The F2 Stock Cars are back in town on Friday evening to compete for the Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy at Ballymena Raceway.
The F2s thrilled the crowds with some terrific action during their recent British Championship in the province, which was won by Scottish star Chris Burgoyne, and race fans will be hoping for more of the same at the Showground’s oval this weekend.
The memorial trophy has been presented annually by the Cromie family since 1984 to remember Norman Cromie from Rathfriland, who competed in the 1300 G.T. Stock Car class at Raceway during the early eighties, and has been won by many of the sport’s top stars down through the years including Willie McGaffin, Jack Adams, Ian McKnight, Mike Johnston, Ian Thompson and Graham Fegan. The current holder is Thomas Greer from Kilrea and other likely contenders this weekend include Craig McConnell from Bangor, Antrim’s Connor Hughes and Sean McFerran from Portglenone. William Murray impressed many during the British Championship, when the Randalstown based racer qualified on pole position and led the early laps, with Gavin Fegan, Ryan McCrory and Bradley McKinstry expected to figure in the mix as well.
Also on the race programme at the RWS Alloy Wheel and Car Body Repairs sponsored fixture are the Group Two Lightning Rods, Stock Rods, Super Saloons and Junior Rods. The GP2 racers compete in the final round of their Terraclean Series. Freddie Fleck from Broughshane tops the chart heading into the series final, with Irish Champion Andy McLeister, Harry Gilmore from Cullybackey and Broughshane’s Matthew Curran all well in contention as well.
Jason Clyde departed Raceway with the Stock Rod honours last time out and the local lad will be hoping for a repeat performance on Friday. Aaron Moody, Jack Kennedy, Adam Sloan, Niall McFerran, Tim Hazlett and Irish Champion Wilfie McNiece have all been on the pace too as the drivers continue their preparations for the European Championship at Raceway in August.
In the Junior Rod ranks Antony Kincaid and Jack Patchett have enjoyed some great battles this season, with Leah Hughes, Samuel Wilson, Joshua McKinstry and Matthew Nicholl also performing well in recent outings. The Super Saloon front runner is Irish Champion Alistair Christie from Ballymoney. Ashley Graham, Aaron McGraw and Liam Irwin are the main challengers. The green flag drops to get racing underway at 7:15pm.