Belfast Telegraph

Dunlop in bid to regain Southern 100 title despite high-speed crash in Donegal Rally

 

Recovery: Michael Dunlop is battling back from injury
Recovery: Michael Dunlop is battling back from injury

By Roy Harris

Despite suffering an injury following a high-speed, heavy impact crash during the Donegal International Rally, Michael Dunlop will be back on two wheels again soon.

He has confirmed his entry for the 2019 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races, which run from July 8-11.

The three-time Southern 100 Solo Champion - in 2011, 2012 and 2016 - will have Superbike BMW and Supersport Honda machines available for the meeting where he will lock horns with the current double champion Dean Harrison, as he attempts to wrestle back the title from the Bradford rider.

Dunlop has also withdrawn from the unique Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds Hill Climb in Colorado, where he was to link up with German racer Lucy Glockner to compete on a BMW S1000R for the Wunderlich Motorsport powered by ProKASRO team.

Closer to home and the Enniskillen Road Races - sponsored by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council - take place this weekend, with roads closing tomorrow from 12 noon, followed by an 11-race programme on Saturday with roads closing from 10am.

Following on from last year's first ever road race around the three-mile Arney Circuit, the Enniskillen Club will hope for a day like last year when it was wall to wall sunshine, with Derek McGee racing to a five-timer, joining the elite band of Ryan Farquhar, Phillip McCallen and Joseph Loughlin who have managed this feat in one day.

Mullingar ace McGee is sidelined this year following his TT accident, as is last year's five-time second-placed man Adam McLean, well on the mend after his Tandragee 100 crash last month, leaving the way clear for others to take the major points in this Irish and Ulster Road Race championships event.

The feature race on Saturday is the second running of the Richard Britton Memorial Race, remembering the local star who lost his life in an accident at Ballybunion Road Races in 2005.

Leading the challenge this weekend could well be circuit debutant Dominic Herbertson, Thomas Maxwell, Kevin Fitzpatrick, local rider Paul Gartland and veteran Paul Cranston.

Speaking of the Council's sponsorship, chairman Howard Thornton said: "The Council recognises the benefits that events such as this bring to an area and we welcome the road races back to our area for the second year.

"They help promote our tourism and generate income for our local businesses, while we appreciate the combined community effort to host this event and the support of the local residents where the circuit is based."

The meeting will be covered by Greenlight Television and BBC Sport Northern Ireland for transmission at a later date.

Meanwhile, organisers of Armoy Road Races have announced that Cheshire rider Sam West will make his Irish national road race debut at the Race of Legends meeting on July 26 and 27.

West has been making significant progress on the international scene and said: "I've often thought about doing the national events. Armoy and Tandragee were the two at the top of my list, but taking time off work was always difficult.

"Talking to Bill Kennedy (clerk of the course) I was sold. I'll be a newcomer, but I'm really excited about the Armoy circuit."

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