Belfast Telegraph

Kirkistown geared for a special double bill

by Sammy Hamill

After hosting the 50th birthday celebrations of both the Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs and the Co Down race circuit itself, it is back to domestic racing for the 500 Club at Kirkistown this weekend.

But for once the fiercely-fought Northern Ireland Formula Ford championship will share double billing with the appearance of the Irish Touring Car contenders.

The Mondello based saloons are making their annual trip north and will feature Erik Holstein and Dave O'Brien in their powerful BMWs as well as Rob Butler who has been producing giant-killing acts in his Honda Civic.

The battle for the top honours in the NI Formula Ford series continues with Ballymena's Ivor McCullough looking good to claim the crown for a second year in a row. Second in the race for the title is Jonny McMullan, already a winner this season, while Niall Murray is third in the points table.

Fast emerging as a star of this single seater class is Stephen Daly, a winner last time out at Kirkistown and a recent double winner at Mondello.

Formula Sheanes, which will race for the historic Leinster Trophy later this year, are also on the Kirkistown programme as are events for Roadsports and the Ginetta Juniors plus there will be two races for the Irish historic sportscars.

Qualifying is from 9.30am on Saturday, with racing from 1.30pm.

* LOTUS principal Eric Boullier insists his team are continuing to do all they can to persuade Kimi Raikkonen to stay.

The short break since the last race in Germany earlier this month has not provided any answers as to whom will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull at the end of this season.

The only change is that Jean-Eric Vergne appears to be have fallen by the wayside and it is now a two-horse race between Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Belfast Telegraph

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