Race Report: Ly­d­den Hill

Paul Green was at the track to watch jaw drop­pingly close rac­ing in Kent as the best of the English rid­ers took the fight to the Ital­ian Casa team.

Scootering - - Contents -

Paul Green brings us up to speed with a fast-paced and ac­tion-packed race report.

The Ly­d­den Hill meet­ing is one of the high­lights of the BSSO year and fea­tures the ea­gerly con­tended Me­mo­rial Race. This year was no ex­cep­tion with ex­cel­lent weather greet­ing the first visit of 2017 by the Ital­ian Casa Lam­bretta team. The Kent cir­cuit saw one of the biggest over­all en­tries of scoot­ers for some years show­ing the solid health of scooter rac­ing in the UK.

Group 6A Au­to­matic Specials

The Group 6 scoot­ers were up first and Lee Bam­ber laid down the fact that he was a force to be reckoned with, as he won not only the first race but ev­ery Group 6A race and man­aged to lap in an in­cred­i­ble 48.01 sec­onds. But he was made to fight for it on Satur­day by a rider we haven’t seen in BSSO races for some years – Scott Swar­brick. Scott was rid­ing a Tay­lor Tuned au­to­matic and was im­me­di­ately on the pace with strong fin­ishes de­spite a high speed crash on Satur­day. In the sec­ond race Swar­brick edged out Bam­ber with a last lap move – su­perb rac­ing! The auto pro­vided the fastest laps of the week­end and cer­tainly shows what can be done with an auto en­gine in high state of tune! War­ren Wilkin­son was a podium fin­isher in three

races, and on Sun­day Gary Pea­cock had a good day rid­ing the Retro Rac­ing Slim­line Sco­madi to sec­ond and third places show­ing the po­ten­tial of the Sco­madi go­ing for­ward.

Group 6 geared specials

It was very much a week­end of highs and lows for the Group 6 con­tenders… mas­sive highs for vet­eran Stu­art Day with two wins to his name, much to the de­light of the whole pad­dock as he took his first race win in over a year. There was a low for Dar­ren Con­neely who fell vic­tim to new tar­mac on the first lap of Race 1 and went down from the race lead. Other lows in­cluded ‘Jigsy’ Fielden who crashed out on Satur­day and suf­fered a bro­ken an­kle, and JB Tun­ing’s Mikey Bonett who had an ex­pen­sive week­end of en­gine is­sues seem­ingly caused by some bad Av­gas.

Doug Turner had a solid week­end with three podi­ums out of the four races, but it was Stu­art Day who was the most con­sis­tent rider of the week­end with four top three fin­ishes on the SRP 240 and a good cham­pi­onship points haul. Two of the vis­it­ing Ital­ians took a win each over the week­end to make the trip from Italy worth­while. The last race of the week­end was one of the best of the year with a ti­tanic bat­tle of pass­ing and repass­ing by Cham­pi­onship leader Dar­ren Con­neely and vis­it­ing Ital­ian Fus­chini, with a missed gear from Con­neely cost­ing him dearly two bends from the line.

Group 4 stan­dards

In terms of points a dom­i­nant Dar­ren Con­neely took four wins but the lead was no­tice­ably smaller than it has been at times this year, show­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of Chris Gey­ton, Dave Bris­tow and Dan Lewis to play catchup. Bris­tow and Gey­ton shared two sec­ond places each over the week­end with both suf­fer­ing a non-fin­ish each. Special men­tion must go to Dan Lewis who was rid­ing re­ally well and push­ing the others all the way on his home tuned Group 4.

LCGB Pro­duc­tion Class

Al­most half a grid on their own now, and still at­tract­ing new en­trants all the time. At the sharp end it was DSC team­mates Price and Graves with three wins and one win re­spec­tively. Mad Dog Ste­wart Macken­zie on the Vespa was in the con­tention on Satur­day with a sec­ond place but it’s Gra­ham Tat­ton who is now snap­ping at the heels of the DSC duo and lap­ping within tenths of a sec­ond of them. Tat­ton is one of the most stylish rid­ers and al­ways good to watch as he hangs off the scooter. Stu­art Day con­tin­ues to get to grips in the class with four fifth places, but was joined by the tal­ented Gary Pea­cock who had put aside an auto scooter to use the SRP pro­duc­tion bike for the week­end with the two be­ing very evenly matched.

Behind the lead­ing pack, the new­com­ers are get­ting closer all the time, and there are bat­tles through­out the field as the likes of Tim Simp­son and Pat Wick­ham con­tinue to get closer. Bob West had one of his oc­ca­sional out­ings on the old Taffspeed chas­sis. Andy Barnes had an ex­cur­sion into the gravel again, but thank­fully both he and ma­chine were pretty much un­scathed. For the Class

Cham­pi­onship Price con­sol­i­dated his po­si­tion but team­mate Graves is still in touch and there’s very lit­tle be­tween them.

Open Class

The non-cham­pi­onship Open Class was joined by the Casa Lam­bretta team with their ea­gerly awaited 265cc special and a very trick Pi­ag­gio Zip that was fast in the hands of Fil­lipo Ben­nini. The 265 had some tech­ni­cal is­sues over the week­end, but once sorted Fus­chini was fast and in­deed took a race win on Sun­day. Lee Bam­ber had his race head on again and took three wins over the week­end and had some amaz­ing races to the wire with the vis­it­ing Ital­ians as well as Scott Swar­brick.

BSSO Me­mo­rial Race

This has very quickly be­come the race that ev­ery­one re­ally wants to win. In the last few years scooter rac­ing has lost sev­eral rid­ers who have passed away in­clud­ing Jon Uffind­ell, Mark Hul­lah, Dave Web­ster and James Cam­pen. The race was es­tab­lished in or­der to com­mem­o­rate these and other rid­ers and is an all com­ers race open to all ma­chines. The race was won by Lee Bam­ber from Ital­ian Fil­lipo Benini who were trad­ing fastest laps and push­ing each other hard. Bam­ber set fastest lap of the week­end in this race at 48.01 sec­onds. Luca Zani took third place fol­lowed by the au­tos of Swar­brick and Wilkin­son, with Da­mon Tun­ni­cliffe just behind guest­ing on a Casa Lam­bretta ma­chine. So an ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous week­end of rac­ing, I strug­gle to re­call a meet­ing with more last-lap wins, de­cided by hun­dredths of sec­onds and a whole load of gasps from spec­ta­tors.

Words & Pad­dock Im­ages: Paul Green Pho­tog­ra­phy: Lee Hol­lick

Dean Con­neely lead­ing the group. PPat Wick­ham (64) push­ing ha­hard.d

Above left: ‘So it’s straight on at the lights, and left at the chip shop?’ Mid­dle: Dave Wil­son on his Sco­madi. Right: Dou­ble trou­ble.

You sure this is the way to Bridling­ton?

Casa – new con­cepts.

Above left: Pit smiles. If you can’t en­joy it... what’s the point? Above right: Casa scoot­ers look fast just stand­ing still. Right: Chris Gey­ton read­ies him­self for the bat­tles still to come.

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