Ryan Farquhar, William Dunlop and Guy Martin amongst confirmed riders for Armoy

This year’s Armoy Road Races will take place on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th of July this year.

At the launch for this year’s event riders including Ryan Farquhar, William Dunlop and Guy Martin were confirmed for the seventh holding of the popular race meeting. Others going to be in attendance include Jeremy McWilliams, Paul Robinson, Sam Dunlop and Darren James. Last year Martin took his first wins at the event and wrapped up Man of the Meeting but was beaten by Michael Dunlop in the Race of Legends itself. Dunlop is as yet unconfirmed for the event, having picked up injuries at the Isle of Man TT.

“The Club and I are really delighted with the news that SGS International/Manx Gas Team with Ryan Farquhar, Jeremy McWilliams and Darren James are entering the Supertwins race,” Clerk of the Course Bill Kennedy MBE said. “There will be other riders and they may enter other races for that matter but we’ve just got to wait and see in the coming days. It’s also fantastic news that the Tyco BMW team will be racing at Armoy. Guy Martin and William Dunlop are no strangers to Armoy with Guy the Man of the Meeting last year and top spot in the Supersport 2 and the Superbike races. I’ve also been reliably told that another Armoy favourite Keith Amor is aiming to be fit and he’ll be at Armoy – so we wish him a very speedy recovery.” Amor was one of a number of riders who sustained injuries at the TT. “The return of Martin, McWilliams, Dunlop and Farquhar is testament to the Club and the exceptional races that we put on as a team,” Kennedy concluded.

“Last year I was at Armoy but I was flat out preparing bikes,” Farquhar said at the launch. “2015 is going to be a lot different – not only will I be racing in the Supertwins but so will Jeremy McWilliams and Darren James, one of Canada’s top professional motorcycle road racers who will be racing as a newcomer. Folks will have seen a glimpse of him at the North West 200 earlier this year but I’ll wait and see how he gets on at Armoy. Jeremy was keen to return and race this year at Armoy – after his win at the NW200 there was no question he wasn’t going to race in the Supertwins”. McWilliams holds the current lap record for the Supertwins race after a hard fought battle with then team-mate Jamie Hamilton in 2013.

The action will take place over two days – Friday and Saturday – with 12 races set to feature:

  • Supersport 1 (sponsored by First4printing)
  • Moto 3/125GP (sponsored by Molly’s Bar and Restaurant)
  • Junior Support (sponsored by Armoy Homes & The Mermaid Club)
  • 250cc (sponsored James W Hickinson & Co and Solitude Motors)
  • Senior Support (sponsored by Park Electrical Services & The Armoy Construction Co)
  • Senior Classic (sponsored by Ballycastle Credit Union)
  • Open (sponsored by Torquetronix)
  • Supertwins (sponsored by IJ Lynn & Sons and McAuley Car Dismantlers)
  • Junior Classic (sponsored by Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club)
  • Supersport 2 (sponsored by the Bayview Hotel)
  • 400cc (sponsored by Diamond Bar)
  • Race of Legends (sponsored by SGS International)

Ivan Lintin wins big at Barry Sheene Festival

Fresh off the back of his first win at the Isle of Man TT, Ivan Lintin took five wins from six races at last weekend’s Barry Sheene Festival at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough.

While the likes of William Dunlop, Derek McGee and Alan Bonner were in action at Kells, a number of riders including Dean Harrison, Ryan Farquhar and Lee Johnston were in action at Oliver’s Mount. The festival took place over two days and included practice sessions, races and parade laps.

First up on the race schedule was the first leg of the 250cc/350cc and 500cc and Denis Parkinson classic race. The 250cc class was won by Geoff Hadwin followed by Christian Gunson. David Webber won the 500cc class from Raymond Tulett while Gavin Lupton beat Richard Lambourne to the win in the 500cc class. Also in the race were Marc Coggon on the Suzuki GSXR 600 and Rad Hughes on the Kawasaki ZXR 400. In the second leg of the race, held on the Sunday, the result was the same in the 250cc class. Farquhar took victory on the Paton in the 500cc class ahead of Lupton, Lambourne, and David Webber. Coggon, Peter Boast, and Hughes also completed the race.

Harrison took victory in the UK Classic F1 Superbike race, beating Farquhar and James Cowton. Harrison’s leading margin was a comfortable seven seconds. Cowton was just a second ahead of Johnston who finished in fourth place while Jamie Coward, David Bell, Kiaran Hankin, Martin Harrison and Michael Hand were the other race finishers.

In the Modern Lightweight class (bikes up to 450cc) it was Rhys Hardistry who stood on the top step in both races. In the first leg he was joined on the podium by Paul Owen and Derek Clark while Clark and Nick Anderson were second and third in the second leg. Lintin’s first victory came in the Supersport class where he beat Daley Mathison and James Neesom. It was Mathison’s first race meeting since he broke his collarbone at the North West 200 in May. Lintin doubled up with victory in the second leg of the Supersport class as well, this time beating Cowton and Mick Goodings.

The RC Express Racing rider then went on to win both legs of the Super Lightweight  & UK Classic F2 race. In the first leg the podium was Lintin, Cowton, Hardistry, while Anderson took third in the second leg while the top two remained the same. Following his victory in the Classic Superbike race, Harrison also claimed the win in the first leg of the modern Senior beating Neesom and James Bellers-Smith. Lintin took victory in the second leg – his fifth of the meeting – and he was joined on the podium by Harrison and Mick Goodings.

Next up on the road racing calendar is the Skerries Road Races on the first weekend in July.

Two wins for Alan Bonner at Kells Road Races

William Dunlop, Derek McGee and Alan Bonner were amongst the winners at Kells Road Races this weekend. The action took place across two days at the Crossakiel Circuit in Co Meath.

Dunlop was back in action just a couple of weeks after the accident that ruled him out of the TT with extensive bruising and a broken rib. He was there with his CD Racing Yamaha and won the Supersport race comfortably from Seamus Elliott and Paul Jordan. Sam Wilson was fourth with McGee in fifth, John Walsh sixth, James Kelly seventh, Andy Farrell eighth, Graham Kennedy ninth and Brian McCormack in tenth. Dunlop then went on to finish sixth in the Open race, a race won by Bonner.

Fresh off the back of impressive top twenty finishes at the TT on only his second visit, Bonner won the Open race by just a tenth of a second over McGee while Alan Kenny completed the rostrum positions. McCormack was in fourth, ahead of Dunlop, Walsh, Elliott, Paul Gartland, Kevin Fitzpatrick, and Farrell. Bonner doubled up by going on to take victory in the Carole Nash Grand Final – the feature race of the event. He again beat McGee – this time by half a second – with McCormack also on the podium. Kenny was fourth, with Walsh fifth, Dunlop sixth, Elliott seventh, and Gartland eighth. Kelly was ninth with Alan Connor rounding out the top ten.

It was Derek McGee who won the Supertwins race – another rider who impressed at the TT this year as he made his debut. He beat Connor Behan by nearly four seconds with Michal Dokoupil in third. Jordan was a further four seconds back in fourth, ahead of Adam McLean, Stephen McKnight, Bonner, Mark Sheils, James Chawke and David Lumsden.

The 125cc/Moto 3 race was won by McLean who beat Paul Robinson by just over a second. Sean O’Neill took third while Behan, Jordan, and Neil Kernohan were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Craig Gibson, Paul McKillop, Sarah Boyes, and Steve Boyes rounded out the top ten. McLean doubled up with a win in the 201 – 400cc Championship race, ahead of Brian Coomey and James Chawke. Tommy Henry, John Horgan, Liam Greene, Thomas Whitmore, Brendan Glover, David Howard and Colin Bowles were the other top ten finishers.

Following his top ten result in the Open race, Fitzpatrick took the honours in the Senior Support class by over ten seconds. Timmy Elwood finished in second with Darryl Tweed third. There were top ten finishes for Ryan Maher, Seanie Smith, Coomey, Stephen Casey, Henry, David Holland and Adrian Logue. Kernohan won the Junior 250/400cc race just eight tenths clear of Dokoupil who in turn was nearly ten seconds ahead of John Ella. Howard was fourth, Greene fifth, Henry sixth and Shiels seventh. Rounding out the top ten were Gartland, Vic Allan, and Stephen Morrison.

In the Classics Barry Davidson won the 250cc – 350cc class with a narrow margin of victory over Ed Manly. Herbie Ronan was third ahead of Sean Leonard, Dave Hastings, Freddie Stewart and Sean Henry. Philip Shaw was eighth with Kevin Callan ninth and Richard Ford tenth. The 500cc – 1000cc class was won by Robert McCrum by nearly 15 seconds from Ford and Stewart. Manly finished fourth ahead of Billy Lyle, Pat Murray, Noel Bertram, and Sam Kinkead. Hutton and Callan rounded out the top ten.

Last but not least, in the Non Qualifier races Lumsden and Veronika Hankocy were victorious. Hankocy won the 201cc – 400cc B race by just shy of four seconds over Andy McAllister with Stephen Davison third. Martin Currams was fourth ahead of Jordan McFerran, Morrison, John Byrne, Gavin Brown, Alan Johnston and John McCann. In the Open B race Lumsden was first of five riders, winning by just over a second and a half from Damian Horan. Callum Laidlaw took third with Paul Swords fourth and Noel Carroll in fifth.

2015: Austrian Grand Prix Qualifying

A drying track greeted drivers for the start of qualifying after heavy rain fell in FP3, which was topped by Sebastian Vettel. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso went into qualifying knowing they would both take 25 place grid penalties (for engine and gearbox changes); while Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat would both be taking ten places.

Q1

Drivers went out on intermediate tyres for the start of qualifying as a dry line started to form on the circuit. After a few drivers discovered the track limits, Will Stevens ended up in the gravel but was able to get the car out of it again. Felipe Nasr was the first driver to go out on the slick tyres, using the supersoft with about 11 minutes of the session remaining. Not long after that Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas went out on soft tyres. Eventually the rest of the field followed suit although they opted for soft tyre rather than the supersoft compound. The times continued to drop as the track rubbered in and got faster and faster. Kimi Raikkonen dropped out in 18th, joined in the bottom five by Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi, Jenson Button, and Sergio Perez.

  1. Nico Rosberg 1:10.976
  2. Carlos Sainz 1:11.158
  3. Sebastian Vettel 1:11.184
  4. Max Verstappen 1:11.307
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 1:11.319
  6. Pastor Maldonado 1:11.661
  7. Romain Grosjean 1:11.821
  8. Felipe Massa 1:11.830
  9. Valtteri Bottas 1:11.894
  10. Daniel Ricciardo 1:11.973
  11. Felipe Nasr 1:12.001
  12. Daniil Kvyat 1:12.092
  13. Lewis Hamilton 1:12.218
  14. Marcus Ericsson 1:12.388
  15. Fernando Alonso 1:12.508
  16. Sergio Perez 1:12.522
  17. Jenson Button 1:12.632
  18. Kimi Raikkonen 1:12.867
  19. Roberto Merhi 1:14.071
  20. Will Stevens 1:15.368

Q2

Both Red Bulls were first out on track, joined by Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso. As was the case in Q1, the times got faster as the track improved. With five minutes of the session remaining, just three drivers were still on track while the rest remained in the garage. Traffic had proved to be an issue in Q1 on such a short track, as drivers fought for a prime position to get their laps in. Daniel Ricciardo had a brief excursion off track across the gravel while he was down in 14th place. Romain Grosjean also ran wide. Going out at the end of Q2 were Pastor Maldonado, Marcus Ericsson, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso.

  1. Nico Rosberg 1:08.634
  2. Lewis Hamilton 1:09.062
  3. Sebastian Vettel 1:09.392
  4. Valtteri Bottas 1:09.598
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 1:09.604
  6. Max Verstappen 1:09.631
  7. Felipe Nasr 1:09.652
  8. Felipe Massa 1:09.719
  9. Romain Grosjean 1:09.920
  10. Daniil Kvyat 1:10.187
  11. Pastor Maldonado 1:10.374
  12. Marcus Ericsson 1:10.426
  13. Carlos Sainz 1:10.465
  14. Daniel Ricciardo 1:10.482
  15. Fernando Alonso 1:10.736

Q3

Going into the pole position shoot out were Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, and Daniil Kvyat. Bottas and Nasr were the first drivers out on track, quickly followed by Massa and Rosberg. Grosjean remained in the garage as did Verstappen. It was Hamilton who took provisional pole by exactly two tenths of a second over his team-mate. Hamilton spun at Turn 1, bringing an end to his pole position run, while Rosberg had his own problems later in the lap after going faster in the first two sectors.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:08.455
  2. Nico Rosberg 1:08.655
  3. Sebastian Vettel 1:08.810
  4. Felipe Massa 1:09.192
  5. Nico Hulkenberg 1:09.278
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:09.319
  7. Max Verstappen 1:09.612
  8. Daniil Kvyat 1:09.694
  9. Felipe Nasr 1:09.713
  10. Romain Grosjean No Time Set

Sebastian Vettel edges Lewis Hamilton in Austrian FP3

It started to rain in the third and final practice session ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg was fastest in the first practice session before Sebastian Vettel overcame mechanical issues to go fastest in free practice two.  It was the Ferrari driver who remained at the top for Saturday morning’s practice although just 17 thousandths of a second clear of Lewis Hamilton.

Most of the fastest times were set in the first half of the session due to the rain that came in the second half. The rain started to fall heavily with about 25 minutes remaining. Kimi Raikkonen ran through the gravel at Turn 6 while Rosberg came off at Turn 2. Some drivers went out on the intermediate tyre but Nico Hulkenberg reported there was no grip at all as he slid off the track at Turn 4. Carlos Sainz and Vettel both also had offs at the track condition got worse.

Sergio Perez suffered a right front puncture during the session while Marcus Ericsson reported a lack of energy on the pit straight. Romain Grosjean encountered a gearbox issue during the session while Fernando Alonso compounded McLaren’s difficult weekend so far by coming to a halt on the pit straight. Both McLarens will take 25 place grid penalties for various changes, including a full engine change for Jenson Button. Alonso’s stop brought out a red flag as the rain started to fall.

Free practice 3 results:

  1. Sebastian Vettel – 1:09.994 – 16 laps
  2. Lewis Hamilton – 1:10.011 – 16 laps
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:10.177 – 12 laps
  4. Sergio Perez – 1:10.221 – 14 laps
  5. Nico Rosberg – 1:10.332 – 23 laps
  6. Felipe Massa – 1:10.408 – 18 laps
  7. Valtteri Bottas – 1:10.417 – 14 laps
  8. Max Verstappen – 1:10.436 – 23 laps
  9. Pastor Maldonado – 1:10.576 – 12 laps
  10. Romain Grosjean – 1:10.863 – 8 laps
  11. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:11.009 – 14 laps
  12. Marcus Ericsson – 1:11.058 – 22 laps
  13. Daniil Kvyat – 1:11.139 – 14 laps
  14. Fernando Alonso – 1:11.168 – 13 laps
  15. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:11.819 – 10 laps
  16. Felipe Nasr – 1:11.906 – 9 laps
  17. Jenson Button – 1:12.616 – 16 laps
  18. Will Stevens – 1:13.328 – 14 laps
  19. Roberto Merhi – 1:13.960 – 8 laps

Sebastian Vettel overcomes problems to go fastest in Austrian FP2

After completing just four laps in the first practice session – which was topped by Nico Rosberg – Sebastian Vettel came back to top the times in FP2.

A number of drivers instantly took to the track for installation laps while Vettel completed the first flying lap. Kimi Raikkonen instantly went faster than his team-mate but then locked up his tyres into Turn 1. Romain Grosjean was back in the car after sitting out FP1  to allow test and reserve driver Jolyon Palmer some time in the car.

Fernando Alonso was running McLaren’s new shorter nose while Jenson Button continued with the old specification. Following issues in FP1, Alonso completed 17 laps. He was forced to stop as a precaution in the second practice session after Button’s car suffered an ignition plug problem. As a result McLaren missed the opportunity to complete option tyre runs.  Many drivers complained about tyres and the handling of their cars as they progressed through the session.

Kimi Rakkonen was the first driver to put the super soft tyres on but Rosberg instantly beat his time on the option tyre run. Then Vettel went fastest by just hundredths of a second. A yellow flag was brought out at Turn 3 with twenty minutes of the session remaining. It was due to Roberto Merhi taking a trip across the gravel, something which then happened to Pastor Maldonado as well.

Free Practice Two results:

  1. Sebastian Vettel – 1:09.600 – 28 laps
  2. Nico Rosberg – 1:09.611 – 50 laps
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:09.860 – 41 laps
  4. Pastor Maldonado – 1:09.914 – 44 laps
  5. Lewis Hamilton – 1:10.137 – 49 laps
  6. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:10.160 – 49 laps
  7. Romain Grosjean – 1:10.267 – 38 laps
  8. Max Verstappen – 1:10.356 – 48 laps
  9. Felipe Nasr – 1:10.495 – 39 laps
  10. Sergio Perez – 1:10.585 – 46 laps
  11. Carlos Sainz – 1:10.631 – 50 laps
  12. Daniil Kvyat – 1:10.686 – 48 laps
  13. Marcus Ericsson – 1:10.744 – 40 laps
  14. Valtteri Bottas – 1:10.746 – 34 laps
  15. Felipe Massa – 1:11.011 – 42 laps
  16. Fernando Alonso – 1:11.517 – 17 laps
  17. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:11.676 – 38 laps
  18. Jenson Button – 1:11.919 – 17 laps
  19. Will Stevens – 1:12.522 – 34 laps
  20. Roberto Merhi – 1:13.094 – 34 laps

Nico Rosberg leads the way in Austrian FP1

Nico Rosberg topped the times in the first free practice session for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Last year’s race winner finished three tenths clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton while Kimi Raikkonen was sixth tenths off the lead Mercedes in third.

After the installation runs and laps, Rosberg led the times on the extra tyre compound with a 1:11.389. Sebastian Vettel came to a stop on track after just four laps, revealing to the team that he had “lost drive”. In the pit-lane there was drama as Felipe Massa narrowly avoided hitting Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene as he crossed to the pit wall. 2014 pole sitter Massa went on to finish the session in ninth place while team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fourth.

Jolyon Palmer was in action for Lotus while Romain Grosjean watched the action from the pit wall. He ended the session in 14th just hundredths of a second shy of team-mate Pastor Maldonado. Max Verstappen struggled with the handling of his car throughout the session while Jenson Button struggled with tyre temperature. Button’s team-mate Fernando Alonso had issues of his own early on when he was forced to coast back to the pit-lane after an electrical harness connection issue following his installation lap. Despite what the team described as a “minor gearbox issue” he was able to get back on track but just completed 10 laps.

Free Practice 1 results:

  1. Nico Rosberg – 1:10.401 – 36 laps
  2. Lewis Hamilton – 1:10.709 – 28 laps
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:11.028 – 22 laps
  4. Valtteri Bottas – 1:11.452 – 26 laps
  5. Felipe Nasr – 1:11.633 – 28 laps
  6. Danil Kvyat – 1:11.642 – 31 laps
  7. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:11.724 – 29 laps
  8. Max Verstappen – 1:11.825 – 38 laps
  9. Felipe Massa – 1:11.890 – 29 laps
  10. Sergio Perez – 1:11.905 – 37 laps
  11. Carlos Sainz – 1:11.948 – 32 laps
  12. Pastor Maldonado – 1:12.004 – 34 laps
  13. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:12.031 – 36 laps
  14. Jolyon Palmer – 1:12.050 – 27 laps
  15. Marcus Ericsson – 1:12.159 – 30 laps
  16. Jenson Button – 1:12.920 – 30 laps
  17. Fernando Alonso – 1:13.272 – 10 laps
  18. Will Stevens – 1:13.937 – 29 laps
  19. Roberto Merhi – 1:15.459 – 11 laps
  20. Sebastian Vettel – 1:15.684 – 4 laps