Last July, it was a great privilege to report on what was without a doubt one of the greatest national roads encounters of modern times, the Open Championship race at Faugheen.
A captivating battle for 1000cc spoils between Derek Sheils, reigning Duke Road Race Rankings Champion Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney, went literally right to the wire!
My report from July 21st 2019, detailing the Faugheen Superbike sizzler, reads as follows:
BE Racing In Conjunction with Richardson Kelly Racing’s Derek Sheils, took this morning his tally of Irish Road Race victories from 2019 to nine, after winning a thrilling Open Championship race at Faugheen.
The six lap encounter saw Sheils locked in a high quality battle for class honours, with race pole sitter Derek McGee and Martin Jones Racing’s Michael Sweeney.
Mullingar’s McGee held the race advantage for the first five laps, prior to Sheils finding that something extra to emerge victorious at the end of the sixth and final lap, by only 0.051 of a second.
Third place finisher, S1000RR BMW mounted Sweeney was only a further 0.091 behind McGee, with overall only 0.142 covering the top three finishers!
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Michael Browne got the better of Thomas Maxwell to claim an excellent fourth place finish, as the improving James Chawke finalised the top six.
Concluding the top ten finishers from one of the all time great 1000cc races at Faugheen, were Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed, Stephen Casey, Damian Horan and Stephen Tobin.
Words by Stevie Rial