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Irwin brothers dominate Sunflower Trophy

By Paul Lindsay

Published 24/10/2016

Top gear: Glenn Irwin recorded a hat-trick of victories at Bishopscourt
Top gear: Glenn Irwin recorded a hat-trick of victories at Bishopscourt
The victorious Glenn Irwin
Family affair: Andrew Irwin claimed victory in the two Supersport races to make it a fantastic day for the Irwin clan

Saturday's 36th Annual Sunflower Trophy Races was all about the Irwin family. BSB star Glenn took three Superbike wins without reply, which included the coveted Sunflower Trophy victory, with his brother Andrew triumphant in both Supersports.

Irwin on the BeWiser Ducati set a provisional lap record on his way to pole position during Friday's qualifying and, even though that honour eventually went the way of Tyco BMW British Superbike star Christian Iddon, Irwin took home the main prize and with it the joy of joining his father Alan (1983 & 1986) as a Sunflower Trophy winner.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Irwin said: "It's really nice to get my name on this trophy alongside my Dad's.

"It's a pity that the first part of the Sunflower race didn't run the distance, as it was building into a fantastic battle with Christian," he said of the feature Sunflower Trophy encounter, which was red-flagged and re-started.

"It's certainly not easy beating these guys around here, especially with it being my first time on a Superbike. But the goal now is to return to this great event and win this race a few more times," added Irwin.

Iddon, who had made prior commitments to attend a charity function in England, was forced to miss the last Superbike race, to make his flight from George Best Belfast City Airport.

But having set a new outright lap record en-route to two second placed finishes, the affable Stockport lad was delighted with his day's work.

"I really enjoyed the Sunflower event and my debut at Bishopscourt," said Iddon, whose new lap record of 100.676mph was a phenomenal achievement for a newcomer to the circuit.

"As always I was welcomed with open arms by the local fans in Northern Ireland, so I desperately wanted to bring the trophy home for the Tyco BMW team."

Forever the gentleman, Iddon added: "Apologies to the local fans for missing the last race, but guaranteed I will be back next season looking to win this famous trophy."

Danny Buchan didn't get to win his third Sunflower on the spin, but the 2014 and 2015 champion did secure three podium finishes in the Superbike class. Bangor's Robert English took advantage of Iddon's early departure to take third place in the final Superbike race.

Andrew Irwin's double in the Supersport class for Gearlink Kawasaki gave him his first wins at the Sunflower. Both were tough encounters against British championship rival David Allingham on the EHA Racing Yamaha. Carl Phillips had a dream debut on the Gearlink Kawasaki taking third place in both races.

Irwin said: "I came here to do a job and that's what I've done. A big thanks to my Gearlink team and now we can look forward to 2017 and the British Supersport title challenge."

Scott Swann (13) won both Junior Cup races, while Richard Kerr had a comfortable double in the GP125 class.

Belfast Telegraph

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