McColgan flying the flag for Tandragee 100 alongside Farquhar and Kneen

Anthony McColgan out in front on his 1980s' Bimota during the inaugural Forgotten Era race. Pic by Alan Weir.
Anthony McColgan out in front on his 1980s' Bimota during the inaugural Forgotten Era race. Pic by Alan Weir.
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Portadown-born Anthony McColgan made his mark on Tandragee 100 history last weekend with victory across the inaugural Forgotten Era class.

Ryan Farquhar dominated the road race roll of honour with a record-breaking hat-trick haul that moved him beyond Joey Dunlop’s overall Tandragee win tally of 18.

Dan Kneen collected the main prize on the showpiece occasion for the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club thanks to success in the Tandragee 100 showcase race.

Bleary-based McColgan, however, secured his moment in the spotlight by steering a 1980s’ Bimota to a landmark win that captured the imagination of the riders and race fans over the two-day event.

“The Forgotten Era class had about 18 riders in the end for its Tandragee 100 debut,” said McColgan. “The classic bikes cover an earlier period but the Forgotten Era class is for machines dating back around the mid-1980s.

“There is a decent bit of history attached to my bike and it was an enjoyable win.

“I think only about 303 bikes of this kind were ever made by the Bimota factory in Italy, with the engines supplied by Yamaha.

“My brother, Dermot, picked up one and got sponsorship from his firm, Traynors Motorstore, who would be long-time supporters of the Tandragee 100.

“However, up until about three weeks before the meeting, it was basically still packed up and I was literally working on it in the field before Saturday’s race.

“My first time out was in Friday’s practice and it did not go well, but everything improved for the main race and I managed a win over a Norton Rotary by 32 seconds.

“There is a great history to the Bimota as Virginio Ferrari won the Formula One World title on it in 1987, ending Joey Dunlop’s sequence of five successive triumphs.

“I had the bike painted in the same colours as Ferrari’s machine and it attracted plenty of attention from people at the Tandragee 100.

“I love the Tandragee 100 and have plenty of memories, good and bad, from over three decades of racing.

“I am turning 50 years old this year and have previous wins in the support and 400cc races but last weekend was nice as the Forgotten Era debut.”

Farquhar pushed his overall Tandragee 100 scoreboard to 20 wins thanks to a memorable treble across the Open, Supertwin and Lightweight races.

The Open result was awarded, subject to appeal, following a one-minute penalty imposed on Kneen and Derek Shiels due to alleged jump starts.

“It’s been a very good weekend for me,” said Farquhar following the meeting. “Although there was a bit of controversy over the first big bike race, it was one of those where I didn’t feel it was fair for anyone that an advantage had been gained.

“A protest was made and whilst I didn’t win the race, having crossed the line in third, I was awarded the victory, not necessarily the way you want to get a win but rules are rules.

“It’s unfortunate but these things happen occasionally.”

“I had a good battle with Malachi in the Supertwin race and when he was in the lead, I decided to sit behind him and make my move on the last lap.

“His mistake changed that and he tried to do to me what I was planning to do to him but couldn’t get the bike stopped.

“I’d been experiencing arm pump during the day though due to the new leathers, something I haven’t experienced before, so I just concentrated on getting a finish in the Grand Final.

“I was really pleased with my lap times and although we’re still fine tuning the BMW, it’s beginning to feel like my bike now.

“I’m still getting used to the Metzeler tyres so we’re continually making little tweaks here and there and I’m really impressed with the whole package.”

William Dunlop won the Supersport 600cc prize, with Sam Wilson the 125cc winner.

Rhys Hardisty from Wales edged to victory in the 250cc race by just 0.2 seconds.

Michal Dokoupil of the Czech Republic proved a popular winner of the 400cc race.

Classic winners were Jamie O’Brien, Mark Parrett, Mark Johnson and Philip Shaw.

James Chawke finished top of the Junior Support placings.

The Senior Support race was won by Joe Newbould.

The full list of winners from the Around-A-Pound-sponsored meeting is as follows:

TANDRAGEE 100 FEATURE: Dan Kneen; 125: Sam Wilson; 400: Michal Dokoupil; 450: Ryan Farquhar; 250: Rhys Hardisty; FORGOTTEN ERA: Anthony McColgan; SUPERTWINS: Ryan Farquhar; SUPERSPORT: William Dunlop; OPEN SUPERBIKE: Ryan Farquhar; JUNIOR SUPPORT: James Chawke; SENIOR SUPPORT: Joe Newbould; CLASSIC: Jamie O’Brien (1000), Mark Parrett (500), Mark Johnson (350), Philip Shaw (250).