Locals in the frame ahead of massive karting event

NEXT Saturday, November 24, sees one of the biggest ‘events’ in kart racing when the awards ceremony takes place for both the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championships.

The Northern Ireland Karting Championships and the Ulster Karting Club championships have drawn to a close with the final round recently at Nutts Corner Circuit with many classes going right to the final race of the day for championship deciders.

Mini-Max held its own throughout the year with Samuel Harron leading things until he too came under pressure mid season.

In this case, Banbridge’s Conor McPolin, along with Jack Graham and Daniel Harper were all piling it on. As the series closed though, McPolin was the one applying the most pressure to show that his GP win in Cadets last year had really given him the urge to push onwards in overall championships.

No single driver dominated the final days racing though and in the final race it was Castlereagh’s Ryan Young showing his British championship form with a clear win from Harper. Michael Owens was now able to try his hand at the class after winning the Cadets series and took third on the day with McPolin and Harron rounding off the top five.

The final countback however saw McPolin come out as the top driver overall in the Ulster Championships with just a heat worth of points margin to second. That second was shared on points between Harron and Graham with Harper a well pleased fourth. Fifth was Coleraine’s Conor McKeown after a consistent year overall.

Prokarts had something of a difficult year which was unfortunate given that it had been such a huge class only a few years back. In the end, Gilford’s Nigel Stewart went on to dominate and secure another Ulster championship. The final race of the season saw Mark Murphy from Hannastown make the most of Stewart sitting out the final round and straight wins saw him take second just ahead of Crumlin’s Stan Woods and Coleraine’s Martin Culbertson. Michael Troughton sat out the final round after doing enough to secure the NI championship.

In the combined 250cc Superkarts, Antrim’s Stephen Foster and Gilford’s Scott Greenaway had a close battle all season in the Nationals and of all the classes this one for sure went right to the wire. On the final day, Ballinderry’s Dese Black who was challenging for third took the early win from Greenaway and Foster.

At this point Greenaway was the pressure point but it all fizzled when a no score and then a fifth really robbed him of his chance to snatch the title. A win and a second by Foster were just enough however to see him secure the title from Greenaway with Dese Black taking a well deserved third.

Apart from the 24th November awards ceremony, the next big events as such in the sport will be the 500MRCI karting section second round to their winter series at their Kirkistown base on December 8 followed by the Ulster Karting Club promoted Winter Cup at Nutts Corner on Thursday December 27.