Sheils and Suzuki dominate Skerries

THE Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing team made their annual journey to the famous Skerries races in North County Dublin and it was a fruitful trip that saw Derek Sheils and his Cookstown Burrows Engineering Suzuki Superbike score a magnificent hat-trick.

In the Irish Championship Superbike race, points leader Sheils led from start to finish and at the chequered flag he had seventeen seconds of an advantage over runner-up Derek McGee.

In the second Superbike race, Sheils was even more dominant and won by 23 seconds from Michael Sweeney with Paul Jordan taking the final podium position.

Light rain made conditions treacherous in the Grand Final but Sheils was not to be denied a hat-trick and he beat McGee by a comfortable twelve seconds. Local man Sweeney completed the top three in front of the vociferous large crowd.

Sheils was out of luck in the Supertwins race when the Cookstown Burrows Engineering 650 Kawasaki encountered terminal mechanical problems and he finished second in a fabulous Supersport 600 race which ended with the top three covered by less than half a second. McGee took the win from Sheils by an amazing one hundredth of a second with Sweeney finishing a close third.

Sheils spoke about his exploits afterwards: "It’s been a great day apart from the Supertwins breakdown. The Cookstown Burrows Engineering Suzuki GSXR 1000 Superbike went like a dream and in the three Superbike races I was not really under any pressure at any point. Conditions in the Grand Final were iffy but thankfully I was able to pull away at the front in the early stages and then just back off a little and maintain a good advantage.

"Although I didn’t win it, the Supersport 600 race was my most enjoyable experience of the day. Derek, Michael and I were together the whole time; I hope the fans enjoyed it as much as I did."

Team owner John Burrows was at Nutts Corner with son Jack on kart racing duty but was delighted when he got the hat-trick news on Saturday evening. He said: "Derek and the whole team did a great job in my absence. Obviously the big Suzuki GSXR 1000 was working well, that’s partly due to Mark Arnott from Moto Shock who worked late into Friday night to sort out some suspension issues. I’m really pleased for Derek who had a frustrating time at the TT; it’s great to see him back to winning ways.

"Apparently, the 600 race was unreal and a great advertisement for the sport. Mr McGee got the verdict by the width of a sheet of paper but we’ll have another go at him at Walderstown where I’m confident more success will follow for Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing."