WIRRAL HUNDRED AT ANGLESEY: THE WEEKEND OF TWO CIRCUITS AND MIXED EMOTIONS
As published in full or in part on the ACU (News) & UK Clubsport websites
The Wirral Hundred club’s now traditional mid-summer weekend (23rd & 24th June) at Anglesey, using the 1.55 mile Coastal circuit on the Saturday and the 2.10 mile International circuit on the Sunday, saw some great racing with the entire weekend bathed in warm sunshine. The meeting, however, was tragically marred by the circuit’s first racing fatal accident (see separate article below).
As for the racing, once again the Paul Bland Motorsport Formula 600 class attracted nearly 50 entries, with the fastest in qualifying practice seeded into the two championship races each day. The joint top two at the start of the meeting were Jamie Harris and David Jones, and these two again dominated proceedings with Jones taking three wins and Harris one, but they were never more than a few tenths apart in all four races; Chris Eden, Barry Dimelow, Glenn Walker, Chris Jones and Nathan Harrison filled the rest of the leaderboard places.
In the AS Racing Powerbikes class, championship favourite Johnny Blackshaw maintained his good form with four victories. In the first three races David Jones was close behind, before slipping off in the fourth race, trying to make up for a poor start. Alistair Kirk and Jamie Harris were the best of the rest, but two W100 ‘visitors’ Paul Gartland and Garry Hamilton also impressed. In the club’s unique Pre-2009/Pre-Electronics Powerbikes category, Greg Lewis (750 Yam) came back from a DNF in race 1 to be a clear winner of the other three races; others to feature strongly were race 1 winner Neil Percival, John Jones and Sean Martin, whilst championship leader John Jackson, returning after injury, was always in contention.
In the SSR Suspension Golden Era Supersport class championship leader Tim Bradley remained there with four comfortable wins; behind him, though, the other leaderboard places were hotly contested with Gethin Edwards, Jason Edwards, and Ray Stevenson swapping positions race-by-race. The G/E Supersporters shared track-time with the 650 Twins, and in this class the top two regular riders again dominated with Mike Bampton securing three wins and Tim Sayers one.
Four of the other classes also had impressive and commendable quadruple or trple winners – Greg Lewis (Pre-Injection), Paul Tye (Forgotten Era), Adrian Kershaw (100-500cc Allcomers) and Lee Crawford & Scott Hardie (W100 sidecars).
Greg Lewis’s four wins meant that he had a total of seven wins across the weekend whilst the four dominant wins of Paul Tye means that he is now undefeated in eight races this year; Adrian Morris was his nearest rival on Saturday and Dan Hanby on Sunday. Adrian Kerhaw usually has his own way in the small Allcomers class, but this time there was some real opposition. Paul Metcalfe won race 1 and Kershaw the other three, but he was made to work for it, chased, in particular, by two teenagers Jake Clark and Osian Jones on Honda NSF’s. The Crawford / Hardie pairing are currently second in the British F2 Sidecar championship; they were beaten just the once, by Steve & Matty Ramsden, also contenders in that championship and also taking the opportunity for some additional track-time ahead of the next Britsh championship round in July.
Just as at Oulton Park in April this was also a round of the FSRA / Lane Building Services Pre-Injection Sidecar championship, and with 18 starters, including two lady drivers and eight lady passengers, they produced some great racing. Pole-setters John Shipley Jnr & Milo Ward comfortably won race 1, but an engine failure in race 2 curtailed their weekend, and it was the Simon & Adam Buxton duo, with two wins and two seconds, who went home happiest. Stuart Anderson & Kerry Hughes won the other race.
The Earlystocks Racing Club were also guests at this meeting and shared track-time with the Forgotten Era bikes. These beasty pre-1987 bikes were again a great spectacle and there were four separate winners – Michael Hand, Matt Goodfield, Allan Hoyland and Kevin Jones,
Time lost on Saturday meant that the Anglesey Senior and Junior Open races were cancelled, so the two races at the end of the day on Sunday were increased in length to compensate. The Senior saw David Jones leave the fray on lap 1 and Johnny Blackshaw won comfortably from Jamie Harris; then came the best of the 600’s – Chris Eden, Barry Dimelow and Chris Jones. In the Junior Open the top two were Mike Bampton and David Evans on their 650 Twins, followed home by Jake Clark and Osian Jones, good preparation for their next outings in the BSB Motostar races at Knockhill.
The next Wirral Hundred meeting will take place on the Anglesey Coastal circuit over the weekend of 28th & 29th July. This will include a full complement of W100 championship races, a round of the ACU/FSRA British Formula 2 Sidecar championship, and for the first time at Anglesey the UK Round of the International Classic Grand Prix for 250cc and 350cc two-stroke machines built between 1974 and 1984. So a meeting with a mixed flavour of top-class W100 action, some of the leading sidecar teams in Britain, and some of the best exponents of Classic two-stroke racing in Europe,
It is with great sadness to report that Craig Bell, from Bishop Auckland, passed away as a result of serious injuries sustained at the Anglesey Circuit on Saturday 23rd June.
The Wirral Hundred club wish to pass on their deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Craig’s family and friends.
DF – June 2018