Drivers battle through incessant rain at Raceway

Incessant rain failed to dampen spirits at Ballymena Raceway on Friday evening where drivers from England and Scotland joined the best from the province to compete for the F2 Challenge Trophy.

Young Mark Rainey had an audience making sure he changed his Formula 2 wheels right at Ballymena Raceway. INBT 25-908H
Young Mark Rainey had an audience making sure he changed his Formula 2 wheels right at Ballymena Raceway. INBT 25-908H
Young Mark Rainey had an audience making sure he changed his Formula 2 wheels right at Ballymena Raceway. INBT 25-908H

It was the visitors who dominated the heats, with Carlos Perez from Cheshire victorious in both, but in the all important trophy race it was Belfast driver Graham Fegan who reigned on the track.

It proved to be something of a family affair too, as Graham’s brother, Gavin, finished an excellent third in the final behind Scotland’s Chris Burgoyne.

In the other races at the Curtis Cars sponsored meeting there was another final win for Craigywarren’s Micky McFall in the Stock Rod division after a brace of heats wins for Steven McKane and there was a heat and final double for Darrel Hanna in the Group Two Lightning Rods.


Twenty-three drivers from Northern Ireland, England and Scotland took part in the F2 Challenge Trophy event and it was Carlos Perez from Cheshire who opened proceedings with a fine victory in the first heat.

Perez was making his first appearance at the Showgrounds track and the venue certainly seem to suit him as Perez repeated the winning formula again in heat two, with Scotland’s Chris Burgoyne in second and Bobby Griffin from Nottinghamshire in third.

Perez led the early laps of the final, before Griffin moved into the front running position on lap 3. Perez spun out of contention a few laps later and shortly afterwards a caution period extinguished Griffin’s lead over the pack.

At the restart it was Graham Fegan who reacted quickest to the green flag to bustle his way into the lead and once in front the former Irish Champion never put a wheel out of place to claim the Challenge Trophy for the second time.

2002 World Champion Burgoyne was forced to settle for second with Gavin Fegan capturing the final podium spot.

A Grand National event rounded off the F2 racing for the evening and it was another local, Christopher Kincaid from Antrim, who took victory ahead of Ryan McCrory and National Champion Tom Adcroft.

Heat One: 1. Carlos Perez (Cheshire), 2. Chris Burgoyne (Falkirk), 3. Bobby Griffin (Retford)

Heat Two: 1. Perez, 2. Burgoyne, 3. Griffin

F2 Challenge Trophy: 1. Graham Fegan (Belfast), 2. Burgoyne, 3. Gavin Fegan (Lisburn)

Grand National: 1. Christopher Kincaid (Antrim), 2. Ryan McCrory (Antrim), 3. Tom Adcroft (Burnley)


Steven McKane continued to catch the eye in the heat races.

The Ballymena driver set a blistering pace from the blue grade to lead both races from flag to flag. That automatically meant McKane was upgraded to the red roof section for the final and made his hat-trick bid a lot more difficult.

McKane gave it a real go in the opening stages however and battled hard with Micky McFall for the lead. Eventually however the experienced McFall took charge as McKane dropped back and instead it was Victor McAfee who pressed the race leader in the closing stages. McFall kept everything under control however to make it two final wins on the trot for the MM Recovery Vauxhall Nova, with McAfee in second and Derek McMillan in third.

Heat One: 1. Steven McKane (Ballymena), 2. Micky McFall (Craigywarren), 3. Stevie McNiece (Newtownhamilton)

Heat Two: 1. McNiece, 2. McFall, 3. Carl Sloan (Kells)

Final: 1. McFall, 2. Victor McAfee (Ballymena), 3. Derek McMillan (Kells)


Round 3 of the Masters Series attracted 22 cars to Raceway and it was former Stock Rod Irish Champion Darrell Hanna who edged home in their opening heat just ahead of David Elliott and Noel Hazlett.

Ballymena based Elliott was making his return to Raceway on Friday evening and marked the occasion with a well judged victory in heat two.

It was the two heat winners who fought out a keenly contested battle in the final where Hanna eventually prevailed to capture his first final win of the season in the G. Devlin Motors backed Vauxhall Astra. The Grand National race brought a first victory of the season for the Peugeot 306 of Ricky Shaw.

Heat One: 1. Darrell Hanna (Limavady), 2. David Elliott (Ballymena), 3. Noel Hazlett (Ballymena)

Heat Two: 1. Elliott, 2. Hazlett, 3. Ricky Shaw (Antrim)

Final: 1. Hanna, 2. Elliott, 3. Shaw

Grand National: 1st. Shaw, 2nd. Hazlett, 3rd. Elliott


Racing continues at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday evening (June 21) where the main event on the programme is Round 3 of the Stock Rod Elite Series.

Saloon Stock Cars, Group Two Lightning Rods, Junior Rods and Speed Stocks complete the schedule at the sponsored fixture along with a Parents Race for the mums and dads of the Junior Rod racers. The first race starts at 7:15pm.