Belfast Telegraph

Formula Fords headline packed race programme at Kirkistown

 

By Sammy Hamill

The Kirkistown circuit in Co. Down is being readied to stage its biggest race meeting of the year, a two-day event which starts tomorrow afternoon.

Featuring at the top of a packed programme is a first visit of the Britcover National Formula Ford 1600 series, which will bring the leading contenders from across the Irish Sea including the leader Luke Williams from Thirsk in a Firman FR16 and his closest challenger, reigning Scottish champion Neil MacLennan from Inverness driving a Ray. Both have three wins each so far.

Two other race winners this year are Luke Cooper from Bath in a Swift and Ross Martin from Kilmarnock driving a Ray. Martin is the joint leader in the Scottish Championship with Sebastian Melrose, who will also be competing at Kirkistown in a Ray.

The home line-up in the three-race Britcover series will include Noel Robinson, Jordan Dempsey and Keith Donegan in Van Diemens, as well as young James Roe in his Firman.

They, however, have a pair of races in the Dawson WAM Northern Ireland Championship to fit in as well, where they are expected to be joined by two drivers, Kevin O'Hara and Niall Murray, who have dominated the series so far.

Theirs has been a no-holds-barred battle in which Martin Donnelly Trophy winner O'Hara, the new lap record holder, has edged six points clear of reigning British champion Murray, who has his eyes firmly fixed on the carrot of a place in the UK section of the Mazda Road to Indy series in America.

Roe, who is taking a break from his Leaving Certificate exams this weekend, and another Donnelly Trophy winner, Alan Davidson, hold third and fourth places in the NI series.

In action, too, will be the powerful single-seaters of the BOSS Ireland Championship as well as saloons, GTs, historics and two rounds of the Kirkistown Ford Fiesta series. There will also be superkarts racing.

Qualifying takes place tomorrow afternoon from 2.30pm with three races, including the Boss Ireland cars, scheduled for the evening starting at 7pm. The main programme gets under way on Saturday from 9am.

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