On Track

The CRMC gets out af­ter a long win­ter with a jam-packed pro­gramme of ac­tion

Classic Racer - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Words: Gra­ham Lawlor Pics: Russell Lee – www.sport-pics.co.uk

And so with a bang, not a whim­per, the year’s CRMC cham­pi­onship gets un­der­way. Clas­sic Racer’s Gra­ham Lawlor and Russ Lee were on hand for the fun and games.

The Easter holiday pe­riod saw most of the UK ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pro­longed del­uge, so the CRMC’S chilly but largely dry weekend at Pem­brey came as some­thing of a re­lief as they be­gan their 2018 sea­son in South West Wales. A long oil de­lay on the Satur­day meant that day’s pro­gramme had to be trimmed but the meet­ing still pro­vided plenty of ac­tion, with 29 races for the well wrapped up spec­ta­tors to en­joy, in­clud­ing three lengthy out­ings for every club class. As al­ways, the new sea­son saw the re­turn

of many of the usual sus­pects, to­gether with some new faces in­clud­ing a healthy crop of or­ange-jack­eted new­com­ers. A sur­prise late en­try came from well known Bri­tish Su­per­bike/su­per­stock rider, Hud­son Ken­naugh, who took a last minute di­ver­sion to Pem­brey af­ter the Ton­fanau meet­ing was can­celled due to wa­ter­log­ging and the threat of fur­ther heavy rain. On board Gra­ham Ver­yard’s TZ350 for the first time, at a track he’d never even seen be­fore, the man from Dur­ban, South Africa quickly got on the pace and capped his weekend with a win in Sun­day’s fi­nal race. Sun­day fea­tured two ACU cham­pi­onship races, both of them re­sult­ing in des­per­ately hard earned wins for Mike Cooper on his Team Craven TZ350 and Manx 500. The Her­cberg In­ter­na­tional com­bined ACU Post Clas­sic and Peter Williams Tro­phy race pro­duced a tremen­dous scrap be­tween Cooper (TZ350) and George Hog­ton-rusling (Suzuki XR69 1100) af­ter early leader Ken­naugh had dropped back and then re­tired. All was geared up for a

grand­stand fin­ish un­til the red flag came out with two laps to go, at which point Cooper was lead­ing by 0.228 sec­onds. The Min­no­va­tion ACU Clas­sic 500 race be­gan with a first lap red flag but the nine-lap re­run was a flag to flag cracker that saw Cooper and Richard Mol­nar (Mol­nar Manx) never more than a few feet apart. The pair swapped places un­til Cooper slipped past his younger ri­val at Hatch­ets Hair­pin on the last lap and held on to win by just 0.277 sec­onds. Early sea­son can of­ten see the side­car en­try a lit­tle on the low side and Pem­brey was no ex­cep­tion, but the dozen or so 750 and Un­lim­ited class out­fits that made the trip got down to some com­mit­ted scrap­ping, with Doug/an­drew Street (MRE Imp) and Mike Bellaby/dave Grist­wood (D&D Moore­speed BMW) tak­ing the over­all wins. In the 750 classes Matt Kingsmill/paul Sands were con­sis­tently the best of the bunch on their MRE BMW. The CRMC circus moves on to Snet­ter­ton on April 28/29, by which time it is to be hoped that win­ter fi­nally will have re­leased its grip on the UK’S weather.

Doug/an­drew Street (76, MRE Imp) looked well on their way to re­peat­ing their 2017 Pem­brey hat-trick af­ter com­fort­ably win­ning the weekend’s first two races but they failed to ap­pear for the fi­nal leg, which saw vic­tory go­ing to Mike Bellaby/dave Grist­wood (D&D Moore­speed BMW).

Mike Cooper (24, Craven Manx) leads Richard Mol­nar (25, Mol­nar Manx) in their ti­tanic Min­no­va­tion ACU Clas­sic 500 battle. Cooper’s ex­pe­ri­ence was pos­si­bly the key de­cid­ing fac­tor as he edged Mol­nar out by a few feet af­ter a su­perb dice. The battle will re­sume at Snet­ter­ton on April 28/29.

Back in the 1980s Mark As­tle was one of the lead­ing rid­ers in the then hugely pop­u­lar sin­gles class on a Honda XBR 500 special. Af­ter a near 30 year break he was back on the track at Pem­brey, on board this im­mac­u­late stan­dard XBR ex­am­ple in the Ju­nior Pro­duc­tion event.

Right: Martin Pur­vey’s spot­less TZ250 de­servedly won the pa­rade bike of the meet­ing award.Above: Squadron Leader Sy­mon Wood­ward would have loved to notch up a win on the weekend that marked the cen­te­nary of the RAF but just fell short of his ob­jec­tive. Here he leads John War­wick in an all RD250 battle in the post clas­sic 200/250 event, but it was War­wick who even­tu­ally nar­rowly took the hon­ours in all three races.Left inset: Ervin Wal­lace has spent the win­ter build­ing this gor­geous Suzuki Katana and it goes as well as it looks, with the man uni­ver­sally known as ‘Erv the Sw­erve’ tak­ing three top-two fin­ishes in the PC Su­per­bikes. Richard Llewellin (Du­cati Pan­tah) is the man be­hind Louigi Moto and he cel­e­brated his birth­day with a clean sweep of wins in the A/C PC 500s on board this gor­geous ex­am­ple of his own work.to cap his weekend he was awarded rider of the meet­ing in recog­ni­tion of his achieve­ment. Above: It’s all smiles on the Her­cberg ACU350/ Peter Williams Tro­phy podium with vic­tor Mike Cooper flanked (left) by run­ner-up George Hog­ton-rusling and third place man, Kevin Who­ley (Gourlay TZ350).Left: A thought­ful (or pos­si­bly ex­hausted) look­ing podium af­ter the su­perb Min­no­va­tion ACU Clas­sic 500 race. Mike Cooper (cen­tre) cra­dles the win­ner’s spoils while run­ner-up Rich Mol­nar (left) thinks about what might have been. Lee Hodge (right, Min­no­va­tion G50) com­pletes the podium.

It was a good weekend for Olie Lins­dell. He dom­i­nated the Clas­sic Club­man 500 class on the Fl­itwick Mo­tor­cy­cles Royal En­field and also had three strong rides on this Rob North T150 in the Clas­sic/post clas­sic 750 class, cul­mi­nat­ing in vic­tory in the fi­nal leg.

Left: In­tense con­cen­tra­tion shows in the eyes of George Hog­ton-rusling (44, Gourlay TZ350) and Hud­son Ken­naugh (69, Ver­yard TZ350) as they battle for vic­tory in the open­ing CRMC PC 250/350 GP race. Former BSB front run­ner Ken­naugh quickly adapted to a track he was see­ing for the first time but it was CRMC 2017 Rider of the Year, Hog­ton-rusling, who nar­rowly won this one.

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