In the halcyon days two-stroke machinery were the mainstay of pure road racing grids, but in recent years they have almost become obsolete.
However, a new team is about to rejuvenate the two stroke grids by putting both 125cc and 250cc bikes into racing action at all of this year’s National Road Races, beginning with the KDM Cookstown 100 in April.
Joey’s Bar’ owned and run by the late great Joey Dunlop’s family, in his hometown of Ballymoney, have set up their own team for 2015, complete with an instantly recognisable livery that will no doubt grab the attention of road racing fans, both young and old.
Joey’s Bar will support leading two-stroke racer Sam Wilson will 125cc and 250cc Honda two-stroke machinery this season. The bikes will be build by Joey’s son Gary, himself a former racer.
The effort will be part funded by the Joey’s Bar Supporters’ Club and the bikes will don the yellow livery, made famous by Joey and his distinctive Arai helmet design.
Thanks to the creative juices of Coleraine graphic designer Nick Jackson at Vinyl Touch, both bikes will have that distinctive look, and are certainly a great tribute to the late great Joey Dunlop.
Speaking of the project, Gary Dunlop explained: Our small club, Joey’s Bar, have been going for the past three years. We have been supporting some local riders and last year, we put up a cup and a cash prize at the Armoy Road Races.”
On the decision to provide Sam Wilson with two bikes, Gary added: “I’ve been building the wee ‘one-two-five’ over the past few years, but it was William (Dunlop) who really pushed me into getting the bike on track, and to try and keep the two stroke bikes on the grid.
“As I had a ‘two-fifty’ project in the pipeline as well, it didn’t take long for us to put an agreements in place with Sam, and we have been flat out ever since.”
Dunlop was keen to thank the general public, who made donations through PayPal, and the additional sponsors of the Joey’s Bar two-stroke project. “It’s going to be great to be back involved in bikes,” he enthused. “I’m really looking forward to it with a small team, where we can enjoy the craic just the way my dad did.”
Sam Wilson will also contest both the 600cc and Supertwins’ races at the 2015 KDM Cookstown 100 on April 24/25.
Programme of Events ‘KDM Cookstown 100’ 2015
Thursday 2nd April
Royal Hotel from 7.30pm
Thursday 9th April
Royal Hotel 7.30pm
Saturday 18th Treasure Hunt and BBQ
Sign on Burn Road Car Park from 6.00pm
Sunday 19th April
Annual Bikers Service
Orritor Presbyterian Church 3.30pm
Tuesday 21st April
Vintage Vehicle Run
Union Street Car Park from 6.30pm leaving at 7.30pm
Thursday 23rd April
Classic Bike Run
Sign on from 6.30pm in Burn Road Car Park leaving 7.15pm
Friday 24th April
Roads Close 12 noon
Saturday 25th April
Roads Close 10.00am
Left to Right; Gary Dunlop, Lyle Miller , Bill O Hara and Peter Walker
Photo; Baylon McCaughey irishracephotography.com