Tandragee 100 gears up for 60th anniversary return
The Tandragee 100 will celebrate its 60th anniversary this month as the spectacular Irish road race makes a welcome return to the calendar for the first time since 2019, sponsored once more by Around A Pound.
The North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club’s meeting will run slightly earlier than in previous years, taking place from April 29-30 – one week after the new season gets underway at the Cookstown 100 in Co Tyrone.
A nine-race programme is scheduled, including an extra race for the Classic racing competitors to celebrate the milestone 60th year of the event.
An increased prize fund of £11,500 is up for grabs and the popularity of the race remains as strong as ever, with 140 competitors entered, including 49 newcomers.
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McAdoo Racing’s Adam McLean, who was ruled out of the 2019 season after crashing at Tandragee on his last appearance at the event, confirmed on Monday night that he will take his place on the grid in a few weeks’ time.
The line-up also includes top southern Irishman Michael Sweeney, who was involved in an epic three-way battle for victory in the feature Superbike race three years ago.
Sweeney claimed a battling third place behind fellow Republic of Ireland riders Derek McGee and Derek Sheils, with the trio separated by only 0.195s.
“We’ve the same line-up of bikes again this year, with the only exception really being that we’ve upgraded the Kawasaki Supertwin to 700cc, which we can do for the Irish roads this year,” said Sweeney, who will also ride the MJR BMW S100RR and EM Building Yamaha R6.
“We have to change it to a 650cc engine for the TT, but that’s just the way it’s going to be with the different regulations they have.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Tandragee because we haven’t been there with the new BMW that I have now, so it’ll be interesting.
“We had a ding-dong battle in one of the Superbike races in 2019 and I think I had a fourth in the other one, so we’ll see how it goes this time,” added the Skerries man.
“Everything seems to be going ahead again this year and it’s great to have the races back at home too for the first time since 2019.”
Confirmed entries for Tandragee include Cork man Mike Browne on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing machines, Banbridge native Shaun Anderson – who will ride the Hawk Racing Suzuki at the Isle of Man TT – Thomas Maxwell, Neil Kernohan, Darryl Tweed, James Chawke, Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams, Forest Dunn, Davy Morgan and newcomer Joey Thompson on the Wilson Craig Honda.
Shropshire’s Barry Furber is also among the newcomers this year and will ride a Yamaha R7 Supertwin and a Kawasaki ZX-6R, while the Isle of Wight’s Ryan Whitehall – who broke his legs in a big crash last year at Armoy – will compete at Tandragee for the first time.
Roads will close for practice around the undulating 5.4-mile course on Friday, April 29 from 2pm, reopening no later than 9pm.
On Saturday, April 30, roads will close at 9.30am sharp with the first race due at approximately 10.30am. Roads will open no later than 7pm.