Dan Hegarty made his first road race appearance of the season for Team ILR,in association with Downshift Motorsport,when he made an impressive Oliver's Mount debut at the Auto 66 Club's Spring Cup meeting at a bitterly cold and wet Scarborough at the weekend.

On board the Ninja ZX-10 which he rode to great effect at last year's Isle of Man TT races, Hegarty's first outing was in the 1st leg A Final of the Spring Cup and the newcomer was in top company with Guy Martin in pole position and Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston making up the front row.

From 16th on the grid and riding calmly and assuredly, Dan climbed steadily through the field to settle into 10th place at the halfway point and at the chequered flag he had made up two more places to finish an excellent 8th.

Dan's next outing for the team was the final race of the day, the first leg of the Senior class and in similar company he came from 16th on the grid to finish 7th and improve his lap time by over half a second.

If Hegarty's results on the first day raised a few eyebrows, they were about to be raised even more on the Sunday as, from 14th place on the grid, he soon set about chasing Guy Martin for fourth place in the second leg of the Spring Cup A Final.

Ivan Lintin took the hole-shot from Martin and Dean Harrison, but it was Daley Mathison who had the lead at the end of lap one by half-a-second from Tom Weeden and Lintin with Dan in 5th. Dean Harrison meanwhile had ran ride at a hairpin and was down in 7th.

On the second lap Hegarty was still riding brilliantly behind Martin, and he continued to press the Gold Cup winner for the remaining three laps to finish 5th, a fantastic result for the only newcomer in this class, and this combined with some fine results on other machinery, brought the curtain down on a very successful weekend for the young rising star.

In contrast to Dan's newcomer status, renowned Oliver's Mount expert Ian Lougher was also in action at a circuit on which he has enjoyed much success.

When the Team ILR owner announced his retirement from top flight modern era racing he did so with the understanding that he would continue to take part in selective, mainly classic events including the Classic TT on the Isle of Man, and the Spring Cup meeting provided the perfect occasion to obtain the necessary qualifying signatures for the TT Mountain Course Licence.

On the team's new Moto 3 Honda, Ian was in action on the first day in the first leg of the Lightweight class and in a race that was twice red-flagged, he eventually finished 7th.

In the following day's second leg, Lougher started from fourth on the grid and, with next week's BSB round at Brands Hatch looming it was a case of an experienced eye on machine preservation.
For the first three laps he was running in 7th place. On lap 4 he was up to 6th and with 3 laps to go he was challenging Peter Boast for third and just lost out by under half a second to finish a fine fourth.

Team ILR's busy early season continues as the team now prepare to travel from North Yorkshire to Kent and the next round of the Hel Motostar British Championship at Brands Hatch next weekend when Joe Thomas and Vasco van der Valk will again be in action.

Team owner Ian Lougher
''I was very impressed with Dan.
He rode with great maturity this weekend, and the way in which he picked up and learned the circuit in difficult conditions, and with very little practice, was a bit special.''

Dan Hegarty: "Riding at Oliver's Mount was a childhood dream come true, and competing with Team ILR/Downshift Motorsport behind me, gave me everything I could need.
Achieving the results we did surpassed all our expectations."

Hegarty Impresses on Oliver's Mount debut

Posted April 2015