Derek Sheils powered to a brilliant double at the Faugheen 50 Road Races in County Tipperary on Sunday as he made it a magnificent seven Superbike victories in a row.
The Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki rider wrapped up the day in fine style at the 2.2-mile course in Carrick-on-Suir after an epic battle in a fitting Grand Final finale.
Sheils, Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney gave it their all as they jostled for position throughout the six-lap encounter, with the lead changing hands several times.
In the end it was Sheils who came out on top on the GSX-R1000 by 0.3 seconds from McGee on the NJ Doyne Kawasaki, with Skerries man Sweeney finishing a close third on his Martin Jones Racing BMW.
James Chawke finished a long way back in fourth followed by Darryl Tweed and Thomas Maxwell.
Earlier, Sheils opened his account after another scintillating showdown with McGee and Sweeney.
With nothing to choose between the flying trio, the crowds held their breath on a blistering final lap when Sheils came through to pip McGee on the line by only five hundredths of a second. The consistent Sweeney was only a tenth of a second further back on as he rounded out the top three.
Michael Browne was fourth, 8.4 seconds behind, with Maxwell and Chawke completing the first six.
Sheils’ unbeaten streak on the GSX-R1000 goes back to the Kells Road Races in June, where he clinched a double. He also won both races at the Skerries 100 after sitting out the Enniskillen meeting, and made it five wins on the spin at last weekend’s Walderstown Road Races, which were abandoned following the tragic death of Ballyclare racer Darren Keys.
Mullingar man McGee won the Supersport race on his Kawasaki by just under a second from Browne. Sweeney again finished third, 1.7 seconds adrift, with Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed claiming fourth on his Honda. Open race winner Sheils was a retirement.
McGee also won the Moto3/125GP race in commanding style on his ex-Grand Prix Faraldo Racing Honda. The pole-sitter led all the way to beat Melissa Kennedy by over 13 seconds, with Wayne Kennedy edging out Gary Dunlop on the Joey’s Bar Honda by a whisker for third.
Sweeney capitalised when McGee retired from the Supertwin race on the KMR Kawasaki, moving into the lead to wrap up victory by 6.7 seconds over Chawke on the Italian Paton, with Tweed making it onto the rostrum in third.
Dermot Cleary won the Senior Support Championship race from Tommy Henry, while Vinny Brennan was victorious in the corresponding Junior Support race.
Richard Ford and Ed Manly were the respective winners of the Senior and Junior Classic races.