McGee ready to be cream of crop again in Tandragee
North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club last night announced details of the 59th Around A Pound Tandragee 100 Road Races scheduled to take place on Friday May 3 and Saturday May 4.
Triple Irish road race champion Derek McGee will head the 300-strong entry chasing an overall prize fund of approximately £11,000.
McGee was Man of the Meeting around the Co Armagh circuit last year with double success in the Supersport and Supertwin classes, second in the feature Tandragee 100 race and third in the Open event.
This season the Mullingar Missile campaigns a KMR Kawasaki in Supertwins, B&W/ Diamond Edge Cutting Supersport Kawasaki, Faraldo Racing Moto3 Honda and NJ Doyne & McGee Superbike BMW.
Derek Sheils, also a winner last year, returns on a Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Superbike Suzuki and Roadhouse Macau Racing Supersport machines. Newcomer to both John Burrows team and the Tandragee 100 Tom Weeden, the 2016 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner, competes on a Yamaha R6 and a Superstock Suzuki.
Weeden is among almost 30 riders tackling the circuit for the first-time as well as Sam Grief, who has been taken under the now retired Paul Robinson's wing, Wayne Kennedy, Nadieh Schoots and Samantha Scott.
Scott and Schoots join Yvonne Montgomery, Melissa Kennedy and Veronika Hankocyova as the female competitors at the event.
Seven international competitors line up at Tandragee, Schoots (The Netherlands), Hankocyova and Michal 'Indy' Dokoupil (Czech Rep.), Chris Meyer (Germany), Enrico Rocchi (Italy), Roger Chen (Taiwan) and Mel Gantly (Canada).
Spicing up the quality line up for the eight-race programme will be Michael Sweeney, Adam McLean on the McAdoo Kawasaki's, Davy Morgan, Thomas Maxwell, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Forest Dunn, Paul Gartland, Shaun Anderson, Graham Kennedy and Paul 'Potchy' Williams.
The successful 2018 Manx Grand Prix Irish contingent will also be out in force with double Ultra Lightweight winner Darryl Tweed, Junior MGP winner James Chawke, (a winner of the 2016 Junior Support race at Tandragee), Michael Browne (fourth in the Senior Manx as a newcomer) and Andy Farrell double MGP Lightweight winner all looking to make an impression on the leaderboards.
Today it takes approximately £100,000 to organise and promote a successful national road race. And like all the others, the North Armagh Club are indebted to a long list of sponsors, too many to name, whose contributions keep the wheels in motion. The club is also urging all spectators to purchase a race programme.
Former double Formula 2 world champion Brian Reid may have hung up the leathers, except for the odd parade lap here and there, but you would still find him about the racing paddocks involved with his son Simon, who has been making promising strides on the short circuit scene.
After a couple of years on the home front in which he won the Supertwins championship in his rookie season and then competing in the 2018 Supersport Pro and Cup classes he finished third in each despite breaking a collarbone mid-season.
Now armed with a new Yamaha R6, Simon intends taking in the British National 600cc Superstock championship: "As much as I love racing at home, I developed an urge last season to take part in the BSB Support class. I feel this is the best decision to improve my racing career and I'm excited to begin this new chapter of my racing."