The wee village of Dromara in Northern Ireland has become famous for its former Road race stars, ,known to many as the Dromara Destroyers amongst the famous quartet was Ray McCullough. McCullough may be retired, but last year he gave an up and coming short circuit rider, permission to use the same helmet style that is known world wide to road race fans, the young rider, is now approaching the end of his second full season of racing, we are of course talking about 16 year old student, Sam Laffins
Laffins is instantly recognizable with his Ray Mccullough replica helmet, he has been a great friend of Raymond and has spent multiple nights up at Raymond telling yarns
His first race was at Kirkistown at the Neil Robinson Memorial Races in 2016 on my 250 Kawasaki competing in the Young Guns and Junior Cup where he served up his talents taking 3rd overall.
His next race was the Davy Wood Memorial Races at Bishopscourt again on his 250 Kawasaki, an immediate improvement saw the Dromara lad qualify in 2nd, going on to 2nd in the first race and Win the second race!
Hi third race was at the sunflower, where this up and coming rider qualified 2nd and finished 2nd in the first race and win the second race. And for good measure, also set a new lap record for the Young Guns class..
Last year (2017) Sam made a progressive move to the KTM 390 cup series into the well Known championship that is the “the British Superbike Championship” (BSB) .With all riders on equal machinery, The Dromara lad took multiple top six and fourth place finishes .
Laffins was also picked for the selection British Talent Cup (BTC), there were over 300 applicants of which 114 were selected to take part in the selection day held at the Silverstone Stowe complex at the home of the British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit. The selection took place over the duration of 1 day and at the end of the day the final chosen riders were announced and his on track performances gained him part of the final 22 that would take part in the 2018 British Talent Cup Championship.
Whilst competing in the KTM 390 cup I, Sam got involved in a team managed by Ian Lougher “Team ILR”.
Laffins took in the Sunflower Trophy race meeting last year on the 390 KTM, After setting pole, he crashed out of the lead, but not after breaking his own lap record, he did however manage t win the second race held in wet conditions
For 2018, Sam made the move to the HEL Performance motostar championship in BSB, This decision was made with view to competing on a similar bike in the British Talent Cup. Due to his size,,Laffins Struggles to get tucked in which doesn’t help when it comes to the big straights!
2018 has been a massive learning curve , but getting to ride at circuits such as Assen, Valencia etc along with racing at the WSBK round at Donington, it doesn’t get any better for a young lad does it?
A few weeks ago, Sam got a run on Jason McCaws 600 Kawasaki at Kirkistown, and despite his limited track time, he was soon turning in some very respectable times.
Jason has offered Sam this machine for the Sunflower Meeting, and Sam will also get to race in the Supertwins class, Thanks to RJ Woolsley, who is loaning him his machine
So, a BIG Thanks to both Jason McCaw and RJ Woolsey for giving Sam the opportunity to ride their bikes.
The likeable youngster would also like to say Thanks to his loyal sponsors for the past two seasons
• – Tool-Tec
• – Jordan Concrete
• – CarnBrooke Meats
• – Bradford Haulage
• – Solitude Motors
• – McStitched Leathers
• – Automized Art NI
• – Jim Martin
• – The Highwaymen MCC
• – J.H Engineering
• – Kerry Rolston Photography
• – Clare and Alan
• – Vital Graphics
• – Sloan Transport
NOT forgetting my Mum and Dad , with their continuing support and everyone who follows me on social media and have come to my fundraising events.
Paddock will be open from 2.00pm!
Information for Competitors & Spectators;
The Sunflower Trophy race meeting which takes place on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October,also incorporates the final round of the 2018 USBK Championships.This is a Two Day event,
Thursday 18th October ; Competitors will be admitted to the Paddock from 2.00pm,
Thursday 19th October; Spectators /Motorhomes etc admitted to Circuit after 6.00pm.
Practice and Qualifying will commence Friday 19th October @ approx 9.15 AM.
Five Races will take place on Friday afternoon.
Car Parking and Viewing on Hard Standing Everywhere.
Friday ONLY ; £15.00
Saturday ; £ 20.00
Race Schedule for Sunflower Trophy Races
The 41st Sunflower Trophy Race meeting takes place this Friday and Saturday. With continued sponsorship from Jim Finlay, this unique end of season short circuit has yet again attracted a top class entry. Timed Practice will start on Friday morning at 9.15 am
Race Timetable –
1. Pre Injection & Cup Non-Qualifiers 8 Laps
2. Superbike Pro Race 1 10 Laps
3. Superbike Cup / Supersport Cup & F1 8 Laps
4. Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup 7 Laps
5. Moto 3 / 250GP 8 Laps
Race Timetable – Saturday
Stewards Meeting 8.00am to 8.30am
Riders Briefing 8.45am
Warm Up – 9.15 am 1. Superbike 2. Supersport
Saturday Race Programme
1. Lightweight Supersport 8 Laps
2. Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup 7 Laps
3. Supertwins / Prod Twins 8 Laps
4. Moto 3 / 250cc GP 8 Laps
5. Supersport Pro 10 Laps
6. Superbike Cup / Supersport Cup & F1 8 Laps
7. Superbike Pro Race 2 10 Laps
8. Sidecars 8 Laps
9. The Sunflower Trophy Race 12 Laps
10. Pre Injection & Cup Non-Qualifiers 8 Laps
11. S/Twins / P/ Twins (Junior Sunflower Trophy Race)
8 Laps 12. Supersport Pro
10 Laps 13. Lightweight Supersport 8 Laps
14. Sidecars 8 Laps