On Saturday, St. Angelo airport closed it’s flightpaths, and opened it’s gates to hundreds of motorcycle racing enthusiasts.
Warm sunshine and a record crowd of both riders and spectators were the order of the day as new lap records were posted in a fabulous day’s racing.
Back after an absence from the track, Athlone’s Cody Nally produced an outstanding performance in both the main Superbike races, pulling out a second per lap on the opposition, and in the process breaking the lap record, to take the first race win by 10 seconds to Jason Lynn and Korie McGreevy.
Local riders Aaron Armstrong, Andrew Brady and Paul Gartland came home fourth, sixth and ninth respectively. Race two was a similar affair with Nally leading from start to finish, and breaking his existing lap record to take the win from Nikki Coates and Jason Lynn.
No luck for Armstrong in this one, as a first lap incident at turn one put an end to his race, while Brady again rode brilliantly to take fifth spot, while Gartland took seventh. Coates claimed the Irish Superbike Championship.
Strong performances were put up by locals Dylan Leonard and Alan Armstrong in the first Irish Supersport Cup race with newcomer Leonard riding beyond expectations to come home a wonderful fourth place while Armstrong took seventh. No luck for Dylan in the race two, as he slid off on lap four while battling for a podium place. Alan went on to take third place behind Luke O’Higgins and Ronan Carroll.
Lisburn’s Robert Kennedy, who has been competing in some of the British championship races this season, scored a double in the main Supersport races, breaking Nally’s earlier lap record in race one, and taking the top step from newly crowned Irish champion Jason Lynn and Aaron Clifford. Aaron Armstrong came home in seventh place while Stephen Montgomery finished 16th.
Kennedy got the double in race two over Lynn while Christian Elkin took third. Montgomery came home 12th in this race, while Armstrong, whose bike was a little worse for wear after his earlier incident, had to sit this one out.
The combined Moto 3, Supersport 400 and 450 race always holds a lot of local interest.
Unfortunately for Melissa Kennedy, it was just not her day, when during practise, her KNR moto 3 250 Honda expired after only two laps, leaving her out of race one. In the 400 class, Paul Gartland rode a great race to come home in third place behind Dean Campbell and Darryl Tweed, with less than a second covering the top three, while other locals Slane Maguire and Loris Britton finished sixth and 10th respectively.
The second race saw Gartland go one step further on the Shay D racing Kawasaki by taking second place behind Tweed, with Maguire and Britton finishing 7th and 8th.
Thankfully Melissa was able to borrow a bike from good friend Gary Dunlop for the second moto 3 race, but ended up pulling in after four laps. British championship regular, Richard Kerr took both moto 3 race wins, setting yet another new lap record, from Christian Elkin. Paul also went on to take two more podiums in the Supertwin races, finishing second behind double race winner Joe Loughlin.
Rosslea rider Andrew Brady scored a double victory by four seconds in the pre-injection events, leading from start to finish in both races on his 600 Yamaha. For Brookeborough rider, Aileen ‘Pinky’ Keenan, this was her first ever race, and it’s not hard to see, she certainly has a future in the sport.
Speaking to her afterwards, Pinky commented: “I loved every minute of it, and I’m back in one piece.” even with a couple of scary moments due to brake problems.
In the Classic races, both Barry Davison and Robert McCrum shared the victories, while other race winners on the day were Scott Swann in the lightweight, Maurice Kelly in the Juniors, and Jonny Campbell in the Young Guns Challenge.
This was a superb event run by the Enniskillen & District Motorcycle Club in conjunction with the Cookstown Club., and they deserve a big congratulations to everyone involved. With everything running like clockwork, this event will I’m sure continue to grow.
Rodney Shaw, Chairman of Enniskillen and District Motorcycle Club Ltd commented after proceedings: “The club would like to thank the following people for their help/support and in the recent running of the Enniskillen 100 Revival Ulster and Irish Short Circuit Championship event at St Angelo Airport on Saturday, October 8, 2016. William West, Alan Cathcart, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, management and staff at Enniskillen Airport, Enniskillen Motor Club, Local Hire and Transport companies, Motorcycles Union of Ireland (UC) officials and all sponsoring businesses.
“Also thanks go to all press/photographers and journalists who helped promote the event, visitors for respecting the local environment and finally to all voluntary club members who dedicated their spare time to help with preparations.”