Simpson Race Exhausts World Series NI Round 12
Portadown National Hot Rods star Adam Hylands was on top form once again at Tullyroan Oval on Saturday, taking his third feature race win in as many meetings at the circuit in Round 12 of the Simpson Race Exhausts World Series NI.
There were six formulas in action at the DRS Steelbuildings sponsored meeting, with world champion, Lee Davison, from Portadown landing the win in the Tullyroan Challenge Cup for Superstox ahead of Scottish visitor, Bryan Forrest.
Graham Meek took the Junior Productions Tullyroan Challenge Cup win, whilst Randalstown’s Tim Hazlett was victorious in the opening round of the A Percy Auto Body Repairs Challenge Series for Lightning Rods. The other feature race wins went the way of young Antrim star Leyton Hughes in the Ninja Karts and Dublin’s Paul O’Connor in the Rookie Bangers.
NATIONAL HOT RODS: Round 12 of 14 of the Simpson Race Exhausts World Series NI for National Hot Rods saw an excellent entry of 18 cars with Kenny McCann the first to show in heat one.
He lost out to the battling duo of Podge McQuaid and Keith Martin, with star man Hylands chasing them hard. McQuaid hung on to take a morale boosting victory over the impressive Hylands who was showing great pace on the outside line.
Heat two saw Ian McReynolds spend many laps out front before losing to a sublime outside pass from John Christie. Glenn Bell and Hylands filled the major places.
Having qualified on pole, it was hard to see past Hylands in the final and he duly pressed ahead from the off. Bell and Christie kept him honest but Adam reeled off yet another final win at his home circuit, his third in as many meetings this term. Bell, Christie, Keith Martin and Derek Martin filled the places.
SUPERSTOX: The local Superstox drivers were joined by welcome Scottish visitor, Bryan Forrest, for the Tullyroan Challenge Cup.
Ballymena driver Colin Hamill was first to show in heat one, leading until challenged by Aaron McNeilly in the closing stages. Aaron went ahead on the final lap only for Hamill to get back inside him exiting the final turn. Colin spun the McNeilly car, but only succeeded in pushing him sideways across the line in a stunning finish!
McNeilly took the honours ahead of Hamill and Jordan Robinson. Paddy Murphy went ahead early in heat two before losing out to David Beattie and a caution period when Stephen Stewart found himself stranded and facing the oncoming traffic on the back straight.
Beattie led on the restart but hit mechanical woes, handing the lead back to Murphy who withstood a last bend hit from Robinson to take the victory with Forrest sneaking second.
The closed grid start to the Tullyroan Challenge Cup was explosive, with Conor Murphy and Keith McAreavey finding the wall on the Tullyroan Bend. Robinson settled into the lead, with Lee Davison bearing down on him, tracked by Forrest. Davison made his move with four laps to go, nudging past the leader with Forrest quickly following suit. Bryan just couldn’t get close enough for a last bend lunge, leaving Davison to take a deserved win over Forrest and Sean Mark.
LIGHTNING RODS: Tim Hazlett quickly established himself in the opening Lightning Rods heat, utilising his drop to the blue grade to take a comfortable win over Mark Corry and Nigel Jackson, the latter having had a great run on the outside line.
Heat two saw a polished flag to flag win for Ronan McNally, with Martin O’Flaherty and Ricky Shaw next up after Hazlett was docked from third by the race stewards.
Despite his penalty, Hazlett had still qualified on pole position for the Round 1 Final of the ‘A Percy Auto Body Repairs Challenge Series’. Jackson made light work of O’Flaherty to go second, and then chased hard after leader Hazlett. It was Hazlett’s race though, and he powered home to collect the silverware. Jackson was good value in second, with Shaw third after a great drive on the outside of O’Flaherty.
JUNIOR PRODUCTIONS: There was a welcome debut for Chelsy Rainey in the Junior Productions as they raced for the Tullyroan Challenge Cup. Irish champion, Adam McFall, and Mark Crawford disputed the early lead, which ended when McFall was spun out which later earned Crawford a disqualification. That opened the door for Matthew Nicholl to take the win over James Stewart and Points Champion, Sam McNeice.
Heat two was another fraught encounter with Stewart this time on the end of a disqualification, as Graham Meek took a clear win over McNeice and Jack Morrow.
Nicholl led the Tullyroan Challenge Cup final away, with Meek immediately on his case. Meek tested Nicholl’s nerve, finally finding a way past with five to go. As Meek pulled clear to the victory, Nicholl was unfortunately railroaded out of contention. McFall came through for a commendable second after qualifying down the grid, with Morrow and Stewart next home.
NINJA KARTS: Leyton Hughes and Rhea McConkey disputed the lead which saw the great sight of no less than nine novice graders on the grid. A huge gaggle of backmarkers lay ahead of the leaders on the final lap, and as Hughes and McConkey went to the outside star grader Max Hobson found a way through on the inside to snatch the win over Hughes and Odhran Monaghan.
Heat two saw Monaghan lead before losing out to Hughes, Leyton then powering to victory over McConkey and Monaghan. Hughes and Monaghan again disputed the lead in the feature race final with Hobson joining their battle in the closing stages. Hughes just held on for a fantastic win, which earns him a rise up the gradings for the next meeting. Hobson came second ahead of Monaghan, McConkey and Lacey Bevan.
ROOKIE BANGERS: A great battle developed in the opener between Josh McKinstry, Josh Goligher and Deano McGrath, which fell the way of Goligher. McGrath took the honours in a bruising heat two, before fellow Dubliner Paul O’Connor took the honours in the final. Thomas Megarry and Philip Farrell completed the podium places.
NEXT MEETING: The next meeting at Tullyroan Oval is on Saturday May 25th, featuring the 2.0 Hot Rods Tullyroan Challenge Cup, the opening rounds of both the Butler Motorsport Challenge Series for Stock Rods and the Ryan Wright Signs Iron Man Series for 1300 Stock Cars, plus Lightning Rods and the Ninja Karts Tullyroan Challenge Cup. Racing commences at 6.30pm.