TT hero Ryan Farquhar heads the entry for the 66th Mid Antrim 150 set to take place tomorrow around the 3.6mile Clough Circuit near Ballymena.
The Mid Antrim Club are bouncing back from the problems of last year when a deliberate oil spillage resulted in the meeting being cancelled and are running this year’s race six-weeks earlier than their traditional August date.
Farquhar had a superb TT winning the inaugural Lightweight TT for Supertwin machines alongside two other podiums in the Superstock and second Supersport races. The 36-year old Dungannon rider is no stranger to success at the Mid Antrim topping the all-time winners list with 22 victories between 2003 and 2010 and is currently the outright lap record holder at 109.421mph, which dates back to 2007.
Farquhar has scored a treble at the meeting on three occasions and scored the ultimate five wins in a day two years ago.
Farquhar said: “I was a bit undecided as to whether I would do the meeting, as I only got home from the Isle of Man on Tuesday and it has been hard graft ever since trying to get bikes prepared for the weekend. The TT is hard work for the fortnight you are there and I only decided at the last minute to head to Clough.”
With the Dunlop brothers William and Michael non-starters at Clough, the main threat to Farquhar may well come from fellow Dungannon man John Burrows and Michael Pearson from Ballygowan.
Pearson, who will ride the D&GW/Carryduff Forklift R6 Yamaha and 36 Supporters Club/Richard Rawson Honda, said: “I hope the weather conditions are a bit better than when I rode here in 2009, as heavy rain left the circuit slippery and treacherous.” In the multi-sponsored 10-race programme the entry also includes Jamie Hamilton, Czech Michal Dokoupil, Davy Morgan, local stars Barry Davidson, William Davison, Paul Robinson and Corran Smyth while Michael Sweeney, Brian McCormack Shaun Anderson and Derek Sheils are all podium contenders.
Roads close for practice this afternoon at 4.30pm while tomorrow the roads close for racing at 10am. Meanwhile the John Donnelly Memorial Motocross meeting sponsored by P&O European Ferries takes place tomorrow at Downpatrick Motocross Park.