FIERCE The Irish season scorches
The Irish classic racing season has been sizzling along all summer with some truly outstanding racing and full grids at almost every race.
First up was the Cookstown 100 which took place back in April on the 2.1-mile Orritor circuit, less than a mile outside the busy Co Tyrone town of Cookstown. Friday’s 250/350 practice saw Barry Davidson take 350cc pole with Nigel Moore and Ed Manly lining up alongside. Reigning 250cc champion Brian Mateer just about managed to outqualify fellow title hopefuls Phillip Shaw and Richard Ford by less than a third of a second, to claim pole position in the 250cc class, setting the stage for a right ding-dong in Saturday’s race. Saturday’s damp, drizzly conditions had little or no effect on proceedings and when the allocated time arrived, the machines were wheeled out of the paddock. Then, as Brian Mateer pushed and bump-started his bike the gear lever broke off, thus ending his race before he’d even taken his position on the grid. Moments later the flag went up and Barry Davidson shot forward to take an early lead which he increased lap after lap, coming home to take the 350cc win 12 seconds ahead of Ed Manly and Liverpudlian Jamie O’brien. In the 250cc class it was Richard Ford who ran a superb race to take the win ahead of Phillip Shaw and Honda-mounted Gary Hutton. The Senior race gave Richard Ford the opportunity to record his second win of the afternoon, lapping at over 67mph to come home comfortably ahead of Bmw-mounted Morgan Govignon and Jamie O’brien on his 850cc Weslake. Not to be outdone, Barry Davidson also managed a second win of the afternoon in the 500cc class 10 seconds ahead of Wattie Brown on a Manx Norton with Billy Lyle taking third spot on his Drixton Honda.
Words: Mark Mccloskey Photographs: Big Joe, John Bourke, Paddy Condron, Paul Drumm and Mark Mccloskey
Andy Kildea leads Davy Carleton and Gary Hutton at Cookstown.
Liverpudlian Jamie O’brien at Cookstown.
Andy Nichols crouches low on his Norton at Cookstown.