The next generation of oval racing stars will be on display this weekend at Ballymena Raceway with the Junior Rods and Micro F2 Stock Cars both in action on Friday evening (April 15).
The Micros are a fun formula for 7 to 11 year olds and made a successful debut appearance at Raceway earlier this month.
English visitor Elexie Bartram left with the Next Cup that night, but the focus is very much on participation in this class which gives the kids a great opportunity to sample the thrill of oval racing.
The Junior Rods are the next stepping stone for the young racers and cater for the 11 to 16 age bracket. Irish Champion Antony Kincaid from Antrim will be one to watch out for, along with Jack Patchett who captured the Top Teen Trophy at Raceway on Good Friday.
A very encouraging entry of 15 youngsters took to the track that evening, with Joel McPeake, Shea Duff, Jamie Hunter and Samuel Wilson also amongst the front runners on that occasion.
The success of these junior formulas in providing the champions of the future will be demonstrated once again during the remainder of the Isuzu Truck Antrim sponsored programme when the F2 Stock Car, Group Two Lightning Rod and Stock Rod classes take to the track.
Former Junior Rod Irish Champion Sean McFerran took the F2 spoils on their last Raceway outing and the Portglenone lad will need to be at his best again in a field which includes top talent such as Conor Hughes, Gavin Fegan, Irish Champion Christopher Kincaid and Track Champion Craig McConnell.
It is a similar story in the Stock Rod division, where former Junior Rod starlet Jack Kennedy has taken the class by storm since making his senior debut at Easter. Two more ex-stars of the junior ranks, Aaron Moody and Niall McFerran, are also expected to challenge strongly for the Stock Rod honours along with British Champion Steven McKane, Adam Sloan and Jason Clyde.
The always competitive Group Two Lightning Rods contest the opening round of their Terraclean Series on Friday evening, with the first race getting underway in the Ballymena Showgrounds at 7:15pm.