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Added: 08 Sep 2017 Category: 2017 Oval Racing
DMC September Weekend Round Up
The September Speedweekend marked the third DMC Speedweekend of the year, as weekend’s go the first one was a bit of a flop with hardly a sinner at Tullyroan on the Sunday and the July one while it was much improved but the Saturday night at Aghadowey felt like one of those chores you have to endure before you get to do something you actually want to do. Needless to say the September Speedweekend all at Tullyroan was the one I’d most been looking forward to this season.

In the week running up to it the National Hot Rod booking list had picked up numbers I think peaking at 28 before falling to around 23 or 24 again. As a fan it’s a bit disappointing when it’s a major championship and you only end up with the same amount of cars as a regular qualifying round, who’d have thought running a qualifying round 4 days before the British would impact the car numbers, eh?
The first corner of the opening heat didn’t do anything to help the car numbers either, three cars went into a gap for two, Les Compelli found himself facing the wrong way and was collected by Keith Martin, whose weekend ended there, 100yds of racing, if even that, Chris Crane picked up damage and was sidelined and Derek Martin was put off having be judged to be the cause of it. John Christie won the opening heat from pole.
Adam Hylands was a noticeable absentee from heat two after his engine blew up at the end of the opening heat, his former 2 Litre Hot Rod sparring partner Shane Murray didn’t fare much better when he ended up in the wall on the home straight mid race, a similar fate to his 2016 British Championship. Rob McDonald took the win in the second heat.

From the heats Christie had qualified pole with Adam Heatrick alongside and Haird inside second row. On the start Christie got away clean, Haird moved through to second and Heatrick slotted into third, lots of laps later that was the way it finished. John Christie secured the British Championship to complete a grand slam of National Hot Rod titles, and this one I’m sure was all the sweeter for being in the Fiesta.

The support races seen a revenge race win for Glenn Bell and he went on to add the Leslie Dallas Memorial Trophy/ Four Nations round 3 to it.

I think the tradition that the British for the Nationals is always in NI around the start of September means they get to be the headline act for the weekend, but there was no doubt they were upstaged all weekend by the Superstox. I hate random drawn grids, they are prone to throwing up races as dull as dishwater (like this year’s F2 European if you want a direct comparison). This one threw up an interesting enough grid that seen Gary Chambers on pole with Gary Grattan alongside and fancied favourites Jason Cooper and Stuart Gilchrist quite a bit further back. Chambers race lasted as far as the first bend when he ended up in the wall with Gary Grattan getting around the outside and away. Gary Grattan rode out a few restarts, one of which was for a pile up that included Cooper, before slipping back in the pack with Jordan Aylward taking the lead and going on to take the win.
The allcomers heat seen plenty of action with Denver Grattan clashing with Barry Stephen after Stephen had followed him in during the European, before a slowing Stephen was hit on the back wheel by Gary Grattan, the pair also have previous, leaving the two cars stranded across the track. Kenny McKenzie also had a spectacular roll on the top bend. David Frame took the win. Later in the night Brett Wesbroom won the meeting final.
On Sunday the Supers switched their attention to the Irish Open Championship and had lost a number of cars from the Saturday night, probably more locals than visitors to be fair. Jason Cooper won the opening heat before Lee Davison became the only local winner of the weekend in heat two. Cooper and Gilchrist shared the front row of the Irish Open but it was Brett Wesbroom who ended up the eventual winner.

Joining the Supers and the Nationals for their big weekend was the Classic Hot Rods. The Irish Open was staged at Tullyroan for the first time and brought the biggest gathering of Classic Hot Rods in Northern Ireland since the inception of the class. Kenny Purdie won the Irish Open Championship just fending off the late advances of Clive Richardson on the Saturday night. Purdie also won the Tullyroan Challenge Cup on Sunday which was awarded on points.
Sadly Kenny Purdie’s father, Jim, collapsed and passed away on the Sunday, my thoughts are with the family.

The Saturday night support classes started with the Junior Productions and up until the closing laps it looked like it could have been a first win in the class for Aaron Ward, but he turned across another car, picked up a puncture and ended up in the turn one wall. Drew McKeown won the final for the class.

Joining the Junior Productions on Saturday night was the Stock Rods, which seen two heats wins for Ben McCully who then became a first lap casualty in the final. Derek McMillan won the final, leading home a tight battle of five or six cars over the line.

Sunday seen the turn of the Lightning Rods and ProStocks to support, both classes produced great finals with Jordan Rochford just about squeezing through to the lead in the closing laps of the Lightning Rod final to take the win. The ProStocks weren’t to be upstaged and their final went down to a photo finish as Del McLaughlin took the win as four cars crossed the line in all manner of shapes.

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