Sheils and McGee head quality line-up set for Armoy Road Races
With the clock ticking down towards the Armoy Road Races later this month, the event has received a bumper entry.
Triple Irish road race champion Derek McGee from Mullingar will be back in action following his Isle of Man TT practice spill and should be amongst the front runners in the Superbike, Supersport, Supertwin and Moto3 races around the three-mile circuit in north Antrim.
The Mullingar Missile was testing at Kirkistown over the weekend and should be fully fit for the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends meeting on July 26-27.
Derek Sheils, a Skerries treble winner on Sunday riding the John Burrows-Richardson Kelly Suzuki, currently leads the Irish and Ulster Superbike Road Race Championships and will be a formidable challenger at Armoy.
Sheils also goes in the Supersport class on his Roadhouse Macau Yamaha and will join McGee, Thomas Maxwell, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Michael Sweeney, local aces Darryl Tweed and Neil Kernohan, and newcomer Sam West as they look to dethrone last year's winner of the epic Friday evening race, Paul Jordan.
The other rider in that superb race, Adam McLean, will be a non-starter as he is still on the injured list following his accident during the Supertwin race at Tandragee.
He is targeting the Classic TT for a comeback and, failing that, it will be the end-of-season short circuit events before he will be back on track.
Gary Dunlop, who has just completed a hat-trick of road race wins in the Moto3 class, will also be at Armoy on his immaculate Joey's Bar MCC Honda.
Clerk of the course Bill Kennedy MBE said: "I'm very happy with the entry this year. We have some top-class riders and it's sure to make for interesting competition come Race Day.
"We have entries from Swiss and German riders, and we also have 22 newcomers.
"They come from Aberdeenshire to Somerset and from Co Cork to Ballymoney, which just goes to show the popularity of the Armoy meeting.
"The Classics are a bit extra special for me given it's the Frank Kennedy Classics and there will be some interesting bikes and riders lining up in this, including Dominic Herbertson, who won the Junior Classic TT last year and who will ride a Davies Motorsport Honda 4, Barry Davidson, who has six Armoy Classic wins to his credit, and Welsh newcomer Mark Purslow.
"I'm delighted to see so many make the effort to come. A big thank you to them all. Now we just need the weather and fans."