Belfast Telegraph

Mullingar Missile McGee targets five at Tandragee

 

Up close: Derek Sheils (Burrows/RK Racing Suzuki) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Derek McGee (CITP Kawasaki) into Gortin corner during the Open race at the Cookstown 100
Up close: Derek Sheils (Burrows/RK Racing Suzuki) leads Adam McLean (McAdoo Kawasaki) and Derek McGee (CITP Kawasaki) into Gortin corner during the Open race at the Cookstown 100

By Roy Harris

Mullingar Missile Derek McGee will chase five race wins when the action moves to the Orchard County tomorrow and Saturday with the North Armagh Club's 59th Tandragee 100.

McGee and Derek Sheils, plus Adam McLean, thrilled the Cookstown 100 crowds last weekend and are sure to play a starring role around the stunning 5.344mile circuit on the outskirts of Tandragee, with title sponsorship from Newry-based Around A Pound discount stores.

It is a circuit once described by John McGuinness as "a mini TT", with its undulations, jumps and fast sweeping bends where the outright lap record stands to the late Dan Kneen at 109.609mph from last year's Open 1000cc race on his Tyco BMW.

It is hard to look past the cross-border influence of Sheils on the BE/RK Racing Suzuki, who had a fruitful weekend at Cookstown with a first and second, McGee on the CITP/Doyne Kawasaki and Michael Sweeney on his MJR BMW as the 'big bike' front runners on Saturday.

But a real dark horse could well be Banbridge rider Shaun Anderson making his debut on the NW Racing BMW on his home course.

The 34-year-old had a fine fifth position in the Open race a year ago and a fastest lap at over 107mph.

Anderson is one of the unsung heroes of the sport, working for the KTM Factory in Austria and one of the top privateer riders around the TT Mountain Circuit, where he has lapped at over 128mph on his way to earning his first Silver replica last year.

McLean was eighth and fifth in last year's Open races, but will be looking for podiums on Saturday as he gets to grips with the McAdoo Kawasaki ZX-10RR.

Arguably his best chance of wins comes in the Supersport and Supertwin races, two classes where he battled hard with McGee last Saturday, winning the Supersport by a third of a second before losing out by half a second in Supertwin.

Also worth watching will be Neil Kernohan on his Logan Racing machines coming off the back of four sixth positions.

McGee started his defence of the Duke Road Race Rankings in tremendous style at Cookstown and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could race to five wins at Tandragee in Open (two races), Supersport riding B&W Diamond Edge Kawasaki, Supertwin on Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki and the Moto3 race on Italian enthusiast Francesco Faraldo's ex-Niccolo Antonelli GP Honda.

Tandragee has almost 300 entries for an eight-race programme as follows:

Race 1: Rapid International Supersport

R2: Principal Insurance Junior Supersport

R3: McCrum's Motorcycles Aprilia Open

R4: Phillip Riddell Memorial Classic

R5: Tayto (NI) Supertwin

R6: City Autos Lightweight Moto3/125GP

R7: Tandragee Supervalu Senior Support

R8: Around A Pound Tandragee 100

Roads close tomorrow 3pm-9pm and on Saturday morning at 10am, racing 11am

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