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.

Classic Racer - - CLASSIC TT -

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.

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