NI boys to take on the World
Local schoolboys Aaron Wright (15) and Scott Swann (13) will make a dream visit to Assen's Cathedral of Motorsport in the Netherlands this weekend - the very same venue where Northern Ireland's Jeremy McWilliams took an emotional and historic 250cc Grand Prix win back in 2001 - to compete in the KTM RC Cup World Final.
Both Aaron and Scott qualified by finishing in the top five of this year's Santander Consumer Finance KTM British Junior Cup series, which forms part of the support races in the high-profile British Superbike Championship.
Monkstown-based Aaron was the stand-out performer in the British KTM series - for 13 to 18-year-olds - winning the championship by a mammoth 103 points, including 11 wins.
Now it's time to show what he can do alongside 23 other young hopefuls, who have also shown great pedigree in their chosen championships from nine different countries on KTM's 43 horsepower single cylinder RC390.
"I've never ridden at Assen before, so I can't wait," said Aaron, who after two seasons in the British KTM series will move on to a 600cc machine in 2017, either in the British Superstock or Thundersport series.
Speaking of his World Final aspirations in the Netherlands, the recently-crowned British champion explained: "First of all I want to go out and show what I can do on the KTM.
"We only have two or three sessions to do that, but the goal for me is to finish in the top 10 and anything after that will be a bonus."
The KTM World Final boasts a multi-national grid, which includes talented young hopefuls from Finland, France, Germany Italy, Mexico, North America and five from the UK, so the series has been a major success.
Thirteen-year-old Scott will also be on the Assen grid, and what a season it has been for the series rookie who hails from Magheramorne on the Antrim coast.
Son of multiple Irish road and circuit champion Michael Swann, the blonde haired youngster showed great composure and maturity this season on the British scene - scoring points in all 20 races.
That, along with five podium finishes, helped the youngster take third place overall, and, as we've come to expect from the popular Carrickfergus College student with an ever-present smile, Assen will be approached with the same relaxed attitude.
"I've really loved riding in the British series this year and I'm now really looking forward to Assen with Team #109," said young Scott.
"Dad and Fergie (accomplished former racer Stephen Ferguson) have given me good advice all year and it's been brilliant."
But for now the effervescent lad, who rates climbing the Snetterton trees high up on his best of 2016 list, is just looking forward to getting on the track.
"I can't wait to get to Assen and ride the track as it looks awesome," he added.
"I've told my dad and Fergie that I'll be going for it this weekend as we don't have to worry about championship points.
"But I do want to finish both races and the goal is to hopefully record a top-10 finish in both."
The races at Assen will take place on Saturday and Sunday.