Oval racers from right across the UK will assemble at Ballymena Raceway this Friday for an action packed programme of international events at the Showgrounds track.
Headline event is the RW Signs sponsored Irish Open Championship for the F2 Stock Cars where crews from all over England and Scotland, plus one visitor from Holland, are travelling across the Irish Sea to compete at Ballymena.
It’s a star-studded entry which has been assembled with 2012 winner Chris Burgoyne expected to pose a major threat.
The Falkirk based flyer also won the event in 2011 and arrives in great form having won the F2 Nationals title at Buxton last weekend. Dutch ace Toon Schut will make his debut at Raceway this weekend and is sure to be a big hit with local fans along with Scottish Champion Dennis ‘The Menace’ Middler from Carnoustie. Michael Green from Coventry is a superstar graded driver on the UK mainland who will be well worth watching along with Luke Wrench from Crewe and Hudderfield’s Ben Lockwood.
Plymoth’s Jon Palmer and fellow South West based racer Chevy Mills are noted for their all-action style of driving which will certainly keep the fans entertained.
The visiting entry also includes John Hogg from Berwick upon Tweed, Daniel Scrimgeour from Broxburn in Fife, Moffatt’s Wullie Draegar, Stephen Forster from Carluke, Hartlepool’s Chris Bryan and Derbyshire based duo Darren Clarke and Jamie Conway.
Defending Irish Open Champion is Ryan McCrory from Antrim and the home drivers will be keen to keep the trophy in the province.
Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid from Antrim and Raceway Track Champion Craig McConnell from Bangor are two of the other top local hopes for glory, along with Gavin Fegan, Bradley McKinstry, Conor Hughes and Portglenone lad Sean McFerran.
Former European Champion Graham Fegan from Hannahstown is poised to make a return this weekend and will certainly make his presence felt on track. Ballyclare’s Sam McKay, Mark Murphy from Crumlin, Mark Rainey, David Lilburn, Billy Finnegan, Dean McCrory and Randalstown’s William Murray are other local contenders.
Also on the Raceway card this weekend will be a return appearance for the Heritage F2 Stock Cars!
This class made their debut appearance in the province 12 months ago and accepted an invitation from the promoters to return again after that successful introduction.
The formula reflects the early years of the sport, with the cars built in line with the F2 specifications from the 1960s, and is sure to provide a great trip down memory lane for fans and drivers alike. A group of approximately ten Heritage Cars are expected to make the trip across for their Irish Challenge Cup race.
At the other end of the sport’s timescale are the Micro F2 Stock Cars.
The class is open to 7 to 11 year olds and is proving increasingly popular with entries growing steadily. The youngsters will race for the Gilmore Engineering Challenge Cup on Friday evening with some Scottish entrants joining the locals on the grid for this one as well.
Friday’s programme of races is completed by the final of the DNA Tuning Series for the Stock Rod division where a handsome prize of £500 awaits the winner! Jason Clyde tops the standings heading into the finale, with Aaron Moody hot on the leader’s tail.
Jack Kennedy and Alastair Bolton are also well in contention, along with Steven McKane and Adam Sloan, while form man Tim Hazlett will want to continue his winning streak.
A great evening of short oval action lies in store with the first race commencing in the Ballymena Showgrounds at 7:15pm.