Raceway fans gear up for Speed weekend

Close action is assured in the National Hot Rods at Ballymena Raceway's Speed Weekend. Picture: Pete Shaw.
Close action is assured in the National Hot Rods at Ballymena Raceway's Speed Weekend. Picture: Pete Shaw.

It’s a big weekend of short circuit motorsport at Ballymena Raceway with a double helping of track competition ahead on Friday and Saturday.

All the regular Raceway classes are in action during the packed schedule of events, where highlights include the Supreme Championship for the F2 Stock Cars, the UK Masters for the Stock Rods, the Group Two Lightning Rod World Cup and a World Qualifying Round for the National Hot Rods.

Other attractions include the DNA Tuning Coleraine sponsored Ford & Mini Display on Saturday evening, with almost 100 cars expected to be on show.

Part One of the Speed Fest weekend takes place on Friday August 21 at the usual start time of 7:15pm and features the Euro Stocks Irish Grand Prix, Group Two Lightning Rod World Cup, F2 Stock Car Supreme Championship and the Junior Rod Irish Masters, plus the Stock Rod Premier Cup. Johny Gillespie is the current holder of the GP2 World Cup and the Ballymena man will be one of the favourites to retain his crown. The fabulous F2 Stock Cars never fail to deliver some action, with Kilrea’s Thomas Greer and Conor Hughes from Antrim in good form at present. Star names Craig McConnell, Graham Fegan and Christopher Kincaid will surely be in the thick of the action too along with Bradley McKinstry, Scott Finlay and the McCrory boys, Dean and Ryan. In the Euro Stock section Trevor McFaul’s potent Honda has been the car to catch in recent outings and the Garvagh man will be amongst the favourites for their Irish Grand Prix. The young chargers in the Junior Rod section contest their Irish Masters and always entertain with their enthusiastic displays.

Part Two on Saturday August 22 starts at the earlier time of 6:00pm and features Round 3 of the PC Paints & Components National Hot Rod World Series NI, the UK Masters for the Stock Rods, the Group Two Lightning Rod Irish Open and F2 Stock Car Irish Masters, plus a display of Ford and Mini road cars. The speed kings of the ovals, the National Hot Rods, are well suited to the big Ballymena track where the Anderson Racing Engines Trophy will be awarded to the winner at World Qualifying Round 3.

It promises to be an excellent weekend of short oval motorsport that all the family can enjoy, with the on track action getting underway in the Ballymena Showgrounds at 7:15pm on Friday evening and the earlier time of 6pm on Saturday.