In part four of this review of the year (2013) in road racing, we look at the Mid-Antrim 100, the Ulster Grand Prix, the inaugural Classic TT, and Killalane. The first second and third parts can be found here (April & May), here (June), and here (July).
The first meeting in August was the Mid-Antrim 150, a race first held in 1946. It was another action packed programme with winners including Paul Robinson, Jamie Hamilton and Derek Sheils.
Robinson won the Moto3 race ahead of Sam Dunlop and Nigel Moore. Gavin Lupton was the winner in the Supersport 400 race, finishing ahead of Mark Shiels and Wayne Hall. Seamus Elliott was first of three classified riders in the Moto 450 class, beating Darren Gilpin and Dave Walsh.
Hamilton took his sixth Irish Road Race Supertwin victory (out of a possible six) when he beat William Davison and Nigel Moore. Michael Sweeney was the winner in the 250 race, beating Davy Morgan and Sam Dunlop. Hamilton notched up a second win of the meeting in the Supersport race beating Elliott and Sam Wilson. Sheils won the Superbike race ahead of Hamilton and Elliott.
Mark Hanna won both the Junior and Senior Support races, beating Connor Behan and Lupton in the Junior and Shane Egan and James Kelly in the Senior. Barry Davidson once again won the Junior Classic race – seven out of seven wins for him – while John Scott won the Senior Classic.
In the Grand Final, Michael Sweeney finished ahead of Morgan, Elliott, Davison, Wilson, and Andy Farrell.
Next up was the Ulster Grand Prix and Dundrod 150, although the latter had to be called off due to the weather. The Ulster Grand Prix saw Guy Martin crowned ‘Man of the Meeting’ after taking a hat-trick of victories and beating Michael Dunlop. Martin also took the opportunity to announce his contract extension with Tyco Suzuki.
Ivan Lintin beat Jamie Hamilton in the Supertwins race by just 0.048s. The race was red flagged after Peter McKillop crashed. This allowed Hamilton, who had slid off his own bike at Leathemstown to take part in the re-start and fight back. He was unable to beat Lintin, who in turn secured his first International road race victory. Lee Johnston finished just a second back in third place. The Moto3 class had gone out with the Supertwins and it was Ian Lougher, on his last appearance at the Ulster Grand Prix, who took victory. He beat Christian Elkin by just three tenths of a second. Paul Jordan was 27 seconds down the road but finished in third.
Martin’s first victory came in the first Supersport race, which he won after starting in pole position. Bruce Anstey finished in second place and Johnston finished in third. Anstey’s podium completed a highly impressive record of finishing on the podium at least once at every North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix for the past ten years. M Dunlop failed to finish the race due to clutch problems.
M Dunlop had qualified on pole position for the main race – the Ulster Grand Prix (Superbike) – but lost the lead on the opening lap to Martin. The Tyco Suzuki rider continued to lead through to the final lap but M Dunlop closed the gap when the pair met backmarkers. Martin went on to win by just under a tenth of a second. William Dunlop came home in third.
W Dunlop won the most dramatic and exciting race of the day – the second Supersport event. Martin, who had won the feature race, failed to start while M Dunlop had a disappointing get away. W Dunlop took the early lead ahead of Anstey and Conor Cummins. The leading duo pulled away and enjoyed a close battle which went down to the wire. Anstey led W Dunlop on the last lap but ran wide. W Dunlop then did the same, however, and allowed Anstey to have another run on him into the Quarries. When the pair crossed the line it was W Dunlop who was ahead – by 0.073s – having gone round the outside on the final corner to take the win. Cummins held on to third place.
In the second Superbike race, there was further drama as M Dunlop was wheeled off the grid before the start. Martin took his hat-trick of victories, finishing ahead of Anstey and Cummins. After a day of disappointments, M Dunlop did salvage a win when he beat Gary Johnson and Anstey in the Superstock class.
Many riders traveled straight from the Ulster to the Isle of Man for the inaugural Classic TT. The event kicked off with a Paddock Carnival, which saw everyone get into the swing of things by donning costumes from the 1960s.
The racing action got going with the 500cc class, won by Olie Linsdell. William Dunlop was runner up with Jamie Coward. A number of riders got into difficulties with their bikes with John McGuinness, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey and Michael Dunlop amongst those retiring from the race. The 350/250cc race was won dominantly by Chris Palmer, who finished a minute clear of team-mate Donald. Daniel Cooper claimed his first Isle of Man podium by finishing third. Jamie Hamilton had looked like he might challenge for a podium but came off his bike (uninjured).
Jonathan Cutts came home first in the 250ccs with Peter Wakefield and Geoff Bates completing the podium. The third and final race of the meeting was the Formula 1/Formula 2/Formula Classics. Michael Dunlop romped to victory in the F1 class – despite a slipping clutch and oil leak, finishing a minute ahead of Conor Cummins, who in turn was a further minute ahead of third place Ryan Kneen. Palmer took another victory in the F2 Classics, beating James Cowton and Philip McGurk. Dean Harrison was the first of only three finishers on the Formula Classics, beating Gavin Lupton and Chris McGahan.
The final meeting of 2013 on the Irish roads was Killalane. Paul Robinson, William Dunlop, and Connor Behan were among the race winners.
Robinson was once again victorious in the Moto3 race, beating Sam Dunlop and Wayne Reeve. W Dunlop won the 250 race ahead of Michael Sweeney and John Ella. David Howard won the Supersport 400 race ahead of David Yeomans and Andy Farrell. Michael Sweeney was victorious in Supertwins, beating Derek McGee and Farrell.
The Dunlop brothers took home five wins between them. As well as his 250 win, W Dunlop also won the Supersport race, finishing ahead of his brother and McGee. M Dunlop’s wins were in the Superbike race (beating Derek Sheils and Sweeney), the Grand Final (ahead of Sheils and Sweeney again), and the Senior Classic, beating Robert McCrum.
Connor Behan won the Junior Support class, beating Mark Hanna and Shane Egan. Hanna won the Senior Support with James Kelly finishing second and Egan third. Barry Davidson once again won the Junior Classic.
Michael Dunlop won the Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, holding off Guy Martin from winning his ninth title there. Ian Lougher won the 250cc race and Davy Morgan won the Solo Non-Finalist race.