“I can’t believe I got 13th in Gold Cup main race – not bad for self-employed joiner on part worn tyres,” chuckles clubs man turned road racer David McConnachy.
It hasn’t been a bad season for the Newcastle rider. After a decent start on the North East club scene a few years back, he’s slowly got himself sucked into road racing, and this year has stepped-up his road racing efforts.
With plans for his Manx GP debut among his 2017 goals, this season he’s tackled Oliver’s Mount events, the Southern 100 and the Ulster/Dundrod as well as a handful of club races for good measure.
His progression onto the roads came after he finished runner-up in the 2014 NEMCRC PI600 championship.
“I led it all year until one mechanical and ended up losing it by just eight points,” he said. “I started looking to pursue road racing ambitions, moving classes to Supersport 600 on a Yamaha R6, and also preparing an ER6 Kawasaki Supertwin.
“I made my road racing debut at the Gold Cup 2015, where I qualified and finished 11th in Gold Cup B race, against some very experienced competition. I also, finished seventh and eighth in the 600 B races, getting down to some great lap times, with only one dry day.”
This year began back on the clubs circuit as he took to the track for the opening round of the NEMCRC championships. On a bike he was asked to ride at the last minute, he took two PI600 wins.
Next it was on to Oliver’s Mount where he’s had some good results. “At every Oliver’s Mount meeting this year I have qualified for the A finals, and had top 10 finishes against some healthy TT regulars.”
He got his first taste of ‘real’ road racing when he rocked up to the Southern 100 in the summer.
“I adapted well, finishing 15th on my Supertwin, with the bike still being fairly new to me. I worked on slowly building my speed up on my R6, and I managed to finish sixth in the B final race.
“After that I had a great result in the Consolation 1000/600cc race, finishing fifth and lapping at 102.0mph average my first time there.”
At the Ulster, McConnachy qualified 25th for the Dundrod National race, after only four laps of qualifying due to mix up in pit lane. After a strong charge through the field on a damp track he finished 10th.
The Dundrod Challenge saw him up against 1000 and 600 machinery, and after qualifying on the second wave of the grid, he managed to fight his way up to 9th overall at the chequered flag.
His last meeting this year was at the Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup where he finished third in the 600 B race, seventh in the Open Solo B race and 13th in the Gold Cup.
“It’s been a fantastic season. I’ve had the best racing year ever, made so many new friends and had some great experiences.
“I’m looking forward to making my debut at Manx GP next year and to continue at other road race events, but I couldn’t do it without the support of my family and my close friends who give up their time to help. Thanks to everyone who has made this all possible”
*Images supplied by David McConnachy