With Saturday’s weather forecast looking grim for most places we were hopeful the rain would bypass Robinsons and let us get a good days racing under our belt. Thank you to all the riders and spectators who turned out to make the day such a success. With weather like Northern Ireland’s you just have bring the wet gear and umbrella and carry on regardless!
Cancellation of the Ulster at Tinkerhill meant the only place to be was Round 4 of the GR7 Championship. The weather was great for most of the day, the sun even made an appearance. With only one short heavy shower, race conditions were perfect and the track was sitting in prime condition thanks to Matthew and his team.
The first race of the day got underway and young Hayden Gibson took the lead and fastest lap closely followed by Ethan Gawley and Nathan Austin. In race 2 Nathan Austin had the fastest lap by just over two seconds and managed to take second position just three seconds behind Gibson. Race 3 kicked off with Gibson out in front again and coming past the chequered flag first with 26 seconds to spare, followed by Austin and 14 seconds later young Gawley took 3rd place. Overall results for the day were Hayden Gibson 1st, Nathan Austin 2nd and Ethan Gawley 3rd.
The first race for the 65s was a very close one with just over two seconds between race winner Lewis Spratt and Ben McConville followed by Michael McCullagh 21 seconds later. Race 2, Spratt just beat McConville again to the chequered flag by only three seconds. It was great to watch some friendly battles between these two boys. Race 3 took a bit of a turn with Ben McConville out in front passing the chequered flag with 12 seconds to spare followed by Lewis Spratt with literally only a second in it between him and McCullagh. So the day ended on a high for Lewis Spratt who took the overall win, 2nd was Ben McConville and 3rd Michael McCullagh. The endeavour award for Saturday’s racing went to young Harry Foster. Harry goes out most weeks and rides his heart out and thoroughly deserves to be recognised.
Next up was the SW and BW 85s. In Race 1 there was only eight seconds between the top three SW 85 riders Alex Henderson, Cole McCullough and Lennox Dickinson. Henderson took fastest lap with not even a second between him and McCullough. Race 2 Henderson took a massive lead passing the chequered flag 19 seconds ahead of McCulllough and third over the line was Dickinson 42 seconds after race leader Henderson. Race 3 saw Dickinson take the lead by one lap, second over the line was Gabriels Golturenko followed by Matthew Herron who took 3rd. Overall results for the day were Alex Henderson 1st, Lennox Dickinson 2nd and Cole McCullough 3rd.
Reece Ross got off to a flying start in race 1 of the BW 85s but not without some pressure from Jay Sherry and Matthew Beattie who were hot on his heels. There wasn’t even a second between those boys and it was very enjoyable to watch them all pass the chequered flag within a split second of each other. Race 2 was Matthew Beattie’s time to be out on top with a lead of 10 seconds on Reece Ross and 21 seconds later Charley Irwin took 3rd position. Jay Sherry came back fighting after finishing 6th in race 2 he was determined to get back out on top and passed the chequered flag 18 seconds before Beattie who had a 14 second lead on Ross. Jay, Reece and Matthew all ended the day on equal points, but it was 1st for Reece, 2nd for Jay and 3rd for Matthew.
Nathan Green was on fire for the race 1 of the Seniors. Not only did he have the fastest lap by six seconds, he flew past the chequered flag with a massive 43 second lead on Jack Henderson. Race 2 Green was out in front again followed by Jack Moore who took second position after a disappointing DNF in race 1 and third was Jack Henderson. Determination paid off for Moore in race 3 just tipping Green to the post for top position. Both Nathan Green and Jack Moore’s best lap times were pretty much equal so it was literally anyone’s race out there and a simple slip up just wasn’t going to cut it. To finish the day Nathan took 1st overall, 2nd was Jack Moore followed by Jack Henderson for 3rd.
Next up was Grade C. Race one Cori Dillon took the fastest lap getting around in 1:18.337 seconds. His steady and consistent riding give him a massive lead and he managed to beat Jordan McMullan to first position by nearly 32 seconds. Crossing the line within one second of each other was McMullan and Gerard Dullaghan. Race 2 again Dillon was out in pole position with David Donoghy chasing after him. It was Donoghy who raced past the chequered flag first followed by Ryan Canning 24 seconds later and 3rd position went to Graham Caldwell. Top three finishers were Cori Dillon 1st, David Donoghy 2nd and Jordan McMullan 3rd. The C class was chosen this weekend for the one of the endeavour awards and the chosen recipient for this award was Roy Boal.
Patrick Dunne took the lead in race 1 of the Grade B’s. Hot on his heels was Ivan Kerr followed by Roy McGarvey. Race two Kerr wasn’t taking any prisoners and was first to the chequered flag a massive 23 seconds before second position Garvey. Rounding out the top three was Conor Mallon. Again, in race 3 Kerr and McGarvey managed to stay in 1st and 2nd position but this time it was David Kane who took 3rd position. Overall results for the day were 1st Ivan Kerr, 2nd Roy McGarvey and 3rd Conor Mallon.
Not too often this happens but the A1-A2 class were the biggest class of the day with some great competition, so it was sure to be a good one to watch. Race 1 for the A2 John Robb came out fighting and came across the line first followed by Ben Kennedy 11 seconds later and Gary Andrews 13 seconds after Kennedy for 3rd position. Ben wasn’t giving up the chance of a race win so in race 2 he came out fighting and managed to take a very comfortable 16 second lead on Robb. Race three Kennedy was out on top but not without some pressure from Nathan Green who was breathing down his neck and just missed out on top position by 0.368 of a second. John Robb took 3rd position in the final race of the day. Take home the prize money was Ben Kennedy 1st overall, John Robb 2nd and Gary Andrews 3rd.
James Mackrel and Martin Barr had a very close first race with only half a second between the two at the chequered flag, but it was James who took the win and Jason Meara took third position. Again, in race two it was Mackrel and Barr battling it out for the lead followed by John Meara, again Mackrel took the win. Determination paid off for Barr and he came away with a race win but hot on his heels was Jason Meara who put Barr under a bit of pressure, so it certainly wasn’t an easy race. The competition was very tough for these boys, but it made for great racing for all the spectators. James Mackrel came out on top, Martin Barr 2nd and Jason Meara 3rd.
We would like to wish all our injured riders a very speedy recovery and hope to see you all back very soon. Thank you to Matthew and his team for all the track preparation for Saturday’s race, I think all will agree the track was in prime condition. Thank you to all who work behind the scenes to make a race day happen, it takes a lot of time and energy and for that we are very grateful. As we always say if we didn’t have flag marshals racing just wouldn’t happen, so thank you to each and every one of you that take the time to help us out. Your time is invaluable to us. Thank you to our medical team who provide us with first class treatment each week. It can’t be easy standing at the side of a track in all weather conditions every week. Last, but by no means least, thank you to all our club members who come to race with us week in week out. Without you all we wouldn’t even exist as a club, so we are very grateful to you all.
Words by Cathy Graham
Pics by Ian Cairns