Flag set to drop on new Raceway season

Drivers and pit crew engage in a spot on tinkering at one of the cars. INBT 14-956H
Drivers and pit crew engage in a spot on tinkering at one of the cars. INBT 14-956H

The eagerly-awaited new Stock Car season at Ballymena Raceway is poised to roar off the starting grid over the Easter weekend.

A total of 16 meetings are planned during the year at the Showgrounds track.

The race action gets underway with the traditional Good Friday meeting on April 3 where the Stock Rods compete for their Yokohama Championship.

The National Hot Rods resume their World Qualifying trail that evening too and the Speed Kings return to Raceway for another World Qualifier on April 24.

The month of May will see racing on May 8 & May 22 before the Raceway proudly hosts a special memorial race for the National Hot Rods on June 5 in honour of former National star Richard Turtle.

One week later, on June 12, the Raceway presents a double bill of championship action where the Stock Rod British Championship and F2 Challenge Trophy will both be settled.

The meeting also includes a first ever appearance in the province for the Heritage F2 Stock Cars to contest their Irish Challenge Cup.

The action switches to Nutts Corner Raceway for a fixture on July 4 where the hard hitting Saloon Stock Cars visit the province to contest their Irish Open championship.

It’s back to The Showgrounds on July 17 where the main event is the 2015 Irish Masters for the National Hot Rods, before the annual Norman Cromie Memorial Trophy race for the F2 Stock Cars is staged on August 7.

A big double-header over the weekend of August 21 and 22 features the Stock Rod UK Masters as the headline event and the weekend is sure to provide some hectic action from the 1400cc rods.

A full programme of support racing includes another World Qualifier for the National Hot Rods, the Group Two Lightning Rod World Cup and the F2 Stock Car Supreme Championship, making these two days of short oval racing not to be missed.

Another World Qualifying Round for the National Hot Rods provides the main attraction at our fixture on September 11, before the first domestic titles will be determined on September 18.

Both the Euro Stock and Junior Rod Irish Champions will be crowned that evening and the Raceway will also welcome along the Legend Cars that night for a debut appearance at the Ballymena

The Irish Championship theme continues one week later on September 25 where the Group Two Lightning Rod title will be determined.

The Stock Rods will resolve their Irish Championship at Raceway on October 2 where the Stadium Championship for the F2 Stock Cars will also be settled, before the Raceway season is wrapped up on October 9.

What a spectacle lies in store that evening where the packed race card features the Group Two Golden Helmet Trophy, always one of the most keenly contested races of the year, plus the Euro Stocks Champion of Champions.

The Stock Rod Challenge Cup and Junior Rod Top Teen Trophy are also up for grabs, while the National Hot Rods are back on World Qualifying duty to provide a fitting conclusion to another season of top quality short circuit motorsport at Ballymena Raceway.