Carrick’s Irwin in exceptional form at Sunflower Trophy races

'Man of the meeting' Glenn Irwin congratulates his brother Andrew after the second supersport race.  INLT 44-685-CON
'Man of the meeting' Glenn Irwin congratulates his brother Andrew after the second supersport race. INLT 44-685-CON

Carrick rider Glenn Irwin said goodbye to the Gearlink Kawasaki team that he has ridden for over the past two seasons in the best possible way atthe Sunflower Trophy races, when he won both supersport races in style on their ZX6R Kawasaki.

He also took the honours in the supertwins races on the Burrows Engineering 650 Kawasaki. He was in another class on the little bike leaving the opposition to sort out the minor positions.

The 25-year-old was in exceptional form at Bishopscourt qualifying on pole for both the supersport and supertwins classes.

In the opening supersport race he hit the front from the green light and controlled the race from the front to win from team-mate Ben Wilson and fellow Carrick man Alastair Seeley on the Tyco Suzuki with Andrew Irwin having his first race on the spare Gearlink Kawasaki fourth.

Irwin said: “I knew that both Ben and Alastair would be up for it so I really went for it on the first lap. I had to remind myself that it was wet but I was getting incredible grip from the tyres, so much so that I was leaving black lines on the exit of the turns. I had to ride every bit as hard as in British supersport season to win that race.”

In race two he didn’t make the best start lying fourth into turn one but by the second corner he was leading. “I needed a plan as I wasn’t leading from the start and I saw a chance into turn two and went under the three of them. From then I kept my lap times consistent to win quite comfortably by the end of the seven lap race.

“There were still damp patches on the circuit but I just kept my lap times consistent and it paid off.”

Behind the race winner there was a great battle between Gearlink team-mates Ben Wilson and Andrew Irwin. Both took turns to lead but at the flag Wilson had done just enough to pip the class rookie.

Andrew, the younger brother of the race winner said: “”I only knew that I was riding the Gearlink Kawasaki on the Wednesday before the Sunflower but I have been waiting to prove that I could be competitive on a supersport bike and it was the chance I had been waiting for.”

Glenn continued his winning ways in the supertwins races on the Cookstown BE racing Kawasaki. Race one was a wet affair but it didn’t stop the Carrick rider winning by over 16 seconds from Caolan Irwin on the Scott Racing Aprilia.

In race two he again won easily this time from James Folkard on the other Scott Racing Aprilia.

At the end of the day Glenn took home the ‘man of the meeting’ award for the second year running and vowed to return next year.

There was more local success in the production 250/300 class and 125 Aprilia class with Newtownabbey’s Aaron Wright taking the McClelland Racing Kawasaki to a comfortable double in the 250/300 races and Scott Swann from Magheramorne taking a dominant victory in race two of the 125 Aprilia class to add to his third place in the opening race.

It was great to see Ballyclare’s Jamie Hamilton back at his first race meeting since his Isle of Man TT crash. As usual his enthusiasm was still as infectious as ever as he chatted to fans.