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Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin sizzle on red hot day at Sunflower Trophy

By Roy Harris

Published 26/10/2015

Danny joy: Sunflower Trophy winner Danny Buchan
Danny joy: Sunflower Trophy winner Danny Buchan

What a day's racing at Saturday's Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt, dominated by two riders ­- Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin.

Buchan took three wins, a new absolute track record of 99.438mph and retained the coveted Sunflower Trophy, but it wasn't enough to be declared Man of the Meeting, that honour going to Carrickfergus rider Irwin who won four races with doubles in both Supersport and Supertwin races.

"Awesome day," was how Buchan described his emotions. "To win the Sunflower Trophy for the second year in a row is a fantastic way to end my season and to do it in front of such an enthusiastic crowd is a bonus.

"The record was what I was aiming for this weekend and I got it in my last race."

The 22-year old Basildon rider on a MSS prepared Kawasaki had no equals in the Superbikes, winning race one on a damp track by over two seconds from Keith Farmer, who had charged through from fifth, at the end of lap one and with the fastest lap of the race on the seventh and last lap to overhaul and pass Tyco BMW rider Alastair Seeley for second.

The second Superbike race, the penultimate race of the day and held on a dry track, saw Buchan again in a class of his own taking a quarter of a second off the old lap record, set in 2010 by Ian Lowry, on the third lap of six to win the race by 4.8secs from Ben Wilson with Farmer third.

The 10-lap feature Sunflower Trophy Race saw Buchan lead from the off. Seeley then led momentarily after a slight mistake before Buchan regained control before the end of lap one and from there the result was never in doubt as the twice British Superbike podium finisher this past season, without a ride for next season, quickly gapped the field almost three seconds ahead when the chequered flag was waved.

Seeley this time managed second a tenth of a second ahead of Farmer and a terrific ride by Nico Mawhinney in his first outing after shoulder surgery.

Glenn Irwin was equally dominant in the Supersport and Supertwin races on his final appearance for Gearlink Kawasaki before moving to PBM Ducati in BSB next season.

Tip for the top Irwin led the two Supersport races from start to finish, beating team-mate Ben Wilson and Alastair Seeley in race one before leading home a Gearlink 1-2-3 in race two with Wilson again second and Glenn's younger brother Andrew third in a tremendous ride having taken over the Gearlink ride at the 11th hour.

Turning to John Burrows Cookstown BE Kawasaki ER6 for the Supertwin races, Glenn simply blitzed the field, finishing 16 seconds in front of the Scott Racing duo of Caolan Irwin and James Folkard on their Aprilias in race one and 11 and a half ahead of Folkard and Caolan Irwin in race two.

Delighted Glenn said of his Man of the Meeting performance: "Four wins, two on my last appearance for Gearlink Kawasaki, who I can't thank enough for their support in British Supersport and two for John Burrows, is the perfect end to my season. I could not have asked for any more than that."

There were also Bishopscourt doubles for 15-year old Richard Kerr in the Moto3 races, Aaron Wright in Production 300cc and Peter O'Neill in the sidecar races while Stephen McKeown and Roger Aiken shared the Pre-Injection events.

Belfast Telegraph

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