Cemcor Cookstown 100 , What can we expect?

The oldest road race in Ireland, the Cookstown 100, takes place this weekend, around the Orittor circuit, Now in its 102nd year, organized by the Cookstown & District Motor Cycle Club, this event is generally recognized as the largest sporting event of the year in the local area. Despite continuous rising costs, the club have again worked tirelessly to ensure this unique event continues to run and has again, attracted a large entry for the event. Past winners such as Michael ‘Micko’ Sweeney and Mike Browne have both entered. Making his road race debut for the RK Racing/Burrows Engineering team, will be Dominic Herbertson, whilst amongst the 21 newcomers is, Co Offaly competitor, Kevin Keyes. Keyes comes with a great short circuit pedigree and will compete in the Open and Supersport 600 races. Again, there will be a full-packed race programme, Following the compulsory Newcomers laps, there will be 15 Qualifying sessions, and time permitting, Three races are planned; Open A, Supertwins B & Supersport A. Saturday will see a 15-race programme, starting at approx 10.00 am. All races will consist of 9 laps, except for the Cemcor Cookstown 100, which will be a 12-lap affair. Over the years, Japanese motorcycles have dominated most of our road racing here, in recent years, the German BMW Machines have certainly made quite an impact, but the holy grail of exotic Italian four-cylinder machines around the Orittor circuit has been limited to the demonstration laps during the Centenary event, when two of John Chapmans MV Agusta machines graced the circuit, bringing back many memories of the golden days of the 350 & 500 world championships, however, for this weekends 2024 Cemcor Cookstown 100, we will get to hear yet another exotic Italian machine, in the form of the ex Lewis Rollo Aprillia RSV, which will be in the hands of Cork rider, Mike Browne! Due to the capacity of the machine, The governing body for the sport has stipulated that an ECU is adapted, to manage the engine size, to comply with their rules and regulations for the superbike class. Before this, Mike was unable to compete at the Easter short circuit meetings, due to this problem, however, the machine is eligible for the NW200 & IOM TT races. Can the Aprillia win? That is the burning question everyone is asking, certainly, with Mike's small build, he will suit the build of the machine, which is quite compact compared with other superbikes, and it could well be the combination required! Browne, winner of the 600 race here last year, heads to Cookstown, following another successful weekend at the Bob Smith Cup meeting at Scarborough, where he notched up five wins. Sweeney will be on board a brand new M1000RR BMW superbike, which he debuted at Bishopscourt on Easter Saturday, and this will be his first road race since his horrific crash during the super twin race at the North West 200 last year, Micko also hopes to have his new Supertwin machine ready in time for this weekend. Dominic Herbertson is no stranger to this event, but this year, making his race debut for the local race team, RK Racing/Burrows Engineering. Herbertson finished on the podium in the Enkalon Trophy race at Bishopscourt on Easter Saturday, despite only riding the superstock machine. Aaron Spence, who made his debut last year, will compete in the super twin and 600 races, whilst Keelim Ryan gets his chance to ride in the superbike class, thanks to Trison McMullen. James and Liam Chawke make the journey from Rathkeale to compete in the Twins,600 & superbike classes, whilst Daragh Crean & Dean Lacey, both move into the national classes. Last year’s Man of the Meeting, Barry Davidson again heads the Classic entry list, along with Andy Hornby, Richard Ford and Andy Kildea. In the SS300 class, Team mates, Barry Davidson and Lee Osprey head the SS300 list, where Darren Duncan will be hoping for better luck this year, following his last lap spill when within a podium finish. Herbertson will ride in the Moto3 class alongside local lad Nigel Moore, with Gary Jordan and Jack Sands competing on their 125 two-stroke machines. The Junior Support class is well oversubscribed, so picking a winner here won't be easy, but some competitors worth watching include, Kevin Baker, Dara Crean, Aidan Cleary, RJ Waddell, and Sean Brolly, to name a few. With a large number of classic entries, there will be a separate class for the 250 & 350 machines, with the 500 & 1000 cc machines running together. In the 250 Robert McCrum will ride Jim Gibsons 250 Areil Arrow special, with Chris Meyer on board a very special 125 MZ. Looking at the senior Support class, again, lot of unknown talent! Lee Osprey on the 657 Triumph, Gary Jordan, Keith Richardson, Caomhan Canny, Sean Brolly, John O Donovan, Newcomers, James Doy, Jordan Grier and youngest rider on the grid, 18-year-old Lee Hara, a graduate from the Irish Minibike Championship series! The most travelled to compete at this year's event are from Germany, Yannick Urban & Chris Meyer, Amercia, Dave Thomas and from Italy, Enrico Rocchi. The only female to compete in this year's event is Scotlands Ashley Robson. As always, there are quite a few local competitors in action, including Evergreen Paul Cranston, Leon Duffy, Dermot Cleary, Trevor Stewart, Ed Gilmore & George Scott, Best of Luck everyone Who are Cemcor? CEMCOR is an independent, locally-owned cement manufacturer based in Cookstown. Producing bulk and packed cement products, the main focus for the company is providing the highest levels of quality, both in terms of product and customer satisfaction. Since CEMCOR purchased the Cookstown cement plant, significant investment has been made into environmental improvements including a new state-of-the-art emission filtration system

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