Dunlop and Kneen confirmed for Enkalon Trophy meeting

William Dunlop is among the entries at the Enkalon Trophy meeting.
William Dunlop is among the entries at the Enkalon Trophy meeting.
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William Dunlop and fellow international road racer Dan Kneen are among the entries for the 40th Enkalon Trophy meeting on Easter Saturday at Bishopscourt.

Dunlop is set to ride his IC Racing/Caffrey International Yamaha R6 at the Co Down circuit as he gains some more track time ahead of the Tandragee 100, which takes place a week after the Irish championship short circuit meeting.

Manx rider Kneen, who will for the Penz13.com team this year in the Superbike class along with the DTR BMW Superstock machine, will be among the favourites after finishing on the podium on his debut at Bishopscourt in the Masters Superbike series last year.

Promoted by the Motor Cycle Road Racing Club of Ireland, over 240 entries have been received for the first Irish Short Circuit Championship meeting of 2017.

The feature Enkalon Trophy will be awarded to the top points scorer in the two Superbike races and with no previous winners of the famous silverware entered this year, a new name will grace the old trophy for the first time.

A prize fund of £3,600 has been set aside for the two-part Enkalon showpiece, with the winner picking up a cheque for £1,000.

The runner-up will receive £600 with £400 going to the final podium finisher. Payments will be made down to tenth position, while the first Supersport rider over the line will receive £500.

Meath’s Cody Nally, who was in excellent form with a hat-trick at the opening round of the Masters Superbike Championship in March, will be aiming to maintain his momentum, while Alistair Kirk, Luke Johnston, Charles Stuart and 2016 Irish Supersport champion Jason Lynn will also be contenders for the rostrum.

The first leg of the two 10-lap Superbike races is due off following the lunch break at approximately 1.30pm. The Enkalon Trophy is once again sponsored by Cornmarket Insurance Services, Belfast.

In the Supersport class, Dunlop will be out to ruffle the feathers of the regular short circuit frontrunners, with Lynn, Aaron Armstrong, Korie McGreevy, Ross Patterson and Scotsman Duncan among the entries in the 35-strong field.

A full programme of support races will be held, including the Supertwin 650 class, Lightweight 400, Pre–fuel Injection, Production Twin 650/Moto3, Classic, and Superbike and Supersport Cup events.

Nine practice sessions will be held on the Saturday morning, with 16 races in total scheduled.

The organisers are hoping for improved weather with Easter falling on a later date this year after high winds led to the abandonment of the meeting in 2016.

The official charity for the event will once again be NI Chest Heart & Stroke.

The race organisers are indebted to Charles Hurst Hyundai (Dundonald), Walter Bell Oil Fired Boilers (Carrickfergus) and Slemish Water & Coolers for their continued support.

The circuit will be open from Friday evening, April 14, and anyone wishing to camp overnight will be made most welcome.

Admission on race day is £10 per adult, with children under the age of 16 admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.