Cemcor Cookstown 100 Preview

Cemcor Cookstown 100 The 2024 road racing season will roar into life when a ‘new look’ Cookstown 100 takes place on Friday and Saturday 26th/27th of April. Along with a new title sponsor, ‘Cemcor’, this year's event will also see a streamlined race programme, along with the added bonus of both a supersport 600 and an Open Invitation race taking place after Friday afternoon’s qualifying! Details of the event were released at a packed Press launch in the Royal Hotel, on Thursday 4th April, where the new title sponsor was announced for this year's event, in the form of ‘Cemcor’, a locally based Cement manufacturer. The Cookstown 100 is the longest-running road race in Ireland, having celebrated its Centenary event in 2022, and will again take place on the Orittor circuit, just outside Cookstown. At the launch, supported by many competing competitors, the club were pleased to announce the return of past winners, Michael Sweeney and Mike Browne, along with Dominic Herbertson, and a host of newcomers, including Southern competitor, and reigning Wirral 100 Champion, Kevin Keyes. Race fans will get value for their money, with two extra races on Friday evening, and depending on the timescale, an extra Senior Support race may well be included. Skerries rider, Michael Sweeney, Man of the meeting in 2022, will be hoping to put the memories of 2023 behind him, when he crashed out of the supersport 600 race, Sweeney is entered in the three main classes and will be out on his new Martin Jones Racing BMW M1000RR, on which he had his first outing on, at Bishopscourt on Easter Saturday. Last year's 600cc race winner, Mike Browne returns, albeit with different machinery. Having parted company with RK Racing towards the end of last season, Browne will be on board Alister Russells Boyce Precision Engineering 600cc Yamaha, and is also down to ride Aprilia machinery in both the Supertwin and Open races. Replacing Browne in the RK Racing team is Hexhams Dominic Herbertson, the popular tree cutting, Chasin the Racin podcast host has competed at the event in the past, having gotten his season off to a confident boosting start, when he took 3rd in the Enkalon Trophy race on Easter Saturday, Herbertson will certainly be chasing podiums at Cookstown. Trison McMullans ‘TMR race team will be out in full force, with Keelim Ryan making his debut on the team’s ZX10 Kawasaki, whilst Lee Osprey and Barry Davidson contest the Supersport 300 class on Honda machinery. Davidson, last year's Man of the Meeting, will also be on board the Team Gimbert Hondas in both 350 and 500 Classic races. Heading the Newcomers for this year's event is Edenderrys Kevin Keyes, the former British Championship contender, Keyes took no less than five wins during his seven-year stint across the water. Lack of funds forced him to return home to the domestic scene, where he scored wins at the Mondello Masters. Keyes tested the road race scene at his local event, the race of the South at Walderstown, where he dominated both Senior Support events. Kevin, who is also hoping to make his Isle of Man TT debut later this season, will ride in both Supersport and Superbike races at the Cemcor Cookstown 100 on the Daracore Racing Team Yamahas. Another interesting newcomer for this year's event is Josh Corner. Corner, who has honed his career at British Championship level, will compete in the Supersport 600 race onboard Gerry Parkers 600 Yamaha. Robert Waddell, a relative newcomer on the short circuit scene, Waddell has been showing great potential in the Supertwin category, Waddell will make his debut between the hedges, when he lines up in the Junior Support class Ballymena’s Dean McMaster dips his feet into the road racing world when he lines up in the Supertwin races, on board the JMC Roofing Kawasaki, Dean has been turning in some respectable performances at the short circuit level in recent times. From the moment he started racing, Coleraine’s Lee Hara had only one thing on his mind, and that was to follow the footsteps of his Dad ( William) into road racing! Having started his tarmac racing on pit bikes in the Irish Minibike Championships, where he was immediately a winner, such was his talent, that he was the first recipient of the ‘Baylon McCaughey Scholarship/IMC’ Moto One machine, and he didn’t disappoint, winning the first ever Moto One race, going on to finish 2nd in the championship, with his worst result being a ‘Second place!’ This was followed up with podium success in the Supertwin championship, before graduating to the Supersport 600 cup, wherewith ‘six’ wins, was crowned Champion! Come Friday 26th April, Lee will see his dream come true! James ‘Edward’ Doy, another front runner in the Supersport Cup series on short circuits, also gets his chance to race between the hedges, when he lines his 600 Suzuki up in the Senior Support class. The only female competitor at this year's event is Ashley Robson, from Old Meldrum in Scotland, Ashley will compete in the Junior Support race on her SV Suzuki. This year's event will again be run as a ‘Closed ‘Event, where admission to the race is by wristband only! These can still be purchased at £25.00 per person, at race office over the next two weekends ( Check Cookstown100.org for opening times) Roads close to the public at 7.30 am on both days, Newcomers practice is scheduled to be on circuit at 10,45 am, with Saturday's action starting at approx 10.00 am. This years supported charity is the Air Ambulance Fund.

 

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