Derek Sheils clinched a Superbike double as Paul Jordan secured his maiden Supersport victory at the Faugheen 50 Road Races in Co Tipperary.
Cookstown B.E. Racing rider Sheils lost his unbeaten record on John Burrows’ Suzuki at the Irish National meetings earlier this month at Walderstown, when an error on the brakes caused him to run up a slip-road.
However, there were no such problems for the Dubliner on Sunday as Sheils dominated on the Dungannon-based team’s GSX-R1000, sealing wide margin victories in the Open Championship and Grand Final Superbike races and establishing a new outright lap record for the 2.2-mile course.
Sheils, who could miss this weekend’s Armoy meeting after previously agreeing to be the best man at his close friend’s wedding on Friday, set the ball rolling with a runaway triumph in the Open race.
He stretched clear at the front and had more than six seconds in hand after six laps as he won from Derek McGee on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, with Skerries man Michael Sweeney completing the podium places on the MJR Racing BMW – four seconds behind McGee.
Rejuvenated Magherafelt rider Jordan finished a solid fourth on the IMR Evolution Camping BMW, narrowly missing out on the rostrum as he flashed across the line only two tenths of a second behind Sweeney.
Sheils’ manner of victory was even more commanding in the eight-lap Grand Final, when he set the fastest ever lap at Faugheen at 106.464mph.
The 33-year-old annihilated the opposition once again as he wrapped up a big bike double by 15.8 seconds from McGee, with Sweeney almost six seconds back in third.
Jordan was an isolated fourth on this occasion, five seconds behind Sweeney, while Graham Kennedy and Davy Morgan finalised the top six.
A breathless Supersport 600 race served up some of the best action of the day as Jordan rallied from fourth place on the opening lap to clinch his first victory in the class at an Irish National meeting.
The 26-year-old has turned his season around, following up a podium on the IMR BMW at Skerries with another third place in the Supersport race at Walderstown, where he was making his debut on the ex-Tarran Mackenzie Yamaha R6.
A test at Oulton Park last Tuesday gave Jordan the chance to gain more track time on both of the Evolution Camping-backed machines and he rewarded the team with a deserved 600 victory, sealing the win by 0.7 seconds over Sheils, with Sweeney a further 3.2 seconds adrift.
Early leader McGee dropped to fourth on his Yamaha, 4.9 seconds behind an elated Jordan.
“Hopefully that’s the monkey off my back and I can’t thank the whole IMR Racing Team enough for everything they have done for me,” Jordan said.
“We had a test on both bikes at Oulton Park and it was all about getting more miles, especially on the Yamaha R6.
“I only rode the bike for the first time at Walderstown and even then the initial impression were very good.”
In the Supertwins race, Joe Loughlin proved his stunning victory at Walderstown was no fluke as the dominant Support class rider once again edged out McGee to win by 0.4 seconds. Loughlin also set a new lap record at 98.95mph.
Sheils finished third, only two tenths further back, with Sweeney three seconds behind in fourth.
Ballymoney’s Paul Robinson won the Moto3 (125GP) race by 0.8 seconds from McGee on the Joey’s Bar Honda, with Neil Kernohan in third. Gary Dunlop finished sixth after losing ground following a mistake when he was lying in third place at the start of the race.
Loughlin decimated his rivals to win the Senior and Junior Support races to make it a treble on the day, while Kernohan won the 250GP/400cc race from Seamus Elliott.
Ed Manly and Richard Ford were the respective winners of the Junior and Senior Classic races.