Rookies take first tentative steps in racing at track day

Riders sprint to their bikes at the start of last years Nifty Fifty races. Picture: Roy Adams.
Riders sprint to their bikes at the start of last years Nifty Fifty races. Picture: Roy Adams.

The first of three race schools was held at Bishopcourt last Sunday as riders took the first tentative steps on their racing careers.

I haven’t been speaking to any MCUI officials, but I would say there was something like 40 newcomers taking part in the school, which must be attended if a rider is to get a licence to race.

As usual the ‘teachers’, Michael Swann, Brian Gardiner and Stephen Ferguson done as first class job, answering even the daftest of questions and giving out their instructions on everything from flag signals to braking points and peel off points.

I didn’t really notice anyone in particular, but I did see Swannys son Scott having some one on one tuition from his Dad. It’s funny seeing some of the lads starting out and by the end of the year they will be in a position to win races. I did notice Caolin Irwin with his younger brother Rhys. Despite having to borrow a pair of boots, because he brought two left foot ones, former MX rider Rhys was getting well on the pace. Kyle Cross, who had a good season last year on a GP125 has stepped up to the 600 class on the ex Carl Phillips R6.

Kyle was taking things handy for the first day and quickly looked at home on the bigger bike. I would imagine that he will be a regular points scorer before the end of the season.

The next training school will be this coming Saturday, again at Bishopscourt and the final school will be at Kirkistown on the 1st March, when hopefully everybody will be awarded their licence.

I’ve said it before, but I will do again. Anyone from the area covered by the Times, give me a shout. I can be found easily enough in the paddock. I can keep an eye on you then and the possibility of an odd photo in the paper is always there.

It does nothing but good when you get to the stage of trying to pick up some sponsorship. Alternately, I can be contacted on Facebook.


The first race action of the year is this weekend at Mondello Park, Co. Kildare.

To say the riders in the Nifty Fifty meeting don’t take it seriously is a misrepresentation. I saw some of the teams last year actually cleaning visors, making out lists of who was going to ride when and even who was buying burgers. Some even had a helmet for each rider.

Despite all the messing, it’s meant to be a fun day, where riders can have a bit of craic and make a few quid for their favourite charities.

Riders like Ian Lougher, Cody Nally, Brian McCormack, Glenn Irwin, Jamie Hamilton and a few of our top ISB and ISS riders take part regularly for what is little more than a social occasion.

The more serious end of the day is that the winning team in each class gets to win €3000, donated to their chosen charity. All money lifted at the gate goes to Midlands Dyspraxia Support Group.