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Derek Sheils Reflects On Dominant Superbike Displays At Faugheen

Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils has recently reflected, on his dominant Superbike display’s at Faugheen.

Holding off a tenacious challenge from Derek McGee in the Open race, emerging victorious by just over the six second mark, the blue riband Grand Final saw him take his tally of big bike victories within the national roads scene in 2017, to eight.

Photo by Baylon McCaughey

The faultless performances, where backed up by a new outright lap record of 1 minute 41.391 seconds.

Outside of the marque class, he went onto runner up in a tight Supersport race whilst a pulsating feature Super Twins race would see him make it four podium finishes from four starts at Faugheen.

Photo by Baylon McCaughey

Speaking about a quite momentous day at Faugheen, which also included demoing Joey Dunlop’s legendary Ulster GP winning RC45 Honda, Derek said:

“Two wins, four podiums in total, an outright lap record and the whole thing was topped off with a spin on Joey Dunlop’s RC45 which was something very special for me.

In the Superbike Championship race McGee passed me going into the first corner but I immediately struck back and pulled away gradually, keeping a close eye on my pit board.

In the Grand Final I was never headed, kept my head down, got the lap record, and again just kept watching the gap increase on my pit board.

In the 600 race Paul took the lead on lap two and pulled away a little. I made a late charge and closed on him but I ran out of laps. It was a similar story in the Super Twins race.

I was strong at the end and caught the top two but it was a case of too little, too late. Overall, a great day.”

Cookstown BE Racing, Team Owner John Burrows added:

“Derek completely dominated the two Superbike races but also proved he can be really competitive in the other classes. He was not far from wins in the Supersport and Supertwins races.

It was a great day for Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing but tinged with sadness as we heard about the passing of Florence Burns who was a great supporter of the team and indeed of all road racing. Condolences to the Burns family.

Armoy is next up for us but we have a problem. Derek cannot make it to Armoy on the Friday for qualifying as he has best man duties at Emmett Bannon’s wedding.

However, we hope to be on the grids for racing on Saturday if Bill Kennedy and the Armoy MRRC can accommodate us.

If we get the green light the plan would be to give Derek his mandatory practice laps on Saturday morning and then have him start the races from either the second or third wave.

That would be a challenge for us but one I’m sure we could rise to.”

Words by Stevie Rial