Two for Derek McGee at Faugheen 50

Derek McGee came away from last weekend’s Faugheen 50 with two race wins.

The Co. Tipperary race meeting featured 13 races and saw the likes of McGee go head-to-head with Derek Sheils, Michael Sweeney and Paul Jordan amongst others.

Sweeney won the six lap Supertwin race, beating pole man Sheils by 1.214 seconds. In third was Paul Jordan ahead of Michal Dokoupil and Andy Farrell. Adam McLean, Philip Crosbie, Paul O’Rourke, Jordan McFerran and Veronika Hakocyova also featured in the top ten. The Non Championship Supertwin race was won by David Howard who beat Cathal Phelan and Thomas Whitmore.

Jordan was victorious in the 125cc/Moto 3 Championship race as he raced to a three second victory over McLean. Nigel Moore and Callum Laidlaw were the two other finishers in the race.

In the Open Championship Sheils narrowly beat McGee by just four tenths of a second. The top six all finished in the order they started. In third place was Brian McCormack who finished ahead of Sweeney, Jordan and John Horgan.

Philip Crosbie won the 201-400cc Championship race by just three tenths of a second after six laps. Paul O’Rourke finished in third just over a second off the winner. McFerran and Andy McAllister rounded out the top five. Neil Kernohan beat Dokoupil and Darryl Tweed in the 250/400cc Championship race while Horgan won the Non Championship race as well as the Senior Support class.

McGee’s first of two victories came in the Supersport class where he beat Sheils and Sweeney. Jordan was fourth ahead of Dokoupil, McCormack, Farrell, and James Kelly. Also in the top ten were Graham Kennedy and Walsh. His second came in the Grand Final, although it was a narrow three tenths win over Sheils. McCormack finished in third place. Sweeney came home in fourth ahead of Jordan, Walsh, Farrell, Kennedy, Sean Connolly, and Paul Fallon.

The Classics were also in action with Sean Leonard and Robert McCrum the victors in the Junior and Senior classes respectively. In Junior Classic Leonard beat Sam Kinkead and Philip Shaw. McCrum finished ahead of Richard Ford and Ed Manly.

Brian Coomey and Noel Carroll were injured in a practice accident and both were airlifted to Cork Hospital. Coomey is still in a coma in intensive care. Seamus Elliott was also seriously injured during the event – after an accident in the Open race. He remains in an induced coma at Cork Hospital after suffering head injuries as well as multiple fractures. The latest news suggests an improvement in his condition.

 

Michael Dunlop crowned Solo champion at Southern 100

Following his record breaking form at this year’s Isle of Man TT, Michael Dunlop returned to the island and was crowned Solo champion at the Southern 100.

The BMW rider beat Dean Harrison in the Solo Championship race and also took victories in the Open race and the two Superbike races, enjoying a successful week at the Billown circuit.

In the Open race, Dunlop raced to a 12 second victory over Ivan Lintin with Dan Kneen finishing third on his return to racing. Jamie Coward and Dan Hegarty were fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of Alan Bonner, Ryan Kneen, Davy Morgan and Mark Parrett. James Cowton was the leading 600 rider home.

Darryl Tweed won the first 125/400cc race comfortably beating Dan Sayle in the process. Adrian Kershaw finished third ahead of Adam McLean, Mick Goodings and Paul Gartland. The second race in that class was won by Seamus Elliott while Tweed had to settle for second. Kershaw was third once again.

Dunlop showed he was the Superbike form man with two strong wins in the class. In the first race he beat Dan Kneen by over 25 seconds with Lintin coming home third. Elliott was fourth while Anthony Redmond finished fifth. The second race was red flagged following an incident involving Bonner. He thankfully escaped serious injury but suffered an injury to his hand. When the race restarted a number of riders opted not to take the start. Dunlop won, beating Ryan Kneen and Hegarty.

Bonner’s team-mate Lintin enjoyed success in both 250/650cc races. He beat Rob Hodson in the first with Rhys Hardistry – on a 250cc – in third. Lintin beat Cowton and Hodson in the second race.

Harrison won both Supersport races, beating Lintin by just 0.037 seconds in the first. Colin Stephenson finished third ahead of Cowton, Hodson, Brendan Fargher, and Tweed. McLean was eighth ahead of Jamie Williams and Brad Vicars. Harrison was victorious in the second race as well, this time by five seconds over Coward, Cowton, Lintin and Stephenson. The B race was won by Thomas Gottschalk with Dave Quirk second and James Hinchliffe third.

The Championship races were won by Dunlop and the Sidecar pairing of Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance. Dunlop beat Harrison and Lintin in the Solo Championship race with Dan Kneen, Coward, Elliott, Hegarty, Davy Morgan, Parrett, and Redmond rounding out the top ten.

Reeves and Farrance won both Sidecar races. They beat Dave Molyneux & Dan Sayle and Ben Birchall & Tom Birchall in the first. The second race saw the Birchall partnership move up to second while TT winners John Holden & Andy Winkle finished in third.

 

Dunlop, McGee and Sheils amongst Walderstown winners

Michael Dunlop, Derek McGee and Derek Sheils were amongst the race winners at last weekend’s racing at Walderstown – the Race of the South.

A number of the top road racers contested a 11 race schedule. Paul Jordan took his first Supertwins victory, beating Sheils by just four tenths of a second. Sheils started from pole and there was a three way scrap for the win between himself, Jordan and Michael Sweeney. The red flag was brought out on the sixth lap, due to an incident between Sweeney and a backmarker, bringing the results back a lap meaning Jordan was given the win. Andy Farrell joined Jordan and Sheils on the podium with Michal Dokoupil fourth, narrowly beating James Chawke.

The Open race was won by Michael Dunlop with Sheils having to settle for second. He had led much of the race, having started from pole position, but backmarkers cost him. He finished just sixth tenths down on Dunlop with McGee in third. William Dunlop finished in fourth – where he spent all of the race – with Sweeney fifth and Kevin Fitzpatrick sixth.

It was a pole position for McGee in the Supersport class and he went on to win the race by 2.4 seconds from William Dunlop. James Kelly was three seconds back in third with Sheils and Jordan in close pursuit in fourth and fifth respectively. Sweeney finished sixth ahead of Thomas Maxwell, Graham Kennedy, John Walsh and Matthew Rees.

After losing out in the Open race, Sheils fought back in the Grand Final to beat the Dunlop brothers. He started second and overhauled Michael Dunlop to lead the last four laps. Dunlop had to settle for second, 2.4 seconds back, with William Dunlop picking up another podium in third. McGee was fourth ahead of Seamus Elliott, Brian McCormack, and Maxwell. Fitzpatrick, Sweeney and James Kelly rounded out the top ten finishers.

Elsewhere James Chawke won both the Championship and Non Championship Junior Support races. In the Non Championship race he beat Philip Crosbie comfortably by 12 seconds with Tommy Heaphy third. It was the same top two in the second race but this time with Brian Loughlin in third. Senior Support was won by Michael Weldon ahead of Sean Connolly and John Horgan. Horgan won the Non Championship race, beating Weldon and Brian Coomey.

Newcomer to the track Dokoupil was victorious in the Junior 400 class ahead of Elliott by just five tenths of a second. Mark Shiels finished in third place. In the Classics Barry Davidson won the Junior race ahead of Sean Leonard and Brian Mateer. Richard Ford won the Senior Classic, beating Allan Brew and Ed Manly.

Dunlop brothers share spoils at Skerries 100

William and Michael Dunlop were both winners at last weekend’s Skerries 100 meeting.

William Dunlop was victorious in the Supersport class while Michael Dunlop won the Open Championship race. Adam McLean, Davy Morgan and Michael Sweeney were amongst the other race winners.

In the Open race Michael Dunlop came through from fourth to win, although only by five tenths of a second. The race was mostly led by Derek Sheils who lost out when it really mattered – on the last lap – and therefore had to settle for second. William Dunlop finished in third having had a few laps in second. Alan Bonner was fourth ahead of Michael Sweeney and Derek McGee in a closely fought battle. Seamus Elliott finished in seventh place ahead of John Walsh, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Morgan.

It was the turn of William Dunlop to win in the Supersport class and he led start to finish. He was closely followed by McGee throughout with the final gap between the pair standing at just three tenths of a second. Michael Dunlop was two seconds back from the winner in third with Sheils in fourth and Paul Jordan fifth. Sweeney, Walsh, and Morgan were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Andy Farrell and Michal Dokoupil rounded out the top ten.

Sweeney took a nine tenths victory in the Supertwins class, beating Sheils and Jordan. Dokoupil was fourth ahead of Farrell, Paul Gartland, Mark Sheils, and Graham Kennedy. Jason Cash and Paul O’Rourke completed the top ten.

Adam McLean won the 125cc/Moto 3 class, although the only Moto 3 bike – ridden by Melissa Kennedy – failed to finish. It was another narrow victory with McLean just five tenths clear of McGee who had led in the early stages. Jordan picked up another podium with a third place finish while Nigel Moore came home in fourth. Neil Kernohan was fifth ahead of Sam Wilson, Gary Dunlop, – wearing his father Joey’s helmet on the 16th anniversary of his death – Ed Manly, Sam Dunlop and Sean Leonard.

Morgan comfortably won the 250/400 Championship race beating Elliott and Dokoupil. Darryl Tweed finished in fourth with Kernohan in fifth. Morgan, Kernohan, John Ella, and Tommy Henry were the four 250cc riders and finished in that order. In the overall race Ella was eighth with Henry tenth. McGee was the leading 400cc bike home ahead of Dokoupil, Tweed, David Howard, Paul Gartland, and Brendan Merrigan in that class.

Elsewhere Cash took the victory by seven seconds in the Junior Support race ahead of Philip Crosbie and Veronika Hankocyova. Farrell won the Open Non Qualifiers race from Sean Connolly and Stephen Casey. The Supersport Non Qualifiers race was won by Howard with David Lumsden and Connolly completing the podium positions.

In the Classics it was once again Barry Davidson winning the Junior Classic race, beating Leonard and Allan Brew. Manly won the Senior Classic race beating Robert McCrum and Brew. The Grand Final was called off due to the weather conditions.

The next Irish road racing action is this upcoming weekend at Walderstown.

Dean Harrison cleans up at Cock o’the North

Dean Harrison was the clear dominant force at last weekend’s racing at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, retaining the Cock o’the North title for the third year running.

He took seven wins from seven starts including winning the feature Cock o’the North race. Other winners over the two day event included Ivan Lintin, Paul Owen and Bradley Vicars.

While the Kells Road Races in Ireland were called off due to adverse weather conditions, the racing at Scarborough went full steam ahead with 22 races run over the two days. Silicone Engineering rider Harrison arrived at the event off the back of a successful fortnight at the Isle of Man TT which yielded podium finishes and second place in the Joey Dunlop Championship.He also came into the weekend having taken a hat-trick of victories at the Spring Cup earlier in the year.

Harrison opened his account with a win in the first leg of the Junior A race, beating Daley Mathison by a comfortable ten seconds with James Cowton third. Mick Goodings and Barry Evans completed the top five. In the corresponding Junior B race Vicars took his first victory of the meeting, also by ten seconds, with Kevin De Frenne second and Gary Graves in third. It was the same duo winning the second legs of each race, with Tom Weeden joining Harrison and Mathison on the podium for the A race. Robin Howells was third in Junior B.

There was another win for Harrison in the Solo Open A race, beating Lintin and Mathison as Callum Ward won the B race. De Frenne was on the podium again and the leading two were joined by Laurent Hoffmann on the podium. Again Harrison doubled up, winning the second leg ahead of Lintin and Mathison. Vicars won the second leg of the B race ahead of Ward and De Frenne.

In the Lightweight class, Paul Owen and Phil Stead shared the spoils with a win each in the two races. Owen beat Daniel Frear by 9.4 seconds in race one with Justin Waring in third. Stead won the second by 19.6 seconds over Alistair Haworth and Paul Gartland. Ian Lougher was victorious in the Ultra Lightweight class ahead of Tony Flinton, Phil Harvey and Ian Stanford. Owen beat Stead and Raymond Tulett in Classic F2. In the second leg, Stead was the overall winner from Owen and Lougher.

Super Lightweight – or Supertwins as they are more commonly known – was won by Lintin in both legs, fresh off the back of his second TT victory in the class. He beat James Cowton by nearly half a minute with Julian Tillotson third. Adam Child was just three tenths further back in fourth ahead of Weeden in fifth. Cowton joined Lintin on the podium for the second leg, this time with Jamie Coward third.

There was a win for Coward in Classic Superbike F1, ahead of David Bell and Peter Boast in race one. In the second leg he beat Boast and Mark Goodings, with Vicars in fourth.

Elsewhere Dave Wallis and Harry Payne won two of three F2 Sidecar races. It was the narrowest of margins – 0.021s – over Steve and Matty Ramsden in the first leg, with Lee Crawford and Sam Christie in third. The Ramsden partnership won the second race ahead of Wallis and Payne with Crawford and Christie again in third. In the third leg Crawford and Christie moved into second ahead of Dean Lindley and Rob Bell.

For Harrison there were further wins in both Senior races and the feature Cock o’the North race. The first leg of the Senior race – held over five laps – saw him beat Lintin by 6.9 seconds with Mathison third. The second leg featured the same podium although Harrison’s advantage was stretched to 17.2 seconds. The Grand Final was an 8.8 second victory over Lintin, with Mathison a further seven seconds back. Alan Bonner finished in fourth ahead of Mick Goodings, Cowton, Weeden, Coward, Vicars and Jamie Williams.

The Barry Sheene Festival will be held at the circuit on 23rd and 24th July.

Kells Road Races rained off

The Kells Road Races – held at Crossakiel in County Meath – were called off at the weekend due to adverse weather conditions.

There was a full two day schedule and practice was able to take place on Saturday. Heavy rain overnight left race organisers with a difficult decision to make. Racing was initially delayed before being completely called off. There were large puddles on track which caused safety concerns for the riders.

On Saturday practice sessions took place ahead of the nine scheduled races for Sunday. It was William Dunlop, who won twice at the Post-TT races at the Billown Circuit, who qualified on pole position for the Carole Nash Grand Final. He was ahead of Michael Sweeney and Derek Sheils in the times. It was Derek McGee who qualified on pole for the Supersport class, pipping Dunlop and Sheils to the fastest time. Elsewhere Adam McLean set the pace in Moto 3/125cc qualifying.

 

Richard Ford was awarded Man of the Meeting following his wins in the Junior and Senior Classic races, which were run in better conditions on Saturday evening.

2016: Isle of Man TT Round-Up

The 2016 Isle of Man TT is one that will not be forgotten in a hurry. Conditions were ideal on the Island meaning lap records were smashed – both unofficially in practice and officially during the race.

Michael Dunlop completed the first sub 17 minute lap of the Mountain course and a lap of 133.962mph! The Ulster Grand Prix can sleep easy for now, however, as the world’s fastest road race title still belongs to them as Dunlop narrowly missed their fastest lap which stands at 133.977mph.

It was a TT that saw Ian Hutchinson and Dunlop go head-to-head as the pair battled for supremacy.

It was 1-0 to Dunlop following the first race. The pair had been swapping fast lap times during practice week – Dunlop in the Superbike class and Hutchinson blitzing the field on his Superstock. Dunlop won the opening Superbike race – even completing a 133.393mph lap from a standing start – with nearly a 20 second advantage over Hutchinson. John McGuinness completed the podium on his 20th anniversary of racing at the TT.

Then it was advantage Hutchinson for a few races. The most successful man in the Supersport class at the TT continued his form from last year by winning both races in the class again this year. The first one saw him cruise to a 14 second victory over Dunlop, although the Ballymoney man was later disqualified. Dean Harrison was then awarded second – 38 seconds down on the leader – with James Hillier in third. It was the same trio in the winner’s enclosure following the Superstock race with Hutchinson victorious once again.

The second Supersport race win saw Hutchinson draw level with Mike Hailwood in terms of TT victories – both riders on 14. He this time beat Dunlop by 17.5 seconds with Harrison again on the podium.

On Wednesday Ivan Lintin became a two time TT winner after another Lightweight win. It was a battle between himself and Hillier, the latter of the pair leading the race for the first lap and a half. The eventual winning margin for Lintin was just over 12 seconds with Hillier in second. The battle for third was close fought with any one of Gary Johnson, Martin Jessopp and Stefano Bonetti possible podium finishers. A slow stop compromised Johnson and it was Jessopp who got his first ever TT podium. Bonetti finished a career best fifth at the TT – his previous best having been 12th.

Bruce Anstey – who was riding with an injury following an off in practice – continued his TT podium record by securing victory in the TT Zero race. He has had at least one podium at every TT since his debut in 2002. Just seven riders started TT Zero with five finishers. Anstey beat William Dunlop – also injured from a practice accident – and Daley Mathison, another first time podium finisher. Race favourite John McGuinness was fourth ahead of Allann Venter.

In the Sidecar class the partnerships of John Holden and Andrew Winkle, and Ben and Tom Birchall were both successful. Holden and Winkle won the first Sidecar race although it had been the Birchall’s race to lose before they unfortunately retired on the last lap. Brothers Peter and Alan Founds both finished on the podium in the first race with their respective passengers of Jevan Walmsley and Aki Aalto. There was success for the Birchall pairing in race two, however, as they made it to the end and won.  They beat Holden and Winkle, with Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance joining them on the podium.

After all that it was time for the big one – the Senior TT. It was advantage Dunlop all the way as he stormed to victory. The lead was nearly two seconds at Glen Helen on the first lap and while it fluctuated throughout the race it ultimately grew. It was McGuinness’ team who pulled out all the stops in the pits, but it was not enough to do anything to stop Dunlop who won by 31 seconds in the end. Hutchinson was second with McGuinness in third. Harrison was just outside the top three, finishing fourth, ahead of Anstey, Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Lee Johnston, James Hillier and Ivan Lintin who completed the top ten.

It wasn’t a week without sadness as four competitors lost their lives at this year’s TT. Sidecar riders Dwight Beare and Ian Bell died following incidents in race one and two respectively. Beare’s passenger Benjamin Binns has been transferred to Liverpool hospital with leg injuries. Bell’s passenger – and son – Carl Bell was reported to be uninjured.

Paul Shoesmith – a team owner and racer – lost his life during a practice lap following racing on the first Saturday. He was posthumously awarded the ‘Spirit of the TT’ award which was presented to his family.  Andrew Soar also died following an incident in the Senior TT.  Thoughts remain with the families and friends of those we have lost.

Hutchinson wrapped up the Joey Dunlop Championship, while Dan Hegarty won the Privateers, and Holden and Winkle the Sidecars.

Not even a week after the dust settled at the Isle of Man TT, many riders will be in action this weekend at the Kells Road Races in Ireland and the Cock O’The North at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough.