Ryan Farquhar and William Dunlop were amongst the race winners at the Tandragee 100 this weekend.
It was a somewhat wet affair on the Saturday but a full programme of racing was run, including the Open race which was moved to Friday evening. With rain forecast for Saturday and a dry evening following practice, the organisers took the opportunity to get one race completed. Dunlop lined up on pole position on his Tyco BMW but it was Farquhar – who was returning to the ‘big’ bike class following his return to the roads last year in the Supertwins – who was the eventual winner, although just by four tenths of a second.
BE Racing’s Jamie Hamilton was the initial leader in the race but admitted on Facebook that a “problem with a new helmet” meant he couldn’t see where he was going so he dropped off the pace. He salvaged a third place just five tenths clear of Derek McGee, who in turn was well ahead of Keith Amor and Davy Morgan. David Mulligan and Seamus Elliott were also in the top ten with Shaun Anderson and Billy Redmayne coming from the second group to round it out on corrected time.
Following his impressive form in the class at Cookstown, Dunlop notched up another Supersport victory on his CD Racing Yamaha. He beat Hamilton and McGee with Sam Wilson in fourth. McGee took victory in the Supertwins class beating Hamilton by over 20 seconds with Rhys Hardistry in third place. Hardistry backed up his podium with a win in the Junior Support class ahead of Tommy Henry and Noel Bertram. Senior Support was won by Kevin Fitzpatrick who beat Joe Newbould and Dean Campbell. Elsewhere Paul Robinson was victorious in the Moto 3 class ahead of Nigel Moore and Paul Jordan, while Ian Morrell beat Anthony McColgan and Paul Gartland in Supersport 400. Farquhar and Dave Walsh were the only two riders in the 450cc class. Neil Kernohan, Paul Robinson, and Michael Sweeney made up the podium positions for 250cc. Jamie O’Brien won the Forgotten Era class ahead of Des Butler and Paul Coward. Farquhar beat Coward and Jeremy McWilliams in the Classic race but was a non starter in the feature race.
In difficult conditions it was Dunlop who won the Tandragee 100 feature race. He was nearly 30 seconds clear of Hamilton with McGee in third.
“It was worthwhile going to Tandragee and I’m a bit more comfortable on the Tyco BMW,” Dunlop said after the event. “[That] was always the plan this weekend. The changes that we made for the second race at Cookstown and the further changes for Tandragee have helped us make big steps forward. Yes, we still have a bit of work to do before the TT, but it was really nice to win on a big bike, which is confidence inspiring.”
The next road race is the first international of the year – the North West 200. The likes of John McGuinness, Alistair Seeley, Michael Rutter and Bruce Anstey will be in attendance. They will be joined by Lee Johnston, Michael and William Dunlop, Dan Kneen, Dean Harrison, Jamie Hamilton, Farquhar, Conor Cummins, and Guy Martin. Ivan Lintin, Horst Saiger, and Maria Costello are just a few more of the riders who will also be in action on the Triangle circuit ahead of the Isle of Man TT next month.