Our once-a-year visit to Oulton Park is always eagerly anticipated by us all, and after a problematic event in 2015 with all sorts of rain- and oil-related delays, it was great that this time we managed to achieve what we had set out to achieve, helped by dry, sunny, but somewhat cool weather throughout. Morning practice started on time, which is always encouraging, but we were soon facing our first challenge, when an anonymous 500cc Allcomer managed to deposit a thin line of oil over half the circuit’s length. After a 15-minute delay, whilst the circuit staff and marshals made the track safe again, practice continued and despite the pressures of all of the sessions counting for grid positions later, there was a welcome and seriously commendable lack of incidents and further technical problems. In general terms this continued throughout the day. That said, at turn 1 on race 1 three riders bit the dust, and we feared for yet another typical Oulton day, but no - quick work by the marshals, and the race ran its course. Race 5 was to have been the last race before the lunch break, but on the first lap Mark Cooper had a high-speed off on the approach to Island Bend, which brought out the red flags and resulted in an early lunch. Mark had bangs to the head and knee, and broke a collar-bone, but we are pleased to report that he is now well on the mend. So race 5 re-started after a shortened lunch-break (marshals, thank you for your understanding and co-operation) and in the next five hours the meeting ran almost like clock-work. All credit then to all of the riders for staying sensible on track (sort of), and for the race control officials, the technical team, the assembly area ladies and grid marshals, the track marshals, and the recovery crews, for keeping things moving so efficiently. As usual we had to combine certain classes to maximise track-time and to enable the races to be of a decent length (6 or 7 laps), and this did mean that we had full grids. It is a perennial problem for this one-off meeting at Oulton, but once again a number of riders (approximately forty, yes forty!) did not heed the warnings about the need to enter early and unfortunately were disappointed not to get a ride; on this occasion some classes were full even before the official closing date of 9 April. All that we can do is to apologise for this, especially any regular riders who suffered, and urge them to enter earlier in future. The format for the day was based on two W100 championship races per class. We also warmly welcomed 20 teams competing in the ACU/FSRA British Formula 2 Sidecar championships, 8 teams competing in the FSRA Post-Classic championships, and 8 riders competing in the Earlystocks Club championship.





Paul Bland Motorsport Formula 600

To accommodate everyone the entry was split into two equal groups for the first round of races, with each 6-lap race counting for half championship points. In heat 1 Jamie Devine got out of bed best and was 2.2 secs ahead of Kiaran Hankin, who was then well clear of Shaun Williams. In heat 2 Simon Napier finished 7.5 secs clear of W100 newcomer Sean Montgomery with Chris Eden, free from the various woes he suffered at Anglesey, in 3rd place. The top 36 then came together for the ‘main race’ over 7-laps, with grid positions based on the finishing orders in the heats. At the front there was an epic dice between Kiaran and Jamie, separated in that order by only 0.5 sec at the flag. On the last lap Jamie set the fastest lap of the day, which forced Kiaran to set the fastest race average of the day, faster even than the Powerbikes! Simon was not far adrift in 3rd place, followed by Chris in 4th with Barry Dimelow 5th. Special mention also should be made of veteran Kenny Shepherd in 8th , Chris Jones (son of Ian), improving all the time and 12th here, and finally, the normally wheelchair- bound Mike Reynolds, who comfortably qualified for the final, had to start the race from last position on the grid because of his disability, and then finished in 23rd position. Impressive! Finally let it be said that Martin McGrath was the fastest in the Consolation race, in a time that would have taken him to 21st place in the Championship race, had he not had problems in his heat.







As with the F600’s, the Powerbikes were split into two for the first round of races, with Chris Barnes and Kiaran Hankin each picking up 7.5 points each. In the ‘main race’ it was the Brothers Jones who hit the front but Kiaran swept past them both on lap 3 of 7 to eventually win by 3.3 secs with David and Matt next, ahead of Chris Barnes and Graham Hornby. Two W100 class-newcomers also had notable rides - John Jackson finished 6th and Darren Watkins 9th.






Golden Era Superbikes

Once again this pre-2001 class ran with the Powerbikes. Victories in the heats were secured by this year’s championship favourite Jon Wright from Neil Percival, and by 2015 champion John Jones from Simon Mara. In the main race Jon continued his impressive form this season, winning by 13 secs from ‘John with an aitch’, with Robert Coppock elevating himself to 3rd. The first three all rode 750cc Suzuki’s. It is worth noting that in a combined field of 30 finishers, Jon, the best G/Era, finished 7th on the road, which coincidentally he also did last year.






650 Twins & Golden Era Supersport

With a full grid, this combination of classes continues to work well, and presents a good spectacle for the on-lookers and some great racing right the way down the field. The Twins class is certainly one for now and for the future, and there is still a fair number of pre-2001 G/Era 600’s around, capable of giving those with limited budgets a good and competitive day’s racing. As regards the Twins it was Jamie Coward, no doubt again getting in some useful track-time ahead of the TT, who won both races (for the second successive year), and lapping approximately 1 second faster than the rest. Barry Furber was 2nd both times, Jonathan Perry was 3rd both times, Mark Purslow was 4th both times, and Chris Ganderton was 5th both times – hopefully there was no irregular betting on these races. It was good to see another rider with a disability, Malcolm Charlton, bring his blade home safely in both races. The G/Era Supersport races were amazingly similar to the Twins with the first five the same in both races - Barry Lee Evans won both races by 12 secs or so, but the other top positions were more closely contested, but the outcome was the same - Jon Wright, Martyn Bloomfield, Andrew Scanlon and then Tony Leach. We were quite surprised to see Ray Stevenson and Barry O’Neill buck the trend and swap 6th and 7th places in race 2! Charles Morgan was one of those riders whose entry form arrived too late, but non-starters meant he was allowed to compete in race 2 and was able to achieve a creditable 12th place and with it, one championship point. Finally it was good to see longstanding W100 rider Chris Edwards return to racing after a 13 months’ absence through illness and have two safe rides.






100-500cc Allcomers

With dwindling grids for the 125ccGP, 250ccGP and Formula 400 races in recent years, we now throw them all together, let them be joined by any Moto3 or 500cc Classics, and see what happens. The entry for every race meeting is different but for this meeting the plan worked perfectly with a TZ Yamaha, several proddie 400’s, a 250 Moriwaki, a couple of 500cc Seeley’s and a G50 Matchless all at or near the front. Wonderful! In race 1 the experienced Adrian Kershaw on his 400 Kawasaki led for 3 laps before being overtaken by Chris Moore on his TZ and then by John Price also on a production Kawasaki. Chris led John by 0.8 secs at the flag, with Adrian 3 secs back, followed a further 3 secs later by Lee Hodge on his 500cc Seeley. Race 2 saw a fantastic scrap at the front with just 0.2 secs separating the first three after the 7 laps; this time Adrian took the win from John and Chris. Teenager Dan Jones on his 250 Moriwaki was just 2 secs back in 4th place, whilst it was good to see former W100 Formula 400 champion Alastair Bayley return with a 5th. A special mention for two other teenagers, Tom Airey and Myles Wasley on their 390 restricted-power KTM’s, who had solid midfield finishes, split by only 0.2 secs in race 1.







The concept is simple – any bike over 500cc with a carburettor, and again with a full grid every justification for having separate races for the class. Barry Lee Evans had had a win then a fall at Anglesey in March, but was nevertheless the favourite ahead of this meeting. Sure enough he did not disappoint. He won both of the races on his R6 ahead of two R1’s; in race 1 he was 7 secs ahead of the almost inseparable Jason Edwards and Chris Ganderton, and in race 2 he was 5 secs ahead of Chris, who was able to keep Jason a safe distance away in this second outing. Andy Sailor and Tony Leach were the best of the rest overall, but others to have top-six results were Martyn Bloomfield, Robert Coppock and John Jones.






Ken Inwood Classics

Our annual trip to Oulton always swells the Classic Bike entry and whilst, for W100, full grids are now firmly of the past (hence the sharing of track-time with the Forgottten Era bikes) we were more than satisfied with the diversity of the sixteen Classic bikes who took to the grid. There was a genuine air of nostalgic quality amongst the Seeley’s, the Manx Norton’s, and the G50 Matchless’s. In race 1 Mike Hose, allegedly testing the Seeley that Bruce Anstey is scheduled to ride in the Manx Festival, took the hole-shot but by lap 2 Lee Hodge, similarly mounted, was in the lead and eventually won by 3 secs. Mark Cronshaw and Mark Herbertson were 3rd and 4th, but 22 secs and 52 secs respectively further back. Bill Swallow was the best of the 350’s on his Ducati, pipping Norman Williamson and his Yamaha by 1 sec. In race 2 it was the turn of Mike to come out on top but only 0.8 seconds ahead of Lee at the flag, pretty close after 7 laps and over 13 minutes of racing. This time Clive Ling claimed 3rd place on his Manx and Steve Ferguson 4th on his Honda-4. Gary Thwaites, a regular winner at the club’s meetings at Oulton, unfortunately had a troublesome day with two DNF’s. The top two 350’s were again Bill and Norman. .



Forgotten Era and Earlystocks

Irish teenage newcomer Eoin Collins impressed everyone at Anglesey in March and led the F/Era championship; he impressed further here by qualifying in pole on his first visit to the circuit. In race 1, however, the much more experienced John Price came out on top, 33 secs ahead of Eoin in 2nd. Eoin, however, headed the 3rd and 4th machines of Carl Salvage and Neil Chadwick, so considering the experience that surrounded him, he had done remarkably well. Race 2 told a similar story with a win, by nearly 29 secs for John, with Eoin again 2nd, and Adrian Morris just pipping Nick Bedford for 3rd. The Earlystocks Club, its riders basically aboard pre-1990 twin-shock air-cooled production machines, guested with us for the first time and in both races James Fisher on his mighty Honda CBX1000 came out on top. We look forward to them guesting again at Anglesey in July.





W100 Open Sidecars and FSRA Post-Classics

The entry list for these races was very memorable and somewhat bizarre. A few teams, including the 2015 British F1 champions and the 2015 British F2 champions, were having an outing prior to their opening BSB championship round at Oulton the following weekend, and several were ‘testing’ their TT-spec outfits for the Isle of Man (the non-stock 600cc engines are OK for the TT but illegal for the 2016 British F2 Sidecar championships). Then we had a mixture of some regular W100 teams, and some British F2 Championship teams getting additional track-time ahead of their races later in the day, and finally we had the teams competing in the FSRA Post-Classic championships. Had we had space available we would have had many more entries, including a couple from two former world champions. Strange but true. In timed practice, predictably Ricky Stevens & Ryan Charlwood on their awesome F1 Kawsaki were fastest and in race 1 they set a blistering pace, but then rather kindly entered the pit-lane to ‘retire’ rather than take the chequered flag. This allowed former British F2 champions and regular W100 competitors John Holden & Andy Winkle, preparing themselves for the TT, to take the win, 4.6 secs clear of Dwight Beare and Ben Binns, the 2016 W100 championship leaders after round 1, and Steve & Matty Ramsden, the 2015 W100 champions. In race 2 Ricky & Ryan had to start the race from the rear of the grid and after a slow start they gathered some considerable momentum, eventually finishing second behind Steve & Matty. IoM visitors Karl Bennett & Lee Cain, no doubt with their home races in mind, were a close 3rd. The 2015 British F2 champion (and Wirral resident) Alan Founds with his new Finnish passenger Ako Alto on board, were also testing their new TT-spec outfit, and came home 4th , auguring well for their season ahead. In the FSRA Post-Classics it was the pre-injection machines of Bruce & Ashley Moore who took the honours in race 1, and that of the famous veterans Rob Fisher & Rick Long, who did likewise in race 2.




ACU / FSRA British Formula 2 Sidecars

This was the first round of this 2016 championship, and with 20 entries it was a nice boost to our meeting, both for the spectators, and of course, for the club financially. The timed practice session saw another of the Founds dynasty, Peter, with Jevan Walmsley alongside him, who claimed pole position from Sean Reeves & Ashley Hawes, followed by Lee Crawford & Patrick Farrance, Lee now fully recovered from his big Old Hall accident a year ago. In race 1 Peter & Jevan led from the start and in fact were never headed, although their margin at the finish was only 1.5 secs. Title favourites Ian & Carl Bell had had limited practice and only managed 7th on the grid, but by the end of lap 3 they had moved into 2nd spot and there they remained until the end, with Lee & Patrick 3rd. It was good to see 2015 W100 champions Steve & Matty Ramsden finish 4th and the current leaders of the club championship, the cool dude Aussie Dwight Beere & Ben Binns finish 5th . Race 2 was remarkable in that after Ian & Carl had made up for their ‘average’ grid position by Cascades on lap1 and they settled in behind the Founds and Crawford outfits; the order between the three of them did not change throughout the remaining six laps; they were lapping virtually at the same speed and only 1.3 secs covered them at the end. A great race. The Ramsdens repeated their 4th position and were followed home this time by Conrad Harrson & Lee Patterson. Dwight & Ben were again the best of the Cup category teams. This championship moves on to Donington next, and W100 will welcome it back with us at Anglesey in June.




Special awards

Fastest lap – Jamie Devine - 1 min 42.714 - 94.34 mph

Fastest race average – Kiaran Hankin – 93.15 mph

Paul Leonard Award (voted for by the marshals for their ‘rider of the day’) – Barry Lee Evans for his four wins from four races, you cannot do any better than that.

Quote of the day 1 - from a rider returning his hired transponder to race control: “7 laps round here, I’m knackered”

Quote of the day 2 – from another rider: “That was wonderful”. We are not sure what he was talking about.

False start of the day – by the unwanted air ambulance which arrived and departed – as quickly as that! It did scare us for a minute or two, though.

Booby prizes of the day – to the two riders who entered for the meeting without sending in an entry fee, and who then failed to make an appearance - no telephone call, no apology, nothing. By doing so they not only deprived the club of revenue but also deprived other riders of taking their place. We, and they, know who they are – their cards have been marked and they will not get away with it again.

Gold star award – to Margaret Dewsnap (with a little help from Steve) for the design of our new programme cover. What a difference a photograph and some glossy paper make!

Billy Redmayne This equivalent report on our Oulton Park race meeting a year ago mentioned that Billy Redmayne from the Isle of Man had finished 7th in the Formula 600 final. Billy went on to win the 2015 Junior Manx Grand Prix and seemed to have a very promising future in the sport. Sadly he recently crashed at Scarborough and died from his injuries. The club extends its sympathy to his family and close friends, and particularly his friends within our own Manx community.

Dave Francis – April 2015