A beautiful sunny afternoon at the Colas Billown Circuit saw the start of racing at the Pre-TT Classic. A busy practice session preceded the race and that provided good entertainment for the crowds gathered at the many vantage points. At Cross Four Ways the photographers were made to feel very welcome by the new owners of the cottage on the outside of the corner; suffice to say that they have strong racing connections.
The Singles Race fired into life at 3.29; Mike Hose was quickest away from the lights on the Ripley Land 7R; with the similarly mounted Mark Herbertson in hot pursuit. Bill Swallow; equal with Hose on 16 wins had a slow start and never recovered from it. At Cross Four Ways on lap 1 Hose had a lead of 25m over Herbertson; with local man Rich Hawkins holding third on his Ducati. Then we had the chasing pack of Browning, Bray, Dixon, Swallow and Matravers. In the concurrently run 250cc Keith Shannon had a lead that he would extend as the race progressed. Bob Millinship was second; with slow starting Will Loder third on a bike damaged in an incident the previous evening.
Lap 2 saw Hose increase his lead to 1s; Herbertson was in turn edging away from Hawkins. Bray, Dixon and Browning completed the top 6. In the 250cc race Loder had passed Millinship; this was the order in which they would end the 6 laps. Lap 3 and the gaps at the front had increased, Bray was 4th Dixon 5th, with Swallow 6th; his progress was halted when the machine began to smoke and slowed.
Hose controlled the race; Herbertson settled for a safe second and Hawkins brought his Ducati home for another podium. There was a near miss at Cross Four Ways on the final lap when a hard charging Meredydd Owen made a lunge up the inside of the soon to retire Chris Bray. The victory put Hose on his own at the top of the race wins chart on 17. This is number that he will be hoping to increase as the meeting progresses; I for one would not bet against him.
- Mike Hose AJS 83.945mph
- Mark Herbertson AJS 83.643mph
- Rich Hawkins Ducati 82.329mph
- Keith Dixon Seeley 78.959mph
- Dave Matravers Seeley 78.898mph
- Meredydd Owen Seeley 78.891mph
The Sidecar Race went according to the form book; with Eddy Wright / Keiran Clarke quickest away from the lights taking control of the race with two rapid laps. Keith Walters / Alun Thomas rode a fine race to secure second and set the fastest lap of the race on the last lap. Patrick Geffray / Andy Haynes held third for the first 3 laps but were eventually hunted down by the slow starting Tony Thirkell / Trevor Johnson. Early leader board pairings of Mike Bellarby / Dave Gristwod and Rod Bellas / Danny Quirk were sidelined by machine problems.
Sidecar Race 1
- Eddy Wright/Keiran Clarke BMW 84.120mph
- Keith Walters/Alun Thomas Honda 83.832mph
- Tony Thirkell/Trevor Johnson BMW 83.190mph