Belfast Telegraph

Sweeney in win controversy after pair crash out

By Roy Harris

A tremendous day of high speed action at the Mid Antrim 150 on Saturday saw nine new lap records on a partly resurfaced track with double victories for Michael Sweeney, Jamie Hamilton and Mark Hanna.

Dublin rider Sweeney, named Man of the Meeting won the 250GP race and was then declared the winner of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters' Club Grand Final in controversial circumstances.

Derek Sheils and Jamie Hamilton, first and second in the Open Race, were locked in battle at the front of the feature race for six of the seven laps breaking the absolute lap record several times 13 seconds clear of Sweeney in third.

On the final lap approaching Corby Corner and a slower rider a collision occurred and both the leading pair crashed. Though they were uninjured the incident caused the race to be stopped.

The official result of the race was declared from the end of lap five with Sheils and Hamilton – deemed as causing the stoppage – omitted with Sweeney the beneficiary and confirmed as the winner from Davy Morgan and Seamus Elliott.

Sweeney said, "I just saw the two lads getting back on their feet and I suppose you could say I was in the right place to pick up the pieces."

It didn't end there however with protests lodged over the result, but the stewards, adhering to their rule book, dismissed them and the result stood.

Sheils had the consolation of setting the new absolute lap record for the Clough Circuit on lap four with a speed of 111.207mph smashing Ryan Farquhar's 2007 record lap by over a second and-a-half.

Two other Farquhar lap records were also smashed on Saturday when Seamus Elliott set a new supersport mark with a lap of 108.322mph, 1.6secs inside Farquhar's 2007 speed while chasing Hamilton home; the Vauxhall KMR Kawasaki rider scoring his first Irish supersport victory.

Hamilton easily won the supertwin race, a remarkable five seconds inside his team's 2012 lap record with a speed of 102.915mph, the first supertwin machine over 100mph.

William Davison in second also broke the 100mph mark, but over 23 seconds behind Hamilton, who remains undefeated in the class this season and is the new Irish supertwin road race champion.

Junior Support was the expected battle between Mark Hanna and Conor Behan with Behan ahead for five laps before Hanna hit the front to hold off the determined Cheshire rider by a tenth of a second.

Hanna also won the Senior Support tailing Shane Egan and Gavin Lupton for four laps of six before setting a new lap record on lap five to take the lead.

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