Irwin Racing riders Caolán and Rhys Irwin will compete under the Irwin Racing banner for the first time this weekend as the Thundersport UK Championship kicks off at Donington Park. The teenage brothers from Kilmacrennan County Donegal will contest the full Thundersport series in 2017 run by their newly formed family team.
Canola Irwin makes his Supersport debut at Donington as he rides in the Thundersport 600 Elite series. Having previously only raced in the one-make Aprilia classes at Thundersport the move to Supersport machinery will mean a steep learning curve for the Irish rider. The new teams' efforts have received a boost however with the announcement that Michelin are to support Caolán this season, through provision of tyres and technical support.
Like his older brother, Rhys Irwin will also move up a class for 2017, making the considerable jump from his production 125cc Aprilia to a race prepared 450cc machine. The step up in speed and power would normally be tough for any rider but will be made harder this weekend for Rhys as he continues his recovery from a broken leg sustained over the winter break.
Both Irwin Racing riders will be looking to use this weekend's season opener to build on the progress they made in their first test as an independent team at Donington Park last weekend. Despite the cold conditions considerable mileage was put on both of the team's bikes and a lot of set up progress was achieved but there is still a long way to go for the fledgeling outfit.
A further test session this Friday followed by a busy race schedule will add to the outfits mileage and experience and some solid results will be the aim as they focus on their long term championship goals. Competing in the Aprilia 450 RRV Challenge Rhys will contest four races over two days while Caolán will have three races to complete.
Over the course of 2017 Irwin Racing will be making a big effort to replicate the results achieved by Rhys and Caolán over the past couple of seasons racing in Thundersport and at home in the Masters Superbike Championship. Their efforts can be followed and supported in a number of ways including social media and their new web site www.irwinracing.ie. Anyone wishing to add their financial support to the teams riders can do so through the Pledge Sports web site where they can contribute to their campaign.