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Added: 27 Aug 2012 Category: 2012 Oval Racing
2012 - #32 – Ballymena Raceway – 25/8/12
The second day of the Ballymena Speed weekend and the “big night” for the Stock Rods.
We again got good weather, and this time the BriSCA F2’s and the ORCi Lightning Rods joined the Group 2’s in supporting the Stock Rods.

The meeting began with the Group 2’s and an opening heat win for Lucinda Smyth. Heat two went to number 24 (whose name isn’t in the programme but it says Elliot on the visor) and it was Lucinda Smyth again who took the win in the final to take the champion of champions final.

The F2’s followed the group 2’s and had a respectable sixteen car turn out. The opening heat seen quite a bit of bumperwork between the red roof drivers and an opening heat win for Sam McKay. Heat two seen a mid race stoppage when Ryan McCrory put Jeff Minish in the wall and from the restart it was Chris Kincaid who soon took the lead and went on to take the win. Kincaid and McKay shared the front row of the closed grid final, with Craig McConnell quickly pushing his way through into the lead and maintaining a steady distance over Kincaid throughout the race to take the win.

The lightning rods seen a seventeen car field for their “away” day to Ballymena. The opening heat went to Richard Stewart with Dane Ferry taking heat two. Stewart went on to take a the final and a clean sweep for orange painted cars.

Finally, the main event of the weekend, the Stock Rod World Championship final. I’m pleased to say the support “last chance” race was dropped, which had looked in danger of being a bit of a non event with only a few cars competing for the last spot on the grid, but with a few no shows on the Saturday, everyone that was there got a spot on the 37 car grid. In the build up to the race some of the former champions were rode around the track on trikes and the rolling lap for the final itself was behind a trike. The title race itself seen a brief hold up after a hose burst on Tyler Collison’s car on the grid and he was given time to change it. Stephen McCready and Alan McCormack shared the front row with Chris Lattka and Colm O’Sullivan on row two. McCready made the perfect while McCormack struggled to get into the inside and lost a lot of ground early on. During the opening laps of the race Lattka and O’Sullivan put McCready under pressure until their battle for second eventually gave McCready some breathing space. O’Sullivan eventually found a gap and got up the inside of Lattke and he then suffered the same fate as McCormack losing a lot of ground on the outside and struggling to get back in. Fox had got himself up to third by mid race and was followed by Chris Gordon, McCormack and Marc Morell with defending champion Smyth in seventh ahead of Carl Sloan and Lattka. As the laps counted down there was no change in the order until Fox and Gordon caught up with Andy Grant to lap him, Fox made contact with the back of the Scottish car and just lost a split second which was enough for Gordon to get up the inside and claim third on the track, an incident which could yet decide the fate of the gold roof. McCready took a comfortable victory on track with O’Sullivan about half a straight back and Gordon third ahead of Fox, McCormack and Morrell. At the time of writing this, it is my understanding that O’Sullivan has been removed from the result for an engine irregularity and there is a question mark over components in McCready’s engine, the result is suspended.
In the support race on the night there was a win for Alan Ramsey of Tipperary who had a race long battle with William Laffin.

In summary it was a great weekend of racing, and a shot in the arm for the sport and my recent lack of enthusiasm. Roll on the 35th Anniversary meeting and the National Hot Rod double header next weekend!

Approx Car numbers: 93 cars (37 Stock Rods, 16 BriSCA F2’s, 23 Gp 2’s, 17 Lightning Rods)

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