THE Country Crest Killalane Road Races will bring down the curtain on the Irish road race season on Saturday and Sunday 8th/9th September, and what a finale it promises to be.
The Loughshinny Motor Cycle Supporters Club will be hoping for another bumper crowd in what promises to be a recordbreaking meeting. Last Saturday Country Crest were hosts to a press launch, with a number of local riders who will be hoping to finish off their season in fine style and to be crowned Irish champions. Michael and Gabriele Hoey are the men behind one of the largest food production companies in the country, and as one of the largest employers in Fingal they have a right to be proud of their achievement.
Country Crest has been the title sponsor of Killalane for a number of years, and the Hoey brothers are really looking forward to the weekend. From a record point of view, it looks certain that the legendary Ryan Farquhar will break the 200 Irish Road Race wins, and it was only a few years ago that he beat the great Joey Dunlop's record of 156 wins at the same meeting. After the 'Ulster' Ryan is on 199 wins, and even if he doesn't manage to break it on Saturday evening when the non-championship 600 race takes place, he is sure to do it on Sunday, where he will start in no fewer than five races. From a local point of view, there are two riders already crowned Irish champions, and Andy Farrell and Keith Costello have the opportunity to add Southern Centre Championships to their name. Another of the local riders, Peter O'Flaherty from Lusk, will hope that he can make it a treble for the local riders to cap off a great season.
Peter is five points behind Ronnie Scott in the Junior Support Championship, and while a win for Pete and a second for Scott will see them tie on points, the Lusk rider will win the title as he has more race wins. Ciaran Donnelly has a chance to win both the 125 and 250 Southern Centre Championships, as he leads the 125 by 14 points from Sean Leonard, and in the 250 he is five points behind John Ella and Ed Manly. In the 400 class, David ' Yomo' Yeomans is nine points ahead of his neighbour David Howard, with Andy Farrell 11 points behind Howard. In the 650 class, Micko Sweeney is 10 points clear of Andy Farrell, but in the Junior Support class it is much closer, with Peter O'Flaherty leading Duleek rider Mark Shiels by just one point, 41-40. Keith Costello leads Sean Leonard in the 350 Classic Championships by 14 points, so it will be a very interesting race day.
The Loughshinny club have attracted a great entry, with the Dunlop brothers William and Michael joining Farquhar on the grid. Also there will be Michael Pearson, Adrian Archibald, Brian McCormack and Maria Costello MBE. Roads close on Saturday for practice and qualifying at 1pm, opening no later than 7pm, and the club hope to run two races, with the non-championship 600 and Junior Classic 250/350 scheduled to take place. On Sunday 9th roads will close at 10am, opening no later than 7pm, and there will be a nine-race programme. Admission will be by wrist band at €15, and the programme will set you back €10.