RACING RETURNS TO KIRKISTOWN

AFTER a break of nine weeks, championship car and superkart racing returns to Kirkistown this Saturday (May 27).

The quickest machines in attendance will be the Superkarts, with the 250cc karts capable of lapping the 1.563 mile circuit in approximately 55 seconds! The 125cc versions are not far behind at around 60 seconds. In the 250cc class, watch out for Alan Crossen from Comber, who has really been in form this season. 

At Bishopscourt at the start of the month, the only man who could beat him was Craigavon’s Brian Jones. Both are among the entries this weekend. In the 125cc class, the ever present and evergreen Noel Lindsay from Hillsborough will be there or thereabouts. Stuart Coey from Comber, who is the 250cc lap record holder at Kirkistown, has decided to race in the 125cc class this season and will be in the mix with other regulars such as Comber’s Alan Witherow and Geoff Simms from Mountnorris.

The next quickest machines on the day will be the Roadsports. Current champion Steven Larkham, from Carrickfergus, will be out in his Radical PR6. Dundrod driver Ivor Greenwood has a similar machine, although he has been having some reliability issues in testing, recently. The NI 7evens will be running with the Roadsports and it is hard to envision anyone beating Graham Moore from Newtownards, although the Francis brothers, Richard and Mark, from Donaghadee and Banbridge’s Paul Thompson will be out to prove me wrong.

The Kirkistown Minis are back in force after their excellent showing in March.  With an entry of ten cars, expect close and exciting racing. The front runners in March were Jack Conachy from Newry and Dundalk’s Kian O’Brien. An interesting addition to the field this time is ex-Fiesta Champion, Mark Stewart, from Belfast.

In the Saloons, the front of the field should be populated by Peter Baxter from Lurgan, Paul Parr from Newry, Navan’s Adrian McNally and Gareth Blaine from Downpatrick. All of these drivers are in Seat Supercopas. Behind these should be David McMinn from Kells in his rapid diesel Seat Ibiza and Castlewellan’s Patrick Corbett in his Honda Civic. The BMW 330i class will feature the Wray brothers, Keith and Greer, and Pete Murray from Clonmellon.

In the Fiestas, expect a battle between father and son from Portadown, Derek and Michael Graham. Derek is the current champion but Michael wants his crown. Strangford’s Megan Campbell is making a welcome return and should she regain her previous good form, she could thwart both Grahams.

The Modi-5-Cup Mazdas seem to be stuck on an entry of half a dozen.  However, the racing they produce is always close and exciting. Francis Allen from Moira is the man to beat and Rob Kennedy from Crossmaglen will be trying to do just that. Add to that John Stewart from Bangor, Gregory Radcliffe from Banbridge, Warrenpoint’s Andy Irwin and Rob Kennedy’s father, Jim.

Visiting classes this time are the Legends and the Scottish Fiesta STs. The legends are 1,250 cc five eighth scale 1930s American Stock Cars. They are fast and very equally matched. Names to look for are Peter Barrable from Swords, David Yamamoto from Wexford and Anthony Malone from Dunboyne. Local interest centres on Ballymena’s Richard Spence. This meeting forms a round of the Legends Celtic Challenge.

Unfortunately, due to a strange process of entry submission, all I can tell you about the Scottish Fiesta STs is that there are 15 entered and the racing is always very close.

At the time of writing, there are only four confirmed entries for FF1600. If that does not increase, their races will not run.

Qualifying starts at 9.00am on Saturday morning, with racing beginning at 11.00.