McGee returns for Race of the South at Walderstown
Derek McGee is expected to make his return to road racing this weekend when his home event, the Race of the South at Walderstown near Athlone, takes place.
Other local riders entered include Thomas Maxwell, Paul Fallon and Damien Horan, plus Alan Kenny from Oldcastle, who is going well in the Dunlop Masters series this year.
Two Westmeath riders were out at the Skerries 100 last weekend; Mullingar man Maxwell, who finished fifth in the Open Superbike race, and Athlone man Horan, who had an off in the Grand Final Superbike race. His accident brought out the red flag and caused the race to be shortened and delayed, but Damien is reported to be ok.
Michael Halpin, chairman of the Fore Motor Cycle Club said several of the top riders are also entered, including Michael Sweeney from Skerries, Darryl Tweed from Ballymoney and Mike Brown from Cork.
“Everything’s going well as the moment and it’s all go,” said Michael, “it looks like we’re going to have a lot of the top riders there on the day.”
Safety is always a primary consideration for a risky activity such as motorsport, and while the competitors know and acknowledge the perils of their pastime, Michael and the club are anxious that spectators observe the rules of the road – while they are at the races, as well as on the way there and the way home afterwards.
The roads used for the track will be closed from 12.30pm to 6.30pm on Saturday, though Michael anticipates that they will reopen earlier than that – as soon as practice is finished.
On Sunday, the road closing order is from 8am till 6.30pm – though he is again hopeful of an earlier finish.
The first race is due to start at 11am on Sunday, and order of the races is: Open 600/1010cc; Senior Support 401-750cc; Classic 250-350cc; 400cc and Moto 3 300cc; Supersport 600cc; Junior Support 400-700cc; Classic 500-1000cc; Senior Support 401cc-750cc; and the grand final, the Race of the South.
It’s a tight schedule, but “everything going well, it takes about 15 minutes to run a race, and there’s time for a break between the races”, said Michael.
“The weather forecast is good and hopefully, we’ll be finished around 3 o’clock.”
STATEMENT FROM THE ORGANISERS
"After a two-year absence, the return of Walderstown Road Races, Race of the South is just days away. This year’s main sponsor is once again Principal Insurance.
Principal Insurance have been a part of Walderstown now for a few years and we are very grateful for their continued support.
Starting with practice sessions on Saturday July 9th, for all classes, Walderstown is again well supported by many riders from these shores, alongside visitors from England, Scotland, Wales and The Isle of Man.
Among the entries this year, we see the return of multiple Irish Champion and local man Derek McGee. Derek has been working hard to return from injury and we wish him well on his return.
Alongside Derek will be on form man of the moment Michael Sweeney. Michael has been in great form this season, picking up many wins so far.
Joining them on the grid will be locals Thomas Maxwell, Damien Horan, Paul Fallon and Cork’s Mike Brown on Burrows Engineering / RK Racing Machinery.
Also on the grids will be Wilson Craig’s Darryl Tweed.
A late entry to Walderstown and a newcomer to road racing, will be BSB competitor Kevin Keyes. Kevin has had many great years at short circuits, but this weekend will see the Edenderry man take to the roads of the Westmeath track.
Saturday will get things under way with practice sessions followed by Junior Support race.
Sunday, Race Day, will see 10 races in all, kicking off the day with the Open Championship race for the “big bikes”.
Fore Club is looking forward to a great weekend of racing and seeing the crowds return to the Midlands track just a few miles from the town of Athlone.
A huge thanks to all our sponsors, many of which have been great supporters of the club for years and to all new sponsors on board with us this year.
A special thanks to the residents and land owners of Walderstown, without them we wouldn’t be able to host this event.
Lastly, to the hard working Fore Club members who give up their time to run the event and help put on the show that is Walderstown Road Races 2022.
Roads close Saturday 9th at 12.30pm and Sunday 10th at 8.00am.
Entry is €25 and a programme will cost €5. Looking forward to seeing you there!"