KELLS racer Derek McMillan is back in the fast lane - just almost a year after winning his battle with cancer!
The 24-year-old is back to his brilliant best, taking two elite titles since his return.
McMillan wasted no time at all showing his race colleagues that he meant serious business when he won the coveted European Stock Rod crown at Aghadowey Oval.
Three weeks later he proved it was no fluke when he took the British title at the Spedeworth Weekend in Ipswich.
McMillan was back. and back in style and believes there is stil more in his tank.
His race friends are delighted to see him back racing after the serious health scare which put him off the track for over a year.
Speaking to Guardian Sport McMillan said it was such a relief to have been given the all-clear.
“It was one heck of a shock when I was first told I had cancer,” he said.
“It is something no-one wants ever to hear.”
The Stock Rod ace was first disgnosed in February last year.
The former Dunclug College pupil went through long sessions of chemo and radio theraphy, hospitalising him for weeks.
In the typical fighting spirit he shows on the tracks McMillan had every intention of beating his illness.
He wanted to return to action at the earliest opportunity but was advised, at that stage, not to be rushing back.
McMillan followed the orders and held off until given the official go-ahead to get behind the wheel again.
First outing back was in the World showpiece last year.
Although just returing after such a serious illness McMillan turned in a five-star showing and qualified in sixth position in the final.
That was as good as it got, for he and the car ran out of steam and he did not finish.
But when victory did come there must have celebrations to beat all celebrations when he won the European title a few weeks ago at Aghadowey - an absolutely fantastic achievement.
Beating current holder, his younger brother Shane, made it all the more special.
And to follow this up three weeks later with victory in the British at Ipswich was simply a dream come true.
McMillan has been racing since 2008.
He began in the Junior Rod ranks, and then moved over into Stock Rods.
McMillan became European champion in 2016 and the year before that won the National title at Hednesford.
He was also Irish Junior Rod championn on three occasions.
McMillan thanks everyone who has helped him along the way.
“I am so grateful to all my sponsors and my family and friends, and everyone who have kept in touch and offered their assistance and best wishes as I fought to get back to full health,” he said.