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Watson and Kane go head to head in opening round of Euro endurance

By Sammy Hamill

Published 22/04/2016

Young driver: Andrew Watson
Young driver: Andrew Watson

Two more of Ulster’s top sportscar racers, Steven Kane and Andrew Watson, go into action this weekend just a week after Wayne Boyd, Charlie Eastwood and teenager Daniel Harper played starring roles on British tracks.

Kane and Watson are further afield, lining up for the first round of the Blancpain European GT endurance series at Monza, the historic Italian Grand Prix  circuit.

Both race winners in the past, they  go head to head for two of the leading manufacturers, Bentley and McLaren, in a packed grid which also includes Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini and Mercedes.

The vastly experienced Kane, originally from Ballynahinch, leads the two-car M-Sport Bentley team, sharing a Continental  GT3 with Guy Smith and Vincent Abril, while 21-year-old Watson, from Donaghmore, continues his rise up the ladder as part of McLaren’s young driver programme, driving a Garage 59-entered 650S alongside Struan Moore and Alex Fontana.

Qualifying takes place tomorrow with the three-hour race on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the 500 Club stage their second race meeting of the season at Kirkistown tomorrow with former Portadown footballer Noel Robinson looking to extend  his lead in the NI Formula Ford championship in the absence of several of the leading contenders like reigning champion Jake Byrne and Jordan Dempsey who are at Silverstone for the British national round.

The Kirkistown meeting also includes roadsports, saloons and a first appearance of the 1930s-style Legends.

In the north west, the popular Lark in the Park rally centres on Derry’s St Columb’s Park on Sunday but also includes a closed road special stage across the border in Donegal.

Joe McGonigle, fresh from his top 10 finish on the Circuit of Ireland, heads the 50-strong entry list in his S2000 Skoda Fabia followed by  the Subaru of Frank Wray and the Ford Escort of Adrian Hetherington.

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