Words – Marianne Walford / Photographs – Haydn Wyatt
After the terrible weather at the Sidecar Revival, it was worrying to listen to the rain falling on the night of Friday into Saturday, but by 7am, the sun was out and a nice day beckoned.
There were a few guests joining the Pre-injection grid which brought it up to a healthy 19, although the programme listed 21, Charlie Morphet and William Reilly and Dave Crawford with Taylor Oldroyd failed to take up their places on Saturday morning. Morphet/Reilly and Bob Dawson/Matt Sims were also doing the F2 Championship races. Aden Pearson had had a shoulder reconstruction so it was his first time back driving the LCR Suzuki 600 for a while; Billy his son usually drives but was passengering after a four year gap. Richard Butler and Josh Saunders were on an Ireson Suzuki, and Martin Best and Max Eastell came down from Scotland with their LCR ZX10R. They were full of praise for the FSRA for giving them the opportunity to race, although on Sunday they only completed warm-up not the races. Danny Quirk and Sharon Reeves 1272cc Bellas Vincent is an interesting addition with its deep rumble along the straights at its maximum 6000 revs! Brian Jukes and Jason Miller were out their Baker Suzuki 600, which necessitated a quick change from car overalls to leathers – in this unusual meeting where the FSRA championships join the Northern Saloon and Sports Car championships, Brian was driving a Class D VW Lupo in the race before on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Rian Saunders was having his first time driving the LCR Suzuki 600 which he normally passengers with Mark Saunders, but Mark had a shoulder injury so Rian switched to try driving and Greg Pymm stepped into the chair. On Saturday they had fuelling issues which caused frequent cut-outs but on Sunday, Rian and Greg got going properly!
In race one, guest riders Dawson/Sims took and kept the lead with F1 competitors Mark Burns and Steve Winfrow on their LCR Yamaha R1 getting a good start ahead of Gary Fairhurst and Billy Andrews Windle Kawasaki XR9R. Burns/Winfrow could not prevent Fairhurst/Andrews passing them into Coppice on the second lap, and John Stephenson/Amanda Mason were also making up places. In the F2 class Derek Salleh/Jack Fairhurst’s Ireson Thundercat led from lap one, having a good battle with Quirk/Reeves until a major engine blow up on lap 6. This allowed Redd Gilroy and Colin Smyth to take the F2 honours, even though they had started at the back of the field. Following them home were Geoff and Sam Knight, Steve Woolcott and Tom Saville, and Gerald and Daniel Hodgson, with Jan Tyrrell and Joanne Thomas in fifth place behind the guests Jukes/Miller. In the F1 class, the George McMahon and Mick Ranson, Shelbourne Suzuki GSXR1100, stayed ahead of Dave Tibbles and Raitch Greenwood, post classic DDR Yamaha FJ1100, taking fourth and fifth respectively. Dawson/Sims and the other guests took no points; Best/Eastall finished fourth overall, three places ahead of Quirk/Reeves, who were a couple of places in front of Butler/Saunders and the Pearsons.
Again in Race 2, Burns/Winfrow made a good start behind guests Dawson/Sims, but again Fairhurst/Andrews were up to first place by the third lap when Dawson/Sims pulled off. Stephenson/Mason had a good battle with Quirk/Reeves and Gilroy/Smyth, while Tibbles/Greenwood worked hard to pass McMahon/Ranson by the sixth lap. With Salleh/Fairhurst out of this race, it was an ideal chance for second place F2 championship runners Woolcott/Saville to close the gap, but they were out by the second lap with the throttle cable nipple coming loose and a flat battery. Gilroy/Smyth led Knight/Knight, Hodgson/Hodgson and the consistent team of Tyrrell/Thomas across the line.
On Sunday morning, the Pearsons were non-starters as a crack in their frame was found. Burns/Winfrow again made good starts, while Dawson/Sims made an uncharacteristic slow start behind Morphet/Reilly. Half way round the first lap, Fairhurst/Andrews made a surprise move round the outside of the lefthander at the approach to the Mountain, forcing Burns/Winfrow on to the grass so they had to concede the place as they entered the right hand bend. Behind them McMahon/Ranson kept ahead of Tibbles/Greenwood in the F1 class. Salleh/Fairhurst had fitted the spare engine overnight but it needed different fuel settings and they pulled off after 1 ½ laps. Stephenson/Mason fought hard to keep Quirk/Reeves and Gilroy/Smyth behind them, but a quick nip past on the short straight between the Chicane and Mountain saw Quirk/Reeves take fourth overall, after Dawson/Sims pulled off on the final lap allowing Fairhurst/Andrews to take the win and Burns/Winfrow second place, followed by guests Morphet/Reilly in third. McMahon/Ranson were initially separated from Tibbles/Greenwood by Butler/Saunders who got by on the fourth lap, finishing seventh overall. In the F2 class Gilroy/Smyth led guests Saunders/Pymm home, ahead of Woolcott/Saville, the Hodgsons and Tyrrell/Thomas. Jukes/Miller failed to finish as a mistake at the end of Hall Bends saw them beached just off the track.
After the warm-up lap of Race 4, Fairhurst/Andrews pulled into the pit lane to check an R clip was in place, so had to start at the back from pit lane. With the race shortened from 8 to 6 laps, the Burns/Winfrow pairing couldn’t be caught, finishing in second overall behind guests Morphet/Reilly. Salleh/Fairhurst’s fuelling was still not right and they could not catch the fast pairing of Gilroy/Smyth, but they must have been relieved to get a second place after the previous non finishes. Stephenson/Mason took their usual third place in the F1s, with McMahon/Ranson finishing ahead of Tibbles/Greenwood who had been battling with F2s Knight/Knight. Woolcott/Saville and Tyrrell/Thomas ran their own races separated by guests Saunders/Pymm – Jukes/Miller had elected not to take part. Guests Butler/Saunders and Quirk/Reeves had swapped places a couple of times and came home in sixth and seventh overall.
Everyone really appreciated the weather improvement from when we were here two weeks ago. The F1 honours for the year have already been decided, as Fairhurst/Andrews cannot be caught, but any more unreliability would be bad news for the leading F2s Salleh/Fairhurst who lead Woolcott/Saville by 24 points. Jan Tyrrell’s consistency in finishing nearly all her races has brought her to within one point of fourth place, currently held by the Hodgson father and son. The decider is in just over a months time at the Anglesey Grand 23/24 of September.