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We are now well into the 2002 racing season with five nationals and two clubmans race meetings gone so far, already we are witnessing some very good racing. All the preparation work over the winter has definitely shown in the condition and performance of the bikes, which has been excellent so far. It must have been terrible for the lads to see their bikes after the first Nutts Corner meeting when they were destroyed with muck in the paddock. Noticeably, the solo boys didnt have the same problem. Considering the amount of money and effort being put into the sidecar machines these days the lads deserve a better deal than having to wade around in mud all day.
Since the last newsletter, Tony Brennans benefit night was held in the Springfield Hotel. This was an excellent night and between the raffle and the ticket sales we raised over 8,000 Euro. On behalf of Tony & Bridget (who since were married on April 5th), I would like to thank all of the people who attended, bought tickets, contributed spot prizes or contributed in any way whatever to a memorable night.
Nutts Corner 16th March This was one of the wettest racedays ever and combined with the muck in the paddock it made for a very miserable day. To add insult to injury, fingers were pointed at the sidecar brigade after a serious oil spillage from a solo riders bike. However the accusations didnt stick and an announcement was made to that effect on the public address. Racewise, although there wasnt a huge turnout of outfits on the day the racing was close in the difficult conditions. Scobie Killough with Paddy Marley on board and Dylan Lynch with Aaron Galligan as ballast had a win each, which was amazing for Dylan and Aaron as they ended up upside down in practice, one way of cleaning the muck off the underside.
Mondello 17th March. This was the first ever round of the Clubmans Sidecar Series for novices. Although the grids are small we hope the series will create interest and encourage would be newcomers to buy a sidecar and get out in a safe environment. Many novices have left the scene because they felt that they hadnt a chance out there with the more experienced lads flying past them. Many thanks to the group of members who turned up on the day to help and advise these novices, this will help to make these lads mature riders all the sooner.
On the day, Johnny Abel with Gar Kavanagh on board ran off to win both races leaving the rest to fight it out for second and third, that being a two race battle between Ray Greene/ Martin Abel and Gary /Ross Rogers. Gary had spent the whole night repairing a sick engine but was determined not to miss valuable points.
Aghadoey 30th March Both races here went well with the new Joey Dunlop Curve not causing the anticipated problems we all feared. Although maybe when the riders feel more familiar with this new bend it will start to become interesting. Once again there was an oil spill which held up proceedings, but once again sidecars were not responsible.
Kirkistown 1st April. After a damp start the day improved to provide some very good racing. Popular English visitor Trevor Robinson won the first race but didnt have it easy as our boys hounded him the whole way. Race two saw Charlie make amends when he led from early on to take the flag. One thing a lot of people noticed was that already we were seeing competitive produce from the Clubmans ranks in the form of Johnny Abel / Gar Kavanagh and Johnny Keating who had fine results in both races. Johnny Abel & Gar finished a very creditable fifth and sixth in the two races. Reckon the Chairman will be looking for a new passenger before long! Oh!, and once again an oil spillage caused mayhem and threatened walkouts by some solo riders, but once again it wasnt our fault.
Mondello Park 13th April. Round two of the Clubmans series. Whilst Johnny & Gar did a repeat performance of the last time by running off ahead of the field, the Rogers brothers seized the opportunity of a missing Ray Greene to recover second spot in the series with two second places, having held off challenges from English visitors Dean Banks and Kev Dempster. Johnny Keating scored his first points of the series with a fourth in Race 2.
Mondello 14th April: A bitterly cold start to the day saw two practice sessions without timekeeping due to faulty equipment which we are promised will be right for the next event on 11/12th May. With a grid of about 16 outfits the weather lifted to provide two good races. Charlie ONeill / Brian Butler fought hard with Dylan Lynch /Aaron Galligan with the pairing of Charlie & Brian winning out in race 1. Race 2 was to be Dylans with some of the pressure being eased by the demise of Charlie early on in the race. Paddy Kelly had to enlist the help of newcomer passenger Gar Kavanagh as usual passenger Fergie Woodlock fell out in Race 1 & broke his thumb. Gar soon settled into the groove of the bigtime racing when he kickboxed Andy Kennedy in the head because Andy was trying too hard to pass them. When asked about it after, Gar said the last he saw of Andy he was heading out across the grass and definitely not going to be a threat again.
A somewhat dejected Scobie decided to light the bonfires early in the North this year when his trailer caught fire whilst on the way home from Mondello.
Aghadoey 27th April. 10 starters in race 1, Charlie & Brian notched up another win with Dylan a very close 3 secs behind. Scobie managed to repair the fire damaged bike to hold off ol timer Andy Kennedy & son George and get third place while another young fella Paddy Kelly with Gar (Kickboxer) Kavanagh on board took fifth. Race 2 was John Clarkes first win of the year on his new outfit. All in all an enjoyable days racing except for the Newtons who headed home early after Eamonn forgot to wipe the butter from his hands after stuffing his face with toast for breakfast thus causing him to slip out at the chicane while Joe went on unawares to give everyone a fine example of how to headbutt the tyrewall.
By the way Joe, Jimmy Windows has it on camera.
Upcoming events: TT Riders Fundraiser Friday 17th May at Donore Harriers Clubhouse, Chapelizod, 8.30pm. This is to raise money to assist the club members Peter Farrelly, Johnny Abel, Aaron Galligan, Alan Langton & Andy Kinsella who will all be riding at this years Isle Of Man TT. Please everybody, buy a ticket for this event even if you cant come. We are also looking for items to put into an auction on the night plus other gifts for a raffle. So.any of you who can get their hands on jackets, umbrellas, helmets or anything suitable, please send it along.
Condolences to Mandy & Eugene Kettle on the recent sudden death of Mandys mother.
For sale: Iain Duff is selling his Ford Iveco truck, as well as the usual generators and compressors. All going cheap.
Thats all for now folks,
Dont forget if you have items to submit to our website at www.irishsidecar.com, Damien awaits your input.