Carl Phillips in racing return at Sunflower Trophy meeting

Carl Phillips finished third in the Sunflower Trophy race in 2017.
Carl Phillips finished third in the Sunflower Trophy race in 2017.

Lisburn’s Carl Phillips will return to action for the first time since early August at the Sunflower Trophy meeting.

Phillips made his debut in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this season with the Gearlink Kawasaki outfit, but the Northern Ireland rider parted company from the team in June.

Lisburn rider Carl Phillips.

Lisburn rider Carl Phillips.

He was then due to ride a Superstock Suzuki machine for Michael Dunlop with backing from former sponsors Sandown Racing, but the arrangement was put on hold following the tragic accident involving Michael’s brother, William, at the Skerries 100 in July.

Phillips then took up an offer to ride for the Morello Kawasaki team, but he was once again left without a ride after a sponsor pulled out.

Since then, Phillips has taken a break from racing and has been working in England for a gym installation company.

However, he is set to make his comeback at the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt, when he will ride an ex-Ryan Farquhar Kawasaki for the J. McC Roofing team.

Last year, Phillips led the feature Sunflower race with two laps to go on the MD Racing Suzuki, before eventually finishing in an excellent third place behind Glenn Irwin and Michael Laverty.

He said: “It’s been an up and down year for me and to be honest and after things fells through with the Morello Kawasaki deal, I’ve just been working away over in England.

“I was left a bit sickened because things didn’t really work out for me in BSB with the Gearlink team. I’ve been working for a huge company doing gym installations all around England and that has kept me busy.

“But the chance came up to ride at the Sunflower and I can’t thank Jason McCaw enough. He is putting 100 per-cent effort in and I’m riding the ex-Ryan Farquhar Kawasaki, which has all the bells and whistles on it,” Phillips added.

“I just want to go and enjoy myself because it hasn’t been much fun this year.

“I got onto the podium last year and finished ahead of a lot of quality riders, so we’ll go and see what we can do this time.”

The J. McC Roofing team will also run regular riders Ryan Gibson and Barry Graham at the Irish short circuit showpiece in County Down, which takes place from October 19-20.

Team owner Jason McCaw said: “Carl has had a rather lean season by his standards but he has the ability to mix with the best.

“Hopefully, we can help him to be back where he belongs on the podium again.”

Practice will be held on Friday, October 19, with a five-race programme scheduled.

The main race bill, including the prestigious Sunflower race, will be held on Saturday, October 20. Admission is £15 on Friday and £20 on Saturday. A weekend pass costs £25. Children U15 free.