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.