This weekend saw the close of the Road Racing season with it’s ‘Grand Finale’, the prestigious International Sunflower Trophy Races at Bishopscourt hosted by the Hillsborough Club.
Caolán Irwin 17 took part in the ultra competitive Super twin Class on the Scott Racing 550 cc Aprilia. This Class is one of the largest capacity classes with almost forty riders competing and boasts competitors of the highest caliber such as top international world Class rider Glenn Irwin of the Paul Bird factory Ducati team and James Folkard British Super twin Champion 2015 who were flown in especially for this event.
Friday conditions were dry but cold, with two qualifying sessions scheduled, Caolán secured his position on the front row of the grid along side James Folkard and Glen Irwin. Race 1 tensions were high and as the flag dropped Caolán 17 powered ahead leading the riders into the first bend taking the holeshot. He incredibly held Glen off for the first two bends but the more experienced Glen on his powerful 650cc Super twin with his full factory support team soon powered past him. Caolán pushed on strengthening his lead on Folkard finishing in an astounding second place. Race 2 the battle continued between the three riders in the dry, again the sheer class of Glen out rode the other riders but the battle between young Caolán and Folkard resulted in experience overcoming youthful desire and a delighted Caolán secured a solid third place, an unbelievable double podium for Caolán on this his maiden Sunflower event.On the podium Glen Irwin congratulated an absolutely delighted Caolán on his performance. The ever modest teen attributed his success to a great bike from Trevor Scott and his very hard working team engineers Gary Fleming and his dad Ivan Irwin for the best set up the bike could have.
Younger brother Rhys Irwin 13 enjoyed his first Sunflower Trophy race weekend on his Scott Racing Superteen 125 cc Aprilia. This was always going to be a hard ask for the Superteen bike against the higher spec Irish 125cc bikes . Rhys on the other hand had different ideas and rode a very strong first race in the wet to secure a comfortable second place podium behind the more experienced 17 year old. Race 2 with the winter sun low and a dry track dark visors were required for Rhys to power on to his second podium of the day again in second place, his Aprilia just needed to find a few more horse power to be on the top step. Rhys was also presented with a stunning 125cc Production Aprilia Sunflower Trophy