Great weather and great racing were the order of the day as the 56th running of the Tandragee 100 took place last Saturday.
The day started in controversial style when Dan Kneen and Derek Sheils were judged to have jumped the start of the opening Superbike race.
Both were handed one minute time penalties, dropping them to 10th and 11th respectively. Neither man was happy and both have appealed the decision.
That handed the first race win to Ryan Farquhar on the BMW, and as a result it gave him 18 race wins at Tandragee, the same as Joey Dunlop, the most successful rider at the Co. Armagh circuit. Farquhar was well ahead of William Dunlop, on the MSS Kawasaki. William was watched by MSS boss, Nick Morgan. Malachi Mitchell-Thomas had his work cut out in taking third place.
The Junior Support race was next. That gave James Chawke his maiden road race win. The result was declared after 3 laps when the race was red flagged. At that time Scott Millar, from Inverness, was almost 11 seconds back in second place, while Warren Reeve, on the ex Ian Morrell Yamaha was 3rd.
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas was the early leader of the Supersport 600 race. Before long Dan Kneen moved ahead. Chased by William Dunlop, Kneen just couldnt work with the Ballymoney man and in the closing stages of the race had to give best. William took the race win by 1.2 seconds, while Kneen moved less than 4 seconds away from Mitchell-Thomas.
Jamie O’Brien took a win in the Classic race. He was comfortably ahead of Mark Parrett at the finish, with Parrett taking the win in the 500 class. In the absence of Glarryford man Barry Davidson, who has been nearly unbeatable in the 350 class in recent years, Dromore rider Mark Johnston took his maiden win, with Hexham man Phil Shaw as normal, taking the spoils in the 250 category.
The Supertwins race was one of the closest of the day. Ryan Farquhar and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas were wheel to wheel for the entire 5 lap duration. Farquhar went for the inside line at the final bend, with Mitchell-Thomas outbraking himself and running wide. Farquhar took the win, upping the lap record that had been held by Adrian Archibald since 2011. Ryan took the win by a second, while the third placed finisher, Derek Sheils was well back.
The 250GP race was another cracker. It featured Davy Morgan and Rhys Hardisty, with Morgan getting the drop by .2 of a second on the final lap. Galgorm man Neil Kernohan had a safe third place finish. Run concurrently with the GP250 race, Paddy McColgan, on his local track, took victory in the Forgotten Era race. He was well ahead of Bert McCrum, on the ex factory rotary Norton. Des Butler was third.
Ballymena man Sam Wilson, in his first competitive outing this year, had a win in the 125GP race. He had to come from behind after Adam Mclean led in the early part of the race. Once Wilson got ahead it was game over as he moved away to finish 2.5 seconds ahead of the Magherafelt rider.
The Supersport 400 race was run with the 125’s. This one went to Czech Republic rider Michael Dokoupil. Better known as Indi, he moved steadily away from the rest of the field, winning by 7.5 seconds. There was a three rider dice for the lower places, as Seamus Elliott, Darryl Tweed and Michael Sweeney fought it out for most of the race. Elliott took second, just .2 ahead of Tweed.
The final race of the day had to be restarted after Joe Newbould crashed but wasn’t seriously hurt. Dan Kneen made the race his own, the factory Yamaha rider was over 6 seconds clear at the finish, with Sheils a similar distance in front on his team mate Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.