British Historic Racing Championship

British Historic Racing Championship 2012

Glen English (No 25) - Matchless G50 The 19th & 20th of May was a cold weekend but this was easily forgotten in the excitement of keen competition.

In the first race of the day -Event 3a and 3b Saw Graham Buller on his Norton 40M pull out a 5.sec lead on lap one which he continued to extend.

In Event 2 a Andy Hunt on his ‘Steelcraft’ Ducati led the field into Coppice and was never headed – but Charles Davies was nibbling at his heels & Richard Molnar in his first season of racing challenged Angela Cragg for the 5th and 6th placings. Robert Stafford would appear to have cured the smoke problems with his BSA C15 to take the 3rd spot.

The Classic Racer Magazine BEARS came out to play in Event 7 & Ron Maul powered into the lead with the rest of the field in hot pursuit into Coppice but at the end of lap 1 it was Roger Paget on the Moto Guzzi in front . Rob Lawton on the big Laverda was really flying but he failed to appear on lap 4. Paget continued to extend his lead whilst 3rd place was fiercely disputed between Nigel Clark and Austen Kear.

Event 9 was the debut of the charioteers.There were lots of ducks and drakes on the approach to Coppice -with Paul Taylor and Steve Manning experimenting with a bit of the grass on the way.Steve Stevenson overtook Nick Weston in a neat manoeuvre at the Mountain but it was to no avail as the race was red flagged on lap 2 after David Sykes had a ‘moment’ at the Gooseneck. Phil Biggadyke’s run of ill-fortune continued with another DNF. On the re-start Steve Stevenson made no mistakes and built up a huge lead over Denis Whitehouse and Philip Holt.

As the track slowly dried out conditions improved for Event 5a and 5b saw the first chequered flag of the day for Chris Firmin on his ‘Molnar’ Manx. The magnificent exhaust notes of the ‘Rocket 3’s’ of Brian Hunt, Tim Woolley and Bob Hansford were a delight to the ear.

Event 11 for the two classes of scooter brought hordes of fiercely buzzing machines on to the grid. The geared machines were first away with John Uffindell leading Doug Turner into Coppice but John’s machine appeared to fade a little on lap 3 to give Doug a clear run to the flag. The ‘ZIP’ scooters whined off the line in close order with Craig Bewey at the head of the pack – a position he maintained to the finish.
Event 1 – the Tuers Garage Championship for pre-1948 machines was run concurrently with Event 15 – the PJB Clock repairers Novice Championship. Ian Bain powered his way through the field and built up a substantial lead over Ian Cramp on his Velocette. There were determined battles further down the field with Mike Harrison on the delightful 1934 New Imperial just holding 7th place from the Triumph Speed Twin of Simon Lewis.

Event 6a – the Bantam Championship and Event 6b – the Lacey Ducati Championship – were very closely fought with Andy Hunt on the Steelcraft Ducati holding off Rob Butler and Geoff Mills enjoying a stirring tussle for 4th between Geoff Mills and Mike Harrison. Nick Bramley’s Bantam was victorious over Mike Powell and Mike Potter and was 2nd overall.

Event 10 – the B3 championship for cyclecars and related contraptions and event 8 for unlimited pre-1958 sidecar outfits were run together– with a delayed start for the sidecar outfits. Neil Smith took off in a flurry of blue smoke from the rear tyre but this was all too much and his Morgan cried enough on lap one. Greg Bibby soon built up a substantial lead over the Berkeley of Steve Hutchinson whilst Roly Mettam in the Mogvin – making a welcome return to the scene – pounded along in 3rd place.

The sidecar side of things saw a decisive win for the big grufty Vincent outfit of Julian Bishop from Adam Pope’s Triumph Thunderbird.

Event 4 Saw Austin Kear ride through the field to lead into Coppice but it was Chris Firmin who came out on top with a record lap of 73.87 mph. Rob Walker’s very impressive Velocette ‘Venom Special’ was in total command of the Bob Newby sponsored Race.

Event 14 was the first leg of the ‘Landsdowne Championship’- a part of the Landsdowne Classic Series for machines prepared to conform with a tightly defined specification. A grid of beautifully prepared machines all made a good start which gave rise to some spirited and exciting riding. It was the Matchless G50 of Glen English that took the chequered flag in front of similarly mounted Tim Jackson and the Molnar Manx Norton of Richard Ellis.

By now the track has dried out – but it stayed cold -maybe 8 centigrade – but the competition remained heated. The second leg of events 3A and 3B saw Mike Capwell lead off the line on his ‘Brightman Aermacchi’ but Seb Perez came through on his AJS 7R to take and to hold the lead over Graham Buller and Nick Bedford .Andy Molnar suffered a spectacular blow-up which produced flames in the exhaust – but it was nothing more serious than a faulty sparking plug.

In the second leg of events 2a and 2b Angela Cragg deftly picked her way through the field to lead into Coppice but by the end of lap 1 she was down to 3rd behind the ‘Steelcraft Ducati’ of Andy Hunt and the Ducati ‘Monza’ of Charles Davies. In some very close racing for 1st and 3rd places the finishing order were Andy Hunt, Charles Davies and Rob Stafford’s BSA C15 holding off Rob Butler for 3rd place.

The BEARS came out to play in the second leg of Event 7 with Rob Lawton in the lead – but Rob Paget powered into the lead and was not subsequently headed. Finishing order being Rob Paget (Moto Guzzi Le Mans) and then a big gap to Rob Lawton (Laverda Jota) and Ron Maul (“Helga” the BMW) a very impressive ride by Rob Lawton – we will be seeing a lot more of this obviously talented rider.

The second leg of event 9 saw Equipe Weston storm off into the lead on their Triumph ‘Thunderbird’ outfit but the Broadstock BSA outfit of Steve Stevenson relentlessly reeled them in to finish a convincing 1st. Phil Biggadyke’s run of bad luck continued as their APH Triumph resigned on lap four – depriving them of a well-earned 3rd place.

The second legs of events 5a and 5b saw Chris Firmin perform his disappearing act into Coppice with Rob Walker on his Venom Special and Tim Woolley on his extremely vocal Rocket 3 in hot pursuit. And so did it finish.

The Scooters emerged once more for the second leg of event 11 James Campen had some problems on the grid, and on removing the side panel from his Lambretta GP discovered that the beetle had died. Once the field was away, Guy Topper built up a commanding lead over Doug Turner and Jon Uffinden to lead the BSSO machines home. Craig Bewey fended off a strong challenge from Damon Tunnicliffe to win the Zip category. Fluorescent painted wheels would appear to be the latest ‘go-faster’ modification for the ‘Zips’.

The Second leg of the Tuers Garage Championship saw Ian Bain take charge from the start with Ian Cramp, as usual, in hot pursuit. In the PJP Clock repairs race, Richard Molnar missed the starting signal and set off much in arrears but rode a determined and effective race to finish 10th overall.

The Bantam and the Ducati championship races gave us the excitement of a 6-abreast attack on Coppice with Nick Bramley on his 125 Bantam heading the pack from Andy Hunt on the Ducati. A fierce battle between these two continued right up to the line with Bramley holding on to win with Richard Molnar making no mistake this time and riding into a good 9th place.

In the second outing for three-wheeled contraptions, the Morgan of Neil Smith was first away with Hamish Bibby in another Morgan in very hot pursuit and with Greg Bibby making up a battling trio which left the Berkeley of Steve Hutchinson to plough a lonely furrow for 4th place. Meanwhile, there was a private battle between the F4 Morgan of Chas Pilbeam and the BSA ‘Gold Flash’ outfit of Gary Anderson at the back of the field.

The ‘Big Stuff’ was out once more in the second leg of event 4. Ian Bain took a dislike to the Gooseneck which left Ian Firmin in the lead over Rob Walker and John Schoenemann on a Manx Norton and John Fawcett on his G50 Seeley. Finishing order was Firmin, followed by Walker with a very close finish between John Schoenemann and Austen Kear. Midfield, there was an exciting scrap between Paul Matravers, Nick Bedford Jack Hebb and Duncan Dunbarr.

The second leg of the ‘Landsdown’ Championship gave us a gripping race between Glen English on his Matchless G50 and similarly mounted Andrew Taylor with another G50- in 3rd place after several challenges, it was Andrew Turner who took the flag.

Sunday Morning dawned dry – but cold, with the ‘brisk’ easterly wind prevailing.

There was an early start with Race 24 – event 50 – the Bonhams Auction house over 50s’ championship – which was held over from Saturday. Tim Woolley, on his magnificent-sounding Rob North Rocket 3 made a good start – hotly pursued by Ron Maul on the BMW.

Tim soon pulled out a significant lead over the rest of the field with a fierce battle between John Schoenemann, Stuart Tonge and John Fawcett from which John Schoenemann emerged victorious. The performance of Andy Hunt on the 250cc Steelcraft Ducati to secure 7th place is worthy of mention.
Then we were back into the Sunday programme with the first leg of events 3a and 3b. The race was red flagged on lap one and on the re-start it was Graham Buller (Norton) who took the lead from Andy Molnar. The thrilling tussle for the flag went right up to the line with Andy just getting his wheel in front by 0.07 seconds to take the flag.

The 250cc Specials Championship and the Economy Appliances Championship for pre-1963 250cc machines saw Angela Cragg make another good start – only to be reeled in by the field. Tony Webb on his amazing Greeve’s ‘Roadster’ led from the Ducati of Andy Hunt with a very close victory margin for Andy at the chequered flag. George Chapman finally persuaded his NSU Norton Manx to not only start a race – but to finish one as well.

The BEARS came out once more with Rob Paget taking the lead but Tim Woolley was having none of it and harried Rob all the way to the line with a nail-biting win for Rob of 0.08 of a second thanks to a last lap time of 1.49.82 seconds.

The Sidecars emerged to play with George Walters’ Norton ‘Kneeler’ calling it a day on the sighting lap. Steve Stevenson led the field into Coppice with Phil Biggadyke taking his revenge on his misbehaving bolide by hammering it on in close pursuit. Whilst Dave Worrall, Miki Sprosen and Ashley Brooks were absorbed in a private battle; Stevenson took the flag with Biggadyke and Holt in line astern.

Can it be said that event 5 – The Old Bike Mart Championship and the Morris Lubricants Championship are the ‘Blue Riband’ events of the weekend? Everyone got away and the approach to Coppice could be described as very intimate.The race soon resolved into the familiar battle between Firmin, Woolley and Walker with the fastest lap of 1.45.36 seconds clinching victory for Firmin.

The Scooters’ first outing on the Sunday saw Guy Topper triumphant once more over Doug Turner There was strong completion for 5th place between Steve Conneely, Steven Wright and Chris Gayton. Craig Bewey’s remarkable 6th place overall and 1st place in the ‘Zip’ class should be recorded.

In the Tuers Garage Championship Ian Bain cut a path through the field to lead into Coppice with Ian Cramp right behind him and with Simon Clover’s remarkable Model 50 Norton steaming along in 3rd place. The two Lewis’s – Simon on the 1938 Speed twin and Alan on the 1930 Norton CS1 circulated in close formation whilst battle for first place continued right up to the line with Cramp just failing to hold off a rampant Bain on the Norton.

The Bantams and the Ducatis took to the tarmac for the first of Sunday’s outings and it was Nick Bramley to the fore once again with Ian Scutt in second place 2nd place was closely contested by Scutt, Brown and Potterbut Scutt faded away on lap 3. The Ducati honours went to 253 – Scott Harris.

The 3-wheeled contraptions provided an entertaining spectacle with Sid Ormrod roaring into the lead pursued by an angry-sounding covey of Morgans. Tony Bannister, Julian Bishop and Billy Weston disputed 5th place whilst the Morgan of Hamish Bibby got the better of Sid Ormrod’s Berkeley.

It was the mixture as before in race 34 – the Royal Enfield (UK) Championship – with the two Iad’s Firmin and Cramp carving a path through the field with another win for Firmin -thanks to a record lap of 1.44.19 seconds
Sadly, the BEARS outing in race 35 had to be abandoned after being red flagged, TWICE.

The “Sidecar Champions of Champions” race held over from Saturday produced a gripping but somewhat confusing spectacle and a win for Stevenson and Borrington and the Broadspeed BSA.

The second Sunday leg of event 3 saw a close start with the usual suspects-Seb Perez, Graham Buller, Andy Molnar and Nick Bedford in close formation into Coppice. By lap 2 it was Molnar in the lead- thanks to a lap of 1.52.35 with Buller in second place and Scott Harris and Nick Bedford very close behind.

The second leg of event 2 -The Economy Appliances Championship – saw the remarkable Greeves ‘Roadster’ of Tony Webb take the lead and the flag with Andy Hunt, Charles Davies, Rod Graham, on his Ducati, Angela Cragg in her Norton and Richard Molnar and Jack Scrivener finishing in that order.

The BEARS came out to play for the 3rd and final time and it was an easy win for Rob Paget over the Laverda of Rob Lawton and the BMW of Ron Maul.

The ‘Sidecar-based three-wheeler’s final outing for the weekend proved too much for the BSA A10 of Gary Anderson and it expired in a cloud of smoke on the line whilst the outfit of Paul Taylor succumbed to a front wheel puncture – also on the line.

Steve Stevenson made a searing start with Phil Biggadyke in hot pursuit – but to no avail. Mike Sprosen was chased hard by Dave Worrall – who couldn’t QUITE catch him to secure 4th place
Better luck this time for the final outing of the Landsdowne Championship contenders. Glen English took his G50 into the lead and kept it! There was a fierce battle between Robin Stokes, Stuart Tonge and Sam Rhodes for 6th place.

Race 40 – the second of Sunday’s outings for the Old Bike Mart and the Morris Lubricants Championships saw a ‘wheelie’ from Mark West as he led off the line but it did not help at all and Ian Firmin led at the end of lap1and stayed there to stage another emphatic victory.

It was easy to tell that the next race was for the scooters as a dense blue haze hung in the air above the holding area. It was pretty much the mixture as before with wins for Guy Topper in the BSSO Class and a further triumph for Craig Bewey in the ‘Zips’- who was 7th overall.

The second and final outing for the Pre-1949 machines saw a titanic battle between the two Ian’s with Ian Bain taking the lead. Ian Cramp out- rode Bain somewhere prior to Mansfield but Bain took a dim view of this and attacked strongly to win by a whisker of .0.03 seconds on the line.

Race 43. Was won overall by Scott Harris to clinch the Lacey Ducati race with Nick Bramley on his remarkable 125 cc Bantam in 2nd place. Nick won the Bantam race from similarly mounted Ian Scutt.
Race 44 – the final outing for the three-wheeled contraptions saw Sid Ormrod blast into the lead – followed by the two Morgans of the Bibbys. Hamish Bibby took the lead – leaving Sid in a ‘Morgan Sandwich with Greg Bibby in 3rd spot. Julian Bishop guided his Vincent into first place in the Watsonian Squire Championship race with David White in 3rd place in front of Tony Bannister after a dour and relentless battle.

The concluding solo race saw another victory for Ian Firmin from Ian Bain and John Schoenemann-4th place was vigorously contested by Austen Kear, Andy Molnar and Rob Walker – who finished in that order.
The day was concluded with the sidecar handicap which was won by Julian Bishop.