Friday, May 31

Mondello welcomes IMC round

Saturday 30th March was a day of firsts as Mondello Park welcomed The Irish Minibike Championship. The IMC 2019 Championship opened with a BAM as the ‘BamBamers’ took to the iconic circuit for their maiden race. The Honda VW & Audi Bitz Sponsored BamBam Class, geared towards young competitors (6-10yrs) competing on 90cc 4stroke machines, is yet another massive forward thinking move by the club in their drive to introduce the island of Ireland (north and south) to the fun and exhilarating sport of Minibike Racing. The Honda VW & Audi BITZ BamBam grid exceeded all expectations. When the chequered flag dropped they all returned to the paddock seemingly 2ft taller. Many of the young cubs took to the grid for the first time ever and yet - you would have been hard pressed to single them out. The pool of talent was clearly visible to all. The ‘BamBamers’ left us all in no doubt that the prospect for the development of talented youngsters on these shores is nothing less than inspiring.

It was Ballyclare’s 7yr old Buster Sherman-Boyd on board his Temple Tree Services 10TEN 90R machine that claimed the rights to the top step following wins in all 3 races. Race 1 saw Matt Davidson take the second spot from Lewis Mullen, followed by Alfie Greer, Tommy Ferris, Ryan Nolan and Matthew Curry respectfully. Race 2 saw a switch in positions between Mullen and Davidson, both sons of successful Road Racing Champions (Barry Davidson and Adrian Mullen) with Mullen gaining the advantage. Race 3 was a carbon copy throughout the field with exception to Aflie Greer who unfortunately was unable to take up his place on the grid. Buster Sherman-Boyd took the overall win, with Lewis Mullen 2nd and Matt Davidson in 3rd. Well done to all the boys’ – history makers before they hit double digits!

The Temple Tree Services Junior Pro Class was dominated by Fionn Stephens on board his Bikeworld Ireland machine. Fresh from his pre season testing in Spain Fionn was producing impressive lap times that would see him challenge some of the Senior Competitors on board their Stock 140cc machines. Ruben Sherman-Boyd took the first runner-up spot and Leon Scott was 3rd overall following a DNF for Freddie Cooke in Race 3. Leon and Freddie had a fantastic race long battle in Race 2 with less than a second between them as they crossed the line. The increased grid included entries from Leigha-Jane Browne and Paige Mullen and the girls proved they mean business improving on their lap times with each session. Another young competitor showing promise was Clonsilla’s Sean Dagger who managed to improve by a massive 18 seconds between Race 1 and 2. An impressive achievement by any standards.

In the BMW Autoparts Junior Gearbox 125cc Class it was Kai Craig who took the chequered flag from Isaac Mark in all 3 runs, Race 2 coming down to the wire with only 0.5 sec separating them. Matt Davidson completed his run finishing 3rd overall following a DNF by Fionn Stephens in Race 1. Newcomers Cody Miskelly, Aimee Browne, Joe Harding, Minibike Returnee Darragh O’Mahony and Mini-Moto Competitor Freddie Cooke battled further down the field. Lewis Mullen, transitioning from MX, did well to stay within the mix onboard his 90cc machine and didn’t let the reduction in power hold him back.

The BMW Autoparts Junior Gearbox 140cc Class produced fast laps from all the boys which again, would see them in the mix with the big kids. Alexander Rowan claimed victory in all races on his 65cc KTM, albeit by the slightest of margins in Race 1 from Ruben Sherman-Boyd. The friendship and respect between the boys was evident as they fist bumped their way to the paddock. Robert Ronan stayed on the pace pushing his SB Pitbikes 140cc machine to the limits and managed to pip Sherman-Boyd to the post in a last corner dash to the line in the final race. Overall results see Rowan topping the leader board with Sheramn-Boyd and Ronan in 2nd and 3rd respectfully.

The MiniGP Class whilst low on entries produced tight battles between the competitors. Christopher McCallion claimed victory in both Race 1 and 2 but the tables turned in Race 3 after a late departure of the line put him to the back of the pack and saw Richard McFarland claim the victory. Overall results for the class see McCallion leading after Round 1 with Richard McFarland 2nd, newcomer Paul Harding in 3rd and David Sherman 4th.

The bold decision to lower the minimum age limit in the Hillhead Sheds VETS Class saw a substantial increase in the grid size, much to the pleasure of its competitors. Each race produced race long battles throughout the 19 strong field proving that the Irish Minibike Championship has something to offer all ability and aspiration levels. Fastest lap in the class was achieved by Graham Ronan in Race 1 with a lap time of 1:06.627. Race 1 saw a retirement from Nigel Robinson after 1 lap and with less than 3 secs between the leading pack of four, Patrick Dagger, Graham Ronan, Kelan Smith and Kevin Newman the action was thrilling from start to end with Dagger crossing the line first. Dagger would not be so fortunate in his remaining races of the day having to push his bike across the line in Race 2 and a DNF following a serious fall in Race 3. Robinson returned to the grid in Race 2 & 3 following the good will of friend Alan Craig who offered up his machine and claimed victory in both. It wasn’t enough however to claim the overall win as newcomer Kevin Newman, onboard his 10TEN 140R, had amassed enough points to take his place on the top step. Kelan Smith secured 3rd Overall.

The AJM Car Sales Senior Open produced the fastest lap of the day with newcomer James Thompson producing a lap time of 1:02.34 in his race long battle with Short Circuit veteran, Nigel Robinson. Thompson and Robinson pulled a gap on the other competitors in all three sessions and pushed each other relentlessly throughout. Thompson the victor in all but respectful of his fellow competitor after crossing the line, not once returning to the paddock without first acknowledging Robinsons grit with a gracious fist bump. Mark Featherstone finished 3rd overall following 3 consecutive 3rd place finishes.

In the IMC Senior Stock Class it was once again James Thompson who took the flag in both Race 1 & 2 from NW200 Competitor Kenny Robinson. Race 3 saw Robinson fight back and lead from the start to the end, Thompson finishing 0.4sec behind. Consistent riding from Chris Moody earned him 3rd Overall.

The Senior Stock Group 2 Class consisted of a substantial grid of 22 machines and made for an impressive start. Race 1 produced an epic performance from Craig Scollan in which he motored through the pack from the back of the grid to secure a win by a staggering 5 secs. This earned him both the win and the GCM&E Star Rider award which entitles him to free entry at the following event. Michael Thompson managed to chase him down in Race 2 while Ritchie Butler achieved his first podium finish. Thompson and Scollan were equal on points going into Race 3 however due to time constraints the race was not able to take place. The overall win was therefore awarded to Thompson.

The RST Moto BAM award recipient was newcomer Ryan Nolan. Ryan showed great progression and attitude throughout the day in what was his first experience of racing. Ryan received a fabulous set of RST Knee Sliders which he will take great pride in wearing down before the season is out.

History has been made.

We now look forward to promoting The Irish Minibike Championship at the 2019 Mondello Masters Show which takes place on Sunday 7th April.

Round 2 moves to Kirkistown Motor Racing Circuit on 13th April and Online Entry is now open.


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