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Added: 02 Apr 2013 Category: 2013 Oval Racing
2013 - #6 – Ballymena Raceway – 30/3/13
The second meeting in as many days at Ballymena Raceway and day 2 of the big Stock Rod weekend. I don’t think I’ll be alone in thinking a thirteen car turnout in the Stock Rods was quite poor for their Irish Open, it’s not that long since we would have had 13 visitors plus our own for such a championship. I guess the price of boats and the downfall of Tipperary has put drivers off coming.

With Nutts Corner Raceway snowed off the previous week, this meeting was the start of the F2 season, with ten cars racing and I’d seen at least one more in the pits before the meeting. Conor Hughes made his debut in what I believe is the 2012 World winning RCE car of Mickey Brennan and Thomas Greer debuted a DK car. there Gary Blair took a hat-trick of wins in the F2’s, which apart from a few first bend hits were pretty tame. Modern F2 racing lacks the exchanges there once was, which has been replaced by the fastest men just driving through the field fairly unchallenged. For many a year I complained Hot Rod racing was too roundy roundy for my liking, the modern F2 is now more roundy roundy than the hot rods. All the same, as much as I can criticise the modern F2 race, I’ve still all the F2 meetings highlighted on my fixture list to take in.

The juniors were quite possibly the best class of the night. Patrick O’Boyle took the opening heat win, Cara Wightman took heat two. The final went to Bradley McKinstry who was kept honest all the way by Dean McCrory. The final also featured a spectacular roll from Antony Kincaid and a wheel off later in the race.

In the Group 2’s there was two heat wins for Rodney Fleck before Gregg McMullan took the final. The final featured early drama when Thomas Kernohan got turned on the back straight and was collected head on by Lucinda Smyth, both cars looked a sorry state, but both drivers were quickly out of them.

Chris Lattka and Jonny Cardwell shared the heat wins in the Stock Rods and shared the front row for the final. Lattka took a lights to flag win with Carl Sloan getting second and Derek McMillan third.

Approx Car Turnout: 59 cars (15 Junior Rods, 10 BriSCA F2’s, 13 Stock Rods, 21 Gp 2 Lightning Rods)

Cara Wightman wins heat 2

Conor Hughes in the ex-Mickey Brennan RCE

McKinstry en route to the final win

Action shot of the night

Gary Blair en route to the final win

Stock Rod Irish Open Grid

Thomas Greer's new DK

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