The Armoy Road Races will get underway later this month.
ARMOY Road Races Clerk of the Course Bill Kennedy MBE recently admitted that he is pleased with the bumper entry received ahead of the event.
With less than three weeks to the famous Bayview Hotel 'Race of Legends' the eyes are all on who will turn up in Armoy.
Michael Dunlop’s absence has been noted to date, however, the Ballymoney man has yet to rule out an appearance at the Olchan circuit.
The Club recently confirmed Mullingar man Derek McGee will be back challenging for the Irish and Ulster road race championships in the Superbike, Supersport, Supertwin and Moto3 classes. Also confirmed is Dubliner Derek Shiels, currently leading the Irish and Ulster Superbike championship on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing – Suzuki.
In the Supersport class there will be another strong display on the grid at Armoy, the likes of Thomas Maxwell from Westmeath, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Michael Sweeney, and local rider Darryl Tweed are all in good form, and have confirmed their attendance as well as Englishman Sam West, all aiming to steal the crown off returning Armoy Supersport winner on the Friday night, Paul Jordan.
Bill Kennedy MBE said: “I’m very happy with the entries this year.
"We’ve some top class riders and it’s sure to make for some interesting riding on Race Day with entries from foreign riders, like Switzerland and German, and with 22 newcomers including the swiss rider; they come from Aberdeenshire to Somerset and from County Cork to Ballymoney, which goes to show just how attractive our event is,” Kennedy added.
"The Classics, although not everyone’s cup of tea, is this year a bit extra special for me given it’s the Frank Kennedy Classics. It has some interesting bikes and riders.
"Dominic Herbertson from Hexham is on a Davies Motorsport Honda 4 and newcomer and Welsh man, Mark Purslow is on a Honda CB500 Four," said Kennedy.
Dominic is definitely one to watch having finished in the first 10 at the IOM Senior (Finale) superbike race. Throw into the mix, Barry Davidson with his six Armoy classic wins and the competition is wide open, so it will be very interesting indeed!
Practice on Friday 26th July is followed by the Senior Support and then Supersport 1 Race, and in the past, it has set the tone for the following 10 races on the Saturday, and Kennedy admitted he is excited for the action pack race schedule.
"Our own club member and local man, Tommy Henry, is definitely fighting it out at the top of the leader board in the Irish Championship with Bangor man, Andy McAllister, so I’m going to say the Senior Support is equally going to have some exciting racing.
“The Clyde Shanks Supertwins is always a hugely popular race at Armoy, and we have got a full grid there as has the majority of the races. We are very fortunate this year given there’s another race in England that so many riders have decided to come to Armoy.
“Gary (Dunlop) has been in winning form, currently leading the Irish and Ulster Moto 3/125 GP championship and we’ve a very decent entry for that race too. It’ll be great to see his bike in his father’s (Joey’s) winning colours," he said.
“To be honest I really wasn't sure how entries would be this year, you just never know, but I am really delighted to see so many make the effort to come along, a big thank you to all of them. Now we just need the weather and the fans.”
This year, Bike Week runs from Saturday, July 20 until Saturday, July 27 with racing scheduled for both days.