Drivers warm up for start of Raceway season at test day

WITH less than 2 weeks to the start of the new 2011 Ballymena Raceway season, drivers were given the opportunity to finally tune their cars at Saturdays track testing day.

The biggest talking point from the track testing day was the superbly turned out National Hot Rod of Gary Woolsey which has been built and prepared by 4 times World Hot-Rod Champion Carl Boardley from Suffolk, Ipswich.

The National Hot Rod drivers were out in force with Glenn Bell, John Christie, National Hot Rod returnee Thomas Dilly SLK Mercedes, Davy McKay and Paul Crawford all in action and putting in some blistering lap-times.

In the Stock Rod division Daniel Rodgers, Stephen McCready all returned to oval racing action with former Gp2 driver Michael Rodgers (Vauxhall Nova) making the switch over after competing for a number of years in the Lightning Rod class, making his track debut was local Broughshane man Sammy Graham who has now purchased the ex-Frankie Lynn British Championship winning Corsa with Frankie now making the move to the new Slick car class after purchasing the ex 940 National Hot-Rod Corsa of Gary Woolsey.

Numbers in the Gp2 Lightning Rod class also look on the up with the likes of Uel McMillan Mk4 Astra, Andy McLeister ex Scottish Open Prostock champion all returning to the town’s track, with new drivers Denver Logan, Mark Johnston, Jason Smyth & Terry McLeister all gaining valuable track time as well.

The most promising class of the day must have been the well supported turnout of Junior Rods with no fewer 7 new cars on display with Broughshane lad Jaimie McCurdy putting his beautifully prepared Frankie Lynn Corsa B to the test with the likes of Dean Wright, Patrick O’Boyle, Pete Greer and James Burleigh all swelling ranks which can only look bright for future of oval racing.

The Classic Hot Rod/Slick car class will also see a welcome addition to the ranks that of Stock Saloon driver Darwin Wright in ex-Robin Morrow space-framed Ford Anglia.

So if anything is to go by todays great display of cars in action the 2011 season will be one of the most competitive and one that will keep all Raceway fans highly entertained and on the edge of their seat.

Don’t miss next week’s paper for a full preview of the Raceway season.