Located in the south of Tipperary, the 2.3 miles long roads of Faugheen, has to be considered amongst pure road racing’s great survivors.
Originally first run in 1970, it quickly established itself as one of Irish road racing’s jewels in the crown, from the late 70’s through to the mid 80’s.
When racing stopped at Faugheen in 1986, it was not till the early 2000’s when the event returned to roads calendar, thanks to tireless efforts of the Faugheen 50 Road Racing Club Ltd.
In recent times, one of the teams to enjoy sustained success at the popular meet, has been John Burrows, BE Racing outfit.
The hugely respected outfit, running this year under the new team name of BE Racing In Conjunction With Richardson Kelly Racing, will once again have a strong presence this weekend at Faugheen, courtesy of Irish Road Race Superbike Championship leader Derek Sheils.
Photo by Rod Neill
Sheils will no question start one of the prime favourites for Open, Supersport, Grand Final race honours, as will Mullingar’s Derek McGee who made a quite sensational return to roads competition at Walderstown.
The 2018 Duke Road Race Rankings champion, has a quite formidable machinery line up for his latest Faugheen tenure, which includes the Faraldo Racing Moto 3 Honda and a KMR Kawasaki steed for the Super Twins Championship race.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Outside of McGee, Sheils, Martin Jones Racing’s Michael Sweeney has quietly been impressing at recent events, chalking up series of top class results at Skerries and the Southern 100.
Whilst he might not be considered by some a potential premier class winner this weekend, discount him at your peril, given his proven front running capabilities.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Added ones to watch include rising stars Thomas Maxwell, Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed, James Chawke, Enniskillen ‘Man of The Meeting’ Kevin Fitzpatrick and Post TT Supersport winner Michael Browne.
Leading Junior/Senior Support class competitors entered include Darryl Anderson, Tommy Henry, Andy McAllister, Vinny Brennan, Noel Smith, Niall Power and Dermot Cleary.
Photo by Road Racing Daily
Further depth to the entry is provided by 125/Moto 3 class stars such as Gary Dunlop, Melissa Kennedy, Nigel Moore and Wayne Kennedy.
Whilst the Classic races entry is lead by the likes of Barry Davidson, Philip Shaw, Ed Manly, Brian Mateer and John Leigh Pemberton.
In total over ten races are anticipated to take place at this years Faugheen 50 Road Races, which has attracted arguably one of it’s strongest ever entries, as rising stars, true world class closed roads exponents, improving next generation racers and meeting stalwarts battle it out for class victories.
Practice, qualifying action at Faugheen is hoped to get underway from 12:00 PM on Saturday, whilst race action on Sunday is scheduled to take centre stage from 11:00 AM.
Words by Stevie Rial