Andrew Farrell and Darryl Tweed completed MGP Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight doubles respectively in Friday morning’s races. After a half hour delay to allow lingering mist to disburse the riders were greeted by almost perfect conditions for their races that were run concurrently. The differences from Wednesday being that the Lightweight would run for the full scheduled four laps and the Ultra Lightweights would not have a mandatory pit stop.
In the Lightweight the first starter was the first retirement; Victor Lopez Santos, victim of electrical problems on Wednesday only last 1.1 miles; parking the machine at Quarter Bridge. James Chawke; a visitor to ace tuner Slick Bass after race 1; had his Paton in the lead at Glen Helen on the opening tour of the world’s most famous circuit. He was 1.2s ahead of Dave Butler with Gary Vines third, David Lumsden fourth and Andrew Farrell fifth; just 2.5s covered those three. At the next timing beam at Ballaugh Bridge Chawke had opened the gap at the front to a shade under 4s.At Ramsey hairpin there seemed to be a major change; Butler was the race leader by 0.2s from Vines; with Chawke now showing as fifth. Soon the cause was known; Chawke had been black flagged at Sulby Bridge; the machine was examined and found to be perfectly all right. He was duly credited with the time lost of 29s. This meant that at The Bungalow he was once again the race leader by 5s on corrected time; even if down the order on the road. Vines was now second; he was 2s ahead of Butler.
At the end of a frenetic first lap Chawke’s lap at 113.664mph gave him a lead of 8.5s from Vines; with Farrell third 1.8s further back. Butler, Lumsden and Gareth Evans completed the leader board. Butler came into is pit to fill up the tank and give himself two flying laps at the end of the race. Time would tell if the strategy was a good one. Chawke was on lap record pace on lap 2; he led by 9s at Glen Helen where Vines had 5s in hand over Farrell. At Ballaugh the lead was 11.5s; 14.1s at Parliament Square in Ramsey and 15.4s at The Bungalow. Despite slowing to make his fuel stop Chawke set a new class lap at record at 114.993mph. Vines lapped at a4 114.350mph on his two stroke Yamaha to sit 15.1s back as they entered pit lane. Farrell was third but in his haste rode a little way past his pit and had to paddle back to it; this dropped several seconds to both of the front runners. Lumsden held fourth; Butler fifth and Evans sixth.
With all now back on a level playing field Chawke led by 42s from Butler, he was just 1s in front of Farrell who was 0.02s up on Vines; Lumsden in fifth was 13s back from Vines. At Ramsey, Chawke was 50s ahead; Butler was in turn 1.5s ahead of Vines. At the top of the mountain Chawke was 52s ahead, Buler was just 0.3s ahead of Vines who had Farrell just 2s back and closing. Going into the final lap Chawke was 51.26s ahead of the scrap for second place in which Farrell, Butler and Vines were covered by just 1.77s.
With victory seemingly his Chawke suffered misfortune; his engine blew on the approach to Ballagarey (aka Ballascarey) and he had to watch the scrapping trio power away into the distance. At Glen Helen Farrell had a lead of 3.1s over Vines; with Butler just 0.5s down on Vines. It was still tight at Parliament Square; our watch suggested that Farrell led by 4.4s from Vines; with Butler now 2.1s down on the screaming two stroke. At The Bungalow it was the same order; but the gaps were 4.4s and 2s with just the descent of the mountain to go. Farrell had his bases covered and duly came home to complete his double; his margin of victory was 6.33s. Butler took the final podium place 2.6s down on Vines. Lumsden was fourth; Newcomers’ Race winner Michael Rees grabbed a superb fifth place, with Brad Vicars taking sixth; great to see him riding well again.
MGP Supporters’ Club Lightweight Race
- Andrew Farrell JFR Kawasaki 112.296mph
- Gary Vines Wobbly Bob Yamaha 112.149mph
- Dave Butler Fingal Kawasaki 112.089mph
- David Lumsden Bullock Kawasaki 111.397mph
- Michael Rees GT Kawasaki 108.179mph
- Brad Vicars Yorks. Kawasaki 107.831mph
The Ultra Lightweight produced another master class from Darryl Tweed. With some machines able to go the full race distance without refuelling he knew that he would have to build a significant lead on the first two laps. This proved no problem to him; as he came into Parliament Square for the first time he already opened a lead of 17.5s from Steve Moody who was a having a close battle with Tom Snow. Tweed was rapid over the mountain and was 31.15s ahead as he powered past the Grandstand to begin his second lap. Moody and fourth placed Alex Sinclair opted to pit for fuel and dropped themselves down the batting order. At Glen Helen, Tweed led by 41s from Snow; with Daniel Ingham in third, 9s down on Snow and just 2s ahead of Andy Cowie.
At the end of the lap Tweed led by 61.55s; more than enough to refuel and leave pit lane with the lead. Snow retained second; but Andy Cowie had displaced Ingham from third. There were no dramas on the final lap; Tweed took victory from Snow by 29.5s; with Cowie just 7.2s back in a fine third place; securing his first podium finish.
MGP Supporters’Club Ultra Lightweight Race
- Darryl Tweed M&D Kawasaki 105.122mph
- Tom Snow Falcon Honda 104.327mph
- Andy Cowie Wood Kawasaki 104.135mph