Dunlop brothers win at Armoy Road Races

Michael Dunlop was the victorious rider in the feature race at last weekend’s Armoy Road Races.

Dunlop beat Guy Martin in the Race of Legends Grand Final, crossing the line over two seconds clear of the Tyco BMW rider. Dean Harrison rounded off a successful weekend with third place ahead of William Dunlop, Derek McGee, Seamus Elliott, – making his Wilson Craig debut – Andy Lawson, John Walsh, Davy Morgan and Thomas Maxwell.

Earlier in the day Martin had led home a Tyco BMW 1-2 in the first Superbike race, finishing ahead of team-mate William Dunlop, with Derek Sheils in third. Michael Dunlop was fourth ahead of Harrison, Ryan Farquhar and Lawson, who was the leader from the second group. Morgan was eighth ahead of Walsh and Maxwell. Martin also set the fastest lap of the race on his way to the victory.

Racing had commenced on Friday evening with William Dunlop winning the Supersport race by nearly 3.5 seconds from Martin. Dunlop was on his CD Racing Yamaha while Martin was racing a Tyco Suzuki. Harrison finished third ahead of a returning Keith Amor. McGee finished in fifth place with Sheils in sixth and Elliott seventh. Lawson and James Cowton came from the second group to finish eighth and ninth respectively, in front of lead group rider Billy Redmayne. The second Supersport race was run on Saturday and was once again won by Dunlop, again ahead of Martin and Harrison. The latter two on the podium were separated by just 0.034s as they crossed the line. The rest of the top ten was completed by McGee, Sheils, Elliott, Lawson, Redmayne, Connor Behan, and Christian Elkin.

Farquhar beat McGee to victory in the Supertwins race on Saturday with Behan crossing the line in third. Cowton finished ahead of Elkin, Paul Jordan, Lawson, Michal Dokoupil, Andy Farrell, and Darren James. Martin had been due to race in the Supertwins class, riding Jamie Hamilton’s BE Racing bike but he encountered problems on Friday.

Elsewhere Jordan took victory in the Moto 3/125cc race beating Sam Wilson and Nigel Moore. Adam McLean, Sam Dunlop, James Kelly, Neil Kernohan, Sean Leonard, Derek Clark, and Craig Gibson were the other top ten finishers. Wilson won the 250cc race ahead of Michael Dunlop and Paul Robinson. Dunlop was standing in for Michael Sweeney on the BE Racing bike. Stephen Davison won the Non-Qualifiers race.

Junior Support was won by McLean who beat Brian Coomey and Timothy Elwood, while Kevin Fitzpatrick beat Ryan Maher and Dean Campbell in Senior Support. Barry Davidson added another win in the 250cc/350cc Classic class to his tally, beating Mark Johnson and George Stinson. The 500cc/1000cc Classic race was won by Richard Ford who finished ahead of Freddie Stewart and Billy Lyle.

There was a lengthy delay following a red flag in the 400cc race, which was won by Dokoupil. Local rider Ian Simpson was airlifted to hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition. The race was red flagged following five racing laps and the results were declared from the end of the fourth lap which was Elliott in second and David Howard finishing third.

Attention now turns to the Ulster Grand Prix with bike week kicking off on Monday.

Two for Dean Harrison at truncated Cock O’the North races in Scarborough

Dean Harrison was victorious in two races at last weekend’s Cock O’The North race meeting at the Oliver’s Mount circuit in Scarborough.

The event already had racing compressed to one day to road closure restrictions and had been due to feature 12 races but only five took place following a huge oil spill in the Sidecar race.

First up were the Lightweights and Super Lightweights. Ivan Lintin took victory in the Lightweight class, beating James Cowton and Jamie Coward – a replication of the podium in the same class at last week’s Southern 100. Alistair Haworth took a commanding win in the Super Lightweight class, finishing over 30 seconds clear of Daniel Frear with Tony Flinton in third. In what was supposed to be the first leg of the Senior class Harrison was victorious, beating Lintin and Lee Johnston. Daley Mathison was fourth ahead of Cowton, Mick Goodings, Mark Goodings, Darren Cooper, Dave Hewson, and Julian Tillotson. Harrison doubled up with a win in the Supersport class as well, this time beating Johnston and Tom Weeden.

In the Classic F1 & F2 race Coward won the F1 class ahead of David Bell with Paul Coward in third. Paul Owen won the F2 class beating Rhys Hardistry and Phil Holmes. In the final race of the day, which resulted in the oil spill, Ian and Carl Bell won the Sidecars ahead of Conrad Harrison with passenger Lee Patterson. Dean Lindley and Rob Bell completed the rostrum positions.

The oil spill proved to be too big to clean up and with rider safety a paramount, the rest of the days racing was called off.

William Dunlop doubles up at Walderstown

William Dunlop took two wins at the weekend when he won both the Supersport and Grand Final races at Walderstown.

In the Supersport race Dunlop beat Seamus Elliott – who won the corresponding race at last week’s Southern 100 – by just over two seconds, with Derek McGee coming home in third. Derek Sheils was fourth ahead of Connor Behan, John Walsh, Andy Farrell, Graham Kennedy, Thomas Maxwell, and Ryan Maher.

It was McGee who took victory in the Supertwins race by nine hundredths of a second over Behan. Farrell took third ahead of Maria Costello, Alan Kenny, David Lumsden, Mark Sheils, Paul Gartland, James Chawke and Noel Bertram. Sean Connolly won the non championship Supertwins race, beating Martin Currams and Donnchadh Healy to the chequered flag. Elsewhere David Howard won the 400cc Championship race ahead of Elliott and Gartland. Howard’s winning advantage was three tenths of a second.

Brian Coomey won the 201cc-400cc Non Championship race ahead of Chawke and Bertram while Martin Currams won the B race. Healy was second and Thomas McEvoy came home in third. Kevin Fitzpatrick took victory in the Senior Support championship race beating Seanie Smith and Dean Campbell. Fitzpatrick also won the B race this time beating Timmy Elwood and Dean Campbell. Barry Davidson secured the win in the 250cc – 350cc Classic race by over seven seconds from Sean Leonard and Herbie Ronan. Robert McCrum won the 500cc – 1000cc Classic race, beating Freddie Stewart and Allan Brew.

In the Open Championship race it was Sheils who beat McGee and Dunlop to victory. The top three were separated by just over three seconds and it was Dunlop who set the fastest lap of the race on the fourth tour. Kenny was fourth ahead of Walsh, Brian McCormack, Elliott, Behan, Kennedy, and Maxwell. Following his win in the Supersport class, Dunlop doubled up by winning the Grand Final – his first ‘big bike’ victory since the Tandragee 100 for Tyco BMW.  It was a close fought affair as the top three – completed by McGee and Sheils – were separated by just six tenths of a second. McCormack was in fourth place 15 seconds down on the top three, with Walsh, Kenny, and Elliott who were fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Behan came home in eighth ahead of Kennedy and Maxwell.

Guy Martin retains Solo Championship at Southern 100 for third year running

Guy Martin has won the Solo Championship race at the Southern 100 for the third consecutive year.

The Tyco BMW rider took victory in the Senior race beating Michael Dunlop by just under a tenth of a second with Dean Harrison – who won five races at last year’s event – coming home in third ahead of Dan Kneen. Ivan Lintin, James Cowton, and Jamie Coward were fifth, sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Billy Redmayne, Anthony Redmond and Michael Russell. He then went on to win the Solo Championship race beating Kneen and Lintin. Dunlop had been running in third place but crashed out, leaving it to Martin and Kneen to battle it out for the race win. In the end Martin’s winning advantage over the Padgetts rider was just seven tenths of a second. Behind the top three Russ Mountford was fourth ahead of Cowton, Coward, Mark Goodings, Redmayne, Mark Parrett and Russell.

TT winner Lintin beat Cowton to victory in the first Supertwins race while Coward rounded out the podium finishers. Also in the top ten of the race were Russell, Andrew Dudgeon, Redmond, Dave Moffitt, Dean Osborne, Seamus Elliott, and Callum Laidlaw. Elliott then went on to take the win in the Supersport race. Harrison had been leading the race but when he retired on the final lap, it was Elliott who was in the right place at the right time to take advantage and secure the victory, holding off Mountford and Kneen. It has since been confirmed that Elliott will ride for the Wilson Craig team at the upcoming Armoy Road Races. The top four riders – which also featured Lintin – were separated by under five seconds as they crossed the line. Coward was fifth, ahead of Redmayne, Joe Newbould, Dudgeon, Rob Hodson and Paul Smyth. Lintin doubled up with a win in the second Supertwin race, again flanked by Cowton and Coward.

Having retired from the first Supersport race while leading, Harrison secured victory in the second race beating Lintin and Kneen. Cowton was fourth ahead of race one winner Elliott. Mountford, Redmayne, Newbould, and Hodson were sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively while Dudgeon rounded out the top ten. The Supersport B race was comfortably won by Davy Morgan with Jonathan Howarth and Brad Vicars in second and third.

The 600/1000cc race was red flagged after just one lap on its initial run and it had been Martin who had been leading. In the re-run race it was Dunlop who took the victory but by the narrowest of margins, ahead of Martin and with Harrison finishing in third. Kneen was fourth ahead of Lintin, Mountford, Coward, Goodings, Elliott and Cowton. Alistair Haworth comfortably beat Adrian Kershaw in the 125/400cc race with Dave Corlett in third. Paul Robinson was fourth ahead of Paul Smyth and Mark Goodings, while Dave Taylor, Scott Miller, Tony Limer and Tom Snow rounded out the top ten.

It wasn’t just solo riders in action at the Billown circuit as Sidecars also took to the track. Their first race was won by Tim Reeves with passenger Mark Wilkes. They finished ahead of Ian and Carl Bell in second with John Holden and Dan Sayle coming home in third. Reeves and Wilkes then took victory in the Championship race, this time with Holden and Sayle second and Ian and Carl Bell third.

Two wins for Derek Sheils as tragedy overshadows Skerries 100

Derek Sheils doubled up with victories in both the Open race and Grand Final at the Skerries 100 this weekend.

The race meeting was overshadowed by the death of Dr John Hinds, one of the travelling doctors who attended Irish road races and saved a lot of riders lives over the years. He worked as a hospital consultant and was highly regarded by many in the medical field. He suffered a serious accident on Friday evening, during the practice sessions for the event, and sadly passed away on Saturday morning. He was an active campaigner for an air ambulance in Northern Ireland and a petition set up following his death has received over 25,000 signatures already. Dr John will be greatly missed by all and my thoughts remain with his family and friends at this very difficult time.

A number of riders including William and Michael Dunlop, Derek McGee, Sheils and Kells winner Alan Bonner were in action. It was Michael Dunlop’s first race meeting since the injuries he sustained at this year’s Isle of Man TT and it was his brother William’s first race out on the Superbike following his own TT accident.

McGee took a very comfortable victory in the Supertwins class, beating Paul Jordan by over 11 seconds while Michal Dokoupil came home in third just over a tenth of a second off Jordan. Bonner narrowly missed out on a podium spot, finishing ahead of Andy Farrell, Paul Gartland, David Lumsden, Mark Sheils, Brian Coomey and Callum Laidlaw. It was William Dunlop who took the win in the Supersport class finishing just shy of two seconds clear of McGee. McGee was riding his own bike following an amicable split with Wilson Craig Racing last week. Seamus Elliott joined the pair on the podium with John Walsh fourth and Farrell fifth. Thomas Maxwell was sixth ahead of Graham Kennedy, Dokoupil, Paul Cranston, and Stephen Procter.

In the Open race Sheils took a narrow victory over William Dunlop with the gap just four tenths between the pair. Bonner finished in third ahead of McGee, Walsh, Elliott, and Farrell. Alan Connor, Maxwell, and Jordan rounded out the top ten. Sheils doubled up with a win in the Grand Final race, once again beating Dunlop with Walsh on the podium this time. Michael Dunlop was fourth ahead of Elliott, Farrell, Connor, Dokoupil and Cranston.

Barry Davidson beat Ed Manly and Sean Leonard in the 250cc-350cc Classic race while Robert McCrum was victorious in the 500cc-1000cc Classic race. He beat Richard Ford and Manly. Senior Support was won by Procter who beat Kevin Fitzpatrick and Timmy Elwood. Elwood went on to win the Non Championship Support Junior races, beating Jason Cash and John Horgan. There was a win for Jordan in the 125cc/Moto 3 race, beating Paul Robinson and Nigel Moore while Tommy Henry beat Brian Coomey and Noel Bertram to the 201cc-400cc race victory. The Junior 250cc/400cc Championship race was won by Sam Wilson, with Neil Kernoghan and Dokoupil joining him on the podium.

The next Irish road racing action will take place at Walderstown in a fortnights time, while racing commences this week at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man.

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.