A quick and efficient Ballymena Raceway programme on Friday evening saw the race schedule done and dusted within two and a half hours.
Perfect track conditions ensured some fast lap times were posted during the meeting, especially by F2 Stock Car racer Dean McCrory.
The Antrim based teenager underlined the potential of his recently unveiled new car with a clear victory in the Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy race. Crumlin’s Bradley McKinstry followed the winner across the line, with another member of the McCrory family, Ryan, in third.
In the other classes Andy McLeister from Ballymoney added the Terraclean Series title to his growing list of successes after a controversial series finale for the well supported Group Two Lightning Rod division. Freddie Fleck occupied pole position for the showdown, but his hopes of victory were soon dashed in an early incident amongst the leading pack. Karl Smyth took over out front with McLeister and Matthew Curran in hot pursuit and McLeister took full advantage when the leader encountered problems lapping Fleck to stroke his Vauxhall Astra home for a good win.
Tim Hazlett continued his purple patch with another final win in the Stock Rod category and Trevor McFaul left Raceway unbeaten after a dominant hat-trick of wins in the Super Saloon series. Junior Rods completed the race programme at the RWS Alloy Wheel and Car Body Repair sponsored fixture where Irish Champion Antony Kincaid from Antrim extended his lead in the Gold Roof Series with another final win.
F2 STOCK CARS
Twelve cars contested the Norman Cromie Memorial event which has been held annually since 1984 to remember the former 1300 GT Stock Car racer. Billy Finnegan proved uncatchable from the yellow grade in the opening heat before Bradley McKinstry elbowed his way ahead of Finnegan in heat two to take the honours. Those heat results determined the positions within each grade for the final where Finnegan was quickly swamped by the pack. McCrory hit the front on lap 3 with McKinstry in tow and the pair would run first and second to the chequered flag.
Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy: 1st. Dean McCrory, 2nd. Bradley McKinstry, 3rd. Ryan McCrory, 4th. Craig McConnell, 5th. Scott Finlay, 6th. Gavin Fegan
GP2 LIGHTNING RODS
A great turnout of 20 entries participated in the final round of the Terraclean Series. Nigel Doherty romped to victory in both heat races, but the Garvagh man was unfortunately sidelined from the series final after a clutch issue on his Vauxhall Astra. Freddie Fleck occupied pole position, but his hopes of victory were soon dashed in an early incident amongst the leading pack. The Broughshane man’s Vauxhall Astra was tipped into a spin under pressure from Karl Smyth who took over out front with McLeister and Matthew Curran in hot pursuit. There was very little to separate this trio until they came around to lap the back marking Fleck on lap 10. Leader Smyth found his route impeded as he plotted a path around the tailender and McLeister was on hand to nip through for the win.
Terraclean Series Final: 1st. Andy McLeister, 2nd. Matthew Curran, 3rd. David Reynolds, 4th. Richard Purdy, 5th. Karl Smyth, 6th. Harry Gilmore
Broughshane’s Gareth McFetridge made his debut in a smart Vauxhall Corsa amongst the 13 car grid for heat one. Niall McFerran nipped ahead of long time leader Samuel Murphy in the closing laps to snatch victory in heat one, before Jonny Downs recorded an emphatic flag to flag win on heat two. Downs and Murphy both enjoyed spells out front in the final before Tim Hazlett eased his way to the head of things on lap 11. Hazlett comfortably controlled the remainder of the race to lead home Murphy and McFerran.
Final: 1st. Tim Hazlett, 2nd. Samuel Murphy, 3rd. Niall McFerran, 4th. Matthew McKinstry, 5th. Aaron Moody, 6th. Johnny McCloy
A pleasing grid of 14 cars competed in Round 2 of the Gold Roof Series for the young racers. Matthew Milliken set the pace in heat one to record a good win in his Vauxhall. Ballymena’s Joel McPeake displayed good pace in his new car to lead heat two for a long time before Jack Patchett motored ahead two laps from home. It was McPeake again who set a brisk tempo at the start the final while the star grade duo of Patchett and Antony Kincaid tore through from the back of the field. The pair eventually chased down leader McPeake with only 3 laps remaining and Kincaid made his move at Suffolk bend to secure a hard fought win.
Gold Roof Series Round 2: 1st. Antony Kincaid, 2nd. Jack Patchett, 3rd. Joel McPeake, 4th. Joshua McKinstry, 5th. Stuart Percy, 6th. Matthew Milliken.