Irish Titles for Steven and Jack – Photo 1 of 1
DESPITE wet and treacherous conditions throughout the evening, fans at Aghadowey Oval were treated to some exciting racing throughout last Saturday’s Championship.
Portadown rider Steven Haugh and Rathfriland’s Jack Morrow have both won Irish Championship titles in Superstox and Junior Productions, along with Glenavy’s Joe Largey (Stock Rods), Portadown’s Rab Preston (Thunder Rods) and John Goligher de Limavady (Back to Basics Bangers) the other long distance race winners.
Craig McConnell and Jamie McCann shared the front row of the Irish Superstox Championship, and what followed was a dramatic event!
An action-packed opener saw a number of whimsical runners fall to the wayside, as McCann spun in the lead.
The debris on the straight saw a period of caution called, and in the restart exchanges, David McMenemy and then McConnell had spells in front.
McCann was the fastest car on the track, however, and quickly got back into contention, taking the lead only for McConnell to come back to him and take both cars out of the race in dramatic fashion around the pit corner.
For the restart, Steven Haugh had the top spot and he reeled off the remaining rounds to win the coveted Irish title and the right to wear the green roof for the next twelve months.
Conor Murphy finished second with Gerard Hartley the only other of the handful of first-lap finishers in third.
The reverse-grid Irish Revenge race saw world champion Kyle Beattie claim victory on a very greasy track, before the Dash for Cash to end the meeting went to Curtis Greer.
The Junior Productions Irish Championship saw British champion Jack Morrow on pole position alongside Daniel Stewart, and it was Morrow who best handled the difficult conditions to come out on top early on.
As Jack increased his advantage, Leyton Hughes and Matthew Weir were involved in a big fight for second place.
A late warning period for a loose wheel couldn’t stop Jack’s march to the title, and he duly reeled off the remaining laps to earn a well-deserved victory and the coveted Derek McMillan Memorial Trophy for the Irish champion. .
Hughes took an honorable second place ahead of defending champion Weir, Callum Doak and Stewart.
The reverse-grid Irish Revenge event saw Dylan Fegan lead early before Jake Devlin powered through to take a nice victory.
The Stock Rods were joined by welcome visitors John Gray and Paddy O’Dwyer from Tipperary Raceway, with Samuel Murphy winning the opening moto after demoting early leader Ryan Dilly.
Joe Largey and Samuel Wilson filled the places. Teenager Dilly made no mistakes in moto two, earning his first win in the formula ahead of Murphy and Largey.
The final was once again held in atrocious track conditions, with Murphy taking a big lead early on.
Largey was the man to watch though, and after finding a way past Wilson, he set about cutting the deficit to Murphy up front.
Samuel could offer little resistance when the challenge presented itself, and with just five laps to go, Largey took the lead to earn an impressive victory over Wilson, Murphy and Victor McAfee.
The Thunder Rods opening round saw a clear win for Ballymena’s Adam Graham ahead of David Wilson and Rab Preston.
Round two saw a big crash when Daniel Rodgers blew an engine and smeared the track with oil, which made it very tricky for the rest of the field in the already wet conditions.
The pace was near pedestrian level as the drivers did their best to keep pointing in the right direction on the restart, with Graham again getting the green light on the line after a drag run from the final corner with Josh Goligher .
The final saw Sam Watt lead from the start, but Preston quickly took the lead and cleared away to claim an emphatic victory. Graham moved back into second place despite upgrading after the winning streak, with Wilson, James Goldie and Clifford Gordon next home.
Back to basics
A handful of Back to Basics Bangers once again helped recruit new drivers to the sport, with Aaron McGraw and William McFaul sharing heats before John Goligher won an entertaining finale.
The season finale at Aghadowey Oval will take place on Saturday 5th November (6.30pm) with the Irish Championships for Stock Rods and Thunder Rods, King of Aghadowey for 1300 Stock Cars as well as Superstox and Lightning Rods.