Our fifth and sixth rounds brought us to the lovely North Yorkshire Circuit, Croft. BHR haven’t raced here since 2007, evoking memories of monsoon weather that weekend. However, competitors and spectators alike were greeted with lovely hot conditions on the Saturday, and a light drizzle on the Sunday morning which soon dried up for an overcast afternoon on Sunday. Unfortunately, due to noise restrictions imposed on the circuit, we started racing at midday Sunday; so BHR organisers worked hard and in some cases had to amalgmate grids so everyone could complete their events.
It was great to see Mervyn Stratford in the paddock, he is recovering very well and is hoping to be back at the end of the season on his Rudge. The return of some of our newcomers to BHR this season was encouraging to see, including Andrew Piggott from Leek, who is tackling the circuits well and we wish him all the best for the rest of the season in obtaining his signatures to drop the orange “newcomers vest” and reach clubman status.
Three on-the-day awards were presented. The “Mary Smith Starters Trophy” to Ben Kingham; The “Eric Oliver Trophy” to Adam Pope/John Christopher and finally the “Jack Walton Trophy” to Tony Perkin, who is having a great season so far in Event One: Tuers Garage Championship on his 1938 500cc Rudge Special.
Event 13: B.E.A.R.S Solos Championship / Event 8: Three BEARS Championship
The racing was close all weekend, and the different events mixing together as they crossed the line. In
Race one, Mike Bevan and Ben Kingham crossed the line with less than a second to spare but were both winners in their respective events. Similarly, for sixth position overall but in different events, Nic Powell and Bobby Bevan offered up a nail biter as they took the chequered flag together. Over the weekend, Ben Kingham took two wins on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, but did not take part in the last race, Nic Powell taking the last win of the weekend, to add to a pair of thirds and a second. Classic invite John Lovett took two seconds on the Saturday but was not entered for the Sunday. In Event 8, Mike Bevan had two wins on Saturday, and two seconds on Sunday, with Ian Myers reversing the order on Sunday. Mike Bevan took the fastest lap of the weekend, with a 1:42:26 on Saturday, with an average of 74.88 mph.
Event 12: Lacey Ducati Championship / Event 11: Rex Caunt Racing Championship
Fantastic racing was offered all weekend as ever in Event 12, with a few riders all challenging for the win position in each outing which left spectators with little predictability results-wise. Steelcraft team mates Andy Hunt and Stuart Noble had a great weekend fighting for top spot: Andy taking two wins and two fourths; Stuart taking a second, third, an unfortunate DNF in race three and then crossing the line first in the last race, only to receive a ten second jump start penalty putting him back into fourth position! Michael Fox took the first win of the weekend and a DNF but was only entered for Saturdays racing; Matt Hebb had a win, two sixth positions and a third. Just shows you how variable the finishing order was and how competitive this series is. Geoff Mills, Rob Butler and Charles Davies also featured in the top six over the weekend.
Event 11 saw Mike Powell take a clean sweep of wins over the weekend. Ian Scutt had a great start in race one on Saturday, having a clear lead over the pack but unfortunately retiring, a feat which he repeated later in the day. However, he made up for this disappointment, taking two runner-up placings on Sunday. Again this event had different riders take the top three positions all weekend, Derek Betts with a second and a third Saturday, Michael Brown (2014 championship winner) taking two thirds, a second and a DNF; and Robert Duesbury showing consistency, with three fourths and a third. The riders were also in a fifth race; “The Richard Powell Memorial Trophy”, Mike Powell fittingly taking the win, in memory of his brother, with Robert Duesbury in second and Michael Brown taking the final step on the podium.
Event 16: Sidecar Based Three Wheeler Championship / Event 18: PB Mechanical Services Championship
These two events were run with split grids, with Event 16 having a ten second head start on Event 18. Adrian and Bob Dawson had a storming weekend, on what has to be considered their “home circuit” with three wins and a DNF in the last race which left Denis Whitehouse and Dylan Weston taking the final win
of the weekend. Event 18 was as unpredictable as ever between four pairs; John Lorriman/Jim Steel took two wins Sunday and a third and a fourth Sunday; Adam Pope/John Christopher endured a very mixed weekend with a second in their first race but a very lucky outcome in the second after flipping their outfit over in the second race of Saturday. They came back on Sunday fighting fit to take a third and a fourth. Jack and Simon Wright, the father and son newcomers to BHR this season in the BEARS event also had a mixed, but largely successful weekend taking a win, two seconds and a third, with Passenger (dad) keeping a loose H.T. Lead on as they went flying down the straights, showing spectators just what a hard job it is a times for passengers to get their outfits not only over the line but achieve incredible results in only their first season over the other three more seasoned pairs. Phil Jones and Claire Duplock had a first, second, third and fourth to accumulate more points in an attempt to defend their 2014 Championship title. Congratulations to passenger Claire, jumping on another machine to do the Pre-TT at Billown alongside John Potts, achieving a life time ambition taking home the “Paul Thomas Trophy” for “fastest lady”, well done from the whole of BHR.
Event 10: Woodland Oil Championship / Event 9: Pre-1963 Over 500cc Championship
Event 9 gave one of our loyalist competitors to this event, Mike Ley, a clean sweep of wins over the weekend. Competitors in Event 10 provided a fantastic battle all weekend. Saturday showed top form riding between Stephen Atkin on his Triumph Trident 950, with what appeared to be a win in the opening encounter on Saturday, however, in his eagerness had obtained a ten second jump start penalty putting him back to third position. Stephen, only taking part on Saturday took second place in his other outing. Chris Heitman, on his BSA Rocket 3 850 was battling hard on Saturday with Robert Walker on his 675 Velocette, the latter showing spectacular form, even on a lower capacity machine which was sounded fantastic passing the pitwall, on his way to three second place finishes over the course of the weekend, along with a brilliant win on Saturday. Chris Heitman also a good meeting, with a first, a third and two fourths. Sunday saw Ian Myers compete, and duly took both wins.
Event 5: Goodwin Championship/Event 4: PalletForce Championship
Both events left the line together: Event 5 leading the way with a great battle between the Seeley
machines ridden by John Warwick taking a brace of wins, and Dave Matravers taking the other two win with amazing straight line speed on his Seeley 7R 350, smashing Scott Harris’s lap record set in 2007 by 10seconds with a 1:44.92 in the second race on Saturday with an average speed of 72.98mph. Event 4 saw two Norton Manx 350cc riders battling hard for third and fourth overall, but for class honours in their own event. Gavin Lupton took both wins on Saturday, and Nick Bedford emulated the feat on Sunday. The second race on Saturday was the highlight, with Gavin Lupton mixing with the Event 5 leaders, with plenty of swapping and changing of places throughout the race, where he led going into the final lap, but passed the chequered flag third on the road.
Event 19 & 20 BSSO Geared and Automatic Scooters
Event 19 continued to live up to early season promise, offering excellent racing and remains a great asset
to BHR. The Conneely brothers Steven and Darren led the pack in the opener, bringing home first and second places on the “Chalkie” tuned engines. No one has an answer for Darren in Group 4 (piston port engines) and to be up mixing with the read inducted Group 6 scooters is a great spectacle. Race two had a change of lead, with Damon Tunnicliffe taking first followed by Steven Conneely, Mike Bonett of “JB Tuning” had two thirds on Saturday to consistently top up his points in the Championship rankings. Sunday, as unpredictable as ever, saw Stuart Day take the first win followed by team mate Damon Tunnicliffe, with the last race being won by Steven Conneely, Stuart Day in a very close second. All the top runners were extremely close from first to sixth position throughout the course of the weekend. Ryan Clipstone in Event 20 dominated, taking another four wins to extend his lead in the championship over John Woods in Group 6a, and Justin Price, also in Group 10.
Event 27: Early Stock Racing Championships
BHR hosted this clubs event for the first time at Croft and saw some of our BHR competitors entered in it
with their more modern machinery; and what a great class and racing it was, with a selection of riders taking top spot over the weekend.
Ben Kingham, well known to BHR, took two wins and a second. Aiden Brennan, had a great meeting with
a first and two seconds, the highlight being an amazing battle on Saturday with Ben Kingham, Aiden led in the opening lap, before Ben overtook and quickly extended a significant lead; however, Aiden chipped away, narrowing the gap going into the last lap, seizing the win – great action for the spectators!
James Fisher took the final win of the weekend; we shall look forward to the Earlystocks returning to BHR at our Darley Moor and Cadwell fixtures.
Event 7: Bob Newby Racing Championship / Event 6: Pre-1963 351cc-500cc championship
Event 7 saw a new face (but one familiar to many followers of Vintage/Classic racing over the last few decades) – classic invite – John Cronshaw take the first win of the weekend; with Mike Powell second, and Rob Walker taking a close third position. In the second race, Mike Powell took the win, with Rob Walker second and Dave Matravers a close third. On Sunday it was all change, and Dave Matravers and Rob Walker battling closely, sharing the honours with a win a-piece.
In Event 6, Jack Hebb took a clean sweep of wins; with Event 7 rider Keith Riley and Event 6 rider Simon Clover having a close battle on the road on Saturday one of the highlights.
Event 17: Penguin Speed Shops Championship / Event 15: Pre-1959 Sidecar Outfits Championship / Event 23A BSSO Scooter Sidecar Championship
Event 17 saw the renowned Bill and Maggie Tuer take all four wins, with Stephen Mann/Phil Wade on their twin-engined Triumph 1246cc taking close second places in each outing. Event 15 saw Adam Pope/John Christopher take two wins on Saturday, but due to having to combine the other sidecar events to fit the programme into a short afternoon, they chose to ride their BEARS outfit, thus not being able to give their Thunderbird outfit an airing, gifting Joe White/Rebecca Howse both wins on the Sunday. It was great to see John Howe back out on three wheels on his Scooter sidecar in Event 23a after having a bad crash earlier in the season on his solo
lambretta. John had a new passenger onboard; David Bristow, who also races his solo machine in the geared scooter event. Howe and White, despite competing in different events had great battles all weekend. Also of note was a good performance by the novice crew of Graham Davenport/Neil Davenport on Sunday.
Event 14: D & M Engineering Championship / Event 1 Tuers Garage Championship
John Warwick took three wins and Mike Bevan the remaining one. Both riders enjoyed a great tussle with one another all weekend right to the last corner! Tony
Perkin, having a fantastic season so far, took all four wins in Event 1, to take a commanding lead in the championship standings, and must be considered the favourite for this title as we head into the second half of the year.
Event 3: Villiers Marketing & Promotions Championship / Event 2: Pre-1963 250cc Championship
There was another exciting show of close action in Event 3 with Andy Hunt, Stu Noble and Charles Davies in close company. Andy Hunt took a hat-trick of wins and a second; Stu Noble had a win and a second on Sunday, following a day of disappointment with engine problems on Saturday; and Charles Davies took two seconds and two thirds
over the weekend. Charles had a good weekend back in Anglesey so it will be interesting to see the up to date championship tables in due course, and I’m sure this championship will go to the wire at the end of the season. In Event 2, Angela Cragg won all four races.
With these rounds completed it the next port of call is Lydden, the most southerly circuit on the calendar, on the 25th and 26th July. A popular venue amongst competitors and spectators alike, with excellent viewing, the whole circuit is visible from the banking. With great racing action in prospect, and wild optimism that summer may actually have arrived, I hope to see you all there! All this pictures and more of Croft meeting can be found at http://leehollickphotography.zenfolio.com/p704928305. Thanks to Lee Hollick Photography.