Ulster Grand Prix: Anstey is Dundrod's speed king
Ian Hutchinson may have been declared man-of-the-meeting with three wins and two second places at the McKinstry Skip Hire Ulster Grand Prix on Saturday, but it was Kiwi Bruce Anstey who rode one of the best and fastest laps ever around the 7.4-mile Dundrod Circuit to claim victory in the final Superbike race with an astonishing absolute lap record of three minutes 18.870 seconds, a speed of 133.977mph — the fastest lap of any circuit in the world currently in use.
The five-lap race was a thriller with Hutchinson leading for four of the five laps with Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Anstey and Guy Martin right in his wheel tracks.
Leaving Irelands Corner on the last lap Anstey, who had clocked an electrifying 197mph through the speed trap, was in third position, but with a masterful display of riding he sailed past Amor into second at the Windmill.
Then, with the better drive up the hill through Jordans Cross, the Relentless Suzuki by TAS rider nipped inside Hutchinson at Wheelers and held off all challenges to take the chequered flag 0.072 seconds in front with that astonishing lap record, Anstey relieving Conor Cummins of the fastest road racer in the world title.
Anstey said afterwards: “I knew our bike was strong and competitive and I just lost out in the first Superbike race.
“I wasn’t about to lose this one and when I took the lead I just kept the head down until the chequered flag.
This was a phenomenal performance from a man who had not ridden a racing bike from the TT back in June until practice for the Ulster started on Wednesday.
Right from the red lights going out, the five men at the front of the field were on lap record-breaking pace with first Cameron Donald breaking the old mark followed a split second later by Martin and finally by Anstey on that final lap cheered on by the 30,000 crowd. Just 1.6 seconds covered the flying quintet when the chequered flag was unfurled.
Hutchinson had won the earlier feature Ulster Grand Prix Superbike race, this time a six-lap thriller with Amor, Anstey, Martin and Michael Dunlop thrilling the crowds with spectacular racing action. Hutchinson and Amor swapped positions at the front of the race on several occasions with all five nose to tail with no quarter asked or given in final lap shoot-out, Amor leading onto the final circuit and Anstey making a determined challenge.
Slower riders played a big role as Hutchy jumped to the front with Anstey following him through to finish a tenth behind the Padgetts Honda rider at the chequered flag.
This race was Hutchinson’s ninth straight international road race win, having won the final race at the North West 200, then in a unique achievement winning all five solo TT races and being victorious in his first three races at the UGP. Hutchinson said: “That was a hard race. After the bike
broke down in the Dundrod 150 on Thursday the team changed the engine, so we were not too sure how it would work out.”
Lisburn City Council Superstock – 1st I. Hutchinson avg. speed 130.204mph, 2nd K. Amor 130.170, 3rd R. Farquhar 129.086, 4th I. Lougher 129.071, 5th G. Johnston 129.056, 6th G. Martin 127.995.
Record Lap – Hutchinson 3m 21.599secs – 132.163mph.
Strong Construction Supersport – 1st I. Hutchinson avg. speed 126.576mph, 2nd K. Amor 126.558, 3rd M. Dunlop 126.533, 4th G. Martin 125.637, 5th B. Anstey 124.612, 6th R. Farquhar 124.593.
Record Lap – Dunlop 3m 27.187secs – 128.599mph.
250cc – 1st I Lougher avg. speed 118.775mph, 2nd W. Dunlop 117.892, 3rd P. Robinson 116.246, 4th D. Mathison 114.490, 5th D. Morgan 114.482, 6th P. Shoesmith 111.255.
Fastest Lap – Lougher 3m 41.807secs – 120.122mph.
Supertwins – 1st R. Farquhar avg. speed 115.443mph, 2nd J. Burrows 110.869, 3rd R. McCartney 110.359, 4th A. McFarland 110.306, 5th L. Hill 108.880, 6th A. Brown 108.332.
Record Lap – Farquhar 3m 48.345secs – 116.683mph
Stoneyford Concrete/Peoples UGP Superbike – 1st I. Hutchinson avg. speed 131.586mph, 2nd B. Anstey 131.574, 3rd K. Amor 131.540, 4th G. Martin 131.452, 5th M. Dunlop 131.317, 6th G. Johnson 130.524.
Fastest Lap – Amor 3m 20.016secs – 133.209mph.
Around A Pound Supersport – 1st K. Amor avg. speed 126.317mph, 2nd I. Hutchinson 126.296, 3rd W. Dunlop 126.250, 4th M. Dunlop 125.887, 5th G. Martin 124.864, 6th D. Kneen 123.628.
Fastest Lap – Amor 3m 27.397secs – 128.468mph.
visitlisburn.com Superbike – 1st B. Anstey avg. speed 132.029mph, 2nd I. Hutchinson 132.020, 3rd K. Amor 131.985, 4th C. Donald 131.878, 5th G. Martin 131.807, 6th M. Dunlop 130.744.
Absolute Track Record – Anstey 3m 18.870secs – 133.977mph.