Around A Pound Tandragee 100 – Preview

Around A Pound Tandragee 100 – Preview

Following a start to the season at Cookstown, which provided a mix of great racing, unpredictable weather and rising stars excelling, attentions within the Irish roads scene, turn this weekend to the Around A Pound Tandragee 100, which has secured an entry list, consisting of over 360 racers!

One of the undoubted favourites for Open and Grand Final honours, will be the dominant big bike force of recent times, at the Irish nationals, Derek Sheils.

Photo by Rod Neill

Winner last weekend in great fashion of the Open A Non Championship race, at Cookstown, he showcased again why he is touted regularly, as one of the leading Superbike class specialists, on the roads.

Alongside being an anticipated front runner within the 1000cc races, the Republic of Ireland’s quickest Mountain Course competitor, will also be one to watch in the Supersport race, aboard the ex IC Racing/Caffrey International YZF R6 Yamaha.

Photo by Rod Neill

Previous machine inhabitant William Dunlop, goes into Tandragee, looking for a change in fortunes, following a tricky start to the season at Cookstown.

You can never discount the Temple Golf Club Yamaha racer, from sealing multiple class wins, same applies to Mullingar’s Derek McGee, who alongside his top quality stable of 650, 600, 1000 Kawasaki’s, will also be looking to continue his impressive early season pace, on the Joeys Bar Racing 125 Honda.

Photo by Rod Neill

Duke Road Race Rankings championship leader Adam McLean, is another rider heading into competition at Tandragee, in excellent form.

Formidable on Super Twins and Supersport machinery, the Tobermore racer cannot be discounted as well from scoring on Saturday, a brace of 1000cc rostrum finishes.

Whilst Tyco BMW’s Dan Kneen, twice a grand final winner at Tandragee, starts for a fare few, the man to beat in the big bike races this weekend.

Set for just his third roads meeting with the TAS Racing run factory backed Tyco BMW team, the Manxman is looking forward to gaining more valuable track time, ahead of the Vauxhall International North West 200, and TT 2018.

Speaking about his Tandragee return, he recently stated:

“I’m looking forward to going back to Tandragee, each time I’ve been there I have enjoyed some success and it would be nice to carry that on with Tyco BMW. It will be good to get back to the road racing too.”

Tyco BMW, Team Manager, Philip Neill, added:

“We have had a busy few weeks to open the 2018 season with different race and test programs for each of our riders. After a successful debut at Donington Park, Dan wanted a chance to include a road race in his early season plans and Tandragee provides the perfect opportunity with some previous experience at the event.”

Outside of the likes of Kneen, Sheils, Dunlop, McLean and McGee, others extremely capable of banking multiple podium finishes, include Martin Jones Racing’s Michael Sweeney, plus reigning Irish road race Junior Support/Senior Support champion, and prospective Manx GP debutant Joe Loughlin.

Additional rising stars entered include WH Racing’s Dominic Herbertson, Paul Jordan, Thomas Maxwell, Logan Racing’s Neil Kernohan and high profile newcomers Cookstown BE Racing’s Davey Todd, New Zealander Daniel Mettam.

Fellow debutants, reigning Super Twins Manx GP champion Darren Cooper, funds permitting ECTA Racing’s Mike Norbury, Italy’s Enrico Rocchi, Canada’s Mel Gantly and the RAF’s Rad Hughes provide added depth to the entry.

Photo by Rod Neill

As do Seamus Elliott, Davy Morgan, yesteryear machinery specialists Barry Davidson, Richard Ford, Robert McCrum and Gary Jamison, The Peoples Bike Team’s Rhys Hardisty, Stephen McKnight, Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil, and two stroke stars Melissa Kennedy, Paul Robinson, Sarah Boyes and Nigel Moore.

With such a diverse pool of talent at this years Around A Pound Tandragee 100, you are guaranteed is top draw, world class competition, across all classes.

The stage is set for two compelling days of roads competition, at an event which year on year, grows in stature, largely down to the hard working organisers, the North Armagh Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd.

Plus also due to the continued backing from a group of enthusiastic event sponsors, including of course title sponsors Around A Pound who have helped this year take the prize money total at the meeting, to an impressive overall prize fund of almost £11,000 pounds.

Words by Stevie Rial

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