Races fall foul to conditions at Laurel Bank
The latest round of the Ulster sidecarcross and quad championship fell foul of the weather last Saturday.
The current hot dry weather was the only real winner despite the best efforts of the organising Temple Club at the dusty Laurel Bank circuit near Saintfield, with only two races completed before blinding, choking dust and a lack of available water to wet the track caused the abandonment of the meeting.
In the Ballymac Hotel Sidecarcross Championship, defending Ulster Champion, Neil Campbell and Craig Parmenteron on their WSP Zabel 700 beat Gary Moulds and Steve Kirwin, the 2018 Championship leaders into second place after four laps of a thrilling wheel to wheel battle was curtailed by Mould’s bike choking on the dust.
The air filter was physically blocked and the big AMS KTM could not breathe leaving them to cruise to second.
Third was another consistent run by Jonny Wilson and Louise Houston, while fourth was Ricky Mairs and Ben Alexander.
Race winner Neil Campbell said: “We were second in qualifying and in the opening race we took the holeshot and had a good battle with Gary (Moulds) and Steve (Kirwin) until they stalled.
“We were pleased to lead the race from start to finish. The right decision was made to abandon the remainder of the racing as the dust was making racing conditions too tricky.”
It was a different story from a disappointed runner up Gary Moulds.
“I was fastest in practice but in the race I made a bad start then ten minutes into the race the bike just went off the pace,” said Moulds.
“We were right on Neil’s tail and was equalling his pace early in the race but there was nothing we could do about the dust, that as we found out later had clogged up the air filter.
“The speed is there but we really need to sort out our starts. The organisers were right to call it off on safety grounds.”
The GMG Contracts Clubman’s Quad Class was won by Stephen Mulholland, taking the Championship lead from the absent Pat Whelan.
Second was youngster Jack Young on his 250 machine, third was Noel Bradley with Sean Cassidy and Dean Young rounding out the top six.
The Club had done their best spending a lot of money and time watering the track all week, but the residual heat and rocks in the dirt meant no moisture was retained and despite their heroic effort, the race simply had to be abandoned.
They generously offered to refund part of the entry fees, and in the spirit of the sport, most competitors declined this offer, recognising the efforts of the Club.
Ballymac Hotel Sidecarcross Championship
1 Neil Campbell & Craig Parmenter, 2 Gary Moulds & Steve Kirwin, 3 Jonathan Wilson & Louise Houston, 4 Ricky Mairs & Ben Alexander, 5 Tony Willis & Ian Glenn, 6 Mark McMullen & Andy McKibben
GMG Contracts Clubman Quad
1 Stephen Mulholland, 2 Jack Young, 3 Noel Bradley, 4 Sean Cassidy, 5 Dean Young, 6 Niall Quinn