At the end of the rac­ing year, you start to think about the year to come. But first comes the an­nual event that all at the CRMC en­joy.

Classic Racer - - ON TRACK - Words: Gra­ham Lawlor Pho­to­graphs: Rus­sell Lee,

Dou­ble TT win­ner and well-known TV pre­sen­ter Steve Plater was the guest of hon­our at the sold-out CRMC an­nual awards and din­ner/dance, held at the usual venue of the Mer­cure Daven­try Court Ho­tel. Kevin Hunt and Alan Crack­nell re­tained their Side­car Rac­ers of the Year Tro­phy, with Ge­orge Hog­ton-rusling tak­ing the equally cov­eted Racer of the Year award. Hunt and Crack­nell again proved to be the dom­i­nant side­car crew on their dis­tinc­tive all-white Pat­ter­son Imp, while ‘GHR’ won ev­ery round of the King of the Clas­sics cham­pi­onship, the CRMC 1300 Clas­sic Mul­tis, the Clas­sic Racer Syn­di­cate 1300 Na­tional Se­ries and last but by no means least, the ACU Post Clas­sic UK 350 cham­pi­onship. The club’s other ACU UK cham­pi­onship, for 500 Clas­sics, went to Mike Cooper who, de­spite hav­ing to cut back slightly on his rac­ing dur­ing 2017, was able to once again take the Craven Manx to vic­tory. Ad­di­tional tro­phies an­nounced on the night in­cluded: Sally Rus­sell (Chair­man’s Cup); Len Hunt (Mar­shall of the Year); Ash­ley Beck­ett (Doug Jones Tro­phy, best young rider); Paul Klatkiewicz (Cath­cart Tro­phy, non-com­mit­tee

mem­ber); Gavin Kid­well (Lodge Broth­ers Tro­phy); Jeff Smith (Com­men­ta­tor’s Cup); John War­wick (Rear of the Year); Phil Luhr (Bob An­der­son Tro­phy, club­man of the year); John Hynes (Mick Collins Tro­phy, achieve­ment be­yond all odds); Eddy Wright and Kieran Clarke (Day­tona Cup, best over­seas per­for­mance); Cor­mac Con­roy (Paris Soir Cup, best over­seas rider); Andy Guy (Micky Gray Gold Star Tro­phy); James Dick­in­son (Stella Cath­cart Tro­phy for best novice) and David Holden and Kr­ishna Hanns (Micky Gray Side­car Tro­phy). The af­ter­noon’s AGM be­gan with chair­man Mark Ge­orge re­fer­ring to the loss of Fran Fletcher at the club’s fi­nal meet­ing at Brands Hatch and thank­ing all of­fi­cials and other mem­bers who had dealt with the tragedy so re­spect­fully and ap­pro­pri­ately. This, to­gether with the deaths through ill­ness of sev­eral other well-known mem­bers, in­evitably cast a shadow over the 2017 sea­son. Turn­ing to rac­ing mat­ters, the chair­man an­nounced that 2017 had been a sea­son in which the club had re­ceived good sup­port and found it­self in a sound fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. From 2018 the club was in­tro­duc­ing the op­tion

for on­line en­tries, al­though paper en­tries will con­tinue to be wel­come. Sports Tim­ing Ser­vices will be as­sum­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for time­keep­ing, which will not only en­able the set­ting of pro­gres­sive grids, but also pro­vide a wide ar­ray of real-time race in­for­ma­tion. The open dis­cus­sion saw lively de­bate on a num­ber of sub­jects, none more so than the ques­tion of tyre warm­ers. A num­ber of rid­ers from the P/C Su­per­bikes class had asked the club to con­sider al­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of tyre warm­ers based on safety grounds, but af­ter what could be called a ro­bust dis­cus­sion, a show of hands in­di­cated very lit­tle sup­port for ei­ther warm­ers or wet tyres. In­ter­est­ingly, on be­ing asked about this at the evening’s awards din­ner, Steve Plater came out strongly against tyre warm­ers for rac­ing at this level. The pro­vi­sional 2018 race sched­ule was an­nounced as fol­lows: Pem­brey, March 31 & April 1; Snet­ter­ton (200) April 28/29; Oul­ton Park, May 26-28; Dar­ley Moor, July 7/8; Don­ing­ton Park Clas­sic Fes­ti­val, Au­gust 3-5; Mal­lory Park, Septem­ber 8/9; Cad­well Park, Oc­to­ber 6/7. The club will also be fa­cil­i­tat­ing the run­ning of the En­durance Le­gends event at Don­ing­ton Park on May 12/13.

Once again Kevin Hunt and Alan Crack­nell are happy and pop­u­lar re­cip­i­ents of the CRMC Side­car Rac­ers of the Year Tro­phy. Pre­sent­ing it is Steve Plater.

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