THUMBS OR WHEELS

Shaun Lewis June 20 at 5:28pm · Edited.THUMBS OR WHEELS UP IF YOUR GOING TO THE BUSH ROAD RACES 27/28 JUNE Sandwiched quietly between Kells and Skerries Road Races, next weekend will see the return of The Bush meeting, a race club with its roots dating back to 1924, when the race was known as the Dungannon 100. Back then, winning speeds were averaged out at a staggering 49mph, with the winner lifting what was then a huge prize pot of £15. Although it ceased to continue from 1929, the meeting was started again with the hard work of the Bush Club members. The race ran from 2006, but last year things looked glum, with rising costs and a lack of finances. However the folk of the small club situated just outside Dungannon, County Tyrone refused to be beaten and fought back hard to get the race on again for this year. The status of the club shone through at the recent launch night, when a few familiar faces of yesteryear turned up to the Cohannon Inn. Some of the Dromara Destroyers including Brian Reid, Ian McGregor and Raymond McCullough attended on the night to lend their support –and memories- to club members, sponsors and riders, and willingly share their race experiences. This year’s Bush race meeting is due to commence around the 3.4 mile circuit on Friday 27th June. Roads will close on this date for the practice and qualifying night at 4:00pm and will reopen at 9:30pm. The roads will again close on Saturday 28th June for race day at 10:00am until 7:30pm, allowing a full day’s programme to run smoothly, with racing due to start at 10:30am. This year’s meeting has attracted nearly 100 riders in various classes, with almost 40 new- comers alone. The race will include local riders and those from further afield, such as Dan Kneen, the Manx rider who bagged a brace of wins as a new comer at both this year’s Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100. Dan, who will be riding for John Burrows’ local Cookstown BE Racing Team, will be competing against late entry English rider, Conor Behan who will be riding for Ryan Farquhars ‘ Dungannon based Kawasaki KMR team. This year will also see two women riders competing. A very excited Limerick born Suzy Douglas is looking forward to racing her very first road race, as is Czech rider Veronika Hankocy and her fiancé Michal Dokoupil. Other international competitors to the meeting this year are Italian riders Davide Aswaldi and Dario Cecconi which certainly shows that the club is attracting a much wider interest than recent years. In order that the club can continue to host this meeting, it is hoped that all visitors purchase the race programme for entry to the circuit. For those spectators wishing to attend, car parking facilities will be available around the circuit, thanks to members of the local farming community. There will also be grandstand viewing at Drumkee crossroads, Cranstons’ corner and disabled viewing will also be provided at the start and finish area grandstand. With great weather forecast for the weekend and a full racing programme planned, this is an event which will be enjoyed by all the family, where you will be able to meet the riders, meet old and new friends and have a great days craic’.