Buchan blooms again as he wraps up second successive Sunflower title

Eugene McManus from Randalstown slipped off his KTM in the first race. He was unhurt.
Eugene McManus from Randalstown slipped off his KTM in the first race. He was unhurt.

It was a case of plans falling into place for Danny Buchan at Bishopscourt as he won the Sunflower Trophy for the second year in succession.

Before the meeting had even started Buchan had made no secret of the fact that not only did he want to win the race, but also wanted the lap record.

Toomebridge rider Cahal Graham with his team after he tied up the Irish championship. Picture: Roy Adams.

Toomebridge rider Cahal Graham with his team after he tied up the Irish championship. Picture: Roy Adams.

He achieved both, winning and knocking over .6 off Ian Lowrys 2010 best.

Buchan led off the line in the feature race, but by the end of the second lap, Alistair Seeley had moved ahead. The likeable Essex man hit back straight away, retaking the lead and getting his head down, soon pulled a gap on the Carrick man. Seeley had no answer for the speed of the Kawasaki, with Buchan winning by 2.8 seconds. Stephen Farmer was well in touch in third place, but just couldn’t match the leaders. The first Superbike race of the day also went to Buchan. Held on a damp track, which was drying out after heavy overnight rain, Buchan was never pressed hard, as he always looked to have anything second placed Keith Farmer could throw at him covered. Farmer finished over 2 seconds adrift of Buchan, but little over half a second ahead of Alistair Seeley. Going into the final race, the ISB championship was still to be decided. At the start of the day a single point was the advantage held by Dromara man Alistair Kirk over Crumlins Ryan Rainey. With Kirky beating the local man in the first race, the points difference going into the final race was three. Unfortunately for Kirk, he slipped off in the final race, causing a red flag and handing the ISB title to Rainey. Not the end that either would have wanted.

With the circuit now completely dry, Danny Buchan buried his head behind the screen and went for it right from the lights. On the third lap he knocked .6 of a second off the circuit record, moving away to win by 4.8 seconds. Gearlink Kawasaki rider Ben Wilson was pushed hard all the way by Augher man Keith Farmer, but the former Supermoto champion missed out by literally inches. He was just .083 behind Wilson at the finish.

Glenn Irwin from Carrickfergus, saw out his contract with Gearlink Kawasaki by taking both Supersport 600 races. In the first, on a soaking wet track, he dropped the clutch and quite simply was gone. His team mate Ben Wilson was unable to go with Glenn, having to settle for the runner up slot, just over a second back. Wilson, in turn, was a similar distance ahead of Alistair Seeley in third. There was another 1-2-3 for the Gearlink boys in the second race. Now on a dry track, Glenn Irwin showed a clean pair of heels to Ben Wilson, beating him by over 3 seconds. Andrew Irwin, younger brother of Glenn, was less than a second off the back of Wilson.

Antrim's Jamie Patterson rode one of Wilson Craigs bikes at Bishopscourt.

Antrim's Jamie Patterson rode one of Wilson Craigs bikes at Bishopscourt.

Antrim’s Luke Hazlett added the Irish Production twin title to the Ulster one he won a couple of weeks back. He started the day with a lead of 18 points and just needed to stay out of trouble to take the Irish as well. On a damp track that was drying slowly, Luke hit the front of his class more or less off the line. He gradually edged away from second finisher Tam Nicholl, who had a comfortable lead on Darryl Anderson at the finish. Droghedas Mark McConville improved on his 4th place in the opening race to grab second in the next one. As in the first race, Hazlett was in a class of his own, winning by 4.1 seconds. Tam Nicholl was .6 behind McConville, but well ahead of anybody else. Run concurrently with the Production Twins, the Supertwin races both went to Glenn Irwin. There simply was no one in the same league, as Irwin took the first race by over 16 seconds. Scott Racings Caolan Irwin, no relation to Glenn, finished in second place, ahead of his team mate James Folkhard. A great result from a team that was only formed at the end of last season, and Caolan, having only started racing last year. Irwin tied up the Man of the Meeting award with his fourth race win of the day in the last Supertwins outing. Folkhard and Caolan Irwin reversed their positions here, but both were still well behind Glenn Irwin.

Fred Laverty had a double in the ISB cup races. In the first one Robert Carins, who recently became a father again, finished in second place, well behind the winner. Roberts son Lee took third. The result was the same in race two, but this time Lee was only .036 behind his dad.

Run with the ISB Cup, the ISS lads also threw up the same top three in both races. Portadown man Stephen Shortt was an easy winner in the first, held on a soaking wet track. He won by almost half a lap, while Ryan McLernon took second. Lisnaskeas man Alan Armstrong finished in third place. With the track dry for the second race, McLernon was well in touch with Shortt, although Armstrong was still some way behind.

Kevin McGrath was the leader of the first Pre Injection race. He wasn’t able to sustain the lead, however, and before long Stephen McKeown was able to get by and open a useful gap. Roger Aiken went with McKeown, but just hadn’t the speed of the Swatragh man. McGrath finished in third, still in touch with Aiken. Aiken was dominant in race two, winning by over 7 seconds. Better known for racing his 350 Honda in classic races, Combers James Conroy took second after a non finish in the opening race of the day. Alan Graham was third.

BSB regular Richard Kerr, on Antrim man Bob Wylies little Moto3 Honda, had a double in the Moto3/125 class. Randalstown lad Eugene McManus was leading and seemed to be pulling away from young Kerr, but slipped off on the wet, treacherous surface, luckily without injury. Toomebridge brothers Padraig and Cahal Graham were second and third. Kerr again took the win in race two. He was a similar distance ahead of Padraig Graham, who had Eugene McManus right in his shadow. McManus missed out by half a second, while settling for fourth place was enough to give Cahal Graham, the younger of the racing brothers, the championship.

Dromores Mark Camblin won the opening SS400 race, which was run along with the Moto3/125’s. Darryl Tweed, from Ballymoney, took second, but on the patchy, damp track, was content with that. Aaron Boyd finished in third place. After a non finish in the first race, Dungannon rider Stephen McAdoo, an ex SS400 champion, rode Alvin Griffins bike to a win in the second race. McAdoo was in great form passing early leader Darryl Tweed at half distance. He pulled away to win by 4.6 seconds from Tweed, with Antrims Peter Fletcher, the new SS400 champion, in a safe third.


The Mid Antrim club will host the Slemish Cup trial on Saturday 31st October, from the mountain car park.

The club are indebted to the JP Corry Group for their sponsorship of the event and also to the Mid & East Antrim council and the landowners on Slemish Mountain.

The Slemish Cup will be over 3 laps, each of 15 sections.