INTERNATIONAL: Another busy year for Ireland
Ireland’s riders have had another busy year of racing in 2018 beginning with the Home Internationals which were staged at Great Blakenham. The Veterans opened proceedings and Ireland were missing John Murphy, Phil Widdas & Phil Hemming, the latter due to clutch failure on his car. Steve Copping & Ray Pyke joined Gary Colby & Paddy Wenn in a 4-man squad which finished 4th with 36 points. Paddy top scored with 14 points which included 2 race wins, Gary scored 11, Ray 6 and Steve 5.
The Ireland Veterans squad which finished 4th in the Veterans Home International(photo taken by Charlie Chimp)
L-R:Steve Copping,Paddy Wenn, Gary Colby, Ray Pyke
The Junior match followed and Ireland gave debuts to Norwich’s Scott Colby, son of co-manager Gary Colby, & Great Blakenham rider Adam Cooper, who recorded Ireland’s only win in the last race which was enough for Ireland to finish 2nd with 38 points. Adam scored 12 points as did Ciaran Collins, Jimmy Wassall scored 6 as did Scott and Kieron Alton scored 2
The Seniors rounded off the day’s action and Ireland managed a 3rd place finish. Great Blakenham rider JonJo Slaughter top scored with 11 points with Hethersett’s Harley Hamill scoring 7, Norwich rider Craig Norton scoring 5 and Steve 2
Ireland had representation at the European Championships which were staged in Poland. Open Elimination B at Czestochowa saw Harley score 10 points to finish 11th whereas his Hethersett club mate Leigh Cossey managed 6 points to finish 16th but he withdrew with injury after his 3rd ride. Open Elimination C, also at Czestochowa, saw Norwich’s Ciaran Wenn score 5 points (which included a gate exclusion in his 4th race) to finish 15th with Hethersett’s Dan Butler finishing 16th with 4 points which included a gate exclusion in his 1st race. Harley’s performance in his Elimination round was good enough to qualify him for Open Repechage 3 at Poczesna where he finished 16th with 6 points.
Ciaran Collins was Ireland’s only rider in the Junior event. He started off at Poczesna in the 1st Junior Eliminator scoring 14 points which included an exclusion in his 2nd ride. He then picked up a further exclusion in a run-off for 6th place but his score was good enough to qualify him for the 2nd Repechage where he finished 6th with 14 points despite an exclusion in his final race but this was good enough to qualify for the 2nd semi-final where he managed 10 points to finish 13th.
The Veterans had to face a pre-qualifier to determine their finalists and Paddy managed to qualify at the 1st attempt whereas Gary needed 4 tries before making it through also. In the final itself Paddy finished 7th with 13 points and Gary finished 13th with 9 points.
Ireland entered a team in the Senior European nations Cup and finished 4th with 27 points. Ciaran Collins top scored with 7 points, Harley and Leigh scored 6 each with Ciaran Wenn and paddy scoring 4 each.
Ireland are looking to increase the pool of riders available for selection, particularly at Junior level. Such riders would need to have been born in Ireland, failing that then their parents or their grandparents would need to have been born in Ireland also. Any riders who feel that they meet this criteria should contact either Steve or Gary who can be reached via Facebook if applicable or they can be emailed in Steve’s case at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in Gary’s case