Victor wins Alan Connolly Memorial Award at sun-bathed Aghadowey Oval

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

VICTOR McAfee won The Alan Connolly Stock Rod Memorial Trophy at sun-bathed Aghadowey Oval on Easter Monday.

The Ballymena man began on the front row of the grid alongside Chris Lattka, from Scotland.

Prior to the race the stadium rose for a minutes applause in memory of former World Champion Connolly. Over the years McAfee and Lattka were career long sparring partners of three times World title winner Connolly.

The frantic opening exchanges saw McAfee ahead as Lattka got railroaded backwards, allowing Morrell to take up second ahead of McCready and D McMillan.

As the places battle intensified, McAfee was able to edge clear out front and come home to take the chequered flag and the coveted win.

Victor was visibly emotional as he emerged from his car to receive the superb Alan Connolly Memorial trophy in memory of his long time friend and rival.

Morrell and McCready completed the top three at the end of a simply sensational afternoon of Stock Rod racing, one which Alan himself would have been proud of.

The Stock Rods contested three reverse grid heats to qualify for The Alan Connolly Memorial Trophy final, the first of which saw a clear win for British Champion Shane McMillan. Lattka was second and Stephen McCready third. The second heat was won by McAfee with former World Champion Marc Morrell second and Derek McMillan third.

Heat three saw Tipperary driver Alan McCormack first, Sam Wilson second and Mick Rodgers third.

Meanwhile, there was success for Kells driver Carl Sloan who won the 10th round of the Simpson Race Exhausts World Series NI for National Hot Rods.

The lower graders dominated the heats as the star men failed to make an impact.

Portadown’s Andrew Stewart took the opener ahead of Ian McReynolds and Podge McQuaid, before Simon Kennedy raced home to win heat two over Jaimie McCurdy and Carl Sloan.

McReynolds was on pole spot for the final, but he lost out to McQuaid early on before Sloan burst through to the front.

Carl had been a busy driver all afternoon as he also raced in the Stock Rods.

But he was able to pull clear to take an emphatic win in some style.

As well as his prize from series sponsors Simpson Race Exhausts, Carl also received a new race tyre courtesy of Hoosier UK.

Portadown’s Max Hobson beat an international field to land the Ninja Karts King of Aghadowey crown.

The other final winners at the Derek McMillan Commercial Refinishers sponsored event were Gordy McKee in the Lightning Rods and Joshua McMullan in the Thunder Rods.

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