Belfast Telegraph

Haire is back on track for glory as Ulster series starts with Enkalon Trophy prize

 

By Roy Harris

An intriguing opening short circuit meeting of the season takes place tomorrow at Bishopscourt, Co Down where the MCRRCI promote the opening round of the new-look Ulster Superbike Championship, which also incorporates the Irish Championship.

Sponsored by AJ Plumbing (Jim O'Brien), Metzler, Loughview Leisure Group, Signstik, Rea Timber Craft, Q Radio and Ernie Coates Race Support, a huge entry has been received with the feature race of the 18-race programme the 41st running of the Enkalon Trophy Race, won last year by Manxman Dan Kneen.

Entries have been received from the Czech Republic, Scotland, England and southern Ireland. The Superbike class entry includes defending Irish champion Charles Stuart, Ali Kirk, Gerard Kinghan, Luke Johnston plus an interesting entry from George Farlow on a special carbon fibre framed BMW. Farlow is a past Enkalon Trophy Race winner back in 1980 and 1990.

Also entered is prolific short circuit winner David Haire, now a full-time teacher in Finland, who has returned to Northern Ireland to solely set his sights on winning the all-new Ulster Superbike Championship on a brand-new BMW S1000RR.

Haire, who also intends contesting the North West 200 and wildcarding at three selected British National Superstock 1000 rounds, has teamed up with James Chignell of Rope Access Works Ltd, who will become the team's main sponsor for his 2018 title campaign.

Haire said: "Despite being away from racing for almost two years I feel refreshed, fit and healthy for the task ahead.

"With the all-new Ulster Championship, the news of the development of a new race circuit near Coalisland and a new enthusiasm within the sport on the back of Jonathan Rea's success, things are looking positive on the short circuit scene."

Last year some of the best racing was in the Supersport class and that looks set to continue with all the usual suspects returning to the action, including defending champion Jason Lynn, Ballynahinch brothers Korie and Kia McGreevey, Christian Elkin, Mark Conlin and Dean McMaster, who was a double winner at Mondello Park at the weekend.

There will also be races for Super and Production Twins - Eunan McGlinchey the favourite here after two wins and a second at Mondello - Moto3, Pre-Injection, Lightweight Supersport, Classic and Cup competitors.

Action gets underway tomorrow from 9am with 10 practice sessions, followed by racing scheduled from 11am.

The action then moves across Strangford Lough for the Ards and North Down Borough Council supported Belfast and District Club traditional Easter Monday meeting at Kirkistown where the feature race will be for the Mayor's Trophy during round two of the Ulster Superbike Championship.

Belfast Telegraph

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