WEST Down Wheelers, Matthew McKinstry, Brian Hanna, Neil Seffen, John Kernaghan, Mark Alexander and Davy Cartmill traveled to Donaghadee on Saturday for the North Down GP.
Matthew, Brian, Neil and Davy raced against a full field of A4 riders in the ‘’C’’ race which completed five laps of the course.
The first lap was relatively steady with no real threats, however Davy Cartmill was in thick of the action from the word go. On the start of the second lap Neil Seffen took the brave decision to make an early attack with Matthew McKinstry as backup, this in turn caused some very aggressive riding in this bunch to reel them back in again.
It was on the final stages of last lap that Brian Hanna, competing in his second open race came forward to lead the Wheelers Blue train up the long final drag to the finish.
But it was Sean McIntyre (Orchard Shelbourne CC) who has been making a name for himself during the last number of races that stamped his dominance on the race. With the remaining places coming down to a bunch sprint it appeared that the Wheelers blue train attempt had broke to soon. Unfortunately approx 200 meters from the line two other riders came down in a crash.
Mark and John raced in the A3 race which proved to be a dramatic event. Towards the end of the second lap a rider touched another riders wheel and came down, John decided to stop and assist until the first aid arrived.
Almost from the gun Ian Inglis of Curran Racing jumped clear of the bunch and only Conor McAteer of Bann Valley was strong enough to go with him. These two rode very aggressively and ended up catching the A1/A2 race which had been set off before them. Eventually the Commissaries took the decision to stop the race and allow sufficient time for the A race to go through.
The A3 race then went on again with Inglis getting his 40 second lead on the bunch. Unfortunately he was unable to regain his early momentum and finally dropped out of the race. Mark and another group of riders broke free and opened as clear gap on the chasers. Unfortunately just after they got the bell and were on their final lap additional ambulances arrived to take the injured A4 riders to hospital and this effectively made the finishing straight too dangerous for a bunch sprint.
It was too late by this stage to move the finish line and warn the riders so the decision to stop the race before the line was taken. It was Michael Carroll (Ballymena Chain Reaction) who got first place.
This week’s event is the Circuit tt on Tuesday 16th April, starts at Loughbrickland lake, 6.45pm, towards Rathfriland and finishing at Banbridge,
There was another good turnout of Wheelers on yet another very cold evening. This second 10TT of the season saw your man Wilky take his second win, there’s just no stopping him.
Second fastest on the night was Darren, this will be the man to watch, surely he’ll catch Wilky before the years out. Another rider to watch this season and indeed in years to come is junior Jack Priestley, Jack clocked a time of 28.11 on the tough Castlewellan Road for an under 16 year old this is no easy task.
The members of West Down Wheelers wish TVR rider Michael Pyper a speedy recovery