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Irish Superbike Easter Festival Races To Draw Big Crowds
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IRISH SUPERBIKE EASTER FESTIVAL RACES

Good Friday 22nd April and Saturday 23rd April are the two days  that the 2011 Irish Superbike Championship fires up at  the Irish Superbike Easter Festival Races at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit near Downpatrick.

This will be a major event for Down District and will attract thousands of visitors form across Ireland and beyond.

The Motorcycle Road racing Club of Ireland and the Killinchy and Dsitrict MCC are hoping for more favourable weather this year, with two full days of qualifying and racing starting at 9.30am Friday morning, untimed/timed practice for all race classes – 125gp/moto 450, Supertwins, Supersports, Junior Superstock, 250gp/ss400, 600/1010 Clubman, Irish Superbikes and Sidecars.

Mark Sanlon, Clerk of the Course, said, “Once again we have Ireland’s only Knockout Qualifying attraction with SAIL to POLE with Nutt Travel.com for the Superbikes which is similar to the knock out qualifying system used in World and British Superbikes. The fastest 20 riders from Q1 go through to Q2 where the fastest 10 riders go through to Q3, with the Pole position winner receiving The SAIL to POLE Trophy and £250.

Down County Museum in Downpatrick was the venue for launch of the Easter weekend ISB Championship meeting at Bishopscourt on April 22nd-23rd. Pictured are Mark Sanlon, Clerk of the Course, kneeling, with Inspector Gary McComb, Bikesafe, Davy Weir, Chairman of the Enkalon Club with the Enkalon trophy, and top riders Paul Robinson, Jordan Bonner, Jason Lynn and William Dunlop. (Photograph by STEPHEN DAVISON).

“Lap records are a must after the recent resurfacing and track upgrades. Thanks to 2&4 Wheel, DCAL and Sport NI for funding and supporting our Sport and not forgetting circuit owner Jim O’Brien and Wilson McKibben for providing an excellent venue..The whole track has been resurfaced at a cost of over £500,000 and is now in fantastic shape. There have been other improvements at Bishopscourt to which have been ongoing showing the commitment of the owner Jim O’Brien to the racing circuit. This major piece of work took three months to complete.

“Each race class will have three Championship races over the two days, with a total prize fund of over £13,000.”

“The Enkalon Club have the Title Sponsor of the Irish Superbike class which has a prize fund of £1600 for rounds 1 & 3, round 2 will feature the Anniversary 35th ENKALON TROPHY RACE which has a prize fund of £2800 with the winner receiving £1250. The Enkalon Club wished to increase the prizefund in this anniversary year. In theory if the pole man wins the 2 ISB races and the Enkalon Trophy race he could take home £2000.

“2011 Irish Superbike Easter Festival Races has the best line up of Top Teams and the cream of Road Racers and Short Circuit specialists in contention for ISB glory are;Wilson Craigs William Dunlop & Cameron Donald on Hondas , Stephen Thompson, Kirk Jamison, Michael Pearson on Bmw’s , Ryan Farquhar, Adrian Archibald, Jamie Hamilton on Kawasaki, Brian Mc Cormick, Denver Robb Yamaha,  Mark Johnston, David Haire also on Honda’s and new kid on the block Nico Mawhinney will be on Suzuki machinery.

“Walter Bell & Son Oil-fired Heating Services of Carrickfergus is this year’s Supersport class sponsor which has a prize fund of almost £2500. The Supersport class has Cameron Donald, William Dunlop, Christian Elkin, Adrian Archibald, Ryan Farquhar, Michael Sweeney, Gary Robinson, Michael Pearson, Declan Swanton and Jordan Bonnar to watch out for.

“The Down Council 650 Supertwin class should have close racing with the usual suspects and a few new ones to mix it up Adrian Archibald , Ryan Farquhar, Malcolm McKinney, Marty Lennon, Michael Sweeney, William Davison battle it out for total prize fund of £1400

“Charles Hurst Hyundai Dundonald 125GP Class has a Class act and NW200 winner Paul Robinson, Jason Lynn, Luke Johnston, Nigel Moore and young guns Ross Patterson, Korie McGreevy trying to mix it with them. We also have two of our female competitors again this year Karen Hadden and Melisa Kennedy entered.

“250GP will have their races run concurrently and the men to watch will be William Dunlop, Barry Davidson, Paul Robinson, Thomas Lawlor and Daly Mathison who always make it a close racing affair.

Sidecar class have 12 outfits entered including some Scottish competitors; Alex Johnston / Paul Carville, Scobbie Killough  with special passenger A.N.Other,  Kyle Young/Clive Russell,  Karl Mullan / Aaron  Gilligan  lead  the  local  defence of the three wheel action.

“We again have a full grid of non-championship Clubmen Competitors, Nico Mawhinney and Timmy Elwood must be favourites in this class,” added Mr Sanlon.

New to Irish Superbikes for 2011 is the Trophy prize given at the end of the day’s event for overall Podium prize winners in each Class, this will allow photographers time to get their snaps.

Practice is at 9.30am Friday 22nd April, and the SAIL to POLE is due to get underway at 11.45am on Friday and the racing at 2.30pm.

On Saturday 23rd April, 9am there is warm-up racing from 10.30am and the Enkalon Trophy Race is at 1.30pm.

Event Admission Adults £15 includes programme, children free.

Timetable For Friday 22nd April

9.30 am UNTIMED    15mins

SUPERBIKES

CLUBMANS

SUPERTWINS/ GP 250

SUPERSPORT

SIDECARS

125/450/400

TIMED QUALIFYING SESSIONS 15mins

SUPERBIKES  Q1 Qualifying

CLUBMANS

SUPERTWINS/ GP 250

SUPERBIKES  Q2 Qualifying (fastest 20 from Q1) 8 minute session

12.45 LUNCH BREAK

1.30pm

SUPERBIKES  Q3 Qualifying (fastest 10 from Q2 Sail to Pole with Nutt Travel) 6 minute session

SUPERSPORT

SIDECARS

125/450/400

TIMETABLE FRIDAY 22nd APRIL

RACE PROGRAMME

Race 1 – ENKALON IRISH SUPERBIKES……………………………………….10 laps

Race 2 – CLUBMANS …………………………………………………………………9 laps

Race 3 –  DOWN COUNCIL SUPERTWINS/250GP …………………………….9 laps

Race 4 –  WALTER BELL & SON OIL FIRED BOILER  SUPERSPORT…….10 laps

Race 5 –  SIDECARS ……………………………………………………………………9 laps

Race 6 –  125GP/450/400 ……………………………………………………………..9 laps

Timetable for Saturday 23rd April

9.00 am Warm up sessions   10 mins

ENKALON IRISH SUPERBIKES

CLUBMANS

DOWN COUNCIL SUPERTWINS/250GP

WALTER BELL & SON OIL FIRED BOILERS  SUPERSPORT

SIDECARS

125GP/450/400

TIMETABLE SATURDAY 23rd APRIL

Approx 10.40am RACING

Race 7 – ENKALON IRISH SUPERBIKES ……………………………………..10 laps

Race 8 – CLUBMANS ………………………………………………………………. 9 laps

Race 9 –  DOWN COUNCIL SUPERTWINS/250GP ……………………………9 laps

Race 10 -WALTER BELL & SON OIL FIRED BOILERS  SUPERSPORT…. 10 laps

Race 11 -SIDECARS ……………………………………………………………………9 laps

Race 12 -125GP/450/400 …………………………………………………………….9 laps

12.45 LUNCH BREAK

1.45pm

Race 13 – IRISH SUPERBIKES  35th ENKALON TROPHY RACE  12LAPS …….12 laps

Race 14 – CLUBMANS ……………………………………………………………………………. 9 laps

Race 15 –  DOWN COUNCIL SUPERTWINS/250GP…………………………………………9 laps

Race 16 –  WALTER BELL & SON OIL FIRED BOILERS  SUPERSPORT……………….10 laps

Race 17 –  SIDECARS ………………………………………………………………………………..9 laps

Race 18 –  125GP/450/400 …………………………………………………………………………9 laps

2011 IRISH SUPERBIKES PODIUM PRESENTATIONS for overall class point scores at approximately 4pm.

ENKALON IRISH SUPERBIKES

CLUBMANS

DOWN COUNCIL SUPERTWINS/250GP

WALTER BELL & SON OIL FIRED BOILERS  SUPERSPORT

SIDECARS

125GP/450/400

Irish Superbike Easter Festival Supports The NI Children’s Hospice

The NI Hospice is the nominated charity that the event is supporting this year.  is a local charity for local people, providing specialist Palliative Care for children with life limiting and life threatening illness. Their aim is to provide the best quality of life for patients and to support their families, focusing not only on physical care but also emotional and social support. The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice offers both inpatient services and regional community care.

Naoimh Quinn, Regional fundraiser for the NI Children’s Hospice said ““We are thrilled that the Irish Superbike Championship has chosen to support the NI Children’s Hospice at their event in April. I am sure that the event will be a great success due to the fantastic community support we have across the area and will truly benefit the 250 children throughout Northern Ireland that we care for.”

PSNI To Run Bikesafe at the Easter Festival

The PSNI will also be running bikesafe this year again.

PSNI Inspector Gary McComb said, “I would like to congratulate the Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland and the Killinchy Club on the successes of the 2010 season and wish them well for the Easter Festival at Bishopscourt.

“The recent improvements in the weather has already brought numerous motorcycles onto the roads and I would take this opportunity to remind all riders of the need to thoroughly carry out a road worthiness check on your machine and your equipment.

“Over the winter, your bike and gear may have been lying unused so it is important o check your bike itself, its tyres, brakes and road-worthiness and your helmet too. Even for seasoned Motorcyclists, it’s worth participating in a Bikesafe assessment to freshen up your skills. Whilst a Bikesafe assessment is not a substitute for a formal lesson, you could pick up tips to help keep you safer on the roads.

“The Bikesafe programme can be found at www/.bikesafe.co.uk and it’s open to all and free.

“Finally, I would remind all motorcycling road users to leave the racing to the racers on the track, ” added Inspector McComb.