This weekend’s Principal Insurance ‘Race of the South’ at Walderstown signals the return of Mullingar man Derek McGee, who has been out of action since early June.
McGee was injured in a crash during qualifying for the Lightweight class at the Isle of Man TT, when he came off at Greeba Castle.
The reigning Irish Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin champion hasn’t raced since, although McGee did undertake a test at Kirkistown in County Down last Friday.
He sat out the Skerries 100, but his home race at Walderstown in Co. Westmeath offers McGee the perfect opportunity to make his injury return as he builds towards next month’s Ulster Grand Prix.
Derek Sheils has confirmed his participation at the Fore Motorcycle Club’s Irish National meeting, when he will be aiming to continue his winning streak on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki.
Sheils clinched a double on the GSX-R1000 at Kells in Co. Meath in June and again dominated the Superbike class at the Skerries 100 last weekend, where he wrapped up a hat-trick following his first Supersport victory since 2013 on the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha.
He has opened up a commanding lead in the Irish Superbike Championship in McGee’s absence and has been in terrific form of late after ironing out some teething issues with the new 1000cc Suzuki.
Skerries man Michael Sweeney is another of the leading contenders on his Martin Jones Racing machines.
Sweeney finished on the podium in third place in Thursday’s two Supersport races at the Southern 100 at the Billown course on the Isle of Man on his Yamaha R6.
He also earned a runner-up finish in the second Supertwin race at the Manx race and Sweeney will be a serious threat in across the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin races on Sunday.
Thomas Maxwell, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Darryl Tweed will be out to mix it up with the established frontrunners and all three have shown fine form this season.
The event is celebrating 20 years of racing at the current 2.1-mile Walderstown course this year.
Road close on Saturday for practice from 12.30am and on Sunday from 8am.