Former British motocross champion and current Pirelli National Superstock 1000 rookie Graeme Irwin has entered this weekend’s IFS David Wood Memorial Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt in County Down.
Irwin, who switched to the British short circuit scene this year, will ride the Team 109 Kawasaki at the two-day meeting on Saturday and Sunday.
The 27-year-old claimed his best result of his maiden season of tarmac racing at Cadwell Park, where he finished 10th on the ZX-10RR.
Irwin – 27th in the standings with two rounds to go at Donington Park and Brands Hatch – will go head to head with a host of Ulster Superbike Championship regulars at Bishopscourt.
With no Superstock 1000 race this weekend at the Assen round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship, the Ulster rider will instead put the experience he has gained this year to good use at the domestic meeting, which is headlined by the David Wood Memorial Supersport races.
Jason Lynn will line up as the favourite for the trophy on the Walter Bell Yamaha R6 as he bids to remain unbeaten in the class.
Lynn has won every Ulster Supersport race he has started this season and the reigning champion is now only 15 points behind Christian Elkin going into the penultimate round of the season, despite missing three rounds in a row earlier in the year.
Along with Elkin, Lynn’s opposition also includes Kia McGreevy, Aaron Armstrong, Mark Conlin and Sam Laffins.
The fastest nine Supersport riders from timed practice will progress to the Nutt Travel ‘Sail to Pole’ qualifying shootout, which will feature a thrilling six-minute session to determine pole position for the David Wood feature races.
The winner will receive the David Wood trophy along with £1,200 and a set of Pirelli tyres.
In the AJ Plumbing Supplies Ulster Superbike Championship, Lisburn man Carl Phillips will be out to take another step towards the title.
Phillips tops the series by 56 points from Dromara’s Alistair Kirk, who was victorious in the previous round at Kirkistown recently.
Castledawson's Nico Mawhinney returned to winning ways at Kirkistown on the Team Polaris Kawasaki and will be aiming to continue in the same vein this weekend, while Kirk will be hoping to claw back more ground on Phillips on his AKR/McCurry BMW.
Other key contenders include current champion Gerard Kinghan on the IFS Yamaha, Ryan Gibson (McCaw Suzuki), Aaron Armstrong (Suzuki) and Barry Graham on the BG Boates Kawasaki.
All championship classes are featured in a packed programme, including Supertwins, Production Twins, Moto3, Lightweight, Pre Injection, Classic, SS300/Young Guns, Junior Cup, Sidecars and Superbike/Supersport Cup.
Practice on Saturday will take place from 9am and will be followed by 18 Sprint races. The first race is scheduled to commence at around 11.30am.
On Sunday, the action gets under way at 9am, with 18 full distance races planned, headlined by the feature David Wood Memorial races.
Admission is £10, with children under 12 admitted free.