Roads: Organisers host 2022 Armoy Road Races launch event

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The 2022 Armoy Road Races event has been officially launched at the Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae and will take place on July 2 Armoy Motorcycling Road Racing Club 24-30.

Armoy Motorcycling Road Racing Club members came together with road racers, sponsors and invited guests on Wednesday evening (June 29) to celebrate the return of the event for the first time since 2019. The last two seasons were cancelled due to covid-19.

The evening welcomed some of the competitors for this year’s races, including Jamie Coward, who will make his Armoy Road Races debut. Coward was the top privateer competitor at this year’s Isle of Man TT, securing five top eight results across multiple classes.

Coward’s last outing in a Northern Irish Road Racing event was the Tandragee 100 in 2013. He’ll ride Stanley Stewart’s Yamaha R6 in the Supersport race, under the KTS Racing powered by Steadplan banner. He’ll also take part in the new Classic Superbike race onboard a Kawasaki ZXR750.

“This year we’ve added a Classic Superbike race for the first time,” Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy MBE explained. “With local riders Darryl Tweed and Dennis Booth taking part, the rest of the riders are from England including Guy Martin, Jamie Coward and Philip Crowe so I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on with that, this year.

“When I was at other races, I was also told that riders with a 750cc bike had nowhere to race, so that’s why we’ve added the race to the programme. It’ll take a year to establish, but the riders with a 750cc bike now have a race at Armoy.”

Pictured is Title Sponsor Bayview Hotel, Trevor Kane, with Chair and Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy MBE, Jamie Coward, Adam McLean, Darryl Tweed, Neil Kernohan and James Rothery

Other riders who attended the launch ceremony included Adam McLean, Darryl Tweed, Neil Kernohan and Jamie Rothery, with the riders taking part in a panel discussion.

Michael Dunlop was unable to attend as he’s on his way to Finland for the Immatra Challenge. The Armoy Motorcycling Road Racing Club has expressed their hope that Dunlop will be back to defend his title on the three-mile County Antrim course, which is seen as his home event.

“Armoy Road Races, now in its 12th year, is indebted to the high calibre of riders and loyal fans who continue to support it year on year,” Kennedy added. “I can’t believe that the races are only a few weeks away. This year, for some reason, the time has just flown by but with race entries now closed, and the programme going to print, we are well and truly into the final preparations.

“With entries from Austria, France, including rider Pierre Yves Bian, who won the Supertwins race at the NW200, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and locally there is a very strong entry.

“This launch event is a great platform to showcase how far we have come and to thank our many sponsors as without their financial help and commitment each year we would not be able to stage such an event. 

Bike week gets underway on July 24, with the racing action taking place on July 29 and 30, culminating in the Bayview Hotel ‘Race of Legends’. The Armoy Road Races event is enabled by funding from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.