Purdy crowned Grand Prix champion

THERE WERE plenty of action at the Ballymena Raceway meeting on Friday evening with competitive racing mixed in with a series of spectacular spills but Richard Purdy's victory in the Group Two Lighting Rod Grand Prix Series was the highlight of the evening.

Friday, 30th June 2017, 1:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:26 am
Cullybackey GP2 racer Richard Purdy celebrates his Grand Prix win with his girlfriend Rebecca Kennedy.

Three rollovers during the opening five races set the tone for the evening. Gareth Robinson, Matthew Drysdale and Jason Clyde were the upturned trio, but happily all three were unharmed.

Things settled down a little after that explosive opening, but there was still plenty of good racing on display. The main event on the programme was the final of the Group Two Lighting Rod Grand Prix Series and Polesitter, Purdy was tracked all the way by David Reynolds and Freddie Fleck in this one. However, Cullybackey based Purdy controlled things expertly from the front to score his biggest win to date.

It was a case of the Yellow Peril in the Stock Rod division, where all three race wins in Round Two of their FG Race Fabrications Series went the way of the yellow grade. Rasharkin’s Niall McFerran and Ian Thompson from Dundrod split the heats wins between them and also finished one – two in the final as McFerran captured his second win of the night.

Stephen McCready was the best of the star grade in third after an eye-catching run through from the rear of the field.

Last time out at Raceway Jack Morrow’s car ended up on its roof, but the Rathfriland lad’s fortunes were totally reversed on this visit! Morrow underlined his potential with a sublime hat-trick of wins in the opening round of the Junior Rod Gold Roof Series, where Mark Brogan and Joshua McKinstry joined him on the podium for the feature race.

There were also hat-tricks for Richard Nicholl in the Super Saloons and Norman Mitchell in the Street Rods.

Results - GP2 Grand Prix Series: 1,. Richard Purdy, 2,. David Reynolds, 3, Freddie Fleck, 4, Mark Goldie; Stock Rods FG Race Fabrications Series Rd 2: 1, Niall McFerran, 2, Ian Thompson, 3, Stephen McCready, 4, Matthew McKinstry; Street Rods Final: 1, Norman Mitchell, 2, Shannon Morrow, 3, Jacqui Hodge.Super Saloons Final: 1, Richard Nicholl, 2, Louise Donnell, 3, Stephen Howwit; Junior Rods Gold Roof Series Rd 1: 1, Jack Morrow, 2, Mark Brogan, 3rd. Joshua McKinstry, 4, Stuart Percy.

The Raceway action on Friday evening was kindly sponsored by Booby Johnston Garage Services of Tobermore and Sperrin Switchgear, Draperstown.