Classic Racer - - PRE-TT CLASSIC -

The 2017 Black­fords PRE-TT Clas­sic pro­duced a bat­tle for over­all supremacy be­tween two stal­warts of the clas­sic scene. Go­ing into the Bil­lown event, York­shire’s Bill Swal­low led the way jointly with the long-time re­tired Bob Heath on 15 wins for the an­nual meet­ing that started in 1988. Swal­low’s last win was 2012 so, at the age of 72, he wasn’t ex­actly among the top tips in a nearca­pac­ity en­try for most classes. He was again en­tered for the Sin­gles race that he had won five years ear­lier, but did not make the start on this oc­ca­sion. The win­ner turned out to be Isle of Man res­i­dent Rich Hawkins on the same Du­cati MK.III he last won the race on in 2007. Third on no fewer than three oc­ca­sions in the pre­vi­ous four years, Hawkins en­joyed an early dice with Welsh­man Bob Owen. The lat­ter led into Cross Four Ways on lap one and com­pleted the open­ing 4.25 mile cir­cuit eight-tenths of a sec­ond in front. Hawkins stayed glued to the Aer­ma­c­chi’s rear­wheel and did have the drive out of the slower corners, while Owen had the bet­ter top-end speed. Meredydd Owen, Bob’s el­der brother, was up to third on lap two ahead of Keith Dixon of Black­burn. The lead­ing 250 was the Cot­ton Tel­star of Keith Shan­non of St He­lens in fifth place, with new­comer Will Loder go­ing great guns on the Greeves Sil­ver­stone not far be­hind. Above:A Will Loder on the 250cc Greeves car­ried the Novice bbib for now but still man­aged a fine sev­enth place over­all fifin­ish in the Quine & Cub­bon Prin­ters Light­weight Race.

Left:L Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle (2, 750ccyamaha) over­takeo Vince Biggs and Vicky Cooke (23, Busch BMW) in thet last open Side­car race of the meet­ing.

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