Omeath's Paul Cowe in action during round 9 of the National Minibike Championships, held at the Whiteriver track in Collon
It was all about high speeds and action-packed racing as the Irish Minibike Championships descended on county Louth.
Whiteriver Karting in Collon was the venue nine, as people of all ages descended on the popular to show their superiority on two wheels, with local rider Paul Cowe among the large entry lists.
Minibike racing is one of the fastest growing forms of Motorsport in Ireland and the UK. The Irish Minibike Championship (IMC) is a club that runs and organises an eleven round championship run on race circuits spread around the whole of Ireland.
The aim of The IMC is to provide all members, regardless of age, ability or ambition with cost effective and much sought-after track time in a competitive, yet family friendly environment.
Race Classes are structured based on age and engine capacity with riders starting from as young as six. Boys and girls race together in the BamBam Class (youngest class) this continues on into the seniors. Engine sizes vary from 90cc to 200cc with speed of 90km/hr being achieved at Whiteriver.
Early weather forecasts didn’t bode well for the highly anticipated return to Louth. Fortunately, and to the relief of organisers and competitors alike, the weather God’s served up the sun to shine on the (IMC).
A bumper entry list in excess of 108 class entries was sure to provide for an entertaining day and the many spectators and supporters were in for a treat.
The heart and soul of the IMC, aka The BamBammers, are truly a joy. Their camaraderie within the paddock extends to the circuit and beyond and onlookers are never without a smile.
The skill and raw talent exhibited throughout the youngest rank of competitors brings an air of excitement. More importantly however, is the clear indication - by their ever-present smiles - that every single BamBammer on track is loving every second.
Joel Haire put in a strong performance during qualifying of the BamBam Class to secure pole from his 13 track rivals. Championship contender Max Robinson managed 2nd from female contender Paige Mullen in 3rd.
Haire continued his dominance in all 3 races with Mullen following Robinson home in each outing. Boyd Knipe will be happy with his performance which netted him a profitable 4th Overall while Cian Daly improved with each outing to round out the top 5.
Burnside’s Zak Turkington showed a return to form while Cathal Casey, Conor Murphy and Ella Mosgrove step closer to the front pack.
A DNF in Race 3 for Robyn Ellis-Coogan unfortunately resulted in a drop down the leaderboard while newcomer Charlie Forrester continued to show marked improvements in skill and confidence.
Consistency for Brandon Kennedy provided for an 11th Overall placing just ahead of Aiyana-Rose Lennon.
The Junior Elite Class was a closer affair than previous events as Matt Davidson narrowed the gap to Championship Leader Lewis Mullen. In the final race of the day just 0.3 seconds separated the pair.
An impressive run from Joey Hennessy made for some valuable points having missed the Cork outing. The points boost now puts Hennessy within the grasp of a top 5 Championship finish heading into the final Championship event of 2022.
IMC Dualways Scholar Cody Miskelly finished the day 4th Overall with Jordan O’Kane and Adam Lee McStravog 5th and 6th respectively. Matthew Curry bagged 7th from Elle Edgar and Lorcan Dagger.
A bumper grid of various Mini GP machines in the Junior Mini GP Class made for the most action filled GP racing to date. With battles throughout the mixed field of 140cc and 160cc machines, spectators were treated to three fast and furious races.
The usual suspects of Lewis Mullen and Jack Burrows quickly lapped their fellow 11 competitors in all 3 races. The pair remained locked together throughout, Burrows, the Overall winner with 2 wins to Mullen’s solitary victory.
Incredibly, the pair shared the same ‘best lap’ time in their first race of the day while Mullen earned himself the fastest lap in Race 2 and 3. FIM OHVALE Ireland Series leader, Finnan Wherity, clinched the final spot on the podium and with it the Overall OHVALE 160cc Trophy for RD9.
James Thompson earned himself maximum points in the Senior Stock 140cc Class with Luke Johnston Senior Open Class and Kelan Smith Stock VETS Class managing the same feat.
In the Senior Stock Group 2 Class Paul Edgar took the overall win from Brian McGeough and Nathan Babb whilst local rider Paul Cowe, from Omeath, finished in the top ten after fighting hard to move forward in the closely contested race.
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