner of this one despite some close attention from George Esler. Brian Edgar proved unstoppable in heat two where the yellow top led from start to finish for a comprehensive win. Edgar quickly settled in the leading position in the final as well, but Kenny Carson, Richard Purdy and Esler reeled the leader in over the closing laps to set up a four car train battling for the lead. Edgar managed to hang on for his second win of the evening however, with Carson and Purdy a close second and third.


Junior Rods

A healthy grid of sixteen cars participated and it was pleasing to report that the races for the youngsters were a lot tidier than some of their recent outings. A late race caution closed up the field for a two lap shootout to the flag in the opening heat, but long time leader Mark Brogan coped with the situation admirably to stroke his Citroen Saxo home for the win. Leah Hughes had here fair share of troubles at the previous outing, but bounced back to form with an impressive flag to flag win in heat two. Heat winners Hughes and Brogan set the pace in the final before Jamie Hunter emerged from the pack to it up on lag five. Once out front Hunter steadily pulled away from the field for a comprehensive win in his Vauxhall Corsa. The winner was followed home by Matthew Drysdale with Cole McFall in third.

Photo's thanks to DPP

thanks to meeting Sponsors: Rodney Fleck Specialist Cars & Hankook Performance Tyres

click for Official Results (02/06/17)





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