Drivers and spectators at Saturday’s Coleraine and District Motor Club Kart Section’s North West 200 plate meeting were treated to some fantastic weather and great racing.
The event, which was sponsored by McDonnell Motors Coleraine, is one of the top one day Karting events in the province. The Cadet class had a quality entry with Irish Champion Zack Gibson in attendance hoping to retain his NW plate. Coleraine’s Sam McDonnell was his main rival with Ballymena driver Jack Irvine finding great pace on the day to have a genuine chance of the win.
McDonnell took two heat wins to secure pole for the pre-final and converted this into a win to take pole for the Grand Final. Irvine took the other heat win and second in the pre final to round out the front row, Gibson started on row two beside John Graham and SeOg Martin on row three.
When the flag dropped McDonnell slipped past Irvine at the first corner to take the lead with Gibson and Graham close behind. As this was a fifteen lap final the pressure was on McDonnell from the start as Irvine was obviously quicker in a straight line with McDonnell defending into the first corner. On lap four Gibson slipped past Irvine to take up the chase and again he could not find a way past the Coleraine driver. Going into the final lap Irvine slipped past at the end of the straight in what was thought to be a race winning move but with three corners to go McDonnell out braked Irvine into the hairpin and held on over the line to take the win and NW plate to the delight of his family and friends watching.
In Senior max Dougie Reid took the honours from David Irvine with Michael Smith recovering from a spectacular high speed crash in the heats to take third. Coleraine’s Stephen Tosh Jnr had a second and third in the heats and was setting the pace until an electrical fault leaving him too much work to do in the final to get onto the podium with Paul Prentice retaining his NW plate. Daniel Harper took the Mini Max honours to also retain his NW plate.