FOUR CONSECUTIVE ‘ANGLESEY GRANDS’ FOR ADAM JENKINSON
As published in full or in part on the ACU (News) & UK Clubsport websites
The Wirral Hundred club’s final race meeting of the year on 8th & 9th October marked the 25th anniversary of the Club’s first meeting at Anglesey, and incorporated its now iconic ‘Anglesey Grand’ run over two 12-lap legs of the international circuit.
The Anglesey Grand
Qualifying practice took place in slightly damp conditions and it was Carl Phillips (Suzuki) from Northern Ireland, a former Irish Supersport champion and a regular points scorer in the 2017 National Superstock 1000 championship, paying only his second visit to the circuit, who took pole position for the 1st Leg. Race favourite Adam Jenkinson (BMW), currently 6th in the 2017 National Superstock series, was second, followed by the two experienced Wirral Hundred champions Jamie Harris (Kawasaki 600) and Johnny Blackshaw (Yamaha).
Phillips took full advantage of his 1st Leg grid position and led for the first five laps before Jenkinson forced his way into the lead and Blackshaw went up to second place three laps later. This remained the order at the chequered flag, with Jenkinson ahead by 5.5 seconds. Lee Williams (Kawasaki), the 2017 Thundersport champion, was a distant fourth, over 21 seconds behind Phillips, and Jamie Harris, fifth, was the best of the 600’s. The next three positions were filled by three other impressive Irish circuit racers, with little previous Anglesey experience – Aaron Clifford, Caolan Irwin and Thomas O Grady.
Jenkinson’s fastest lap in the 1st Leg brought him pole position for the 2nd Leg, and this time he controlled the race from the front, winning this time by 4.8 seconds. After an epic chase Phillips managed to get ahead of Blackshaw on lap 10, but Blackshaw was then able to stay close enough to secure second place on aggregate. Williams again finished fourth and Harris was again fifth securing him the F600 Award. Former club champion David Jones (Kawasaki) was making a comeback at this meeting but a mysterious technical issue had caused him to be relegated to 22nd on the grid for the 2nd Leg, but this time he was able to move through the field to claim a creditable 6th position.
Congratulations to all the riders for putting on a great show for the spectators, and especially to Adam Jenkinson for winning the ‘Grand’ for the fourth time in a row.
Whilst the Anglesey Grand races were the main focus for the spectators, it was the other 32 races across the weekend that determined the finishing orders in the various club championships. Johnny Blackshaw was a clear winner of the both the Powerbikes and Anglesey Senior Open championships, likewise Jamie Harris in the Paul Bland Motorsport Formula 600 series.
In his first full season with the club Mike Bampton just had to ride sensibly, which he did, to win the 650 Twins and Anglesey Lightweight Open championships comfortably. Chris Ganderton, Pre-Electronic Powerbikes and Pre-Injection, was also a double-winner, but all credit to John Robb and Joe Ravenscroft for keeping the respective classes alive until the final day. Adrian Kershaw had clinched the 100-500cc Allcomers championship at the previous round, but nevertheless was again a race winner as were championship runner-up Keith Jackson and Manx all-rounder Dan Sayle.
Another Manx resident James Labdon also knew that he could ride conservatively, and his two wins and two seconds were more than enough to clinch the Forgotten Era championship. The closest finish was in the SSR-Suspension Golden Era Supersport class where Tim Bradley’s four wins at the weekend brought him to within two championship points of Ray Stevenson – phew! Finally, in the Open Sidecars championship Sam & Adam Christie’s consistent front-running across the season secured them the overall win, but on this occasion they had to play second fiddle to Craig Hauxwell & stand-in passenger Tom Bryant.
Other Wirral Whitterings
Friday 6th - for the first time ever we organised a test day ahead of the Grand weekend, and whilst the entry was slightly disappointing, a good time was had by all, there were no injuries reported and therefore no withdrawals from the weekend’s racing. Within the day’s activities we also organised a new riders’ course and basic riding assessments for fourteen potential new ACU licence holders; all passed with flying colours and most impressive were the four 12 and 13 year-olds, who stormed around the circuit in great style on their beautifully turned-out MiniGP70 bikes, champing at the bit to give ACU club coach Jamie Harris a run for his money. Wonderful!
Weather report – Saturday afternoon was wet and pretty horrible, but the rest of the weekend was dry, not cold and not too windy. Not bad though for October.
Injuries – on a weekend of such intense racing it was ‘good’ that we had just two minor injuries reported, both in the damp conditions of Saturday. W100 newcomer Dennis Corkery had been 3rd fastest in Formula 600 qualifying but sadly he then slid off at the Banking on lap one of the first race, injuring both hands. Then sidecar passenger Rob Bryant was ejected from Ian Sutcliffe’s slewing outfit at Corkscrew 2 and landed heavily. A trip to hospital revealed some heavy bruising and a broken figure, and it was good to see him safely back at the circuit on Sunday morning.
Performance of the weekend – it came from the start-line officials and Turn 1 marshals, led by the deputy clerk of the course Hefin Smith, in so effectively clearing Aaron Clifford, his bike, and some debris after Aaron’s scary fall 200 yards after the start of the 2nd Leg of the Grand. Some excellent warning flags from the marshals as the marauding pack charged through at the end of the first lap, and the next lap we were clear. Great stuff!
Comeback kid 1 - Carl Roberts. Good to see Carl up and about after his nasty accident in July; not so good though to see the X-ray of his injuries on his phone!
Comeback kid (2) – Adrian Williams. Five years after this leading Powerbikes rider retired from racing, he was surprisingly back with us again this weekend, this time on an R6. An impressive 9th place in the wet Formula 600 race on Saturday afternoon was followed by a 3rd place – and blimey, a trophy - in the Trophy Race on Sunday afternoon. Life in the old dog yet!
Fastest lap of the weekend – Adam Jenkinson – 1 min 25.718 secs – 88.19 mph
Not the fastest lappers but impressive nevertheless – (1) Mike Reynolds’ disability means that he always has to have an assisted start from the rear of the grid, so after qualifying in 18th position he was automatically relegated to the rear of the grid for the F600 races. He finished all of his races and his 13th position in the wet race on Saturday afternoon meant that he overtook eleven other riders over 5 laps. Pretty good! (2) All credit too to Harriet Drury, 18 years of age, who has established herself as the fastest female racing with us. She had four solid finishes on her R6, was not lapped even by the likes of Harris and Blackshaw, and had a best place of 18th. Pretty good, too!
Thank you – with the 2017 season now at its end, we sincerely thank the riders, the officials, the marshals, the doctors, paramedics & first-aiders, our sponsors, and the circuit management and staff for their support – a whole range of people who make the W100 meetings possible. Thanks again and we look forward to doing it all again in 2018.
DF – October 2017