Tag: Dundrod

Three for Peter Hickman at Ulster Grand Prix as Dean Harrison sets new lap record

Three for Peter Hickman at Ulster Grand Prix as Dean Harrison sets new lap record

Peter Hickman has come away from the 2017 Ulster Grand Prix as Man of the Meeting after taking three victories. It was Dean Harrison, however, who set a new lap record of 134.614mph – beating the record of 134.089mph set by Ian Hutchinson in 2016.

Hickman signified he was the man to beat in practice when he secured pole position for the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport races. He then went on to win the Dundrod 150 Superbike race although Harrison was not far behind.

First up was the Superstock race and Hickman opened his account with a 4.674 second victory over Harrison on his Smith’s BMW. Harrison and Dan Kneen were separated by just four hundredths of a second on the line, with Kneen taking a podium on his first International appearance for Tyco BMW. David Johnson finished in fourth ahead of Conor Cummins and Jamie Coward. Michael Dunlop was seventh, ahead of Ivan Lintin, Dan Cooper, and Daley Mathison.

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Lee Johnston

Switching to his Trooper Beer Triumph, Hickman was victorious again – this time in the Supersport race. He battled with Bruce Anstey throughout the race with the winning margin just a tenth of a second. Lee Johnston was third on his return to racing following his crash at the Isle of Man TT. He was less than a second behind the leading duo. Harrison finished in fourth just ahead of William Dunlop who was riding with a wrist injury. Dunlop’s injury had led him to withdraw from the ‘big bike’ races but he put in a competitive performance for fifth ahead of his brother Michael. Cummins was seventh, Derek McGee eighth, Coward ninth and Adam McLean tenth.

There was a popular victory for Davy Morgan in the Ultra Lightweight/Lightweight race. He beat fellow paddock veteran Paul Owen by over four seconds with Callum Laidlaw coming home in third place. Race favourite Anstey retired after just a lap with Neil Kernohan also retiring. The two had stood on the top two steps of the podium in the corresponding Dundrod 150 race. David Howard and Paul Gartland were fourth and fifth respectively. In the Ultra Lightweight class Paul Robinson beat Christian Elkin and Joey Thompson. McLean was fourth and Gary Dunlop fifth.

It was Hickman and Anstey once again leading the charge in the Superbike race, with the pair switching positions throughout. It was eventually a last lap overtake which saw Anstey take the win – his 13th at Dundrod. Hickman was just two tenths behind with Harrison – along with the new lap record- in third. Kneen was once again just hundredths behind Harrison and only marginally ahead of Cummins at the chequered flag. Sheils came home in sixth place ahead of Johnson and Coward. Sam West and Mathison rounded out the top ten finishers.

The fifth race of the day – the second Supersport race – brought out the first red flag of the day following an incident. When it was restarted it proved to be another close affair with the resulting podium the same as in the first Supersport race. Hickman beat Anstey and Johnston with the margin between the top four just over a second. M Dunlop was fourth ahead of Paul Jordan, Coward, Elkin, Cooper and Cowton. Thompson finished in tenth place.

There was another new lap record, this time in the Supertwin class with Ivan Lintin winning. His 120.402mph lap beat the previous Supertwin lap record of 118.735mph. It was yet another narrow margin of victory as he beat Cooper by just two hundredths of a second. There was a podium for McLean who has impressed on the roads this year. Sheils racked up another top five finish in fourth with Elkin fifth and James Cowton sixth. Jonathan Perry and Paul Jordan were seventh and eighth respectively, ahead of Xavier Denis and Maria Costello.

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Kneen leads Harrison

The final race of the day – and the meeting – was the second Superbike race which promised to be another thriller. Unfortunately Hickman and Anstey were forced to retire – Hickman’s engine blew while Anstey retired to the pits – leaving Harrison, Kneen, Cummins and M Dunlop to battle it out. In the end the top three were separated by just three tenths of a second after an exhilarating race. Harrison and Kneen touched as Harrison sent a move up the inside but both continued and eventually Harrison was victorious. Kneen was second with Cummins coming home third. M Dunlop ended the day with a fourth place ahead of Sheils, Johnson and Coward. Sam West was eighth ahead of Lintin and Michael Sweeney.

 

Joey Thompson and Peter Hickman among Dundrod 150 race winners

Joey Thompson and Peter Hickman were among the race winners at this year’s Dundrod 150.

Thompson secured pole position for the Dundrod 150 National on his debut and went on to win following a three lap race. The race was red flagged and eventually declared a result, with Thompson being joined on the podium by fellow newcomers Davey Todd and Jonathan Perry.

Josh Daley was fourth – just over a second off a podium – ahead of Christian Schmitz, Michael Weldon, Glenn Walker and Kris Duncan. David Howard and Owen Graves rounded out the top ten finishers.

The race was red flagged following an incident involving two riders – later revealed to be brothers Rob and Jamie Hodson. Jamie sadly lost his life in hospital.

bruceanstey150Bruce Anstey romped to an impressive victory in the Lightweight class, beating Neil Kernohan by over 38 seconds. Davy Morgan was third ahead of Callum Laidlaw and Paul Owen. In the same race Paul Robinson won the Ultra Lightweight class beating Christian Elkin and Adam McLean. His advantage over Elkin at the line was just half a second.

The Challenge race was cancelled following two red flag incidents – one involving Gavin Lupton who is in a stable but critical condition in hospital.

Peterhickman150In the Superbike race it was Peter Hickman – who had dominated the practice sessions and secured pole position for Saturday’s Superstock, Superbike and Supersport races – who was victorious. Dean Harrison finished just over a second further back in second ahead of Anstey. Anstey and Dan Kneen – who finished fourth – were separated by mere hundredths of a second on the line. Michael Dunlop was fifth ahead of Lee Johnston, Derek Sheils, David Johnson, Daley Mathison, and Daniel Cooper.

134mph lap for Ian Hutchinson on way to  Ulster Grand Prix ‘Man of the Meeting’

134mph lap for Ian Hutchinson on way to Ulster Grand Prix ‘Man of the Meeting’

Ian Hutchinson was named Man of the Meeting at this year’s Ulster Grand Prix after four wins. He broke the lap record and in doing so became the world’s fastest road racer, beating Bruce Anstey’s six year record when he completed a 134.089mph lap.

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Gary Johnson stepped in to replace injured Lee Johnston

Win number one came in the opening race of the day – Superstock – where he beat Michael Dunlop and Dan Kneen. Backmarkers came into play in the final few laps and Hutchinson crossed the line with a two tenth advantage over Dunlop. Behind Kneen was Dean Harrison who finished just ahead of Conor Cummins. Last minute Lee Johnston replacement Gary Johnson came home in sixth place with Derek Sheils seventh, Steve Mercer eighth and Jamie Coward ninth. Bruce Anstey had an understated start to the day finishing in tenth place and 42 seconds off the race winner.

Anstey took victory in the first of two Supersport races, beating Hutchinson by just eight tenths. Cummins was third – securing a podium after fourth in the first race – ahead of Harrison and Kneen. William Dunlop finished in sixth ahead of Peter Hickman – who retired from the first race – and Derek McGee. Christian Elkin was ninth and Dan Cooper was tenth. There was a brief shower before the start of the race but conditions quickly improved. Anstey pulled away at the front but was reeled in by the end.

Following their battle in Thursday’s Lightweight race, Neil Kernohan was once again victorious over Davy Morgan. The gap was 17 seconds this time after a close hundredths of a second win on Thursday. Darryl Tweed finished in third ahead of Stephen Morrison and Paul Gartland. In the Ultralightweight class Elkin took a commanding 20 seconds win over Sam Wilson, with Paul Robinson in third. Gary Dunlop finished in fourth ahead of Nigel Moore.

Hutchinson took victory in the feature Ulster Grand Prix superbike race by just two tenths of a second over Anstey. Michael Dunlop had to settle for third ahead of Cummins and Harrison. Hickman suffered another disappointment retiring from the race after running in third place.

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Hutchinson took the lead when it counted

In the second Supersport race it was William Dunlop who led most of the way but lost out in the end, just before the Quarries. Hutchinson took his third win of the day by just a tenth of a second. Hickman finished in third, half a second down, ahead of Anstey, Cummins, Harrison and Johnson. Elkin was eighth, Cooper ninth and Paul Jordan. Patricia Fernandez finished in 27th place and became the fastest ever woman at a road race with a 118.261mph lap.

At the North West 200 Cooper got caught up in Ryan Farquhar’s accident, leaving him injured and not riding to his full potential at the Isle of Man TT. At the Ulster Grand Prix he finally took his first International victory, winning the Supertwins race from Sheils and James Cowton. It was another close race like at Armoy, with the top six separated by just two seconds. Jordan and Adam McLean were fourth and fifth respectively.

In the final Superbike race of the day it was once again between Hutchinson and Anstey – thrilling the fans on the RCV – with Michael Dunlop once again third. The race was red flagged following a highside by Dominic Herbertson – rider was OK – after the riders had completed six laps. Hutchinson completed a 134mph lap on his final tour, becoming the world’s fastest road racer. Cummins finished fourth ahead of Harrison, Kneen, Hickman, Johnson, Mercer and Sheils.

 

Ulster Grand Prix organisers announce revised race week schedule

The Ulster Grand Prix race organisers have announced tweaks to the schedule for this year’s event.

Race week, which will take place from the 8th to the 13th of August this year, will see some changes following difficulties in recent years.

Last year only one race of the Dundrod 150 planned programme was held which saw Bruce Anstey victorious in a truncated Superbike race. Following a number of red flags and lengthy delays throughout the Thursday morning practice sessions, organisers ran out of time to run the remaining four races in the evening.

This year will see the roads close on the Wednesday for an extra two hours of practice while Thursday will get an extra half an hour. It means that practice sessions for all classes can run on the Wednesday with more time on the Thursday for racing.

“By increasing the amount of practice time on the Wednesday we’ve been able to allow more time for the Dundrod 150 races on the Thursday,” Clerk of the Course Noel Johnston explained. “[We have done this] without cutting into anyone’s track time, and that’s good news for all parties. We’ve also decided to move the riders briefings forward from Wednesday to Tuesday, with newcomers in the morning and all other competitors in the evening, which will allow everyone more time to familiarise themselves with the circuit.”

Race organisers have also confirmed that the Joey Dunlop Grandstand on the start/finish straight will have 160 seats available this year.

 

 

2015: Ulster Grand Prix Preview

The world’s finest road racers are about to take to the track for the world’s fastest road race, with the start of the Ulster Grand Prix race week just days away.

Lap record holder Bruce Anstey will be joined by Ian Hutchinson, William and Michael Dunlop, and Guy Martin. Along with the likes of Keith Amor, Conor Cummins, Dean Harrison, Lee Johnston, Dan Kneen, Ivan Lintin, Peter Hickman, and Glenn Irwin it is a stellar line-up set to compete at the third International road racing event of the year.

Bike Week runs from 3rd – 8th August, with practice and racing taking place on the Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. A host of events are planned for the week and a programme of the schedule can be found on the Ulster Grand Prix official website. Practice sessions will take place on the Wednesday, with roads due to close at 12pm, with Dundrod 150 races taking place on Thursday along with further practice for the Ulster Grand Prix. Racing for the main event will take place on the Saturday. Roads are due to close at 10.30am on Thursday, opening again by 9.30pm while they will close at 8.30am on Saturday morning.

Last year Bruce Anstey was named Man of the Meeting, taking wins in both the Supersport and Superbike classes. There were difficult conditions on the Saturday and a number of red flags but there was some close racing including a 0.001 second victory for Dan Kneen over Dean Harrison in the Superstock race.  Anstey and Guy Martin went wheel to wheel in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race and the corresponding race in the Ulster Grand Prix. Martin took the laurels in the Dundrod 150 race, beating Anstey and Michael Dunlop, while Anstey overtook the Tyco Suzuki rider on the last lap of the Superbike race on Saturday. Lee Johnston finished in third place. The feature race and one of the Supersport races were later abandoned due to deteriorating weather conditions.

The most recent Irish National Road Race was at Armoy last weekend, where Michael and William Dunlop were amongst the race winners. Guy Martin was also in strong form, winning the first Superbike race ahead of his team-mate. Martin is the most successful current rider at the Ulster Grand Prix and he is one of the favourites to add further wins to his tally. There has been plenty of national action since the last international road race – the Isle of Man TT in June – as well as the Southern 100. At the North West 200 in May it may have been Alistair Seeley monopolising the top step of the podium, but riders including Lee Johnston and Glenn Irwin put in strong performances and they will be ones to watch this coming week. Irwin made his Ulster Grand Prix debut last year and this year will see him with John Burrows BE Racing team on the Supertwin. He is standing in for Jamie Hamilton who was seriously injured in an accident at the TT but is recovering well. Ian Hutchinson was back to winning ways at the TT – securing a hat-trick of victories – and he will no doubt be hoping to continue his strong form into the Ulster. Bruce Anstey can never be discounted as his impressive record of a podium finish at every North West 200, TT and Ulster Grand Prix since his 2002 proves. Another one to watch will be Peter Hickman who made his debut last year and completed a 131mph lap of the Dundrod circuit.

This year the Ulster Grand Prix has launched an app in association with FanZone which includes features such as allowing fans to arrange car shares and travel arrangements for the week. The app is available to download for free on both iOS and Android.

Wristbands for the week cost £25 and can be purchased from Lidl stores and road ends at the circuit, amongst other places.

Guy Martin takes Ulster Grand Prix hat-trick

Guy Martin has been crowned ‘Man of the Meeting’ at the Ulster Grand Prix. The Tyco Suzuki rider won three races on Saturday, including the feature Superbike race, as well as taking third in another. The results come after he signed a contract extension to stay with the team for 2014, which was announced on Friday to put an end to speculation. His wins see him move to fourth in the all-time list for wins at the Ulster, with 11 to his name. Michael and William Dunlop won one race apiece, with Ian Lougher and Ivan Lintin also victorious.

The day kicked off with a five lap practice session for the Superstock class after rain disrupted practice on Thursday. The first race of the day was the Barron Transport Services Supersport race, which Guy Martin had qualified on pole position for. He went on to win ahead of Bruce Anstey and Lee Johnston. This result ensured that New Zealander Anstey continued his impressive record of finishing on the podium at every North West 200, TT, and Ulster Grand Prix meeting in the past ten years. Michael Dunlop failed to finish the race after clutch problems, with Gary Johnson and Jamie Hamilton joining him on the sidelines.

After a damp start to the day, the sun came out and the track soon dried up. Next up for the riders was the Lisburn City Council Superstock race and, following his disappointment in race one, it was a successful outing for Michael Dunlop as he won ahead of Gary Johnson and Bruce Anstey. The Ultra-lightweight and Lightweight classes went out together and it proved to be a close race. It was red-flagged after Peter McKillop crashed out, and re-started as a three lap race. This allowed Jamie Hamilton, who had slid off at Leathemstown on the opening lap, to rejoin the pack and he went on to fight with Ivan Lintin right to the line. Lintin took his first International road race victory, but was just 0.048s clear of KMR Kawasaki rider Hamilton. Lee Johnston finished just a second back to take the third and final podium spot. Ian Lougher won the Ultra-lightweight class, on his last appearance at the Ulster GP, three tenths of a second ahead of Christian Elkin. Paul Jordan was a further 27 seconds down the field, but also finished on the podium.

The seven lap McKinstry Skip Hire Ulster Grand Prix was up next, the event’s main race. Michael Dunlop started on pole position but Guy Martin took the lead on the opening lap and stayed there for the duration of the race. He pulled out a comfortable lead but when they started to reach backmarkers, Dunlop was able to close the gap. It was a close run to the line but the Tyco Suzuki rider held on for the victory but just by under a tenth of a second. It was also a successful race for William Dunlop who finished on the podium. The second Supersport race came next, but the final race of the day was the second Superbike race. Michael Dunlop faced drama as he was wheeled off the grid before the race started. Guy Martin was again able to build up a comfortable lead initially ahead of Gary Johnson, who later retired from the race. William Dunlop also had problems, retiring on the penultimate lap, with his team-mate Conor Cummins going on to finish on the podium, just behind Bruce Anstey. There was a close battle within the top ten between Lee Johnston, Dean Harrison, Cameron Donald and Jamie Hamilton. Harrison, Donald and Hamilton swapped positions a few times, but ultimately Hamilton came out on top, securing a solid top five finish after his problems throughout the day.

The penultimate race of the meeting, however, provided the most thrilling moments of the day. The Ulster Grand Prix winner Guy Martin failed to start the race while Michael Dunlop had a disappointing race start. William Dunlop took the lead early on and finished the first lap ahead of Bruce Anstey and Connor Cummins. The leading duo pulled away and enjoyed a close battle that went right down to the wire. On the last lap it was Anstey who led but Dunlop was not letting him get away. Anstey ran wide, with Dunlop doing the same, allowing Anstey to get the run on him into the Quarries. However, the Milwaukee Yahama rider went round the outside at the final corner to win the race by 0.073s. Cummins held on to finish third.

After the Dundrod 150 races were cancelled by rain there were concerns that the Ulster Grand Prix could also be a washout. Earlier in the year the North West 200 was forced to cancel its races after adverse weather conditions. However, with the rain easing off for the start of the first race, it stayed away right until the end of the final race of the day and it proved to be a highly successful day. As well as the racing there were parade laps, with Bruce Anstey taking the legendary Britten V1000 for a lap around Dundrod.

A number of the riders who were present at the Ulster Grand Prix have headed straight to the Isle of Man in prepartion for the Manx Grand Prix and the inaugural Classic TT which are next up on the calendar.

Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix: What’s What

People usually talk about saving the best ‘til last. In the road racing world, it’s a case of saving the fastest ‘til last. Next weekend’s Ulster Grand Prix, taglined ‘the world’s fastest road race’ is the last international road race of the year and promises to be an enthralling one if the North West 200 and TT are anything to go by. Four time 2013 TT winner Michael Dunlop, fresh off the back of two wins at the Armoy road races, will be present along with a host of other familiar faces. This includes current lap record holder and eight time winner Bruce Anstey, whose impressive fastest lap of 133.977mph was achieved in 2010 around the 7.41 mile Dundrod circuit.

Conor Cummins during practice at Armoy
Conor Cummins during practice at Armoy

Bike Week kicks off on Sunday 11th August with a sponsored walk around the circuit. There will be various other events throughout the week, with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Racing also takes place on Thursday, with Saturday featuring a six race timetable. Further information about the schedule for the week can be found at the Ulster Grand Prix official website.

So who will be there?

Guy Martin gets interviewed at the North West 200
Guy Martin gets interviewed at the North West 200

There will be plenty of popular names contesting this year’s races including eight time winner Guy Martin. Also competing are Lee Johnston, Jamie Hamilton, Maria Costello MBE, Conor Cummins, David Haire and William Dunlop to name but a few.

Aussie Cameron Donald is returning to the race with Wilson Craig Racing having missed the event in 2012 due to other commitments. Also back is 2012’s fastest newcomer Dean Harrison who has been impressing the road racing world in 2013.

What races will I see?

There is an action packed calendar spread over Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday will feature the Dundrod 150 National Races:

Dundrod 150 National Race – 5 laps
Ultralightweight/Lightweight Race – 5 laps
Dundrod 150 Challenge Race  – 5 laps
Dundrod 150 Superbike Race – 6 laps

Saturday is dedicated to the Ulster Grand Prix Races:

Superstock Race – 6 laps
Ulster Grand Prix Supersport Race – 6 laps
National Ulster Grand Prix Ultralightweight – 5 laps
National Ulster Grand Prix Lightweight – 5 laps
Ulster Grand Prix Superbike Race – 7 laps
Supersport Race – 6 laps
Superbike Race – 6 laps

For further information, including specifications for each race, follow this link.

Who won last year?

Michael Dunlop's Supersport bike at Armoy
Michael Dunlop’s Supersport bike at Armoy

Michael and William Dunlop, Guy Martin, Bruce Anstey, and Davy Morgan were amongst the race winners at last year’s event and will all no doubt be hoping to retain their victories this year. One notable absentee from this year’s entry list is Ryan Farquhar who won the Supertwins race ahead of his protégé Jamie Hamilton in 2012. Fresh off the back of his Irish Road Race Championship, where he was unbeaten in the Supertwin class, Hamilton could be the one to clinch this year’s Supertwin victory.

And that’s not all…

New Zealander Bruce Anstey will be completing a demo on the Britten V1000, an iconic bike of which there are only ten in existence! This parade lap will take place between races on the Saturday.

Want more?

Visit the official Ulster Grand Prix Website: http://www.ulstergrandprix.net
Follow them on Twitter: @UlsterGrandPrix
Like’ their Facebook page
Download the app (available from iTunes)
Stay tuned to The H Duct for a round-up after the event

Wristbands for the week cost £25 (under 16s go free) and can be purchased, along with programmes, from Lidl branches in NI. These are also available to buy at any of the 13 entry roads during Bike Week.