RECORDS could well be broken if the weather plays nice as KDM Hire Cookstown 100 bosses gear up for this weekend’s season-opening battles.
The club undertook a phase of resurfacing at the problematic Braeside and Craigmount corners and with this work, along with the re-positioned start finish area, Michael Dunlop’s six year-old lap record of 91.48mph could well be shattered.
With a quality line up including the cream of the Irish road racing crop, the countdown is well and truly on.
Returning to the new look John Burrows team RK Racing, Derek Sheils was the winner of the only Superbike race last year and is eager to stamp his authority in this class again.
Sheils will also compete in the 600 class on board the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha. But last year’s Man of the Meeting Adam McLean will be hoping to stamp his authority at his local stomping ground.
On board the Kawasakis of the McAdoo Racing squad, McLean, fresh from three wins over the Easter weekend at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown, feels he is ready to step up to a new level. Thankfully, McLean was uninjured in a spill when leading the second 600 race yesterday.
Paul Jordan snatched a win at the Easter Monday meeting at Kirkistown to remind everyone he is a force to be reckoned with and will be on board the AR 600 Yamaha.
Triple Irish road race champion Derek McGee is raring to go as he’s set to line up on an ex-Ben Currie 600 Kawasaki, along with a Moto3 Honda.
Amongst the crop of newcomers this year are former Manx Grand Prix winner Tom Weeden, who joins Sheils at RK Racing, Adrian Harrison, rapid Dutchwoman Nadieh Schoots, who will contest the open class, and MGP rider Sam Grief, who will ride for Paul Robinson in the Moto3 class.
For the first time in the history of the event, there will be an Open race on Friday evening, which will follow the 17-card practice schedule.
Roads close at 12 noon on Friday, 26 April, ahead of Saturday’s streamlined 12-race programme which begins after roads close at 10.00am.
*Image: Baylon McCaughey