AARON Armstrong ended Gerard Kinghan’s hopes of a third straight Norman Brown Memorial Trophy after scooping victory at Bishopscourt this weekend.
In the opening race it was Gary McCoy who set the pace off the line closely followed by Armstrong and pole man Kinghan. By lap three, reigning champ Kinghan worked his way past the leading pair into the lead, which he held to the chequered flag with Armstrong second.
Jason Lynn on his Walter Bell Yamaha R6 had closed in on McCoy, hassling him all the way to the flag but with the extra grunt of the big bike he managed to hold him off to grab the final podium place Lynn was the first 600 home in fourth.
In race two again it was McCoy who got the hole shot off the line but his lead was short lived when he slid off on the first lap.
Armstrong took over the lead with the hard pushing Kinghan on his tail. Mid way through the eight-lap race, Kinghan took to the front and immediately opened a gap ahead of Armstrong but a mistake at the hairpin spelled the end of Kinghan’s challenge to retain the Norman Brown Cup for a third year in a row when he crashed out.
Kinghan’s exit left Armstrong with a comfortable lead which he held to the flag winning the race by 6.7sec.
“It’s probably the proudest day of my life,”Armstrong admitted. “I am finally an Ulster Superbike race winner and no better one to possibly win than the Norman Brown Memorial Race which was once won by my all time hero Joey Dunlop.
“I’m absolutely buzzing, massive massive thanks to my family and sponsors hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”
After a race long battle between Ryan Gibson and Lynn, it was Gibson who crossed the line first 0.3sec in front of yet another impressive effort by Lynn on his Supersport 600 machine.
Championship leader Carl Philips sat out this weekend’s races and Ali Kirk missed out when he was plagued with gear box trouble during the qualifying sessions.
In the Supersport races Lynn was in a class of his own, comfortably winning both outings ahead of Mark Conlin and Kia McGreevey.
Lynn missed three rounds of the Ulster Championship races competing in the British Supersport championship, but points earned this weekend and his current form puts him firmly back in the championship chase with three rounds still to go.
Armstrong was not the only family member to win today as his dad Alan had a double win in the Superbike Cup class while Keelan Smith and Andrew Dunlop shared the honours in the Supersport Cup races.
Both Gary McCoy and Ryan Fenton had double wins in the Supertwin and Production Twin races. Jonny Irwin continued his dominance of the Pre Injection class with another two wins.
Stephen McKeown and Kris Duncan finished first and second in Lightweight Supersport races while Jamie Lyons and Rossi Dobson were first and second in the Moto3.
*Images: Derek Wilson