Raceway ushers in a new year with annual holiday meeting

Ballymena Raceway stages the Winter National Championships on New Year's  Day. Picture: Gilmore Race Photography.
Ballymena Raceway stages the Winter National Championships on New Year's Day. Picture: Gilmore Race Photography.

Ballymena Raceway ushers in 2016 with the Winter National Championship meeting on New Year’s Day (2:00pm start).

The traditional festive fixture at the Showgrounds oval will provide a high speed afternoon of short track action, with the National Hot Rod, BriSCA F2 Stock Car, Stock Rod, Group Two Lightning Rod and Super Saloon classes all contesting their Winter National titles.

Defending Winter National Champion in the showcase National Hot Rod category is Jaimie McCurdy.

The Broughshane teenager swept through the race card unbeaten twelve months ago in his Wilson McCurdy Haulage Vauxhall and is likely to be one of the favourites for honours again this time around.

Two reverse grid qualifying heats will determine the grid positions for the final where the winner will also receive an additional prize of two Hoosier Race Tyres kindly donated by Clive Richardson Limited.

The popular F2 Stock Cars provided some terrific race action throughout 2015 and look set for another exciting year ahead, with the prestigious British Championship set to be staged in the province for the first time since 1995.

Another class that really got back on track during 2015 was the ORC Stock Rod division. Young guns such as Niall McFerran, Adam Sloan, Matthew McKinstry and Aaron Moody swelled the ranks of the 1400cc class during 2015 and that upturn in fortunes looks set to continue in 2016, with a number of drivers expressing interest in the class over the winter months.

More good news for the Stock Rod formula was received recently from the sport’s governing body, the ORCi, which confirmed that Raceway will host the coveted European Championship in 2016 over the weekend of August 26 and 27.

The always competitive Group Two Lightning Rod category will provide their own unique brand of thrills on New Year’s Day, where the race programme is completed by the Super Saloon division. This class is based around the existing Euro Stocks formula and the organisers hope to build up entries in this inexpensive form of racing for the start of the new season at Easter.

The 2015 Points Champions will also be presented with their awards during the McCarroll Plant Hire sponsored fixture on New Year’s Day.

The first race gets underway in the Ballymena Showgrounds at 2pm.