Six Races Not For the Feint-Hearted

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This year’s Greystone LLC 500cc Race would appear to be a wide-open affair with last year’s winner Adam McLean absent, however the winning rider may be missing, but the winning machine is returning, with Manx Rider Joe Yeardsley in the saddle. Joe took his maiden victory on the Colas Billown Course in 2023 in the Senior Post Classic Superbike, setting a new lap record in the process, so he will be out to prove the Royal Enfield win twelve months ago was no fluke.

Six Races Not For The Feint-hearted
Photo courtesy of Christine Hartley

There will be another twenty-nine competitors, who will be all after passing the chequered flag first, including the other two podium place-men, Alan Oversby on the 500 Honda-4, and Andy Hornby on the Black Eagle 500 MV Agusta-3 cylinder.

Add to the mix Mike Browne, Steven Elliott, Gary Hutton, Will Loder, Barry Davidson, Stuart Robinson, and Paul Cassidy amongst others and you can be assured that the seven-lap race will not be a dull affair – far from it!

The six lap Quine & Cubbon Printers Lightweight Classic and Ultra Lightweight Post Classic Race has attracted twenty-two entries and once again it would appear that Keith Shannon will be the man to get the better of on his 250cc Suzuki T20. The St Helen’s man will have Andy Hunt, and Barry Davidson (2nd & 3rd in 2023), along with Geoff Bates, Richard Ford, and Brian Mateer and others to keep at bay in his attempt to get to the chequered flag and retain his trophy.

In the Post Classic 125cc class, only podium man from last year entered is second place man Simon Lehane, but he will have opposition from Dan Sayle, Owen Monaghan, Mark Herbertson amongst others.
The Vintage MCC (IOM Section) 350cc Junior Race, has always provided some fast, close, exciting racing and with a full grid again, made up mainly of the protagonists from the opening 500cc Senior race, sparks will fly from the change of the lights! Hornby, Oversby, Browne, McGahan, Elliott, Ford, Hutton, Loder, Davidson, Shannon, Bates, Moore – pull a name from a hat and you could be on a winner.

The Blackford Financial Services Consolation Race gives those that failed to qualify to start in the 350cc Junior, 500cc Senior, Junior and Senior Post Classic Superbikes and Unlimited races, the chance to enjoy a six-lap race around the Colas Billown Course, with the first 500cc rider home receiving the Ian Bainbridge Trophy.

The UGGLY Post Classic Superbike Race will have another thirty competitors vying for the winner’s laurels, they include last year’s winner Joe Yeardsley, who set a new lap record in 2023 at 106.535mph during a hard-fought race with Yorkshireman Jamie Coward. Coward and Paul Jordan are having a sabbatical this year, so it will be up to the likes of Rhys Hardisty, Andy Hornby, Paul Cassidy, Mike Browne, Marcus Simpson, Dennis Booth, Hefyn Owen, Marc Colvin, and Darren Creer plus others to keep the Manxie honest during the final solo race of the meeting in what should be an exciting race.

The second Sidecar race at this year’s Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races, bring the curtain down on the main race day, Sunday.

With last year’s winner playing away with modern machinery, second and third place crews Jack Gristwood and Alice Smith and Danny Quirk, with new passenger Sharon Reeves, who is a newcomer to Billown, will no doubt have their eyes on the top spot of the podium. Again, the remainder of the field have the same ambitions, taking the chequered flag first, they include previous winner Mike Bellaby and Dave Gristwood, Tony Thirkell and William Moralee, Kenny Howles and Jordan Forrest and previous Southern 100 Sidecar champion Greg Lambert with Andrew Haynes in the chair amongst others. Will it be a repeat of Saturday’s race, or will there be a new ending?

Once the racing is concluded, the focus moves to the Castletown Market Square for the unique outdoor Prize Presentation, commencing at 7.30pm, where you can join in the celebrations of the award winners and show your appreciation of all the competitors, who will have given their all to entertain the fans and spectators during the 37th anniversary of the first running of the Pre-TT Classic Road Races in 1988.