Local drivers ready for Irish Championship finals

Ballymoney lad Mark Brogan who won his first ever race in the Junior Rod category recently.

Ballymoney lad Mark Brogan who won his first ever race in the Junior Rod category recently.

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The first Irish Championship finals of 2016 will be decided at Ballymena Raceway this Friday evening, 7:15pm start!

Both the Group Two Lightning Rod and Super Saloons titles are up for grabs at the Showground’s oval this weekend and there are plenty of contenders for the coveted awards.

The GP2 Irish is always one of the most keenly contested races on the calendar and the class has been getting back to its best in 2016, with solid entries throughout the season.

Defending champion is Andrew McLeister from Ballymoney. Other frontrunners include Karl Smyth, who won the Golden Helmet Trophy last time out at Raceway, World Cup winner Freddie Fleck, Matthew Curran, Richard Purdy and David Reynolds from Ballymena.

Reynolds warmed up for the event with a final win at Nutts Corner Raceway last week.

In the Super Saloon ranks Aaron McGraw tops the standings in his potent Honda. Other likely frontrunners include Liam Irwin, Ashley Graham, Steven Elder and Colin Clifford.

Friday night’s programme also includes races for the F2 Stock Cars, Stock Rods and Junior Rods. The Stock Rod men return to Raceway after a strong performance in the recent World Championships at Barford Raceway in County Durham. Ballymena’s Aaron Moody finished in a superb third place, even more impressive when you consider it was Aaron’s first ever race in the UK mainland!

Jack Kennedy from Lisburn finished in fifth position with Ian Thompson from Nutts Corner in sixth, while Jason Clyde made it home in a creditable eighth place after starting way down on grid position twenty-one.

All will be hoping to get their name in the frame once again during the Challenge Cup event at Raceway, with Steven McKane, Wilfie McNiece and Matthew McKinstry others to watch out for.

The F2 Stock Cars compete in the Yokohama Grand Prix, with Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid back to his best form recently and the one to catch. The Junior Rods complete the programme and race for their Stadium Championship where Mark Brogan from Ballymoney will be searching for more success after recording his first ever win recently.

The action gets underway in the Ballymena Showgrounds at 7:15pm.

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