Stars Set For Castle Combe Grand National

Classic Bikes LogoHeadlining the festival will be 20-times TT winner John McGuinness who will ride the ex Mike Hailwood 296cc Honda Six for the first time on the mainland. He’ll be joined on track by Steve Parrish on the 500cc Honda Four, as ridden by John McGuinness in the Mike Hailwood tribute alongside Giacomo Agostini at last year’s Classic TT, where the pair famously recreated the battle in the 1967 Senior TT.

Earlier this month, both McGuinness and fellow TT star Bruce Anstey tested the Mugen Shinden 3 electric bikes at a private test at Castle Combe in preparation for the Isle of Man TT Zero. With 29 TT wins between them, Anstey and McGuinness are expected to be battling each other for honours this year with a target average lap time of 115mph meaning the track time at Castle Combe was invaluable.

Returning to the popular two-day format, Castle Combe Circuit’s only motorcycle meeting of the year promises something really special.  Run by the NG Road Racing Club, the packed race schedule features just about every solo class including the return of the British Historic Championship after a two year break.  The classic theme is continued with the Classic and Specials Parade run in association with the TT Riders Association so expect some special bikes and riders in addition.

However, the highlight will be the display of the ex Mike Hailwood Hondas with none other than TT legend John McGuinness fulfilling a longstanding ambition to ride the Honda owned 296cc ex Hailwood six cylinder bike.  Joining John during this special parade on Sunday only will be well known ex racer and TV commentator Steve Parrish who will be riding the 500cc Honda for the first time.

Castle Combe’s Motorcycling Coordinator, Rodney Gooch commented: “This is a fantastic coup and we are very grateful to both Neil Tuxworth of Honda Racing for agreeing to provide the bike for John to ride and also to Ron Mullen the owner of the 500cc Four, often ridden by David Hailwood himself and just last year by John McGuinness on that famous TT lap. Having seen Hailwood ride both bikes back in the 1960s, seeing those same bikes here at Castle Combe Circuit will be a major highlight in my long involvement with the circuit and it will soon be upon us. Seeing Bruce and John on the Mugen Shinden 3 recently was a fantastic experience and we wish them both well at the TT.”

Castle Combe is delighted to welcome sponsorship from John Guest Speedfit, Mr Blast and Rygor Commercials who join the circuit’s long time supporters, Fowlers Motorcycles and Motorcycle Direct Insurance. John Guest Speedfit was a sponsor of the circuit’s major car meeting a decade ago who are now supporting Joe Burns on the JG Speedfit Racing Kawasaki in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship and planned MCE BSB outings later in the season. Joe, from Newcastle upon Tyne, will be one of the stars competing for the big prize fund in the King of Castle Combe Trophy Race provided by ‘Mr Blast’.

John Guest Speedfit Director of UK Sales, Mike Riseley, commented: “We are delighted to be involved in what I’m sure will be a fantastic event. We have fond memories of our previous association with Castle Combe and enjoyed some successful racing of the four wheeled variety. We hope to emulate that success on two wheels in the King of Castle Combe Trophy Race and I’m personally looking forward to attending the two day event along with members of my team and lots of our loyal Speedfit Customers.”

The circuit is also delighted to have linked up with the TT Riders Association who will be the official charity for the event.  It is hoped that many enthusiasts will contribute to this excellent cause, plus they will have the opportunity to join the friends of the TTRA at the meeting.  Organisers of the meeting, the NG Road Racing Club, will be making a donation to the TTRA via the entries for the parade and the circuit will match this pound for pound.

Practice, qualifying and racing will take place over both days with the final timetable still to be announced.  However, a special Honda Parade will take place on the Sunday during the lunch break.

Event Director for the NG Road Racing Club Steve Bostock commented: “The on-track activities will consist of action packed racing throughout both days of the event. The Castle Combe round is shaping up to be the highlight of the NG Road Racing calendar this year.  As well as the usual full-on Club Championship races for all categories, we are delighted to welcome the return of the Lansdowne Classic Championships in addition to the popular Classic and Specials Parades.  The King of Castle Combe is promising to attract a high-class field of very quick riders chasing big cash prizes and silverware.  The winner will be decided across three races, one on Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday.  Rounds six and seven of the 2014 250GP ACU National Championship will also feature highly in the programme. We are thrilled to be in partnership with Castle Combe and to be part of this major event in the motorcycle racing calendar.”