Malachi Mitchell Thomas shines on Mid-Antrim debut

Malachi Mitchell-Thomas took a hatrick of victories at last weekend’s Mid-Antrim 150, the first race of the Irish road racing season.

The 2015 Manx Grand Prix winner was making his debut on Irish roads and certainly made sure that he made an impact. Riding for John Burrows’ Cookstown BE Racing team Mitchell Thomas took victories in the Supersport and Superbike classes at the Clough circuit.

Conditions were tricky on Friday but race organisers got the first Supersport race out and Mitchell Thomas led all four laps on his way to win number one of the meeting. He beat Michael Sweeney by just over five seconds, with Colin Stephenson completing the podium positions. A drier day greeted competitors and fans on Saturday allowing a full programme of racing to be completed.

In the Open race – a five lapper – Mitchell Thomas look a narrow eight tenths victory over fellow Cookstown BE Racing rider Derek Sheils. It was an impressive victory with the former on a Superstock machine while the latter raced the Superbike. Sweeney was once again on the podium, finishing ahead of Ryan Farquhar who struggled with wet tyres on a drying track. Mitchell Thomas completed his trio of victories with another win in the Supersport class, this time beating Sweeney again but joined on the podium by Paul Jordan.

Farquhar got the upper hand in the Supertwins race although only just, with Mitchell Thomas just seven hundredths back in second. It was another podium for Sweeney with Michal Dokoupil in fourth place. In the final race of the day – the Grand Final – there was a duel between the two Cookstown BE Racing bikes but it was Sheils who came out on top. The duo were joined on the podium by Sweeney – his fifth podium of the event.

Elsewhere Marc Ironside won the Junior Support class from Kris Duncan and Robert Cairns while Kris Duncan took the Senior Support win. Joining Duncan on the podium were Allan Brodie and Sean Seddon. The Junior Classic race was won by Barry Davidson, storming to a dominating 48 second victory over Freddie Stewart and Philip Shaw. It was a continuation of last year’s form for Davidson, having won five of the five Irish championship races he took part in 2015. The Senior Classic race – which featured just six riders – was won by Allan Brew, beating Gary Jamison and Freddie Stewart.

The next Irish road racing event is the Tandragee 100 on the 22nd & 23rd April. The Spring Cup in Scarborough takes place the weekend before that.

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