Red-hot Adam Maxwell steers World crown back to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland can celebrate a new National Hot Rod World champion after Crumlin's Adam Maxwell won the prestigious title for the first time with an unbeatable display at Foxhall Raceway in Ipswich on Sunday.
Maxwell qualified on pole position after setting the fastest lap during the time trials on Saturday afternoon, with another Ulsterman, Derek Martin from Dungannon, alongside him on the front row.
Cambridgeshire's Chris Haird, who won the event in 2014, and defending champion Shane Murphy from Cork occupied row two on the grid and it was Maxwell and Murphy who quickly settled down into the front running slots.
The leading pair steadily eased away from the rest, with Murphy tracking leader Maxwell's every move, and that relentless pressure finally paid dividends when a gap appeared as the pair worked their way through the back markers.
However, just as it looked like Murphy would pounce, the defending champion's Tigra spectacularly crashed out following contact between the leaders down the back straight.
It was an incident that the race stewards immediately reviewed. They cleared Maxwell of any blame, which left the Crumlin man out in front on his own.
Maxwell displayed a cool head to see out the remaining laps and bring the coveted title back to the province for the first time since 2013.
Waterford-based Dave Casey followed the new champion home, with European king Carl Waller-Barrett from Norfolk in third.
Ballyclare's Gary Wilson finished his debut appearance in ninth position with Portadown's Gary Woolsey in 11th, Broughshane's Jaimie McCurdy in 12th and Carl Sloan from Kells in 14th.
There was further success for the province's racers in the support events at Foxhall.
Gary Beggs from Ballycarry scooped the Lightning Rod World championship, while Annaghmore-based Clive Richardson was successful in the Classic Hot Rod National Championship.
Kells racer Derek McMillan, meanwhile, impressed to record one of his biggest wins to date in the Stock Rod European Championship.