The first BHR meeting of the year!
A day of entertaining and exciting racing, with some closely fought encounters to delight the spectators. Today saw the debut of the Classic Racer magazine supported BEARS series which really came up to expectations.
The day dawned bright and sunny but with a keen northerly breeze and just that threat of rain and we were away on time with the first race of the day being the ‘Economy Appliances Specials Championship’ for under 250cc machines. This was “red-flagged” due to Rod Graham’s moment at the hairpin and so results were taken from the 1st three laps. Event 2A saw a comfortable win for Mervyn Stratford on his Rudge in spite of a fractured frame with Event 2B being won by Ian Cramp on his Greeves Special despite a strong challenge from the Cotton Telstar of Adrian Armson. Race 11– the second leg of this event saw Mervyn Stratford win his class once more with Adrian Armson winning his class from Bob Millinship on his Ducati.
Race 2 – the ‘Royal Enfield (UK) Championship for up to 500 cc solos was overwhelmed by Manx Nortons and it was the “Molnar Manx” of Chris Firmin that took the lead on the 1st lap and built up a commanding lead over Ian Bain and Austen Kear. The second half of the grid was competing in the Bob Newby Racing Championship for under 500cc specials and saw an emphatic win for Rob Walker on his Velocette Venom in the second leg. Chris Firmin emphasised his dominance with another convincing win over Austin Kear on another Manx Norton. For the ‘Specials’ John Fawcett kept his Seeley in front of the Velo of Rob Walker to claim the victors’ laurels.
Chris Firmin roared into the pits at the end of race 2, roared out again and roared into the lead at Edwina’s on the first lap of Race 3 – the Old Bike Mart Championship for Multi-cylinder unlimited and over 500cc singles with Nigel Clark needing all of the track (and then some) at the exit to Devil’s Elbow but staying with the plot.
Event 5B (Race 3) – the Morris Lubricants Championship for Solo Specials over 500cc saw a convincing win for Rob Walker on his Venom Special from David Lissaman on his Seeley and Ron Maul on his BMW. It was a repeat performance in the second leg as Chris Firmin claimed victory once more in an exciting duel between Firmin and Walker for the honour of crossing the line first.
Race 4 – the Watsonian Squire Championship – saw the Cyclecars and Three-Wheelers storm off the line with a decent interval before the Unlimited Sidecar outfits set off in pursuit. The cyclecar race saw a close fought duel between the Berkeley Mini of the Equipe Ormrod and the Racing Morgan piloted by the Tuers. The final lap provided some gripping moments as the quicker outfits began to carve a path through the slower three –wheelers. Dave Dean led the sidecar field from a closely matched duel between Tony Bannister and Julian Bishop. The second lag saw a repeat performance with an extremely close finish with Bill Tuer right up the rear wheel of Sid Ormrod’s Berkeley.
Race 5 for up to 350cc machines – The Palletforce and the Goodwin Championships saw Andy Molnar on his Manx take and hold the lead from the first lap with Graham Buller and Nick Bedford in line- astern with Rob Stafford bringing his BSA 350 into 10th place despite worrying smoke emissions on the grid. The second leg saw Andy Molnar still at the top but with Mervyn Stratford on the incredible Rudge in second place. The race from the second half of the grid for the pre-1973 solo specials 251cc to 350cc saw a win for the Ducati of Mick Fox with Scott Harris on a similar machine not far behind. In the second leg of the Specials it was Scott Harris’ turn at the front but he was chased hard by Mark Capewell on his Aermacchi. Mick Fox’s Ducati retired at Edwina’s on lap 4.
Race 6 gave us a duel between the up to 500cc single cylinder Ducatis in the Lacey Ducati Championship and the Bantams. Never underestimate a BSA Bantam. Out of a chorus of howls and a faint haze of blue smoke Ian Scutt took the lead on lap 3 and in spite of being chased hard by Tom Snow and Nick Bramley achieved the chequered flag. Upholding the honours for the Ducatis was Stuart Noble who was just that little bit faster than Ian when it came to the second leg, it would seem that it had all been too much for Ian Scutt’s machine which expired on lap three – leaving the field clear for Tom Snow to bring his 175 cc machine into first place .Tim White and Bob Millinship duelled over first place in the Ducati race with honours going to Tim.
Race 7 – the Classic Racer Championship for the BEARS saw Ron Maul – BHR’s answer to Darth Vader – storm off the line in the lead, but by lap three it was Rob Paget on his Moto Guzzi in the front. The next three places were closely contested by Dave Matravers, Ron Maul and Gary Hirons. In the second leg Dave Maltravers led the field but Ron Maul led on laps 1 and 2 but had to concede victory to Rob Pagett once more. There was a keen struggle between Andy Coles and Mike O’Donnell way down the field which all added to the spectacle. All in all, an exciting innovation & future developments will be keenly awaited.
Race 8 saw the Morgans in action once more – this time in the company of the “Sidecar based Three-wheelers”. The Broadstock BSA of Steve Stevenson sounded very fit and fierce and soon built up an impressive lead over a field that continued to challenge each other right up to the line. There was disappointment for Chris Wickett and Jayne Morris – whose machine failed on the line and for Phil Biggadyke – whose Triumph outfit seized up on lap one. The second leg grid was therefore a bit depleted, but Hamish Bibby and Greg Bibby led the Morgans into Gerrards. The Broadstock BSA of Steve Stevenson came out on top with a convincing lead over the Weston equipe on their Triumph. The 4th Place achieved by Sue Darbyshire and Maggie Bridge in their 1928 Two-speed Morgan is worth recording in dispatches.
Scooter racing is serious stuff! Tyre warmers were de rigueur in the paddock prior to the two classes lining up on the grid for Race 9. The ‘ZiP’ scooters led the way with the geared machines following at a respectful distance. Zip scooters are sometimes referred to as ‘Twist-and-go” & Damon Tunnicliffe on his Piaggio did just that and held off the field throughout. 2nd place overall was keenly fought over by the Lambrettas of Guy Topper and Stuart Day. The second leg was more of the same with Damon Tunnicliffe streaking away from the start, hotly pursued by Craig Bewey to finish in that order.
Guy Topper and Stuart Day remained invincible in their class as well
Race 10 gave us a grid of all girder forked machines for the Tuer Garage Championship. Ian Bain on his Norton CS1 made a cracking start followed by Mike Farrall and Ian Cramp. Cramp took the lead on his Velocette but Bain came back to finish a very close second. Ian Bain had his revenge in the second leg to win from Cramp’s Velocette by 2 seconds.
BHR Calendar 2012
Cadwell Park 19/20 May, Snetterton 16/17 June (200 Circuit), Lydden Hill 28/29 July, Darley Moor 11/12 August, Cadwell Park 29/30 September
BHR Spectator Parades
BHR will be holding ACU “PR5” & “PR6” Parades at all of the above meetings. PR5 Spectator Parades give the opportunity to ride your road bike on the circuits having complied with the rules governing these parades.
PR6 Race Parades are for Race Machines only and require an ACU Race or Parade license. Certain Road license types are also permissible.