Gary Dunlop follows in dad Joey’s tracks with first ever Irish Championship win
Legend Joey Dunlop’s son Gary added his name to the long list of racing successes by the famous family with his first ever Irish Championship road race win yesterday during the East Coast Racing Club final roads meeting of the season held over the Killalane Circuit in Co Dublin.
Dunlop’s victory came in the Moto3/125GP five lap event, riding the immaculately prepared Joey’s Bar Moto3 Honda, inheriting the lead on lap three of five from his cousin Paul Robinson when he was forced to retire.
Fittingly, Gary’s machine also carried dad Joey’s yellow livery and racing No.3.
Another Ballymoney rider, Seamus Elliott, had been second going onto the last lap, but did not finish with Nigel Moore taking second and the Irish Championship for the class.
Gary, who only began road racing last year, said: “It’s unfortunate Paul had to retire and lose out on the championship, but his departure left me in front. It’s great to take the win – another Dunlop wins at Killalane. That’s wins down here for Joey and uncle Robert, my cousins Michael, William, Sam, Paul and now me.”
Michael and William were at the Goodwood Revival meeting over the weekend and yesterday the pair finished third in the Barry Sheene Memorial race, taking turns riding a 1962 500cc 3-cylinder MV Agusta.
Having retired in Saturday’s race, the pair were well down the combined race results; the winners being Glengormley veteran Jeremy McWilliams and Duncan Fitchett, riding a 1962 500cc Manx Norton.
Back at the East Coast meeting, local ace Michael Sweeney won both the championship and non-championship Supersport races with yesterday’s race a seven-lap thriller as Sweeny diced with Derek Sheils and Paul Jordan, setting the fastest lap on his final circuit to overhaul Sheils and win by a 10th of a second with Jordan a second back in third.
In high winds, Sheils won the Open race by 15 seconds from Sweeney with McGee, on his comeback from his Ulster Grand Prix crash, taking third and with it the Irish championship.
Elliott won the Lightweight Supersport race, Joe Loughlin obliterated the Senior Support field and was leading the Junior Support race when it was stopped by rain. After a delay, Clerk of the Course Francis Everard announced that would be the end of racing for the day, bringing the inaugural Carole Nash East Coast Club meeting to a premature end.
A first and second at Tandragee Motocross Park on Saturday was enough to elevate Richard Bird into the lead of the Irish Motocross MX1 championship with one round remaining.