Derek Sheils commits to new East Coast Racing Festival on Killalane course

Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.
Derek Sheils on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki.

Irish National roads Superbike champion Derek Sheils is the first big name to commit to the new Carole Nash East Coast Racing Festival in September, which will take place over the dates originally allocated for the Killalane meeting on September 9-10.

The newly formed East Coast Motorcycle Club has stepped in to run the final Irish National Championship round of the season. The club is led by former racer Francis Everard, with Carole Nash coming on board as the title sponsor of the event.

Sheils, who was crowned National Road Racer of the Year at the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards in Belfast in January, is again riding for John Burrows on the Cookstown B.E. Racing machines in 2017.

The Dubliner, who will be in action at the Tandragee 100 and Cookstown 100 in April, will be among the big draws at his home event on Burrows’ Suzuki GSX-R1000.

The latest announcement regarding the September race comes after the Loughshinny Club, organisers of the Skerries 100 and Killalane road races, was forced to admit defeat in attempting to run both meetings this year due to increased insurance costs.

A statement from the club said: “Unfortunately due to circumstances, which saw the cost of the insurance rise from 13,000 Euros to 25, 000 Euros, the club is devastated that we will not be able to afford to run two races. This decision has not been taken lightly, and we have decided to put all our resources for 2017 into running the Skerries 100.

“There has been a lot of rumours and slating of this club on social media about Killalane, but we are pleased to announce that after discussions between Loughshinny MCSC and Motor Cycling Ireland (MCI), both parties have agreed to make the dates originally allocated to the Killalane Road Races available to the newly formed East Coast Club to run their own road race event. We wish the organisers a good and safe weekend.”

The East Coast club’s Francis Everard revealed that seven sponsors have already been secured for the event in September, which will be held on the Killalane course.

“Following a meeting with the residents of the track, we have their full support and East Coast Motorcycle Club is delighted to announce Carole Nash as the title sponsor for this event, the final round of the 2017 Irish National Championship road racing season. My team have been working very hard for some time and have already secured seven race sponsors.

“However, for the success of this event we will need the full support of all true road racing supporters.”