CRMC Don­ing­ton

Au­gust 5-7, 2016

Classic Racer - - WHAT'S INSIDE -

This is the fourth con­sec­u­tive year in which the CRMC has taken part in Don­ing­ton Park’s Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Fes­ti­val and with the weather be­hav­ing im­pec­ca­bly the crowds flocked to the East Mid­lands cir­cuit to en­joy what has be­come one of Europe’s big­gest cel­e­bra­tions of mo­tor­cy­cling. With mas­sive dis­play ar­eas, big pa­rades, and star names in­clud­ing guest of hon­our Steve Baker, Jim Red­man, Steve Par­rish, Sammy Miller, Stan Woods, Char­lie Wil­liams and Chas Mor­timer, the thread run­ning through the three days was the CRMC’S 49-race pro­gramme, with nearly ev­ery race fully or over sub­scribed.

Sun­day’s fea­ture race was the 10-lap Wheatcroft Tro­phy, with Clas­sic Racer once again dip­ping deep into its pock­ets to pro­vide £1000 of prize money, with £500 of it go­ing to the win­ner, to­gether with the su­perb tro­phy. All week­end it was South African Phil Atkin­son (Ver­yard TZ350), Wales’s Alex Sin­clair (Louigi Moto Du­cati 750) and York­shire­man Ge­orge Hog­ton-rusling (Her­cberg XR69 Suzuki 1300) who were the quick­est men around the East Mid­lands cir­cuit but the whole race dy­namic changed when Atkin­son re­tired after the sight­ing lap with an over­heat­ing en­gine. Hog­ton-rusling needed no sec­ond in­vi­ta­tion and blitzed into the lead, never to be headed. Sin­clair put in a re­mark­able ride on the Du­cati to take sec­ond place less than eight sec­onds be­hind, with Ant Hart (TZ350) hold­ing off Rob Wittey (Kawasaki 1100) and Mike Cooper (Craven TZ350) for third place after a great scrap.

With all grids full to the brim and per­fect rac­ing con­di­tions, spec­ta­tors were treated to an ex­hi­bi­tion of ev­ery­thing that is good about CRMC rac­ing, with just about ev­ery race seem­ingly go­ing down to the wire. There was added in­ter­est from the fact that many com­peti­tors were also com­pet­ing in the con­cur­rent FIM Europe Vin­tage Cham­pi­onship, which en­sured an even larger con­tin­gent from Scan­di­navia and con­ti­nen­tal Europe than usual. Sim­i­larly, the side­car en­try was boosted by the Ca­math­ias Cup, with well over 30 out­fits on the grid. Away from the reg­u­lar CRMC cham­pi­onships, Cormac Con­roy (Ryan BSA 930) clawed back some points over cham­pi­onship leader Chris Chap­man (Rob North 930) in the Clas­sic Racer Syn­di­cate UK Clas­sic 1300 series, Phil Atkin­son ran away with the Sc­itsu/acu Post-clas­sic 350 round and Mike Cooper headed off a de­ter­mined Richard Mol­nar to take the Min­no­va­tion/acu Clas­sic 500 hon­ours.

Top: Un­stop­pable! Ge­orge Hog­ton-rusling (Suzuki XR69 1300) blitzed his way to the top step of the Wheatcroft podium, col­lect­ing the su­perb tro­phy and £500 of Clas­sic Racer’s over­all £1000 prize fund.

Above: The Wheatcroft podium. Don­ing­ton Park man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Christo­pher Tate and Clas­sic Racer editor Malc Wheeler flank the top three. L to R, Alex Sin­clair (sec­ond, Luigi Moto Du­cati), win­ner Ge­orge Hog­ton-rusling (Her­cberg XR69) and Ant Hart (third, Har­ris TZ350).

Kevin Who­ley (1, FZ600) won all four of his pro­duc­tion races but he had to fight for ev­ery inch of track. Here he trails Danny Im­berg (17, FZ600) with the sim­i­larly mounted Grant Good­ings (46) also in the mix.

The Lans­downe trav­el­ling cir­cus put on a bril­liant dis­play of com­mit­ted rac­ing, with Manx Nor­ton mounted Dean Stimp­son (79), Chris Firmin (999), Glen English (25) and Mike Rus­sell the stars of the show.

Early ac­tion from the Min­no­va­tion/acu Clas­sic 500 race, with Gary Th­waites (77, Shel­ton G50) lead­ing Lee Hodge (14, Min­no­va­tion G50). Hodge was forced to re­tire when lead­ing on lap six and Mike Cooper (Craven Manx, not in pic­ture) came through to win.

Fab­u­lous 125 ac­tion had the big crowds on their feet all week­end. Steph Wad­de­low (125, RS125 Honda) and Andy Saw­ford (16, RS125) each scrapped their way to a hard-earned win in the Open class.

Steve Baker was smooth and quick on Roy Flower’s replica Yamaha Canada TZ750 in the spe­cial pa­rades.the guest of hon­our was the epit­ome of po­lite­ness and friend­li­ness through­out the week­end.

Ely-based South African Phil Atkin­son was in scin­til­lat­ing form on Gra­ham Ver­yard’s TZ350, with com­fort­able wins in the ACU Post-clas­sic 350 race and a clean sweep of the club races.

Will Loder (Greeves Sil­ver­stone) gives it ev­ery­thing on his way to suc­cess in the 250 Euro­pean class.

Left: Richard Mol­nar (Mol­nar Tickle Manx 350) holds off a gag­gle of K4 Hon­das led by Si­mon Walsh (27, Garfield Honda) in the 350 event.

A triumphant Phil Atkin­son holds the bub­bly aloft as he cel­e­brates vic­tory in the Sc­itsu/acu Post-clas­sic 350 race. Run­ner-up Lee Hodge (Min­no­va­tion TZ350, left) and third-place fin­isher Alex Sin­clair (right, Fox TZ350) share the podium, to­gether with Jim Red­man.

Min­no­va­tion/acu Clas­sic 500 podium. L to R, Richard Mol­nar (sec­ond place, Mol­nar Manx), win­ner Mike Cooper (Craven Manx), Har­ley Rush­ton (third, Craven Manx) and FIM Europe rep­re­sen­ta­tive Igor Boskovic.

Right: Char­lie Wil­liams was cir­cu­lat­ing rapidly on Mike Far­rall’s lovely Rudge TTR in the Lans­downe TCM class.

The ACU 350 Clas­sic podium with win­ner Will Loder (Greeves), sec­ond-place man Gary Free­man (left, Honda) and Olie Lins­dell (right, Honda). Only 0.4 sec­onds sep­a­rated the three men after 10 hard laps.

Work pres­sures have caused Mike Cooper to miss a cou­ple of meet­ings this sea­son but he was back with a bang to win Sun­day’s Min­no­va­tion/acu Clas­sic 500 race on the Craven Manx that has car­ried him to three ACU cham­pi­onships.

De­spite a cou­ple of glitches, Kevin Hunt and Alan Crack­nell (66, Pat­ter­son Imp) carved out a cou­ple of vic­to­ries in the side­cars, which pro­duced great rac­ing all week­end.

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