A packed field of 28 cars from all over the UK arrived at Raceway for the prestigious Irish Open event where the cars lined up in their normal roof colours for the two qualifying heats. Heat one was quickly brought under caution when Chris Hamill and Sam McKay tangled at Suffolk bend, Hamill’s car ending up on its roof. At the restart it was Ben Lockwood who took full advantage of his yellow grade starting position to reel of a fine win, with Graham Fegan charging through impressively from the red grade to second. Lockwood continued his good evening with another comprehensive victory in heat two, where the Yorkshire man was followed home by Mark Pinkerton with Fegan showing up well again in third. The roof colour starts were replaced with a closed grid for the final and although Lockwood had earned pole position, he had star names Fegan, Chris Burgoyne and Daz Kitson all starting within the first three rows. It was Irish Champion Fegan who set the early pace as Lockwood was sent crashing out on the first lap by Burgoyne. The Scotsman was soon tracking the leader’s every move and eased ahead at Fisherwick bend to take up the running. Burgoyne looked comfortable up front, but disaster almost befell the leader when he was bumped by a backmarker while lapping slower cars. Burgoyne quickly regained his composure before Fegan could pounce and reeled of the remaining distance to retain his title in style. Fegan chased hard all the way to the chequered flag and was a gallant runner-up, with another Scottish visitor, George Macmillan from Glasgow, in third. Christopher Kincaid demonstrated good speed in his RCE car to claim fourth from a starting slot on grid 10, with the top six rounded out by Denver Grattan and Kitson.
Stock-Saloon Stock-Cars 2012 Irish Open Championship
Dominant Performance from Stuart Shevill Jnr.
Sixteen drivers from Northern Ireland and Scotland took to the track to contest the opening qualifying heat and it was the visitors who struck first as Stevie Honeyman from South Alloa roared home to victory. Fellow countryman Glen Heeps led from the start in this one, but was eventually caught by Honeyman on the final lap and knocked back into second, with Mark Dewar the best of the locals in third. The home drivers responded in the second qualifier where Irish Champion Andrew Stewart bounced back from a non-finish in race one to score a well earned win ahead of Stuart Shevill Jnr. and Ian McLaughlin. The points scored in the heats determined the grid positions for the final and it was Scots Honeyman and Shevill who qualified on the front row, with McLaughlin on row two alongside the best of the locals Ryan Wright. Shevill took the race by the scruff of the neck right from the green flag, while pole sitter Honeyman lost a lot of ground in the opening skirmishes. Stewart, who started the final on grid position 9, fought his way clear of the pack to emerge as Shevill’s main challenger, but despite his best efforts Shevill was never tested throughout and jubilantly crossed the line to claim his first Irish Open title after a dominant performance. Stewart chased hard all the way but had to settle for second, while Honeyman clawed his way back through the field after that disastrous start to claim third.
Stock-Rods 2012 Gunner Motorsport Cup
McAfee captures Gunner Motorsport Cup
Four times World Champion Chris Lattka journeyed over from Scotland to compete, but it was local favourite Victor McAfee who charged home to capture the Gunner Motorsport Cup. Ben McCully led the final for a long time, but McAfee steadily chased down the leader and eased his Citroen Saxo ahead with 3 laps remaining. McCully held onto second with Chris Gordon in third. The opening heat brought a first ever Raceway victory for Michael McKendry in his immaculate Vauxhall Corsa, while Thomas Morrison recorded victory in heat two which was halted early following a nasty rollover for Coleraine racer Freddie Laffin.
Two Litre Hot-Rods 2012 Hoosier Cup
Polished victory for Philip Beatty
Thirteen competitors lined up to contest the Hoosier Cup and it was Bobbie Johnston who took a clear victory in the opening heat. Johnston had to work a lot harder to earn the honours in heat two, but once again kept his Peugeot 206 ahead of the pack to earn pole position for the final. Philip Beatty joined Johnston on the front row for the main race and it was Beatty who slipped ahead at the green flag and never looked back on his way to a polished victory which earned him the Hoosier Cup. Adam Best followed Beatty home in this one, with Johnston on the leader board once again in third.
Photo's thanks to John Wolsey of Racemart