Belfast Telegraph

McGee and Sheils set for thrilling showdowns

 

Head to head: Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Derek McGee (CITP Kawasaki) at Cabra jump during Tandragee 100 practice yesterday
Head to head: Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Derek McGee (CITP Kawasaki) at Cabra jump during Tandragee 100 practice yesterday

By Roy Harris

The two Dereks, Sheils and McGee, will start the Open, Supersport and Grand Final 1-2 on the grid at the 59th Around A Pound Tandragee 100 today following qualifying last night.

McGee monopolised pole in all three and is chasing a hat-trick of Supersport wins while Sheils, going for a third Open race victory, starts from second on the grid in all three.

McGee, who has never won a 'big bike' race around the 5.344mile spectacular Co Armagh circuit, put in the fastest lap of 3m 00.149secs on his CITP Doyne Kawasaki with the BE-RK Suzuki of Sheils 2.209secs behind the triple Irish road race champion.

Michael Sweeney was third fastest with a 3m 04.783secs lap, Adam McLean fourth on the McAdoo Kawasaki on 3m 07.008secs, Thomas Maxwell fifth on 3m 07.795secs with Shaun Anderson sixth on his NW BMW road race debut on 3m 09.397secs.

Last year's Senior Support winner Mike Browne was an impressive seventh while newcomer Tom Weeden was back in 20th.

McGee's fastest lap was over 4secs slower than the late Dan Kneen's circuit lap record set last year in the Open race.

Three seconds separated McGee and Sheils in the Supersport class with McLean a quarter of a second behind the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha in third, Sweeney fourth, Browne fifth and Kevin Fitzpatrick rounding out the top six.

McGee went on to make it four out of five potential pole positions by topping the Moto3 session on his Faraldo Honda, but had to settle for second behind McLean in Supertwin while Lightweight Support saw Darryl Anderson lead the way from Welshman Paul 'Potchy' Williams with Andy McAllister six seconds faster than Kevin Baker to top Senior Support qualifying.

Roads close at 10am this morning and open no later than 7pm.

Meanwhile, after a very successful Easter period Martin Barr - the tough, determined and fast 31-year old motocross rider from Ballyclare - turns his attention back to the Maxxis British MX2 Championship at Canada Heights tomorrow.

Barr took five wins from five starts with an MX2 double at the Michelin MX Nationals at Hawkstone Park on Easter Sunday and then travelled overnight to complete a dynamic treble at Desertmartin on his 250cc Crescent Yamaha on Easter Monday in the second round of the Ulster Championship.

Barr said: "It was the perfect weekend at the MX Nationals at Hawkstone, quickest in qualifying and two race wins having to come through the pack.

"I'm starting to feel like my old self again after a rough couple of weeks."

The Co Antrim rider leads the MX2 Championship after two rounds.

After the overnight journey to Desertmartin for the second round of the Nutt Travel Ulster MX Championship, Barr, after just three hours sleep, totally dominated, winning all three Premier MX1/MX2 races overall and top MX2 machine at the meeting.

Overall Barr scored a maximum 75 points to lead the Ulster MX2 series undefeated after two rounds of thrilling action.

Barr said: "Another good day in the books taking all three Premier wins to go through the holiday meetings undefeated. The wee Crescent Yamaha had to work hard against the 450s.

"It's back to British Championship duty at Canada Heights (tomorrow) where we'll try and claw back a few points in the MX2 Championship. I'm confident I can improve my current sixth position despite the presence of Grand Prix competitors."

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