The five classes on display at Ballymena Raceway on Friday produced some close racing punctuated with a number of spectacular crashes.
F2 Stock Car Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid was back on top form as the Antrim ace secured the honours in the final of the Snap-On Tools Series.
There was success too for Christopher’s younger brother, Antony, who started the defence of his Junior Rod Gold Roof title with a clear win in the meeting final.
In the other classes at the Rodney Fleck Specialist Cars sponsored programme Adam Sloan from Kells warmed up for the forthcoming Stock Rod British Championship event at Cowdenbeath with a first final win of the 2016 campaign. Ballymena’s Daniel Norris thwarted Mark Turtle’s hat-trick hopes in the Group Two Lightning Rods with his first final win of the season and Ashley Graham emerged victorious in a keenly contested Super Saloon feature race.
F2 STOCK CARS
Another strong showing of 19 cars assembled for the final round of the Snap-On Tools Series where the heat races brought victories for Kincaid and Thomas Greer. Gavin Fegan and Sean McFerran occupied the front row for the series final, but Kincaid found a space through from the second row on the opening bend to dart into the lead and immediately put the hammer down to stretch out a gap over Fegan. After that initial burst there was little to choose between the pair, but Kincaid maintained a constant advantage over his pursuer all the way to the chequered flag. Fegan was equally secure in second as attention switched to the battle for third between Ryan McCrory, Bradley McKinstry and McConnell which eventually went in McKinstry’s favour.
Snap-On Tools Series Final: 1st. Christopher Kincaid, 2nd. Gavin Fegan, 3rd. Bradley McKinstry, 4th. Craig McConnell, 5th. Ryan McCrory, 6th. Sean McFerran
Former Junior Rod sparring partners Niall McFerran and Aaron Moody battled it out for the win in the heat event, with McFerran just ahead of a fast finishing Moody at the chequered flag. Lester McCloy set the pace in the early stages of the final and all the action was behind the leader where a gaggle of cars battled over second. This came to an abrupt halt when Michael McKendry smacked the wall hard on the exit of Suffolk bend and rolled his Vauxhall Nova which brought an immediate race suspension. When the action resumed McCloy was soon under pressure from Adam Sloan who slipped ahead on lap 9. Once again Moody was the one tracking the leader and a nip and tuck contest between the pair ensued over the closing tours, but Sloan kept it all neat and tidy to record a confidence boasting win.
Final: 1st. Adam Sloan, 2nd. Aaron Moody, 3rd. Jason Clyde, 4th. Jack Kennedy, 5th. Lester McCloy, 6th Matthew McKinstry
The opening round of the Gold Roof Series attracted 13 entrants and it was one of this season’s impressive bunch of rookies, Stuart Percy from Randalstown, who recorded his first ever win at the Raceway after a smooth drive in the opening heat. Percy’s evening went from ecstasy to agony in heat two however when the newcomer thumped the wall a mighty blow in his immaculate Peugeot as Kincaid picked his way through the incidents to take the spoils. Matthew Drysdale set off at a cracking pace in the final, but gradually Kincaid chased down the leader and nipped ahead on lap 6.
Gold Roof Series Rd 1 Final: 1st. Antony Kincaid, 2nd. Matthew Drysdale, 3rd. Jack Patchett, 4th. Cole McFall, 5th. Leah Hughes, 6th. Matthew Nicholl
Mark Goldie and Danny Norris took turns out front in 15 car opening heat before Turtle emerged from the pack to take a polished win. It was a similar story in heat two where Turtle overcame early pacesetters Goldie and Norris by lap 8 to secure his second win of the evening. That brace of heat wins earned Turtle an automatic upgrade for the final and the extra handicap would prove decisive as Norris proved uncatchable to take home the silverware after a good run.
Final: 1st. Daniel Norris, 2nd. Rodney Stewart, 3rd. Mark Turtle, 4th. Mark Goldie. 5th. Andy McLeister, 6th. Karl Smyth
Bobby Johnston from Tobermore marked his first Raceway appearance of the season with a very tidy brace of heat wins in his Vauxhall Astra. The feature race developed into a real dog fight between Liam Irwin, Ashley Graham and Aaron McGraw with little separating the three throughout. At the end of their entertaining scrap it was Graham who got his nose in front when it mattered most to claim the trophy, with Irwin and McGraw in second and third.
Final: 1st. Ashley Graham, 2nd. Liam Irwin, 3rd. Aaron McGraw, 4th. Alistair Christie, 5th. Bobby Johnston.