Glenn Irwin will return to Bishopscourt this month to defend the Sunflower trophy on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati.
Irwin won the coveted race for the first time in 2016 after a sizzling display in front of his home fans on the Panigale R, with the Carrick man rattling off a hat-trick in the Superbike class at the Co Down circuit.
The 27-year-old, who claimed his maiden win in the MCE British Superbike class last month at Silverstone, was proud to emulate his father Alan, an accomplished racer who celebrated Sunflower success twice in 1982 and 1986.
He has penned a deal to remain in Paul Bird’s factory-supported Ducati team in BSB next season and weeks after confirming his return to the North West 200 in May, Irwin will be aiming to put on a show on home soil as the Irish short circuit season reaches a finale from October 20-21.
He had the edge over Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon as the BSB rivals locked horns at Bishopscourt last year and the Ulsterman is determined to retain his crown in a few weeks’ time.
“I’m really excited to get to race at home again this season. I thoroughly enjoyed the reception I got at the North West 200 and racing at home is something I thrive on,” Irwin said.
“I don’t take the Sunflower lightly and I’ll be coming to defend my crown and put on a show. The competition looks strong with other BSB riders coming and not forgetting the local lads, who on their day could rise to the challenge.
“Special thanks must go to the boss, Paul Bird, and Dennis Wilson from the Hillsborough Club - without these two people it wouldn’t be possible.”
Stockport rider Iddon has re-signed for the Tyco BMW team for 2018 and there is every chance he will renew his rivalry with Irwin at Bishopscourt, while Essex man Danny Buchan is also expected to return after winning the feature race two years running in 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, Jason Lynn was crowned Masters Supersport champion at Mondello Park on Sunday.
Lynn came out on top of his season-long duel with Ross Patterson to wrap up the title on the Walter Bell Suzuki, winning two races.
Young prospect and Cup rider Eunan McGlinchey secured his maiden win in a thrilling second race.
Richie Ryan was crowned Superbike champion after finishing fifth in all three races, which were won by Alastair Seeley (IFS Yamaha).