County Wexford resident Graham Whitmore is the latest addition to the Masters Superbike Championship Young Racer of the Year nominations following a maiden Supersport Cup win at Mondello Park in July.
Graham is the fourth competitor to receive a 2017 nomination as he joins Eunan McGlinchey, Rhys Irwin and Jason Lynn in the October final. The winner of the final will receive a prize worth over €10,000 courtesy of the awards supporters, Mondello Park owner Martin Birrane, Dawn International and AJ Plumbing Supplies.
Whitmore from Coolgreany is in his first year racing in the Supersport Class having previously raced for four seasons in Lightweight Supersport, where he was the Masters Champion in 2015 and 2016. Making the step up to the faster machinery has not phased Whitmore as he has built his speed steadily over the first half of the season culminating in his Cup win at round eleven.
The weekend did not start ideally as the twenty one year old found himself sixth of the Cup competitors following qualifying. A strong run in the opening race however produced a major improvement in lap times and a first ever Supersport Cup podium appearance. He followed this up with an even better run in race two which gave him his first Cup victory and a fantastic fifth place overall. Race three again saw Whitmore running comfortably in the top ten, and lying second in the Cup, until mechanical issues intervened and he dropped to fourth as his lap times slowed.
Graham’s pace on the day, as well as the improvement he has made as the season has progressed, were the deciding factors for the judges who handed him the ‘Young Racer of the Year’ nomination. He also had the honour of being the highest points scorer across the three Supersport Cup races.
Speaking on hearing of his award, Graham said, “I’m very thankful to everyone that voted for me and big thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the award. This nomination is a big boost for the rest of the year and hopefully we can keep going in the right direction and build off the last weekend. Big thanks also to everyone who gives me a hand out and all my sponsors, I’m looking forward now to representing them all in the final in October”.
Graham’s nomination for the Young Racer of the Year award means that he will receive a free entry to the next Masters event on August 5th and 6th, along with free testing and garage space. All nominees will be invited to attend an end of season assessment day in Mondello Park where a successor to Robert English, the 2016 winner, will be chosen.