Sweeney Takes Junior Manx GP Win In Dramatic Fashion

by James Charman

Michael Sweeney‘s Junior Manx Grand Prix victory saw him join the illustrious list of previous winners, including Freddie Frith, Charlie Williams and Milky Quayle on the day the Manx Grand Prix celebrated its 90th anniversary.

It was the second Junior Manx Grand Prix win for the Irishman after taking victory in 2010, leaving it until the very last moment to take the flag when race leader James Cowton ran out of fuel just one mile from the finish line.

Cowton was the fastest over the opening lap, posting a lap time of 18:55.123 seconds, eleven seconds clear of Sweeney and Stephen McKnight, who was the first away from Glencrutchery Road.

A very quick pitstop from Sweeney allowed him to pull six seconds back on Cowton, but the Yorkshireman responded with a third lap of 19:52.315, starting the final lap with a massive 25 second lead over Sweeney, with 2009 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Michael Russell holding third place.

However, Cowton’s lead was down to 16 seconds at Cronk-Ny-Mona, showing Sweeney was pushing all the way to the end. It was not necessary, though, as Cowton pulled off at the Nook, running out of fuel just a few hundred yards from the end of the near 150-mile race.

Sweeney took the victory with an overall time of 1:17:20.911 (117.070mph), with Russell 40 seconds behind and 2009 Newcomer Race C runner-up Andy Lawson taking the final step on the podium.

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