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Added: 21 Mar 2016 Category: Past Oval Racing
And the Year Was..... 2010
It may not have seemed like it at the time but 2010 was actually the start of a few years that I believe were a mini modern golden era with the promotions starting to work together and some exchanges of classes in what was an attempt to shut out newly re-opened Aghadowey.

With work ongoing at Ballymena to redevelop the Warden Street stand the usual open meetings of the 2010 season took place under the Ballymena promotion but staged at Nutts Corner with good Friday being an utterly horrible night from memory. I think Aghadowey’s opening meeting was also over Easter, I didn’t make it there in it’s entire first season.

First up in the big meetings of the year was Shamwreck which for me will be remembered as the one that Matty had the big Green and White Team Xtreme Yank which pretty much drove through everything that got in front of it. Mark Delgrano won the Shamwreck title, but his most famous Shamwreck moment was in years to come.

The war on Aghadowey continued in May with the other promotions staging “Ovalfest” 2010 which seen them put together a disjointed weekend of racing over the May bank holiday weekend which featured all of their best classes mixed together. The concept had the potential of being the ultimate local weekend of racing, but turned into 2 separate meetings over the same weekend with different classes on each day.

In June Rob Speak made his F2 return to NI in his Elite Evo chassis which wasn’t very successful at Nutts Corner and he borrowed McCreight’s car for the Ballymena meeting with no success there either. The visitors included reigning World Champion Mickey Brennan, reigning British and I think National Points Champion Dave Polley as well as a host of other drivers. It was Graham Fegan who claimed the Challenge Trophy at Nutts Corner before Dave Polley won the Irish Open at Ballymena. The day after the F2’s Nuttscorner Oval staged the first Matches and Despatches themed banger meeting staged in the province. I think it was also June that Vince Campbell let me have a few laps in his 2.0 Hot Rod, which remain the only few laps I’ve driven round a tar oval.

In July myself and Colin Adair went to the Goodwood festival of speed which is one of those eye opening events that every motorsport fan should do. Ipswich was the same weekend and in my first trip to the Ipswich Spedeweekend I was fortunate enough to get infield access for most of it. It was very much one of those things you should really do as a photographer but with the restrictions in place now as to how many people can be on the infield and constant squabbling for places it’s something I wouldn’t even want to do again for the politics of it. Chris Haird won the NHR World, Wilks won the 2.0 Hot Rod World and Skoyles won the Lightning Rod World.

At Nuttscorner Oval’s Speedweekend at the end of July Andy Best won the 2.0 Hot Rod British Championship and Stephen Emerson won the Lightning Rod European.

Roll on August and Ryan Abernethy won the ProStocks Irish Open Championship, in the days before it was part of the Summer Speedweekend.

In September Stewart Doak won the British Championship for the Nationals at Ballymena and then the Irish Open at Nuttscorner Oval the following day. On the same weekend the John Fortune won the F2 World at Skegness from well down the grid.

Irish Championship season kicked in from there on which seen wins for Derek McMillan (Junior Productions), Mickey McFall (Stock Rods), Stephen Emerson (Lightning Rods), Derek Martin (2.0 Hot Rods), Alan Haugh (ProStocks) and Conor Hughes won the F2’s the year it was staged at Ballymena which will be remembered more for Graham Fegan ending up over the wall in turn one.

With the season drawing to a close John Christie won the European at Tipperary.

The festive meetings ended up re-scheduled for early 2011 after heavy snowfall over the festive period.

The end of 2010 brought about the first news that Davy McCall had got planning permission and would be opening a new track at Tullyroan.

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