Belfast Telegraph

Ryan Farquhar and Jeremy McWilliams sink Oz hopes

By Paul Lindsay

Dungannon's Ryan Farquhar played a major role in helping Team UK wrestle the International Challenge crown away from their Australian counterparts for the first time in 10 years at the Phillip Island Classic event yesterday.

The record breaking road racer also took the individual honours over the four races with respective finishes of eighth, fourth, sixth and fifth, but had to force his way past Team UK team-mate Conor Cummins on the last lap of the final race at the iconic Australian GP circuit to do so.

Farquhar said afterwards: "This is a dream come true. I knew I had one go at this on the last lap to get past Conor to get the overall win, and to be fair the thoughts of the team went out the window. I was riding for pride."

Glengormley's Jeremy McWilliams, who took pole position in qualifying, led the individual points going into day two after a win and a second place. But the former GP winner proved that even he can make the odd rookie mistake, stalling his Harris Honda at the start of race three.

McWilliams could only manage 17th in race three and sixth place in the final encounter, leaving the former individual winner third overall (138 points) in an all-British podium with Cummins (139 points) second behind top step man Farquhar (141 points).

An incredible team player and sportsman, McWilliams said after his team's 617 points to 515 points win over the Aussies: "This is a great day for the UK team and understandably there was a fair bit of emotion in the pits. The International Challenge is extremely tough and you've got to be there in every race to win it.

"This weekend we had solid riders and solid equipment and we proved to be more reliable when it counted.

"Yes, we still had our fair share of issues, but to get past those headaches and take the victory is an absolutely sensational result, and congratulations must also go to Ryan, who was incredible all weekend."

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