Wednesday, October 12

Irwin and Philips lead Gearlink challenge for Sunflower

Riding under the shadow of big brother doesn’t hold back 21 year old Andrew Irwin, the Newtownabbey rider, is without doubt one of the hardest chargers in the 2016 Dickies  British  600 Supersport championship. Narrowly missing out on his first podium in the supersport class at Assen last week, shows how much Andrew has progressed since the start of the year. Last year, Iriwn finished 4th in the British 600 Superstock championship, which included three podium finishes.

Having jumped ship from Kawasaki to Yamaha at the beginning of 2016, Andrew has now returned to Kawasaki machinery, with the ever popular GearLink Team, whom he made his debut with at the 2015 Sunflower race meeting, and he certainly didn’t disappoint!

Involved in a three way dice along with his Gearlink team mates, Andrew came out on top in the second race, his first victory at 600 level!
This year, the hard charging Irwin will return to the Sunflower meeting, on board the 600 Gearlink Kawasaki. “ Having ridden the Gearlink Kawasaki  for the first time at Bishopscourt last year, and to do well for my first time out on it, I will be aiming for the top step again this year. Ive had some good results this year on this bike, and the team have been really brilliant to work with. The sunflower is an event I look forward to doing every year so thanks to my Gearlink Kawasaki team for coming over so that I am able to do it, Bishopscourt is a great track and I really enjoy riding at it. I can't wait to get out on track it's always nice to ride at home in front of my family and friends at home!”
Andrew brother Glenn served his apprenticeship for the superbikes with the Gearlink team, so who knows, where this will lead to for Andrew.
The name Irwin is already etched on this prestigious trophy, with his Dad Alan taking the honours in 1983 and 1987.
Carl Philips  joins Gearlink for Sunflower race meeting

Lisburns Carl Philips, who is currently lying in second place in the British 600 Superstock championship, will get to ride the Gearlink 600 Kawasaki in the Sunflower races meeting. Philips, a former Irish and Adelaide Masters 600 champion is shell shocked by the move, and has been given his blessing by Sandy McCutcheon, whom he has been riding for throughout the year.

Philips joins Andrew Irwin and James East in the Gearlink line up for the Sunflower.
Gearlink have been great supporters of this meeting, and have quite  a  successful record at this unique event, and will no doubt be aiming to keep that standard up

Note to editors;
The 2016 Sunflower race meeting will take place at the Bishopscourt Race Circuit.
Practice will take place on Friday 21st October, with three races on Friday evening, Saturday will see a 14 race programme including the Feature Race, the JAS Finlay Sunflower race over 12 laps.
This meeting is also the Final round of the Irish and Ulster Short Circuit Championships.
There will be two Classic Parades, One parade each day, More details of riders and machines in due course.
2016 Sunflower Qualifying and Race Schedule
Qualifying (Friday 9.00am) All sessions are timed.
1 & 10                        Supersport Cup
2 & 11                        Supersport
3 & 12                        Superbike Cup & F1
4 & 13                        Superbike
5 & 14                        Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup
6 & 15                        Pre Injection / 250GP
7 & 16                        Sidecars
8 & 17                        Supertwins / Production Twins
9 & 18                        Lightweight (Moto 3 (125GP) / SS400

Ronnie Donnan Memorial Parade Laps after Session 9

Friday Race.

1             Provincial Group Supersport Cup / Superbike Cup / F1                                         8 Laps                             
2             Norman Watt Motorcycles Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup                         7 Laps
3             Ironside Trophies Pre Injection                                                                                  8 Laps
               Non Qualifiers if required

Race Timetable – Saturday
Warm Up – 9am

1             Supersport Cup / Superbike Cup / F1
2             Superbike   
3             Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup 
4             Pre Injection / 250GP
5             Supersport
6             Lightweight (Moto3 (125GP) / SS400
7             Supertwins / Production Twins
8             Sidecars

Saturday Race

1         Ashvale Farm Shop Supersport Cup / Superbike Cup / F1                    8 Laps
2         AJ Plumbing Supplies Ltd Superbike                                                    8 Laps
3         Nutt Travel Lightweight (Moto 3 (125GP) / SS400)                               8 Laps
4        Impact Bathrooms Supertwins / Production Twins                           8 Laps                           5         D B Tiles & Bathrooms Supersport                                                      8 Laps
6         Wash and Dash Sidecars                                                                       8 Laps
Ronnie Donnan Memorial Parade Laps

7             J.A.S. Finlay Sunflower Trophy Feature Race                                     12 Laps
8             Global Oil Pre Injection                                                                       8 Laps
9             Baloo Hire Lightweight (Moto 3 (125GP) / SS400)                             8 Laps
10          The People’s Race Superbike                                                              8 Laps
11          Impact Bathrooms Supertwins / Production Twins                                8 Laps
12          Killough Contracts Sidecars                                                                 8 Laps
13          Schimmel Distribution Supersport                                                        8 Laps
14          A.J.M. Sales Ltd. Young Guns Challenge / Junior Cup                           7 Laps
               Non Qualifiers if required

Please take all rubbish home with you: No tyres or oil to be put in bins : Circuit must be vacated by Saturday 7pm

Presentations at Podium after Each race

This will give Journalists the chance for after race interviews, and for Photographers to catch the winners with their silverware etc.

Riders are requested to;
Take all rubbish home .
Ensure that No tyres or oil to be put in bins!
& Circuit must be vacated by Saturday 7pm.

Bishopscourt Race Circuit; 29 Lismore Road, Bishopscourt, Downpatrick,BT30 7SY Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland; 028 4484 2202
From Southern Ireland ; 048 4484 2202

Words; Baylon McCaughey

Photo Credits;
Andrew Irwin #8; James McCann
Carl Philips #32;Baylon McCaughey

 Baylon McCaughey PR Sunflower Trophy Races

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