irish road racing


Gary started his motor sport career in the field of schoolboy moto-cross where he won numerous events, but quit saying it was too tough and turned to motorcycle racing. At the age of 24 he bought a 250cc Rotax from Victor Kelly, while his parents where on holiday, his first race was Nutts Corner Short Circuit in August 1988 he finished mid pack.

1989 saw the Rotax updated for his first road race at Tandragee 100, on the day he was very nervous as his 250cc was in with the big 1000cc bikes but when it was all over he had the taste of it and wanted more.

Gary's first rostrum place was at the Mid Antrim 150 later that year in group B and then at Carrowdore 100 he achieved 3rd place in group C 250/350 class.

The 1990 season started with a few non-finishes on the Rotax so a 250cc ECM was purchased with the help of Billy Dynes (Gary's Father), from Ernie Coates Motorcycles in Belfast. He spent the rest of the year learning the race circuits.

The 1991 Cookstown 100 saw Gary win the B group and come 7th overall in the 250cc race. Gary's first real sponsorship came from Wilfie McAvoy with a Denis Todds 200cc Yamaha. Gary had numerous wins and was rewarded with a 200cc road race championship.

1992 is the year in which Gary was asked to ride for the Moira Motorcycle Racing Club on our 250cc Yamaha, this was the start of a 7 year relationship with the Club. Gary rode road races all over Ireland that year with improving success, he won his first short circuit at Bishopscourt 250cc that year.

In 1993 we got Gary a 250cc Honda with help from Jim and Iris Watters, who still helped Gary to the present day. The Honda was raced with alot of success Gary achieved 4th in the 250cc and Open Championship. He also raced a 125cc Honda supplied by his father and Wilfie McAvoy on which he did well.

1994 we upgraded the Honda and Gary's racing also improved with him winning his first 250cc road race at Killalane in September. He was now also riding one of the new 125cc Yamahas, provided by Billy Dynes and Ivan Rainey.

1995 started badly with Gary having an accident at Aghadowey resulting in a broken wrist, so he was out until the Dundrod 150.

1996 began with a new 250cc Honda from mrc and a new 125cc From Billy Dynes and Ivan Rainey. This year was the start of his race to the top. He won most races North and South of Ireland so much so that he achieved his goal of winning the 250cc road race championship (according to some the hardest championship). He was also 2nd in the 125cc road race championship.

In 1997 mrc updated the 250cc Honda , Billy and Ivan purchased another new 125cc Honda. Gary had additional sponsorship from the newly formed Ardee Road Racing Supporters Club who helped him through the following years. Gary gained himself some good results this year. One of the most memorable would be the Grand Final at Skerries in July, Gary was racing against the big Hondas and Yamahas on the 250cc Honda and won setting a new absolute lap record of 102.82mph. He also recorded his fastest lap at the Ulster Grand Prix in August of 119.02mph. He won the 250cc Championship again, 4th in the 125cc Championship and 3rd overall in the Senior Championship.

mrc bought a new 250cc Honda for Gary in 1998, Francis Neill supplied a new 125cc Honda and ex racer Raymond Campbell supplied a 600cc Honda. Gary only raced the 600 a few times finding it strange, being so used to the race bikes. Gary ended the year with a 2nd in the 125cc Championship, 4th in the Senior Open Championship and winning the 250cc Championship again.

In 1999 Gary left the Club to go to Francis Neill as his principal sponsor with the Royal Hotel in Cookstown owned by Milton and Stephen Thom becoming his main associate sponsors. Gary finished 3rd in the 125cc Championship and won the 250cc Championship recording wins at many venues, with Killalane probably the best 250cc race of the year between Gary, Denis McCullough and the late Joey Dunlop. He also achieved the lap record for the 125cc at the Ulster Grand Prix with a speed of 112.4mph. 1999 also saw Gary riding the ex Grand Prix 4 cylinder 500cc Yamaha owned by the Greenham brothers, Dave and Geoff. This was to be a two year project.

In the new Millennium the Royal Hotel took over as team owner with additional sponsorship from McQuaid International Transport Ltd. His 1999 machines were updated to the latest specs for the season, with wins at Tandragee, Walderstown and the Southern 100. Gary also had regular finishes in the top 3 in both 125 and 250 classes. He set the fastest lap record of 91.031 on the 125cc at Monaghan. Gary was leading the 250cc Championship at the time of his untimely death after the crash at Monaghan Road Race on August 13th.