Riders welcome safety upgrades ahead of Cookstown 100

Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race at the Cookstown 100 last year.
Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race at the Cookstown 100 last year.

Top Irish road racer Derek Sheils has welcomed resurfacing work around the Orritor course at the Cookstown 100.

Following several incidents in recent years, the organising Cookstown and District Motor Cycle Club has undertaken steps to improve the circuit with safety in mind.

Resurfacing work has been carried out around the Cookstown 100 course.

Resurfacing work has been carried out around the Cookstown 100 course.

In conjunction with Mid Ulster Council and Roads Service/Department of Infrastructure, both Craigmount and Braeside corners have benefited from resurfacing work carried out by local tarmac firm, P Keenan.

Competitors had expressed their concerns in recent years and the club has taken on board their views, with the work due to be completed in time for the first Irish road race meeting of the season from April 26-27.

Burrows Engineering Racing rider Sheils, who won the Open Superbike race last year, said: “It’s great news to have both Craigmount and Braeside corners resurfaced. Grip levels on Braeside corner in particular have been deteriorating over the last few years and this move should bring lap times down.”

Fellow southern Irishman Michael Sweeney also welcomed the news, adding: “Yes, it will definitely make it a lot safer and smoother for everyone and especially if it’s wet, it will be better. Fair play to the club for getting these things sorted out.”

Last year’s man of the meeting, Adam McLean, said he was particularly pleased that work had been carried out at Braeside.

“It’s really great to hear this. Braeside Corner has been a problem in recent times, so it’s good to see the club taking on board the interests of the competitors,” said the McAdoo Racing rider.

“I’m sure this will also see some faster lap times as well, so it’s all looking good for this year’s race.”