Sunflower Trophy Races 2017
Irwin splashes to Victory
Words By Baylon McCaughey,
Glenn Irwin retained the JAS Finlay Sunflower Trophy when he won to days ten lap affair.Shortened from 12 laps to ten laps, because of uncertainty of the weather, Irwin displaced early leader Alastair Seeley and left the others in his spray. As Irwin managed to open a small gap on his PBM BE WISWER Ducati, behind there was a ferocious battle for second spot, with Danny Buchan, Alastair Seeley Carl Philips and Michael Laverty providing the action. Fastest man on the circuit was TYCO BMWs new signing Michael Laverty who was making serious inroads on the leading riders.
Three laps from home Laverty edged into second and set after the leader Irwin, at the flag Irwin held on to take his second successive win by 0.528 seconds.
Laverty in turn was 2.9 seconds ahead of Carl Philips on the MD Racing superstock Suzuki,who nipped past MSS Kawasaki rider Danny Buchan at the final corner.
Seeley took the IFS Yamaha to fifth spot ahead of Adam McLean with Scottish newcomer Lewis Rollo in 7th.
On his late charge, Laverty set the fastest lap of the race.
Glenn Irwin was over the moon with this result, and is now looking to repeat this performance at his next outing at Macau GP.
Laverty was happy with his result, considering the limited time he has had on the BMW again, following a season on board the R1M Yamaha, “I lost ground on the opening few laps due to lack of grip, but when I got the feel of the bike again, we started to make great inroads, we used a shock that Christain Iddon had been using all year, but on hindsight,should have changed it for the wetter conditions, maybe if the race had ran the full distance, I might have been able to attack” quipped a delighted Laverty .
Carl Philips, over the moon with third place on the MD Racing Suzuki, said “ the spray was horrendous up the back, and I couldn’t see a thing, It wasn’t until I got a bit of a clear road, that I could make progress.I managed to nip past Buchan on the final bend to get the podium,”
Earlier in the day, Buchan took a win in the opening superbike race form Glenn Irwin, with surprise third place going to superbike debutant Ross Patterson.
In a rather wet third superbike race, Laverty took the win on the TYCO BMW from Charles Stuart and Ross Patterson stepping back on the podium again for third place.
Jason Lynn clinched the Ulster 600 supersport championship when he won the opening race from the McCreevey brothers, Kia and Korie.,In the second race it was yet another close affair, with Korie McCreevey snatching the win from Robert Kennedy and early leader Jason Lynn.
Christain Elkin won the opening supertwin race from Robert Kennedy with former UGP winner, Dan Cooper in third, Kennedy went one better to take the win in race two from Eunan McGlinchey and James Folkard.
In the stock twins, Jonny Singleton and Shane Sweeney each had a win and a second, with Kevin Lavery taking the final podium spot in both outings.
In another hotly contest race, the lightweight supersport race yet again produced very close racing, Darryl Tweed took the win but it was rookie, Gary McCoy who just lost out by a mere 0.021 seconds!
This championship also went down to the wire, and it was only on the final lap, that Dean Campbell edged ahead of his arch rival Mack Camblin to take third, and with it, the 2017 Lightweight supersport Championship.
Having won the opening Moto three race yesterday, Richard Kerr did the double when he again beat Christain Elkin and Scott Swann.
Showing no effects from a spill yesterday, Sam laffins took the ILR Honda to 4th place ahead of Melissa Kennedy and newly crowned Ulster moto 3 champion ,Kyle Cross.
Laffins then went on to win the Young Guns race by almost ten seconds from Jonny Campbell and Jordan McCord with 4th place being enough for Andrew Smyth to take the championship
Brendan Glover clinched the Irish Junior Cup championship when he won this race from Cameron Dawson and Nathan McGuran.
Darryl sharkey made it a double in the pre injection race when he beat his arch rival Jonny Irwin, with Alan Graham taking yet another podium, in what is his final race. Sharkey also clinched the Irish Pre Injection championship.
2017 British Champion, Tim Reeves took the win in the second sidecar encounter by just over a second from John Holden, Holden however had the fastest lap with Dylan Lynch took the final podium spot ahead of Hillsborough club member Seamus “Scooby” Killough.
The Loughshinny man of the Meeting award was a close affair, with the award going to Michael Laverty,
Despite all the negative weather forecasts, the 40th Sunflower event ,organized by the Hillsborough MCC ran the full race programme, and all race proceedings were over at 4.30pm, and this was despite a delay before the Sunflower Trophy races, when a Power unit failed, not far from the circuit, and there was a delay, before normal service was resumed.