Randalstown rider Gerard Kinghan enjoyed a weekend to remember at Bishopscourt as he battled his way to a win ‘double’.
Riding a ZX10 Kawasaki, and qualifying in pole, the local rider came behind early leader Alistair Kirk to move to the front on the second lap.
In the closing stages of the race, David Haire, who had to come back from a slow start, dropped the Dromara man to third place but missed out on a win by under a second.
There were no mistakes in the second race. Gerard Kinghan led from start to finish, pulling away by almost 4 seconds. By the halfway point in the race the result was never in any doubt, with Kinghan well ahead of David Haire. There was a good dice for third place involving Ryan Rainey and Alistair Kirk. Rainey forced his way ahead with a couple of laps to go and Kirk had to give best to the Crumlin man.
As usual the Supersport 600 class gave us some of the best racing of the day. Jamie Patterson blasted off the line in the first race. Before long, Dundrod man Robert Kennedy, a faller in practice, had taken over at the front. After a slow start, Robert English recovered and with a couple of really fast laps, went into the lead. Kennedy had no answer and settled for second, 1.4 seconds adrift. A similar distance back, in third, was Antrim’s Jamie Patterson.
Christian Elkin led the second race from the start, chased hard by Jason Lynn and Robert Kennedy. Kennedy recovered and took the lead about the halfway point in the race, relegating Elkin to second. After another sluggish start, Robert English slipped into second place, but couldn’t catch Kennedy, who won by less than a second. Elki was third, a similar distance back.
Antrim’s Luke Hazlett took a win in the opening Production twins race. He had to come from behind, winning by 3 seconds over Chris Hillis with Mark McConville in third place. Sadly, there was no joy in the second outing, Hazlett not even completing a lap due to a coming together with another rider. It left the local rider with a broken clutch lever and a bent clip on.
It gave a win to Chris Hillis. Thats not to say that the Belfast man had it easy. Mark McConville was all over Hillis’ rear wheel, the official time difference just .1 of a second. Ards man Craig Ringland finished in third place.
Run concurrently with the Production twins, Christian Elkin had a hard time with Adam Mclean and Dave Butler in the Supertwins races. Elki took victory in the first race, less than two seconds ahead of Butler, while Mclean was only .04 behind. Dave Butler was the leader in the first few laps of the second race, but Adam McLean soon moved ahead. The Desertmartin lad held on to register a win by .4 of a second. In second, Elkin just managed to hold off a determined challenge from Butler.
Bangor man Stevie Titterington had a double in the Pre Injection races. In the first one Andrew Brady was the early leader, chased hard by Jonathan Ralph. Stevie Titt moved through, breaking the lap record in the process, to take the lead with a lap to go. Brady tried to hit back but Titterington was too fast, and the Roslea man had to give best by 1.4 seconds. Ralph was third.
Titterington had a fairly comfortable win in the second race, but despite that, Andy Brady upped the lap record for the class yet again, clipping .03 of a second off the time set by Titterington earlier in the day. Brady and Ralph repeated their second and third places from earlier in the day.
The race for the Superbike and Supersport Cup was run along with the F1 Forgotten Era bikes. In the first race for F1FE bikes, Ballycastle man Charles Stuart, on his Aprilia, had a comfortable win. Despite breaking his own lap record, Alvin Griffin could only get to within 7.2 seconds of Stuart, while Chris Campbell was well back in third. Campbell improved in race two, but was still over 4 seconds behind Griffin, while Stuart dropped to third.
Former Clubmans Supersport 600 champion Paul McCrea couldn’t match Jonny Ralph in the first of the Cup races. Ralph, from Wicklow, finished his race with a buffer of over 9 seconds on McCrea, while David Duffy was third.
In the second race, Ralph had almost half a lap of an advantage on the second finisher David Duffy. Brian Keohane took third, but was well behind Duffy.
Alvin Griffin upped his tally of race wins to four during the day when he took victory in the two SS400 races. In the first one Griffin was made work hard in the first few laps by Thomas Gregory. Once Griffin got ahead it was pretty much game over, as he opened up a 5 second gap. Gregory was second, while Andy McAllister took third after getting the better of Parkgates Peter Fletcher on the final circuit.
Things went more or less the same in the second race. Gregory led the early couple of laps, till Griffin got by. He then pulled away, winning by 3 seconds. Gregory was second and Peter Fletcher gaining the advantage this time on Andy Mac. Just a few days after splitting with his former team, Antrim’s Lee Osprey clinched his best results to date. Fifth in the first race and sixth in the second, Lee is steadily improving.
Warrenpoint lad Connall Courtney was in great form in the Production 125 and Newcomers races. In the first he came from behind to squeeze past Jack Waring, taking the race win by 4.9 seconds. Both broke their respective class lap records. Jordan Burrows was well back in third.
Waring, from Dollingstown, had a lightening start in the second race. Before long, though, Courtney caught him and was ready to make his move on the final lap. Sadly it didn’t happen and Connall slipped off uninjured. It handed a second place to Burrows with Shane Sweeney taking third.
A very enjoyable day’s sport, well run and with decent weather it made it all the more fun.
With a glut of road races coming up in the next few weeks, the Armoy club are, as usual, well on the ball getting out information to the media. It’s hard to take in that this is the 7th year that the Armoy meeting is to be held. It continues to grow year on year, and is now probably one of the leading National road races.
After numerous requests, the club are to have a corporate hospitality area this year, with special areas for guests.
Anyone interested in the clubs hospitality packages, which includes free parking in any of the clubs car parks, access to any of the grandstands, a race programme and access to the clubs hospitality marquee, where they can have morning tea and coffee, and where lunch, of locally sourced produce, will also be served, can contact ciara@naked_pr.com or call on 028 9091 8883.
Prices are £80 for an individual ticket, or a table for 10 will cost £750. Armoy bike week will run from the 19th July, with race day on the 25th.
Practice takes place on the Friday evening.