Second spot for Dunlop at Ballymena Raceway

MARK OF DISTINCTION ... Mark Dunlop from the Ballymoney area finished runner-up in the 1600cc Lightning Rod Irish Championship at Ballymena Raceway. Photograph by David Park.
MARK OF DISTINCTION ... Mark Dunlop from the Ballymoney area finished runner-up in the 1600cc Lightning Rod Irish Championship at Ballymena Raceway. Photograph by David Park.

Ballymoney’s Mark Dunlop was forced to settle for second position in the 1600cc Lightning Rod Irish Championship at Ballymena Raceway on September 27.

Dunlop qualified on pole position for the showdown after a string of consistent performances throughout 2013 at both Aghadowey and Ballymena. Moneymore’s Mark Frew joined Dunlop on the front row, with Clifford Nevin and Jerome Doherty on row two. Dunlop took full advantage of his pole position slot to move into the lead at the green flag while Nevin nipped into second ahead of Frew and Doherty.

This group fought out a cagey battle for the lead as Dunlop tried valiantly to keep his pursuers in check. Eventually however Nevin found a way through the leader’s defences and slipped his Vauxhall Astra to the front and Dunlop now had his mirrors filled by Frew.

As the laps counted down Nevin extended his advantage and crossed the line comfortably ahead, while Dunlop just held off Frew in their tussle for second, with the top six completed by Doherty, Alastair Christie and Bobby Johnston.

In the other classes at the Curtis Toyota sponsored fixture Daniel Feeney added the 1300 Stock Car National title to his list of achievements and Billy Finnegan Jnr. wrote his name into the history books as the inaugural Speed Stocks Irish Champion. Steven McKane recorded a heat and final double in the Stock Rod division and Kenny Carson lifted the GP2 King of the North Trophy.