CRANSTON NOTCHES UP HIS 39TH TANDRAGEE
Paul Cranston was riding in his 39th Tandragee 100 meeting on Saturday. At 58, the Dungannon man has become the patriarch of the Irish road racing paddock – and he is adamant there’s no stopping him.
“Con Law, Conor Mcginn and Joey Dunlop were in the race that first year I came here,” he recalls. “Joey had broken his collarbone at Aghadowey a week or two before and he was all strapped up.”
Cranston has raced against all of the greats of the sport in Ireland over the past four decades. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame was his victory in the 500cc race on a Yamaha at the 1982 Ulster Grand Prix. He can still spin great tales about encounters with Ray Mccullough, Joey and Robert Dunlop, William and Michael Dunlop, Phillip Mccallen, Ryan Farquhar and visitors like John Mcguinness and Ian Hutchinson.
Racing an ageing Honda CBR600 at the Co Armagh event, Cranston finished tenth ahead of rivals more than a third of his age and is still chasing success.
“When the flag drops I still want to go,” he smiled. “I don’t always prepare as well as I should and then when I get a good run like today I wish I had prepared a lot better.”
You wouldn’t bet against him making it 40 visits