TULLYROAN 14 04 2018-2018


TULLYROAN 14th April 2018


Seven competitors were in attendance for the opening round of the N.I series for the 2018 season with southern visitors 25 Trevor Cusack, 19 Anthony Morgan and 195 Adrian Boyle joining the Ulster trio of Dilly, Richardson and O’Neill. A further ‘new’ driver was also in attendance in the shape of Joel Richardson, Clive’s son, who as an experienced Two Litre Hot Rod star, would be racing his dad’s X-pac Escort for the first time under the number 97. With 43 Damien Corrigan having to withdraw from his booking at late notice, no low graders were present at this meeting.

All the evenings races were conducted under rolling lap starts due to the presence of some grease left by the bangers. The initial start for heat one was declared false as the star drivers were adjudicated to have been at racing speed too soon, but once they were brought round again, the first CHR race of the night was underway. 19 Anthony Morgan kept the power on through the opening turn to successfully sweep around the outside of fellow Blue grader 195 Adrian Boyle. Immediately behind, the star grade charge was led by 976 Clive Richardson. He was closely followed by Dilly and Richardson junior as all three swept inside 925,Gary O’Neill in his bright Anglia known as #TheYellowPeril and 25,Trevor Cusack was struggling to match the frenetic pace in his #BlackMagic Mk2 Escort. All three caught and quickly passed Boyle who wisely gave the trio room through the corners, and he soon slipped to the rear of the field. As Richardson senior sought to chase Morgan, a terrific battle for supremacy built up between Dilly and 97 Joel Richardson. Coming to terms with the SHP built Escort extremely quickly, Joel looked marginally the quicker driver. He tried every trick to try and force an error from Dilly as the two cars circulated at an incredible pace. Several times he attempted the outside line and on two occasions brought his X-pac machine along side Dilly’s, only to run out of space and nip back to the inside. On his third attempt flying through turn three both cars were shoulder to shoulder when suddenly Dilly’s steering arms snapped and both cars helpless careered into the wall. With Richardson’s car sheering fibre glass arches and front valance, it looked a sorry sight and as both cars were extracted to the infield some were angered by the incident. However in racing accidents do happen. The re-start saw Morgan lead the race away closely followed by Richardson, O’Neill and Cusack. Richardson tried his utmost to pass and a lap into the re-start he tried the outside line around 19 on turn three only for the wheel arches of the two competitors to class and 976 lept into the air and off the racing line. 925 Gary O’Neill wasted no time on gaining a place and sole second on the final lap. Richardson did well to hang on for third as the car ripped off a rear shock bracket from the roll cage when it had the coming together with Morgan.

19, 925, 976, 25, 195, NOF

Dilly’s car was repaired in time for the next race but both Richardson’s were absent for heat two, leaving five cars to contest the race. Again Morgan swept around the outside of Boyle to lead who held on several laps in second ahead of 925, 966 and 25. On the third lap Dilly successes in getting up the inside of O’Neill through turn one and a lap latter repeated the feat to pass Boyle. Forced wide, #MrMint again slipped to the rear of the field. At the mid way point in the race, all five cars were evenly spaced but in the final laps, Cusack caught O’Neill as Dilly closed in on Morgan. Morgan seemed to slow visibly in the final lap as Thomas Dilly attempted an outside sweep to pass and steal the win, but Anthony just did enough to hang on. It was later established that the Pinto in car 19 had suffered a cracked cylinder ring in the block.

19, 966, 925, 25, 195, NOF

Naturally, 19 Anthony Morgan was a non starter for the last race of the night, but 976 Clive Richardson had returned to the stadium in time to compete in the final with the rear shock bracket welded back into place. Initially it was clear Clive was back on the pace, keeping ahead of Dilly in the opening laps as the Reds all sought to chase down the lone Blue Adrian Boyle. However after three laps, with the 966 car right up his exhaust pipe, Gary O’Neill inadvertently locked up and hit 976 and ripped off the shocker once again, forcing Clive to retire to the infield. On lap five Boyle was caught and again he went wide to let his pursuers pass. Every spaced the four remaining cars on the oval continued to circulate with Dilly going on to take an easy win. In celebration of overcoming the mixed fortunes of the evening however, Thomas still celebrated the win with his donuts!

966, 925, 25, 195, NOF

Rob Hughes

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