Ballymena drivers sparkle at Raceway meeting

Ballymena's Joel McPeake won his first final at Raceway and collects the Junior Rod award from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew. Picture: Davy Park.
Ballymena's Joel McPeake won his first final at Raceway and collects the Junior Rod award from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew. Picture: Davy Park.

The local drivers were in top form at Ballymena Raceway on Friday evening where 4 of the 5 feature events went to racers from this area.

Star performer was undoubtedly Jaimie McCurdy from Broughshane. The seventeen year old roared to a faultless hat-trick of wins in Round 4 of the PC Paints & Components World Series for the National Hot Rods.

GP2 final winner Jason Clyde collects his trophy from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew.

GP2 final winner Jason Clyde collects his trophy from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew.

Another teenage talent tearing up Raceway at the moment is Adam Sloan and the nineteen year old from Kells steered his Vauxhall Corsa to the final honours in the Stock Rod division.

Ballymena lad Joel McPeake romped to a heat and final brace in the Junior Rod category and Jason Clyde rounded out the local winners with his success in Round 5 of the GP2 National Series. Euro Stocks completed the classes on display at a sodden Raceway and contested their Irish Championship where Alistair Christie from Ballymoney was crowned 2015 Champion after a skilful performance in his immaculate Vauxhall Astra.

NATIONAL HOT RODS

Twelve cars arrived for Round 4 of the World Series, but unfortunately Kells racer Carl Sloan would not make it beyond practice after an engine problem with his Vauxhall Tigra. Jaimie McCurdy and Glenn Bell fought over the lead in heat one, where McCurdy maintained his advantage until the flag.

Stock Rod final winner Adam Sloan.

Stock Rod final winner Adam Sloan.

Derek Martin took the attack to McCurdy in heat two, but once again the Broughshane lad held his nerve to record his second win of the evening.

Those heat successes earned McCurdy pole position for the final where McCurdy, Bell and Martin occupied the leading three places. Once again McCurdy was faultless throughout to complete his hat-trick of wins, with Bell and Martin the place men.

National Hot Rods: 1st. Jaimie McCurdy, 2nd. Glenn Bell, 3rd. Derek Martin, 4th. Adam Maxwell, 5th. Adam Hylands, 6th. Mark Heatrick

STOCK RODS

Jaimie McCurdy from Broughshane receives the National Hot Rod Trophy from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew.

Jaimie McCurdy from Broughshane receives the National Hot Rod Trophy from meeting sponsors Bobby Johnston (left) and Mark Frew.

British Champion Steven McKane opened the evening with a comprehensive victory in the opening heat. Former GP2 Champion Shane Gault recorded his first ever victory in the Stock Rod division after a strong run in heat two and the Glarryford man set the pace in the final as well.

Gradually however Adam Sloan reeled the leader in and eased ahead on lap 12 to claim some more silverware. Gault held on for second spot and will be one to watch out for over the remainder of the season with Garvagh racer Stephen Doherty in third.

Stock Rods: 1st. Adam Sloan, 2nd. Shane Gault, 3rd. Stephen Doherty, 4th. Gareth Bevan, 5th. Steven McKane, 6th. Matthew McKinstry

EURO STOCKS

Euro Stocks Irish Champion Alistair Christie collects his award from event sponsor Bobby Johnston.

Euro Stocks Irish Champion Alistair Christie collects his award from event sponsor Bobby Johnston.

Ten cars gridded for the 2015 Irish Championship race where Johny McCloy scampered away from pole position into an early lead. Alistair Christie gradually eased up onto the back bumper of the leader’s Ford Puma and began to increase the pressure as the race progressed. Eventually Christie made his move on lap 13 and motored ahead to take the title for the first time.

McCloy struggled over the closing stages as Aaron McMullan nipped through into second place before the chequered flag, with McCloy forced to settle for third. The support race brought a win for McMullan’s Honda Civic.

Euro Stocks 2015 Irish Championship: 1st. Alistair Christie, 2nd. Aaron McMullan, 3rd. Johnny McCloy, 4th. Mark Frew, 5th. Bobby Johnston, 6th. Colin Clifford

GP2 RODS

David Gillespie crossed the line first in the opening heat, but the Ballymena man would be subsequently removed from the results when he failed to present his car for a post race technical inspection. That penalty handed the victory to Stewart Nicholl from Kilrea before current form man Daniel Rodgers steered his Vauxhall Astra to the head of the pack in heat two.

Jason Clyde and Kenny Carson were the star performers in the final and it was Clyde who kept his nose in front all the way to the chequered flag, with Carson a valiant runner-up and Rodgers in the frame once more in third.

GP2 National Series Rd 5: 1st. Jason Clyde, 2nd. Kenny Carson, 3rd. Daniel Rodgers, 4th. Stewart Nicholl, 5th. Freddie Fleck, 6th. Andy McLeister

JUNIOR RODS

Joel McPeake made light of the tricky conditions to steer his Vauxhall Corsa through the puddles for a good win in the opening heat. Star grader Jack Patchett breezed through from the pack of the 12 car field for an eye catching victory in heat two, but it was local lad McPeake who was back on form in the final to secure his second win of the evening. Samuel Wilson emerged at the front of a terrific three way scrap with Patchett and Jack Kennedy to grab the runner-up spot.

Junior Rods: 1st. Joel McPeake, 2nd. Samuel Wilson, 3rd. Jack Kennedy, 4th. Jack Patchett, 5th. Matthew Drysdale, 6th. Jamie Hunter