Double Sunflower Trophy winner Danny Buchan will return to the end of season short circuit showpiece next weekend at Bishopscourt in Co. Down.
The Bennetts British Superbike rider lifted the trophy in 2014 and 2015, but was denied a third successive triumph in 2016, when he finished on the podium behind fellow BSB riders Glenn Irwin and Christian Iddon.
In recent years the Essex man has ridden Superstock machinery but Buchan will line up on the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Superbike this year as he bids to win the famous silverware for the third time.
The English rider finished fourth in Ireland’s premier short circuit race last autumn in the mixed conditions behind Lisburn man Carl Phillips, who will make his racing return at Bishopscourt on a Kawasaki Superbike for Jason McCaw’s JMC Roofing team.
Buchan, though, did scale the top step after claiming an Irish Superbike win on a drying track from Irwin.
The 25-year-old has chalked up two BSB podiums this season at Knockhill in Scotland and was in contention for the Showdown until a crash in practice at Oulton Park ruled him out at the Cheshire circuit, costing him valuable points last month.
He is currently in 10th position going into this weekend’s final British Superbike round at Brands Hatch.
Buchan is the latest British championship rider to be confirmed after last week’s announcement that Richard Cooper is set to make his debut at the event.
Nottingham’s Cooper will ride the Buildbase Suzuki for Stuart and Steve Hicken’s Hawk Racing outfit. A second unconfirmed rider will also join Cooper on GSX-R1000 machinery at the event.
Northern Ireland’s Tyco BWM team, which runs Michael Laverty and Christian Iddon in BSB and Keith Farmer in the Superstock 1000 Championship, has also committed to the Sunflower meeting.
Six-time winner Laverty finished as the runner-up in the Sunflower race in 2017 after returning to the event for the first time in six years.
Promoted by Hillsborough and District Motorcycle Club, the two-day meeting will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 19-20 and hosts the final round of the Ulster Superbike Championship.
Practice and qualifying will be held on the Friday from approximately 9.15am. The first five races are scheduled later in the afternoon.
The main race programme, featuring the Sunflower Trophy race – first won in 1977 by Isle of Man TT and Irish road racing legend Joey Dunlop – takes place on Saturday, October 20.
Admission is £15 on Friday or £20 on Saturday. A two-day admission pass costs £25. Children under 15 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.