To be published in whole or in part on the ACU (News) website


The Wirral Hundred club’s race meeting at Anglesey on 25th & 26th June was a challenging affair. Saturday saw blue sky, moderate to strong winds and some great racing, but two separate oil spills before and then during race 10 meant that the last two races of the day had to be carried over to Sunday. Then the real problems began, with rain and gale force winds gusting to 50mph preventing any track action, before the meeting, after consultation with four of the faster and more experienced riders, solo and sidecar, was abandoned at lunchtime.

This was a great pity as the programme included not only the normal spread of W100 races, but also three guest classes – rounds of the Lansdowne Classic Series, the ACU British F2 Sidecar Championship, and the FSRA Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship.

W100 races

It was perhaps the sign of things to come when Matt Sayle looped the loop at the start of the first combined race of the day, for 700cc Twins and Golden Era Supersport, and the resulting oil deposit brought out the red flags for the first time. In a shortened race Chris Barnes took the Twins win from Barry Furber, whilst in their second outing later, the positions were reversed. Adrian Kershaw, making his first appearance on a Twin, was 3rd in both races followed by the equally experienced Liam Chawke and Tim Poole. Craig Makin took an 8-second win in the first GES race from Lee Smith and Dean Ephgrave, but Lewis Rees, a non-finisher in race 1, won race 2 by 4 seconds ahead of Makin and Smith.

The first of the Steve Dale M/Cycles 100-500cc Allcomers races was probably the best race of the day with just 0.5 seconds separating the two Yamaha TZ250’s of two people who should know better - Ian Mackman and Andy Jackson - and the teenage BTC campaigner Ted Wilkinson just behind in third. Race 2 saw Mackman win a little more comfortably from Jackson, with Oliver Morgan-Edwards securing 3rd place this time on the first of the ZXR400’s; he in turn was followed by two more teenagers Charlie and Freddie Barnes, and Ben Brown, all on similar machinery, and commendably within 1 second of each other after the 11 laps. In the somewhat depleted Forgotten Era races Danny Hanby had two comfortable wins.

The AS Racing Club Supersport class (formerly Formula 600) saw W100’s 2021 champion Barry Dimelow extend his 2022 championship lead with two impressive wins, whilst Barry Furber’s two 2nd places moved him up from third to second in the championship order. Pre-2011 machines are now grouped into a sub-class to encourage riders of older machines and Joe Yeardsley’s two 2nd places took him 2 points clear of Josh Potts (two 4th’s), and 11 clear of Glenn Walker (two 3rd’s), but at this meeting it was new-to-the-W100 John Marsh who caught the eye with two good wins.

This was the first meeting that Adrian Kershaw had committed himself to the Carl Roberts / Emjess Racing Powerbikes, rather than the 600’s, and he took two convincing wins, but James Chawke and Paul Sommerville maintained their challenges at the top of the championship standings. On this occasion the Pre-Injection class shared the track with the Powerbikes and Mike Bampton on his very rapid ZXR750 won both races and was only headed across the line by the more modern Powerbikes of Kershaw and Chawke; James Leatham and Ian Pattinson secured the runner-up spots in the two Pre-Injection races.

Sadly the loss of time meant that only one Chris Forster W100 Open Sidecar race could take place on Saturday, and as expected Craig Hauxwell & Derek Taylor stormed ahead at the front winning by a clear 39 seconds. Behind them, however, there was a great scrap for second place between Alan Molyneux & Geoff Lunn and Charlie Morphet & William Reilly, with the first-named claiming the honours by a mere 0.16 seconds

Lansdowne Classic Series

It was particularly disappointing that the riders on the iconic Manx Nortons, G50 Matchlesses and BSA Goldstars only also got to race the once, particularly as they came from as far afield as Cornwall, Sussex and Norfolk. Ironic then that it was the Wirral-based Mike Hose, who won the 10-lap race by 13 seconds from championship rival George Thomas, with Luke Bailey 3rd. The Club’s hope is that the Series will forgive us for the weather and the oil, and that Anglesey will be able to witness such beautifully-prepared machines again next year.

ACU British F2 Sidecar Championship

There is a separate comprehensive report on Saturday’s activities prepared by the FSRA press officer. In brief, however, practising and the one race were dominated by Pete Founds (born and bred on the Wirral, of course) & Jevan Walmsley, fresh from their two 2nd places at the TT. The duo stretched their lead in this national championship from Lee Crawford & Scott Hardie, who after finishing second in free practice, disappointingly failed to complete a lap in both the qualifying practice and the race. In the F2 Cup category Rob Atkinson & Mark Middleton maintained their unbeaten run this season with their fifth win, whilst Brian Ilaria & Arlo Brown claimed their fifth runner-up spot.

Prior to the qualifying session, the teams took part in two slow-speed Tribute Laps in memory of Roger & Bradley Stockton. The teams, family members in course cars, marshals trackside, and officials and supporters applauding on a crowded pit-wall contributed to a sad but fitting tribute to two popular members of the sidecar community.

FSRA Pre-Injection Sidecar Championship

Again it was a great shame that only one race was possible, but the size of the grid with 15 starters augers well for the future, especially with so many newcomer drivers and passengers. The podium places were all-changed from the first round at Oulton Park. This time Andrew Bingham & Steve Dalton, in their first season, won the F2 category comfortably from Simon Horton & Jordan Forrest with Will Pettman & Tom Dawkins a further 15 seconds back in 3rd. In the F1 category Mark Burns & Steven Winfrow finished 17 seconds clear of Gary Fairhurst & Billy Andrews after 10 laps, followed by Tony & Neil Wheatley on the only TZ750 in the race.

Other Wirral witterings

Fastest lap of Saturday – Barry Dimelow: 1 min 10.599 secs, 79.03 mph

Fastest speed of Sunday – the SSW wind: 50mph

Worst casualty of the weekend – a broken ignition key in one of the ambulances; permanent location: School (we did have a back-up ambulance in place).

The ‘beyond the call of duty’ prize – the superb support of the marshals in cheerily withstanding the windy conditions on Saturday and then in having to spend so much time and effort in helping the circuit staff in clearing the various oil spills. Thank you and well done, one-and-all.

Thank-you’s from the FSRA– we pass on the kind comments we have received from the officials of the Formula Sidecar Racing Association, not only for our hosting rounds of both of its series at this meeting, but also for organising and delivering such an impressive and touching Tribute for Roger & Bradley Stockton. Thank you, everyone.

Quotes of the weekend – “please tell us to go home!”

TV star – Carwyn Jones is one of our most supportive riders, but less noticeable now that he has got rid of his green hair! What a surprise the other evening when he appeared on ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ on BBC2 – as a narrator and as a key member of the Lifeboat crew rescuing a badly-hurt fisherman from the rocks near Trearddur Bay. What a star, well done, Carwyn!