The drivers served up a hectic evening of thrills and spills during the latest Ballymena Raceway meeting on Friday evening.
Shane Murray from Ahoghill avoided all the rough stuff in the National Hot Rods to notch up a perfect hat-trick of wins on his return to the ovals.
A splendid entry of nineteen F2 Stock Cars served up some classic action in Round 2 of their Snap-On Tools Series. It was Series leader Gavin Fagin who accounted for both heat races, before a barnstorming finish to the final saw Portglenone’s Sean McFerran ride out an almighty last bend attack from Fegan to secure the silverware.
Another driver in good form at present is Jason Clyde and the Ballymena based racer extended his impressive run with a third final win on the trot at Raceway in Round 2 of the DNA Tuning Supreme Series. The programme of races at the Buckna Autos sponsored fixture also included the Group Two Lightning Rods and Super Saloons.
NATIONAL HOT RODS
Seventeen cars competed in Round 10 of the World Qualifying Series and a bruising night for the Nationals was evident right from heat one where Tommy Maxwell was disqualified for an incident with Jaimie McCurdy which triggered the first major smash of the evening. Shane Murray dived around the outside of long-time leader Simon Kennedy on the penultimate lap to win the opener and tied down pole position for the final with another victory in heat two.
A clash between Davy McKay and Nigel McCauley sparked another hefty incident at the start of the feature race where Murray saw off a strong challenge from his pursuers to complete an impressive hat-trick of wins. Carl Sloan from Kells boasted his chances of qualification to the World Final after a strong run to second, with Mark Heatrick in third.
World Series NI Rd 10: 1st. Shane Murray, 2nd. Carl Sloan, 3rd. Mark Heatrick, 4th. Gary Woolsey, 5th. Keith Martin, 6th. Derek Martin
F2 STOCK CARS
There was action aplenty in a lively opening heat for the F2 Stock Cars which eventually went the way of Gavin Fegan. It was Snap-On Tools Series leader Fegan who doubled his tally for the evening with another victory in heat two as Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid chased the winner home in this one.
Sean McFerran eased his way to the front in the final, but was gradually being hunted down by Fegan as the laps ticked down. On the final bend Fegan went in with a massive hit to try and dislodge the leader, but McFerran expertly repelled his attack and squeezed home just ahead of Fegan after a dash to the finish line.
Snap-On Tools Series Rd 2: 1st. Sean McFerran, 2nd. Gavin Fegan, 3rd. Sam McKay, 4th. Martin Conlon, 5th. Christopher Kincaid, 6th. Billy Finnegan
Scottish visitors Jim Pitcaithly and Trevor Calvin joined the Raceway regulars on the grid for Round 2 of the DNA Tuning Supreme Series. Niall McFerran from Rasharkin steered his Vauxhall Corsa to the front in heat one before form man Jason Clyde slipped ahead of Ryan Murphy in the latter stages of heat two to notch up another race win.
Kurtis Reid set the initial pace in the final before Clyde nipped ahead on lap 6. Early leader Reid was then involved in an incident with Jack Kennedy and Adam Sloan which brought the out the caution flags and set up a grandstand finish to the chequered flag. Clyde judged this perfectly and scuttled home for his third final win at Raceway in a row, with former Junior Rod Irish Champion Aaron Moody showing up well in second.
DNA Tuning Series Rd 2: 1st. Jason Clyde, 2nd. Aaron Moody, 3rd. Jim Pitcaithly, 4th. Alastair Bolton, 5th. Trevor Calvin, 6th. Matthew McKinstry
GROUP TWO LIGHTNING RODS
Gareth Robinson led a long way into heat one until the Cullybackey racer was swamped by the pack in the closing laps as Mark Turtle slipped through to grab the victory in his Vauxhall Astra. Newcomer Billy Mark made a good fist of leading heat two before Matthew Curran made his move to take the win just ahead of Karl Smyth.
Harry Gilmore led the opening four laps of the final, but a determined Curran was moving quickly once more and steamed ahead for a dominate second win of the night.
Final: 1st. Matthew Curran, 2nd. Harry Gilmore, 3rd. Jason Darragh, 4th. Freddie Fleck, 5th. Andy McLeister, 6th. Karl Smyth
Ashley Graham continued his fine start to the season with a brace of victories in the two heat races, but it was Liam Irwin form Ballymoney who withstood the close advances of Aaron McGraw to take the final win, with McGraw and Graham second and third.
Final: 1st. Liam Irwin, 2nd. Aaron McGraw, 3rd. Ashley Graham, 4th. Alistair Christie