IAN LOUGHER TO CONTEST ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Team ILR will have a two rider presence at the 2018 Ulster Grand Prix when Ian Lougher returns to the event in August to partner Joey Thompson in the Supertwin class on the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Patons.
Ian is one of the most successful riders ever around the historic Dundrod circuit having notched up 18 race wins, second only to Joey Dunlop in the all-time list of winners, and he is also just one podium placing behind Dunlop on 43.
He took his first Ulster GP win in 1998 in the opening 250cc race, although his first podium was six years previously in the 1992 125cc race, a class he went on to win four times as well as tasting victory over the following years in the Superbike, Superstock/Production, Supersport and 250cc classes.
Only 11 riders have claimed three or more victories at Dundrod in one day and Lougher has the distinction of claiming a double hat-trick of race wins in 2002 and 2005 respectively. And it's not the only type of treble he has enjoyed at Dundrod, having picked up the Man of the Meeting Award on three occasions in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
In the 2002 UGP Superbike race, Ian broke the existing lap record on the fourth lap with a speed of 127.82 mph to finally better Tom Herron's 127.63mph lap at the 1978 North-West 200, thereby elevating the Ulster Grand Prix to the status of being the Fastest Road Race in the British Isles at that time.
Subsequently, he went on to become a member of the '130mph plus' Club with a lap of 130.873mph in the 2012 Superstock race, and his 125cc race record of 110.719mph on the Barnes/Jackson Racing 125 Honda in 2009 still stands as the benchmark for this class.
So revered is Ian's name at Dundrod that, in 2009 the organisers of the Ulster GP committee bestowed the ultimate road racing honour upon him by announcing that they were re-naming the blisteringly fast Budore Corner in recognition of his racing achievements, and since then this famous section of the 7.4 miles circuit has been known as Lougher's.
The Welshman, who made Northern Ireland his home in 2001, last raced at Dundrod in 2013 where he won the Ultra-Lightweight race from Christian Elkin and Paul Jordan, and shortly afterwards he announced his retirement from 'full-time racing'.
He has however continued to compete in carefully selected races and has continued to support 'The Ulster' by bringing Team ILR to the event when possible and running riders with the calibre of Horst Saiger and of course Joey Thompson.
Thompson will be making his second appearance at Dundrod after a sensational debut last year when he romped to victory in the Dundrod 150 National race on the Thursday of UGP Bike Week, and Saturday race day saw him podium Adrian Nettleship's 125 Honda when he scored a brilliant third place in the Ultra-Lightweight race.
He then had an impressive outing in the first Supersport encounter to come from 20th on the grid and bring the Team ILR/Thompsons ZX-6 home in 12th place, and he went two places better in the second race where, but for a false neutral at Leathemstown and having to take to the grass, he could have been higher placed.
His performances that day deservedly clinched him the meeting's Best Newcomer Award, the second time in two years that Team ILR has achieved this, with Saiger claiming it in 2015.
As well as the Supertwin entry, Joey will compete in the Supersport and 250cc classes at Dundrod.
PAUL JORDAN AND DOMINIC HERBERTSON TEAM UP WITH DAFABET DEVITT RACING
Paul Jordan and Dominic Herbertson have joined forces with Dafabet Devitt Racing and will contest the MCE Ulster Grand Prix for the team in the Superstock and Superbike classes.
The team’s last race was at the Southern 100 earlier this month when Ivan Lintin was involved in an accident which saw the Englishman being airlifted to hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained. He remains in a stable condition.
After consulting with Ivan’s family the team has decided to carry on racing and next week at Dundrod they will field Paul and Dominic.
In Jordan and Herbertson, the team has two exciting young next-gen riders with proven international road racing pedigree. Both riders are huge fan favourites and should benefit from the experience the team can provide and the always expertly prepared machinery.
Dafebet Devitt Racing
“After discussions with Ivan's Mum, Dad, his Girlfriend and with their blessing we will be at the Ulster Grand Prix. We got in contact with Dominic Herbertson and Paul Jordan and have secured their services on two of our Superstock machines for the Superbike and Superstock classes. We look forward to having them on board and seeing the season out with these 2 pilots.
Once again thank you for your continued support, and keep your messages for Mr Supertwin coming in.”
EAST COAST RACING FESTIVAL GETS NEW MAIN SPONSOR
The East Coast Motorcycling Club has announced an exciting new main sponsor ahead of the East Coast Racing Festival later this year.
The hugely popular TV phenomenon Mrs Brown’s Boys has come on board to support the club. Announcing the partnership the club had this to say:
“So thrilled to announce that our new main sponsor for this year’s East Coast Racing Festival is none other than Mrs Brown’s Boys. We look forward to working closely with all of the team!
From their family and our road racing family, keep ‘er lit.”
The East Coast Racing Festival, now in it’s second year, takes place on September 8th and 9th and it will close the Irish National Road Racing season.
Please support the club. You can follow them on twitter @East_Coast_MCC and on Facebook.
East Coast Motorcycling Club
ALLISTER MACSORLEY INJURED IN SERIOUS COLLISION AT ARMOY
Allister Macsorley, son of renowned road racing doctor Fred MacSorley, was injured today in a non-racing incident at the Armoy ‘Race Of Legends’.
It is understood that Allister, a member of the MCUI Medical Team, collided on the course with another medical vehicle. He was taken via air ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hispital in Belfast. His injuries are thought to be non-life threatening.
We wish Allister a full and swift recovery.
ARMOY ROAD RACES ABANDONED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER
Bad weather has caused the Armoy Road Races to be brought to an early halt.
It is a blow for the popular meeting, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, but after consultation between the club and senior riders, the difficult decision was made to abandon all racing for today.
Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club official statement.
“Given the conditions of the course and the weather today, due consideration has taken place by the stewards officiating and the Clerk of the Course, in addition to senior competitors. A decision has been made in the interest of safety to abandon this meeting.
The Club would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the competitors, sponsors, volunteers and public. We can only look forward to next year’s event.”
BIKING BLITZ PLANNED IN RUN UP TO MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Organisers of the MCE Ulster Grand Prix have announced three motorbike convoys to take place during Bike Week, starting from different locations but all ending with a lap of the world famous Dundrod circuit on Tuesday 7th August.
Building on the success of their involvement in the event for the past two years, the formidable force that is the Dromara Destoyers, will once again lead a ride out from the Village Square in Dromara, and have asked anyone who wishes to join them to be there for 7pm before leaving at 7.30pm.
Commenting on their involvement in the event 9 times Ulster Grand Prix winner Brian Reid said:
“We are delighted to be involved in this incredible event for the third year running and welcome any chance to experience the thrill of the Dundrod circuit!
There’s a great sense of community in the biking fraternity and events like these rideouts really reinforce that!”
The second ride out will be for scooters and vespas and will leave from Scooter Specialist NI on Great Victoria Street in Belfast at 7.30pm.
The third ride out will be for Harley-Davidsons and will leave from their showroom in the Kilbegs Business Park in Antrim.
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at MCE Ulster Grand Prix commented:
“Brian Reid, Ian McGregor, Raymond McCullough and Trevor Steele were a force to be reckoned with in their halcyon days and it’s fantastic to have them on board again this year.
“The numbers participating in the convoy have increased year on year and I have no doubt we will see even more riders on the 20 mile stretch between Dromara and Dundrod! Last year we introduced a ride out of scooters from Belfast and the addition of a convoy of Harley-Davidsons from Antrim this year demonstrates the popularity of this Bike Week event.”
MCKEOWN WINS SENIOR SUPPORT RACE 1 AT ARMOY
Stephen McKeown won the Armoy Construction / Park Electrical Services Senior Support Race today at Armoy.
Riding his Triumph 675 machine, McKeown powered to victory in the 4 lap race winning by 2.855s. McKeown also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 3 with a time of 1.53.359s giving him an average speed of 95.527mph.
In second place was H O’Kane Motors backed rider Tommy Henry and in third place rounding out the podium finishers was Mike Swanson on the HMD Tuning Yamaha R6.
Senior Support Race Result
1 Stephen McKeown
2 Tommy Henry
3 Mike Swanson
4 Liam Chawke
5 Matt Donaldson
6 Dermot Cleary
7 Darryl Anderson
8 Chris Cook
9 John Cahill
10 Jordan McFerren
11 Stuart McCann
12 Veronika Hankocyova
13 Aaron Boyd
14 Robert Cairns
15 George Scott
16 Mathias Winkenjohann
17 James Rothery
18 Stephen Carr
19 Yvonne Montgomery
EXTENDED SOUTHERN 100 COVERAGE ON BRITISH EUROSPORT 2
Extended coverage of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Road Races 2018 can be seen on British Eurosport 2 during August, Southern 100 Racing are pleased to confirm.
The races, filmed by Isle of Man company Greenlight Television, highlights of this year’s races will be shown over three one-hour programmes on the 4th, 18th & 19th August at various times as shown below.
Saturday 4th August - 18.00 – 19.00
Saturday 18th August - 13.30 – 14.30
Sunday 19th August - 18.00 – 19.00
All three programmes will be repeated during August, September, October, November and December as part of British Eurosport 2’s ‘Real Road Racing Series’.
Southern 100 Racing Press Officer, Phil Edge said: ‘As race organisers we are delighted that once again Greenlight Television have secured air time on British Eurosport 2 to show highlights of this year’s Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Road Races.
‘British Eurosport 2 is one of the top sporting channels especially for road racing and attracts many thousands of viewers, which provides excellent publicity for ‘the friendly races’ and our much-valued sponsors, who are vital to ensure the future of our races on the Colas Billown Course.’
Photo by RCphotos
ARMOY ‘RACE OF LEGENDS’ TO BE TELEVISED ON THE BBC
The 2018 Armoy Road Races will be televised on the BBC this year.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the popular meeting will be shown on BBC one on Wednesday 8th August at 10.40pm with a special 45 minute highlights programme.
There will be a full race programme when the racing gets underway with the blue riband event being the Bayview Hotel ‘Race Of Legends’.
ARMOY ‘RACE OF LEGENDS’ 2018 PREVIEW
Now celebrating It’s tenth year, the ever popular Armoy ‘Race Of Legends’ returns this weekend where current in-form rider Derek McGee looks set to start as the pre-race favourite across multiple classes.
With a current winning streak consisting of 14 straight wins, McGee will be the man all other riders will need to beat.
Riders possessing current form capable of causing an upset for McGee will be Cookstown Burrows Engineering rider Davey Todd, MJ Racing’s Micko Sweeney and local talent Paul Jordan.
Todd, who enjoyed a superb third place finish in the open class on his Armoy debut last year, will fancy his chances of more success this time around. With the backing of John Burrows, Todd has gone from strength to strength and has enjoyed a stellar roads season thus far with his debut at the Isle of Man TT certainly being the highlight.
Micko Sweeney can never be discounted and will be heavily fancied to be in the mix when racing gets underway this weekend. Consistently strong performances on the national scene this season has seen the Irishman involved with some momentous battles. His best performance coming at his home race, the Skerries 100.
Paul Jordan has shown good form of late, especially so in the Supersport class. Two of the most exciting and close battles of the season in this class at Skerries and Faugheen has seen Jordan earn very worthy podium finishes which will have bolstered his confidence.
It will still be a huge ask for anyone to expect to beat McGee however as the popular Irishman has gone from strength to strength since finishing on the podium in the Lightweight race at the Isle of Man TT this year. McGee, backed by some supremely quick Kawasaki machinery, is the man with the target on his back.
IAN HUTCHINSON RULED OUT OF ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Ian Hutchinson will not race at next month’s MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
The Honda ace has battled back from another career threatening injury and after earlier appearances this season at the North West 200 and Isle Of Man TT, he has made the choice to focus on regaining his full fitness in order to mount a serious challenge in 2019.
This means that Honda Racing will now only field Fermanagh ace Lee Johnston when racing gets underway at Dundrod.
It’s a huge blow for the event and fans alike as Hutchinson remains a huge star of the sport and always performs at Dundrod. In his last outing at the circuit back in 2016 the ‘Bingley Bullet’ won four races, doing the Superbike double and taking a win apiece in the Superstock and Supersport classes.
“It’s been a really tough call but unfortunately I’ll be missing the Ulster GP again this year. My leg is still not strong enough for me to ride how I need to so I’m concentrating on getting everything 100% for next year. Thanks to Honda, Padgetts and Noel for supporting my decision.”
Stunning collection of Honda RC30s assembled as 30th anniversary of the all-conquering V4 is celebrated at the Classic TT
The thirtieth anniversary of the RC30 Honda, one of the most iconic motorcycles of its generation, will be celebrated at this year’s Isle of Man Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts with a stunning collection of the machines being assembled in a pop up museum in the heart of the Classic TT Paddock. And over 30 RC30 Honda’s will take to the Mountain Course on Monday 27th August as well in the Classic Racer Magazine Classic TT Lap of Honour.
The RC30 is inextricably linked to the history of the Isle of Man TT Races and made its mark from the outset in the 1988 Formula One TT Race which Joey Dunlop won on an early version of the bike, setting an outright lap record in the process.
The bike was actually released in Japan in 1987 but only came to Europe in 1988 and made an instant impact when Fred Merkel won the inaugural Superbike World championship riders and manufacturers title, which he repeated the following year.
Many of the bikes that will be on the Isle of Man for the celebration were ridden by some of the greatest names in the sport including 26-time TT Race winner Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Phillip McCallen, Carl Fogarty and Freddie Spencer.
Other machines include bikes that Nick Jefferies, Steve Ward, Johnny Rea, Alan Bennallick, Kenny Irons and Australian Mal Campbell all raced successfully on during their careers at prestigious meetings around the world. Five factory NLOB RC30’s, formerly ridden by Dunlop, Fogarty, McCallen and Jefferies in either Castrol or Silkolene colours and Hislop’s 1988 Production RC30 Honda will also feature.
Steve Ward’s machines from 1988 and 1993 will be part of the paddock display. The Leeds rider achieved third place finishes in both the Formula One and Senior Races in the latter year, while the GT Motorcycles RC30 regularly campaigned by Alan Bennallick is another Honda RC30 that will form part of the celebrations.
Spencer’s Two Brothers Racing Honda RC30 that the triple World Champion rode in the AMA Superbike Championship is also in the exhibition.
In addition a number of RC30’s ridden in the World Endurance Championship will be on display including the 1989 Dholda Honda, an ex-Mal Campbell Moriwaki machine, also from 1989, that the Australian took to third in that year’s Suzuka 8-Hour and the Team Bike and That’s Racing machines that won and finished on the podium respectively at the Le Mans 24 Hour race as well as taking podium finishes elsewhere.
The free to enter Honda RC30 30th Anniversary Pop Up Museum curated by the Honda RC30 Owners Club, will be open from Friday 24th to Monday 27th August in the Classic TT Paddock .
Classic TT Grandstand tickets are available now starting from as little at £5 with race day tickets priced at £30. VIP experiences, tickets for the Classic TT Party on Saturday 25th August and the RST Classic TT Heroes Dinner on Sunday 26th August are all available to buy now at iomtt.com or via our sales hotline on (00 44) (0) 1624 640011.
SOUTHERN 100 TV COVERAGE
Southern 100 Racing are pleased to announce that highlights of the 2018 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 International Road Races will be shown on ITV4 on Monday and Tuesday 23rd & 24th July commencing at 8.00pm on both evenings.
Southern 100 Racing is indebted to Greenlight Television for their continued coverage of the races on the Colas Billown Course and to ITV4 for including the event in their prime-time schedules.
Returning John McGuinness heads impressive line up for Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race
This year’s Bennetts Senior Classic TT Race will again signal the start of the 2018 Race programme for the Classic TT Races presented by Bennetts and with an 80-strong grid, another fiercely contested Mountain Course Race is expected.
Heading the entry at number one is 2016 Race winner and current Senior Classic TT Race lap record holder John McGuinness who returns on the Team Winfield Paton. After almost 18 months out of racing, 23-time TT winner McGuinness’s comeback is eagerly anticipated.
The twin-cylinder Paton has won no less than four of the five previous Senior Classic TT Races but there are plenty of other riders capable of stopping their domination, perhaps none more so than ten-time TT winner Ian Lougher (#5) on the John Chapman Racing MV Agusta. Lougher won the race in 2014 and will certainly be aiming for the top step again.
Maria Costello (#10), third in 2016 and fourth last year, will again be mounted on the Team Beugger Racing Paton but perhaps the biggest threat to the Italian multi-cylinder machines will come from the three pronged attack of the Davies Motorsport Honda team.
Works Honda TT rider Lee Johnston will, arguably, be their strongest challenger as he sets off at number 13 but both Alan Oversby (#2) and Dominic Herbertson (#8) will be pushing for a podium - at least - with the latter finishing in fifth place twelve months ago.
The field is packed with potential rostrum men riding British machines led by last year’s runner-up Jamie Coward (#3) on the Ted Woof/Craven Manx Norton. The Yorkshire rider has the distinction of setting the fastest ever lap on a British single-cylinder machine during last year’s meeting.
Six-time TT winner Michael Rutter (#4) will again ride the Ripley Land Racing Matchless with former World Championship 125cc and Moto3TM competitor Danny Webb (#17) on board the Dunnell Racing Norton with Michael Russell (#19) riding a similar machine for Izzard Racing.
Olie Linsdell, the maiden winner of the Senior Classic TT Race in 2013, will again be on the Flitwick Motorcycles/Steve Bond Royal Enfield, this time with the number nine plate, while the CSC Racing Honda pairing of Daniel Cooper (#11) and James Hillier (#14) and the father and son duo of Bill and Chris Swallow also feature in the top twenty. Bill goes at number 15 on a Ducati while Chris is a place behind on the grid on another Royal Enfield.
Austrian ace Horst Saiger rounds out the top twenty on the Egli Motorradtechnik Vincent machine but there is also quality throughout the field and other riders outside the top twenty include Mark Parrett (Norton), Mark Herbertson (Matchless), Peter Boast (D&M Engineering Honda), Phil McGurk (Dave Hardman BSA), Dave Matravers (Round Oak Services Paton), Steve Ferguson (Greenall Racing Honda) and John Barton (Wemoto.com Matchless).
The Welsh family of Hefyn, Bob and Mereydd Owen are back for another attempt as are David Madsen-Mygdal, Lancelot Unissart, John-Leigh Pemberton, Alex Sinclair and Chris McGahan.
Josh Daley, Matt Mylchreest, Barry Lee Evans and Dean Osborne are amongst the debutantes in the four-lap race which is scheduled to get underway at 11.00am on Saturday 25th August.
SOLID SOUTHERN 100 FOR TEAM ILR
Team ILR and Joey Thompson had a solid Southern 100 over the Billown Circuit in what was a return to action for the young Yorkshire rider since the Post-TT meeting over the same course in June.
Joey opened his account at The Friendly Races with a secure second place ride on the Team ILR/Thompsons ZX-6 in the 600 class in Tuesday evening's Corlett's Trophies 600/1000cc race.
He followed this up on Wednesday evening with a fine ride in the first of the meeting's two Supertwin races.
Ivan Lintin set a fast pace from the start and won by a healthy margin from James Cowton with Joey promoted to third after Adam McLean was penalised by 10 seconds for overtaking the Team ILR/Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton under yellow flags on the sixth and final lap.
Joey's evening ended in disappointment with a retirement from the Radcliffe Butchers 600 Race but he bounced back the next day with a good ride in the S & S Motors 600cc Race where he finished sixth having just been pipped for fifth by 0.039s by Michael Evans.
The second Supertwins race was a cracking affair
with the result in doubt right up to the chequered flag. After a race long dice, just over half a second separated eventual winner Adam McLean, second placed James Cowton with Joey in third
having set a new Supertwins lap record of 104.97mph on his last lap.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"Joey hadn’t ridden a bike for a month and it showed in practice I think, he admitted he felt a little rusty and took a couple of sessions to get up to speed.
However when the races got underway with some excellent starts he was straight on the pace and two 3rd places on Mark Coverdale’s 650 Paton plus the Supertwin lap record was no mean feat.
On his Team ILR/Thompsons ZX6 Joey had a good couple of outings but he felt the edge had gone off the engine and it lacked real pulling power, but he managed a 2nd and a 6th nonetheless.
In the last race of the meeting and the last 600 event, he was lying in a great 3rd position, but unfortunately the race was to come to a tragic end with Joey extremely lucky not to be involved in the four bike crash which claimed the life of James Cowton and left Ivan Linton critically injured.
From all at Team ILR we would like to pass on
our thoughts and condolences to the families and friends of all those involved at this harrowing time."
"To reflect on the Southern 100 week, words can’t describe the way things went. We had a strong week on both bikes with a few mechanical issues which set us back, but as a team we worked really well and made things happen with 3 podiums and an outright Supertwin lap record.
None of this would happen if it wasn’t for my dad John Thompson, all at Team ILR, Mark Coverdale and all my personal sponsors friends and family.
I am glad to come away in one piece and enjoyed my week's racing. My thoughts are with all James' family and my fingers are crossed for Ivan.
COSTELLO LINKS UP WITH TEAM ILR FOR SOUTHERN 100 ROAD RACES
Team ILR are pleased to announce that they have been joined at the Southern 100 Road Races over the Billown circuit on the Isle of Man, by well-known female racer Maria Costello.
The first woman ever to claim a podium finish in
a race around the Isle of Man TT course, Costello will pilot the second Mark Coverdale Paton alongside regular teamster Joey Thompson in the Supertwins races.
The Coverdale Patons have proven to be a potent weapon in their outings so far this season.
At the North-West 200 its sheer speed in a straight line raised more than a few eyebrows as Thompson scored two well- deserved third place podiums.
Two weeks later at the Isle of Man TT races, Joey and Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher registered two Top 6 finishes with fifth and sixth respectively.
Thompson then took the Paton to victory at the traditional Post-TT races over the Billown circuit when he scored a dominant win in the Radcliffe Butchers 250/650cc race.
Monday evening practice at the Southern 100 has already seen Joey on the pace in 4th, and on Tuesday evening he finished second in the 600 class of the 1000cc race.
The action continues on Wednesday and Thursday.
Photo of Maria in action at the 2018 North West 200
HODSON SHINES AT THE SOUTHERN 100
JGH Racing’s Rob Hodson won an enthralling Corlett’s Trophies 600/1000 race at the Colas Billown course after a titanic battle with no less than five riders vying for glory going into the final lap.
It was a reduced race at the Southern 100 down from seven laps to five as rain hit the circuit shortly before racing was due to get underway.
When the riders eventually got going the fans lining the course were treated to some truly close and gripping road racing.
Hodson, on his BMW S1000RR wasn’t in contention in the early stages of the race as Michael Evans set the pace up front, but by the last lap Hodson made his move at Cross Four Ways.
In second place was Cookstown Burrows Engineering rider and Southern 100 newcomer Davey Todd. Todd had shown pace throughout the race and like Hodson, made his move on the last lap to secure a well deserved runners up spot.
Michael Evans, who for so long looked as though he may have the race in the bag, rounded out the podium places.
1 Rob Hodson
2 Davey Todd
3 Michael Evans
4 James Cowton
5 Ivan Lintin
6 Jamie Coward
7 Seamus Elliott
8 Joe Thompson
9 Stephen McKnight
10 Tim Poole
11 Brendan Fargher
12 Stephen Parsons
13 Rhys Hardisty
14 David McConnachy
15 Alan Connor
16 Andy Sailor
17 Nathan Harrison
Photo: Road Racing Daily
STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF LOUGHSHINNY MOTORCYCLE SUPPORTERS CLUB LTD
Issued 21:30pm on 7th July 2018.
"Following discussion with the family, their sponsors and fellow riders, the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club Ltd have taken the decision to continue with the Skerries 100 on the 8th July. The club with the riders permission have decide to race with the entire prize fund to go to William's Family. It will be a non-championship meeting and the club hope everyone will consider this a fitting tribute to William and his previous race performance and results at the Skerries 100
The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."
Susan Plunkett, Clerk of Course of the Loughshinny Motor Cycle Supporters Club Ltd.
STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF LOUGHSHINNY MOTORCYCLE SUPPORTERS CLUB LTD
Issued at approximately 17:15pm on 7th July 2018.
"The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club, organisers of the Skerries 100, deeply regrets to announce that competitor William Dunlop of Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, has passed away following injuries received in a tragic accident that occurred during practise which took place today 7th July 2018.
The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop's family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."
Susan Plunkett, Clerk of Course of the Loughshinny Motor Cycle supporters club
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR FOREST DUNN
Fan favourite Forest Dunn has enjoyed a double spell of good fortune with news that he has signed with DHRR/Obsession Racing for the 2018 Ulster Grand Prix, and he has also secured a new Honda CBR600RR.
Dunn will contest the Ulster Grand Prix superbike and superstock classes for team principal Dave Hewson on board Kawasaki ZX10R machinery and will be confident of finishing racing at Dundrod with his best performances to date.
Having enjoyed some superb international results already this season, including a personal best highest finish of 15th at the Isle of Man TT, the Cornwall rider has also been in the mix on the national scene with some great performances.
Not content with the DHRR/Obsession Racing link-up, Dunn also announced on Thursday evening that he has secured a new Honda CBR600RR after selling his Supertwin and Fireblade machine. This will bolster his chances of track time and hopefully increase his chances of success at the race meetings for the remainder of the season.
One of the paddock’s most colourful and popular characters, the news will be warmly welcomed by the road racing fans and I’m sure we echo everyone’s sentiments when we wish Forest well for the rest of the season.
THRILLING PREMIER CLASS RACING IN PROSPECT AT THE SKERRIES 100
The Loughshinny Motorcycle Club plays host this weekend to the Country Crest / Des D'Arcy Motors Skerries 100 and the air of expectation is palpable as the list of high-calibre entrants promises to yield what could well be one of the most enthralling national meetings in years.
The 72nd running of the Skerries 100 will honour one of road racing’s favourite sons, Martin Finnegan, with a special one-off (non-championship) race in his honour. The winner will secure the largest ever prize fund to be made available for a national road race in Ireland.
With some of the biggest names in the sport signed on to contest the event, fans are surely in for a treat.
Michael and William Dunlop will be in attendance. Michael, the current course record holder, will contrest all three super bike races as well as racing his MD Racing Supersport machine.
Michael showed his typical road racing skill at this year’s TT, winning three races and setting three lap records in each of the races he won.
William decided to call a halt to his TT to focus on some family time and to help heal some injuries he sustained following the North West 200, but there are few better national racers when it comes to the crunch so expect to see him fall straight back into the mix.
Other stellar entrants include Derek McGee, fresh from winning five races last weekend at Enniskillen. McGee enjoyed a successful TT scoring a terrific podium in the lightweight race and he has been in imperious form on the national scene, no doubt riding on the crest of a wave. If ever a rider was in form, it’s the ‘Mullingar Missile’!
Home favourite Derek Sheils, nigh-on unbeatable in recent years in premier class national racing, will be on board the Cookstown Burrows Engineering Suzuki where he will be partnered by the Isle of Man TT’s second fastest newcomer Davey Todd.
Local hero Micko Sweeney cannot be discounted for honours and must also be fancied to go close. Last year saw the local rider stand on the podium in each class he contested so the form book would suggest that he will be in the mix when racing gets underway.
With such a high class line-up and a perfect weather forecast, it all promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Roads close for practice on Saturday 7th July at 12 noon, and on Sunday 8th July at 8am. The first race will be held at 10am.
For more info please contact Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club.
CHAMPIONS RETURN TO DEFEND THEIR SOUTHERN 100 TITLES
Last years’ Southern 100 Solo and Sidecar Champions have confirmed their intentions to return to the Colas Billown Course to defend their prestigious titles at the 2018 International races spon- sored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Team Silicone Engineering’s competitors Dean Harrison, John Holden and Lee Cain set a unique piece of history last year, becoming the first team to take both the Southern 100’s most prestigious titles, the Solo and Sidecar Championships, both sponsored at the time by Manx Gas.
Dean Harrison will be endeavouring to keep his hands on the Ennett Memorial Trophy, although one man from Ballymoney, Michael Dunlop will be doing his utmost to wrestle the title and trophy back for the fourth time, having previously won the championship in 2011, 2012 and 2106.
Neither Dean or Michael can expect the Hunts Motorcycles Solo Championship race and the others leading up to it to be a dual between the two of them, as in every race they are entered in there are another 26 competitors looking to take the chequered flag and the honour that goes with winning.
Regular Southern 100 entry, James Cowton is very likely to be mixing it with the current and previous champions, now that he is on the McAdoo Kawasaki machines, whose earlier riders, Bob Jackson and Ryan Farquhar have taken the championship. McAdoo’s newest signing, Adam McLean showed he likes the Colas Billown Course, winning the 600cc race in the Post TT Races and will no doubt be continuing this form and making his presence felt.
Jamie Coward, Yorkshire neighbour to James Cowton, are good friends and rivals and their race battles are renewed almost race by race and will continue without a break during the three days racing, no doubt joined by Lincolnshire rider Ivan Lintin.
The Young-guns will also be wanting to enhance their personal cv’s. Ian Lougher’s rider Joey Thompson is already a race winner at Billown; Newcomer and TT Privateer Champion Davey Todd, along with Brian McCormick and Michael Sweeney are more than capable of upsetting current form.
Local interest will fall upon Ryan Kneen, riding no. 14 in memory of his brother Dan. Jamie Williams who is being mentored by 35 times Billown course winner Chris Palmer, Dean Osborne and Dan Sayle who will only be riding in the Lightweight races. Dan will have the likes of Paul Robinson, Alistair Haworth, Seamus Elliot and the Gooding brothers Mick and Mark to contend with.
Like Dean Harrison, John Holden and Lee Cain took their first Sidecar Championship last year and have every intention of holding onto The Peel Engineering and Oates/Molyneux Trophies after the eight lap Daryl Blake Construction Sidecar Championship Race on Thursday afternoon.
However, it won’t be an easy task as three times winner in 2013, 2015 & 2016 Tim Reeves will be wanting his name back on the prestigious trophy. This year Tim has his 2015 winning passenger Mark Wilkes back in the chair with him.
The ambitions of the two crews could easily be overturned by the likes of Wayne Lockey / Kenny Cole, and Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle, second and third last year, plus Steve and Matty Ramsden along with another previous winner Greg Lambert and Julie Canipa.
The quality of the Sidecar entry is second to none and should guarantee some breath-taking racing around the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon on Championship Day.
COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR ANOTHER EPIC SHOWDOWN AT THE 2018 MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
The countdown to the 2018 MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix has begun, as some of the biggest stars in real road racing have gathered once again at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn to launch the 96th year of Ireland’s oldest road race.
Some of Northern Ireland’s top talent including Lee Johnston and Adam McClean formed part of an all-star line up at the event, along with Peter Hickman, Dean Harrison, Conor Cummins, Dominic Herbertson, Davey Todd and Joey Thompson.
This year’s event, which runs from the 5th-11th August will see significant changes to the practice and racing schedule with the Dundrod 150 national road races, which traditionally ran on the Thursday of Bike Week, now replaced with an extended running order for the international MCE Ulster Grand Prix.
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix said: “It has already been an incredible season for international road racing and what better way to conclude it than at Dundrod. We’ve seen records smashed and incredibly close finishes and I cannot wait to see what the 7.4011 circuit has in store.
“Obviously I’m keen to see Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison in action after their incredible battle at the TT. It definitely puts an exciting spin on this year’s event now that Hicky has made the TT the World’s Fastest Road Race! The fan banter has been great but, all of that aside, the key focus for me is rider safety.
“We now have two days of international road racing on Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th August, with the introduction of a 20 minute warm up session on the Saturday. Ultimately these changes and additions have been made with both safety and practicality in mind and we must keep pushing the bar on both fronts as Bike Week continues to grow.”
Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Leisure and Community Development Committee at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council said:
“On behalf of the Council I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the riders, teams and visitors for being part of the 2018 MCE Insurance UGP, whether it be their first time or they are returning to the world’s fastest road race. This prominent event in the road racing calendar attracts thousands to the Lisburn and Castlereagh area and I hope that each and every one of them enjoys the sights and facilities the area has to offer.
“The Council is delighted to be a sponsor of the UGP and show its support for this international event. I congratulate the Dundrod and District Motorcycle Club for its continuous improvements to the event facilities and safety measures and attracting more visitors each year. To hear direct from the riders what the race means to them provides us with a great understanding of the importance of the event. Not only do the riders get so much from it, but the spectators who support the race return each year for a thrilling experience.
“The entire event is well organised by the Club and receives great support from all the sponsors including title sponsor MCE Insurance alongside people in the local area who volunteer to ensure the event is a success. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who contributes to the Ulster Grand Prix; Dundrod remains firmly on the map as the village that is home to Ireland’s oldest and indeed most popular road race.”
Speaking at the event, fan favourite and the World’s Fastest Rider Peter Hickman said:
“There’s obviously a lot of talk about the Ulster off the back of the TT, and I’ve had to do a bit of groveling to Noel about taking the lap record, but it is what it is. If we get weather like we did at the TT there’s a really good chance we’ll be bringing it back to Northern Ireland as it’s such a fast circuit.
“I’m really looking forward to Dundrod. The Smiths Racing BMW has been amazing and while BSB has got off to a slightly slower start, the road racing side of things has been really strong. The track time has been invaluable though and I’m really happy with what I’ve got and the people around me, and that’s what makes a big difference.
“We couldn’t continue to grow without the support of our title sponsor, MCE Insurance; our event partners, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Tourism NI and the Ulster Grand Prix Supporters Club, as well as our individual race partners, volunteers and fans, all of whom make this truly incredible event possible.”
Bike Week runs from the 5th – 11th August 2018 and wristbands can be purchased via www.ulstergrandprix.net.
Photo by Donal Glackin
COSTELLO SET FOR SOUTHERN 100
Maria Costello MBE will make her sidecar road racing debut at the Southern 100 road races on the Isle of Man next week and ride a Supertwin Paton for Mark Coverdale.
The all-female sidecar team of Costello and new passenger, Sarah Stokoe, has made a solid start to the year and are looking forward to experiencing their first road race together at the challenging Billown circuit.
“We’ve had some good short circuit outings, shaving a whole 4 seconds off our previous sidecar personal best at Donington Park. Sarah has a great approach and has been putting in the homework to learn the course. We’ve both been watching onboard footage. We’re also planning to get some laps in the car with experienced sidecar teams. We’ve lots to learn so we are approaching the event with no expectation, other than to enjoy it and to gain experience.”
Costello will also contest the event on two wheels, as an entrant on a Mark Coverdale Paton in the supertwins class:
“The Paton has been the Supertwin of choice this season, with incredibly strong placings at the Northwest 200 and Isle of Man TT. I’m relishing this opportunity and I can’t thank Mark enough. To say I’m excited is an understatement!” added Maria.
Mark Coverdale added:
“Maria is an inspirational rider and I’m delighted she has agreed to ride one of my Patons. She was the only solo female competitor at the TT this year and despite very promising sector times, was let down and had to retire in the race. The Paton has proved itself competitive this year and we hope it will give Maria the opportunity to shine.”
Once the Southern 100 races are over, Costello and Stokoe will fly straight to Goodwood on the Thursday evening, to take up an invitation to ride the World Championship BMW powered F1 sidecar, formerly raced by Pekka Paivatinta & Kirsi Kanulainen as part of the Classic BMW line-up at the Festival of Speed. Maria will also squeeze in an appearance at Thruxton as part of the I.A.M. RoadSmart campaign.
The Southern 100 Road Races, sponsored by Steam Packet International, take place from Monday 9th July to Thursday 12th July at the Billown circuit in Castletown, Isle of Man. For more information on the event, please visit https://www.southern100.com/index.php/meetings/southern-100-races.
For more information about Maria Costello MBE, including upcoming events on two, three and four wheels, please visit her website at www.costelloracing.com.
4 Hire Assist Southern 100 Newcomers
The record number of Newcomers that were accepted for the 2017 Isle of Man Steam Packet Southern 100 International Road Races have been eclipsed by the entries this year.
Last year thirty solo riders and four sidecar crews made their debut on the Colas Billown Course – 2018 sees the total rise to 36 solo competitors and no less than 10 Sidecar crews, including two all-female teams who will experience the joys and tribulations of the 4.25-mile Course during the four-day meeting which takes place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th July.
To help cope the race organisers cope with this record influx local multi-type vehicle hire specialist 4 Hire are kindly providing one of their Mini-Buses to enable the Club’s Riders Liaison Officer, Chris Palmer to show the debutantes around the course.
4 Hire have been involved with the Southern 100 for several year’s proving vehicles to help on setting up and dismantling the course and to supplying ‘Race Recovery’ vehicles for use during Practice and Racing, as well as sponsoring, through their parent company Ocean Motor Village the 650cc/250cc race on Championship Day.
Chris Palmer said:
‘Part of Newcomers introduction to racing on the Colas Billown Course s that they are taken on a ‘conducted’ lap and the use of a large mini-bus is the ideal vehicle to shown them the way round.
‘The club and myself are very grateful to both 4 Hire & Ocean Motor Village in their generosity in providing this Mini-Bus, which has made the process so much easier.’
Headliners in the solos include, Davey Todd from Saltburn and Waterford’s Brian McCormack, along with Skerries man Michael Sweeney.
However, it is the quality of the newcomers in the Sidecars, with three of the crews taking top six placing in last months Isle of Man TT Races and a fourth taking a top ten finish.
Alan Founds and Jake Lowther achieved a fifth and fourth, whilst Peter Founds with Jevan Walmsley gained a fourth in the first race. Blackburn’s Lewis Blackstock and Patrick Rosney claimed fifth in the second Sidecar TT.
The all-female team from France, Estelle LeBlond and Melanie Farnier finished ninth in the second Sidecar race. They are joined by an English all female crew of Maria Costello and Sarah Stokoe.
Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie, regular podium men at Oliver’s Mount join the fray, as does John and Nigel Lowther who didn’t have the best of TT’s this year. Completing the newcomers list are Pail Riley and Andrew Haynes and Gendrutis Zakarauskas and Ben Mc- Bride.
Southern 100 Racing hope they all enjoy their first ‘Southern 100’ and have a safe and successful event, and like many others before them become regulars at ‘the friendly races.’
Michael Dunlop pictured during the 2017 Southern 100 - Photo by RC Photos
OFFICIAL LUANCH OF THE 2018 MCE ULSTER GRAND PRIX
The Dundrod & District Motorcycle Club hosted the launch of the 2018 MCE Ulster Grand Prix today at Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn.
In attendance was the world's fastest road racer Peter Hickman, and current Ulster Grand Prix outright lap record holder Dean Harrison, both men fresh from their tremendous battle during last month's Isle Of Man Senior TT.
They were joined by local riders Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston and Adam McLean. Padgett's rider Conor Cummins was also present along with the popular Dominic Herbertson of WH Racing.
Last year's best newcomer Joey Thomspon made the trip acorss to be at the event. Riding once more for Team ILR under the tutelage of Dundrod specialist Ian Lougher, the young Englishman will no doubt be looking for a repeat of last year's stand out performances.
Cookstown Burrows Engineering rider Davey Todd was in attendance and will be looking to build on his already stellar season which has seen the Enlgishman crowned best newcomer at both the North West 200 and the Isle Of Man TT. Todd, now the second fastest newcomer in TT history behind only Peter Hickman, will be full of confidence ahead of racing getting underway next month.
The 2018 International MCE Ulster Grand Prix will be held on the 5th-11th August and fans can purchase their bike week wristbands via the Ulster Grand Prix website.