Pollock takes race from Edgar at Mondello


JASON POLLOCK won the Bridgestone formula Opel Championship race in atrociously wet conditions at Mondello Park yesterday, and is now joint series leader along with fellow Ulsterman Michael Edgar on 35 points each.

Derek Cunneely failed to get a good start from pole and lost his advantage to Pollock and Edgar. Pollock built up a clear lead overt Edgar, with Vivion Daly up to third from eight on the grid.

Cunneely passed Daly and put pressure on Edgar, but he had to settle for third, which also sees him third in the championship on 20 points.

George McAlpin won the Ford of Ireland Formula Ford race to further extend his lead in the championship.

Michael Cullen scored a hat-trick of wins in the Dunlop Touring Car Championship, the reigning champion overtaking Shaun Magill and Joe Foley to win his third race of the season and take over the championship lead from Gordon Kellett with 60 points to Kellet's 57.

Michael Barrable came from the fourth row of the grid to finish second in front of Foley and pole-setter Magill. Robert Moffett, in fifth, is third in the championship on 47 points, just a point in front of Magill, with Foley another point behind.

Roy McKane won his second successive Dunlop Fiat Uno Cup race, but Graham McClintock almost took the win on the line in the closest of finishes. Most races had to be shortened due to the rain-soaked track and lack of time to run the full distances as scheduled.

Woolsey Coulter and Phillip McCallen scored doubles in Saturday's North-West 200, watched by an estimated 100,000 spectators, which makes this motorcycle road-race meeting one of the biggest events on the entire Irish sporting calendar.

Held in dry and sunny conditions over the 8.9 mile Portstewart-Coleraine-Portrush circuit, the meeting started on a high note for Coulter, who powered his Aprilia to a convincing win over McCallen in the Junior 250/400cc race. Coulter won the final race of the day, the North-West Junior event, beating Joey Dunlop and Phelim Owens.

McCallen was second in the first two races and then won the Regal 600 race. In the first of the two Superbike races, the pace setter was Michael Rutter from Brierly Hill, West Midlands. He set a searing pace on his 998cc Ducati only to be sidelined by engine trouble. Rutter's retirement let Portadown's McCallen into the lead, but on the final lap he was passed by Scotland's Ian Simpson, who took the win on a Ducati from McCallen on a Honda.

The placings were reversed in the 600 race. Rutter was again unlucky to suffer engine trouble in the North-West 200 Superbike race, handing a last-lap victory to McCallen by just 4.5 seconds from Jim Moodie, with Simpson third.

Mick Lofthouse won the 125cc race, the English rider being well ahead of Ulster's Dennis McCullough.