After a pretty grim Wednesday Practice Session that was effectively ruined by rain it was over to Thursday and the promise of a much more road racing friendly wether forecast.
The promise was fulfilled and the Dundrod skies were bright, maybe a little cloudy at times, but generally blessed with plenty of sunshine. All of which raised the expectations and crowd numbers for the Thursday evening race session.
In previous years the Superbike Race (1) was the last event on the Thursday but due to the fact that in recent years the race did not get run the organisers made what, I believe to be, a great decision and moved it up to the first race of the session.
There was also a ‘little‘ bit of pressure on this race; looking forward to Saturday the weather forecast was / is not looking positive. That meant that if the Ulster Grand Prix was to take back its former crown and title of being the ‘World’s Fastest Road Race’ then the only real likelihood of this happening in 2019 was in Superbike Race 1.
The Munster 100 (Cork Road Races) returned to County Cork, Republic of Ireland for the first time in six years over the weekend of 3rd and 4th August 2019.
It is a busy time of the racing year as the (Cork) Munster 100 is the fifth race in as many weeks on the Island of Ireland, in a series of six cumulating in the Ulster Grand Prix. Saturday race day is being held on 10th August 2019 in what is part of an absolutely packed summer schedule.
Back to Cork though and Derek Shiels continued his exquisite form taking another superbike double, in doing so taking the Irish Superbike title.
Michael Sweeney took ‘Man of the Meeting’ taking 2 podiums and 2 race wins over the event.
Friday 26th July 2019 is practice and qualifying day at the 2019 Armoy Road Races. However to conclude the night we are treated to 2 races, the Senior Support and Supersport Race 1.
After a day of practice were Michael Dunlop took the headlines – turning up on crutches (passed fit and ready to race with the aid of some mini steps) in order to defend his run of seven ‘Race of Legends’ titles. In the second practice he was right in there with Derek Shiels – who wants to defend his current run of consecutive 2019 race victories. Tomorrow’s feature race is already setting the scene to be epic.
The first race of the evening was the Senior Support – Ryan Fenton made his road racing debut and finished in a strong second place behind race favourite from the start Tommy Henry. Andy McAllister completed the top trio, with Dermot Cleary in fourth.
The supersports had their first race of Armoy and in what must be one of the closest results of all time. Derek McGee took the win from Paul Jordan by 0.002s. That is two one thousands of a second! Michael Sweeney completed the podium with Michael Dunlop taking forth on his MD Racing machine. Even the timekeeping almost soiled itself – with initially the consensus being that Jordan had taken it at the line. That was not the case…
So a great start to the 2019 Armoy Road Races – and an amazing set up for tomorrow – now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that the Met Office Yellow Warning for heavy rain misses us!
The Irish National Road Racing Calendar returned to County Tipperary, Ireland for the 2019 Faugheen 50 Race Races – held over the weekend of 20th & 21st July 2019.
The first race of the day was the Senior Support Race. In a touching gesture pole position was left empty in memory of fallen rider Darren Keys who lost his life at the the 2019 Walderstown Road Races.
Dermot Cleary won the race from the second group, Tommy Henry who controlled the first group came second by half a second. Darragh Trappe took the third step on the podium.
Next up was the first super bike race. McGee and Shiels (as you would expect this season) were battling for the top spot int his one. McGee led the whole race until the final blink of an eye when Shiels took the win at the line by 0.051 seconds. Micko Sweeney took third 0.142 seconds behind McGee in a unbelievably close race.
The 400s and Moto 3 and 125s all went out in the same race, starting in their own separate classes.
Melissa Kennedy taking the second spot, behind Derek McGee’s ex-GP with her brother taking third.
The Junior Classics race was won in a dominating performance by Edward Manly, Brian Mateer and Mick Brady filled the podium in second and third respectively.
The 600cc machines only had 10 entrants but in what was always going to be a really tight race (during qualifying the top five were only separated by 1 second) Derek McGee took the win from Michael Browne by 0.958 seconds. Micko Sweeney took third.
The Junior Support Race was red flagged twice and was declared null and void.
Supertwins were next on the circuit. Sweeney, McGee and Chalke were battling hard, however Derek McGee retired on lap 4 leaving the victory to Sweeney by 6.785 seconds over James Chalke. Darryl Tweed took the third spot from the second group.
In the Senior Classics Race Richard Ford took the win over John Leigh Pemberton and Ian Thompson in third.
The penultimate race of the day was the Senior Support Non-Championship Race. In a very tight hotly contested race at the top Tommy Henry took the win from Andy McAllister the pair only separated by 0.328 seconds. Darragh Trappe filled the podium taking the third spot.
The Grand Final was a six lap superbike race and like the first superbike race of the day this one was tight. The leader changed more times than the outfits at a Lady GaGa Concert. (I get a lot of racing fans won’t get that reference – but it mean a lot.) McGee, Shiels and Sweeney fought for the win on every fraction of a mile of every lap, by the end the rider to take top spot was Derek Shiels, followed by Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney in third. 0.672 seconds separated the top three! An unbelievable final race that finished the Faugheen 50 Road Races just after 2.30pm.