Rathdrum Offroad Club host a wonderful event in Aughrim

Grasstrack racing was back in Aughrim for the first race of 2022 in the south of Ireland last weekend and it didn’t disappoint, bringing in a huge entry of riders from all over and an even bigger crowd that was treated to perfect conditions after the wet week leading up to the event.

fast-flowing track made for extremely tight racing in every class and after a long winter it was time to show who had been putting in the training on and off the bike for this year’s season and championship that’s to start on June 19.

After practice, the first race off was the Auto 50cc machines for kids from six years of age. This was a packed class showing theres a good future in the sport. It was very closly contested class where Jack Cullen and Kayne Flemming swapped wins on the day only for Jack to just get the overall with Jamie Clark in third.

The 65cc race riders from 8eight years old brought the two teammates, Martins Kalnins and Edward Bergins down for their first time to a Rathdrum Offroad event and they were hard to beat for the day with Martin taking all three race wins from Edward and Ryan Flynn in third.

The Youth 85cc was a spectacular affair with last year’s front runner Jamie Hurley and local Tinahely rider Ross Byrne going at every lap in the first race with Ross closely getting it at the line for the win, showing he’s really put the head down in the winter and on new machinery this year he’ll be hard to beat.

As the track got rougher in the following races for the 85ccs it changed for who was riding near the front, but it was Ross Byrne who would take the overall in the end from Craig Timmons and Adam Donnegan third overall, all local club riders.

In the Youth 125 class, Christian Russell had the new Yamaha 125 singing well all day to take the overall win from Markus Kalins in second, also on a 125, and Harry Lee in third, first of the 250fs.

In the adults there was the Novice MX2 which are the 125s and 250 four-strokes. Kyle Moriarty claimed his first overall on the new 250f four-stroke machine from Declan Walsh and martin Ryan third.

The Novice MX1, which are the 250 two-strokes and the 450 four-strokes and up, seen Jack Houlahan from Waterford win from Noel Byrne from Ashford and Meath’s Joe Clinton.

On to the Grade CMX2 and Thomas Kelly grabbed the win as he seemed to get faster as the day went on. He finished ahead of Ryan Odlum and Adam Moules in third. The Grade CMX1 saw Graham Kearan finish first overall, from Ronan O’Toole in second and Barry Healy in third.

Then the Evo Preinjection race that sees anything still running with a carburetor took place. Nathan Mackey took the overall from Andy Forsberg in second and Conor Doyle in third while in the over-35 class, Paddy O’Neill took the win from Kealan Smith and Fingers Devlin in third.

Then it on to the Expert class where a great entry of top riders fought for every position over every lap and it was Paddy O’Neill taking the overall from Nathan Markey in second, Shane Valentine in third, John Kenny in fourth and Jonny Merriman fifth overall.

“The club would like to thank everyone for their support,” said organizer Mervyn Griffin. “The landowner, the medics and everyone for supporting the event. It was great to see such a crowd on the day, and it was great that some councilors that made the effort and came out. Thanks to John Mullen, Pier Leonard and Hugh Lewis down from Dublin as the club tries to pursue the goal of having a proper facility to train on in Wicklow. It would have been great to have the other invited councilors attend the event but unfortunately it shows in this sport there is such an uphill struggle to get anywhere, ”he added.

The next event for the club is in Ballinacor Estate on March 18 for a round of the Irish Championship cross country with a lap covering over 10 to 15km.

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