THE traditional Easter Irish Superbike festival incorporating the 35th Enkalon Trophy race has attracted a superb entry for the Bishopscourt curtain-raiser later this month.
At a press launch for the event in Downpatrick last night, the organising MCRRCI and Killincy clubs outlined the latest details for the opening ISB meeting of 2011, which will be held over two days on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, April 22/23.
A total of £13,000 is up for grabs, with three championship races for each class providing a packed programme of events.
The Enkalon Trophy race will be held for the 35th year, with the winner pocketing a cheque for £1,250. A loyal supporter of motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland, the Enkalon Club is the main sponsor of the Irish Superbike races at the season opener.
Among the entries confirmed are Wilson Craig Honda duo Cameron Donald and William Dunlop, who will ride in the Superbike and Supersport races.
Crumlin’s Stephen Thompson, ISB title contender Kirk Jamison and Michael Pearson will ride BMW machinery at the event, with senior road racing stars Ryan Farquhar and Adrian Archibald plus young talent Jamie Hamilton from Ballyclare all Kawasaki-mounted in the premier class.
The 600cc class boasts an attractive prize fund of almost £2,500 and if the favourable weather the organisers are praying for materialises, some top class action is in store at the County Down circuit.
Ballymoney man Archibald will ride in Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki colours in the 650cc Supertwins class, with Michael Sweeney and Kilrea rider William Davison among the frontrunners.
Paul Robinson will ride his ex-GP Aprilia in the Charles Hurst Hyundai (Dundonald) 125cc class and faces opposition from cousin William Dunlop. Jason Lynn, Luke Johnston, Nigel Moore and young guns Ross Patterson and Korie McGreevy are entered, with Karen Hadden and Melissa Kennedy representing female interest.
Robinson and Dunlop are joined in the 250cc races by Barry Davidson, Thomas Lawlor and Daley Mathison.
The organisers will operate a ‘Sail to Pole’ qualifying system, backed by Nutt Travel in Coleraine, which is similar to the format used to determine grid positions in the British and World Superbike Championships.
The Sail to Pole trophy plus £250 will be presented to the fastest qualifier in the Superbike class.
Qualifying gets underway at 9.30am on the Friday morning with the first races at 2.30pm. On Easter Saturday, racing is scheduled for approximately 10.30am with the feature Enkalon race at 1.30pm.
The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the event’s official charity.
Admission is £15 for adults (including programme) with children free.