Superstox ace Steven Jackson signed off from his glittering career in the formula in the finest possible style, by taking victory in the Select Catering Irish Open Championship at Tullyroan Oval on Sunday.
The three times World Champion took a fantastic victory at the end of the second day of high quality international racing from the Superstox on the Ulster ovals.
Other victories in the packed schedule on a fine afternoon fell to Glenavy’s Jonny Cardwell in the Stock Rods, Killyman’s Winston Weir in the Lightning Rods, Ballymena’s Adam McFall in the Ninja Karts and Portadown’s Jonny Murdock in the Micro Bangers.
After the previous day’s World Championship meeting at Aghadowey, 31 of the UK’s finest descended on Tullyroan, including the new World Champion Chris Bradbury from Reading. An action packed opening heat saw rapid blue grader Nick Roots from Guildford take the win over English Points Champion Jason Cooper and Steven Jackson for an English lock out of the top places.
There was a hairy moment in that one for Coagh’s Davy Clarke as he went for a wild airborne ride over Scotland’s Barry Stephen. Heat two saw Roots again showing the pack a clean pair of heels, this time leading home fellow English drivers Jordan Salmon and Jackson.
Roots and Jackson shared the front row for the all important Irish Open Championship final, but they were all brought short by an opening lap clash between Cooper and David McMenemy on the home straight. Roots again set the pace on the restart, but at the halfway mark Jackson made his move, nerfing his rival wide to take up the running. National Champion Salmon was now closing on the leader, but Jackson held on to sign off from a fantastic career with yet another championship triumph.
The victory celebrations were fantastic and showed just what it meant to Steven. Salmon was a very gallant runner up having shown great pace throughout both days of the meeting, with Denver Grattan upholding local honour in third. The Superstox earned some new fans over the weekend with some fantastic action packed racing.
The international flavour continued in the Stock Rods, with former Scottish Champion Jonathan Lattka from Falkirk taking the opening heat victory in some style over Kells ace Derek McMillan and Chris Lattka. The reverse grid second qualifier saw the win go to the Republic of Ireland, as Colm O’Sullivan from Waterford was the first across the line. He was under severe pressure from Irish Champion Jonny Cardwell but just held on, with England’s Jack Grandon in third.
Cardwell has shown some fantastic pace around Tullyroan this season and was always going to be difficult to beat in the Tullyroan Challenge Cup final. That’s exactly how it turned out, as Jonny produced a masterclass to lead from flag to flag.
Winston Weir continued his recent run of good form in the Lightning Rods, with the Irish Open Champion surging past leader Alastair Stewart in the closing stages to take victory in the opening heat by a short head.
Fellow star man Jordan Rochford was the man on a mission in heat two, leading Ally Neill past the chequered flag to take the win.
Weir had pole position for the DMC Gold Cup final, and despite early efforts from Rochford, Winston was able to stretch clear and take the victory in commanding style. Rochford and Richard Stewart filled the podium with Neill in fourth.
The young primary school terrors in their Ninja Karts thrilled as always, with Limavady’s Stewart Hanna the opening heat winner over Lily Gallagher and Jack Hazlett. Gallagher went one better in heat two by taking the victory in heat two, with Hazlett this time the runner up ahead of Adam McFall.
Hazlett set much of the pace in the DMC Gold Cup final, but he was challenged hard by McFall in the closing stages. McFall found a gap on the inside line on the last lap, and just managed to beat his fellow Ballymena driver to the flag for the win. Hazlett and Hanna completed the top three at the end of another thrilling afternoon’s racing from the stars of tomorrow.
The Micro Bangers were well down on numbers but still managed to produce some thrills and spills. Jonny Murdock took the opening race for the DMC Supreme Championship ahead of Rocky McKenna and Noel Anderson. Murdock also took the Allcomers win in a race which saw a heavy crash for ace photographer Ed Fahey on his charity outing in the formula.
An entertaining DD went the way of Anderson after a head on with Marty McKiernan, with McKiernan unanimously taking the Entertainer of the Day award.
Racing continues at Tullyroan Oval on Saturday, October 10th with an Irish Championship double header for the Lightning Rods and 2.0 Hot Rods. First race leaves the grid at 6.30pm with Junior Productions, Stock Rods & Superstox in support.