BSSO Report – Lydden Hill
Incredibly, this race weekend at Lydden Hill marked the halfway point in the Championship season… the year, very much like the scooters, is blasting by!
Paul Green brings us his actionpacked report from Lydden Hill scooter racing weekend.
This event was a little earlier in the season than in recent years but that didn’t make it any less popular with riders and spectators alike. The Lydden meeting always has a different feel to it and always generates a great vibe. The meeting hosts the annual BSSO Memorial Race in memory of passed riders and is a race that all competitors REALLY want to win and provides some spectacular action. But before the memorial race was the regular business of the new for 2018 timed qualifying and the first of the weekend’s three championship races.
There were some different faces around – Scott Swarbrick making a rare outing but still managing to put his Gilera Runner on pole in the Super Scooter grid, pipping current leader Lee Bamber by 0.4 secs with a tremendous 73mph average speed. Stephen Graves made a welcome return to the scooter grid filling in for the injured Gary Peacock and he was soon getting to grips with riding a scooter as well as a motorcycle at the same meeting!
Jason Metivier made a return on a newly built Standard Class scooter and James Lancaster was another one showing he just can’t stay away! But after the carnage of the last meeting there was much delight to see a still tender Justin Price back on track. The hard-working Darren Scott and Team DSC had built a brand new race scooter for him with the help of lot of gifted parts and a lot of midnight oil. The finished bike was kept secret from Justin until it came out of the van but it’s looking fabulous. In the Stock Scooter qualifying Messrs Bristow and Geyton renewed their rivalry to head the grid separated by only a 100th of a second! Lee Bamber was only 0.7 off their time on a Production Class bike so the day was set for some very close racing once again. Looking on watching all
this was a 1970s and 80s racing legend in the form of Mike Hayman. In a rare visit to scooter racing Mike renewed some acquaintances and had a good look around the current machines. Now in his 60s he’s likely to resist the encouragement to make a return but he was very admiring of the current riders and machines.
The old Group 4 had some new riders to bolster the grid with a welcome return for veteran racer Dan Lewis and also Jason Metivier on a newly built machine, but Darren Conneely has now seemingly got the unique BGM RT barrelled race scooter dialled in and took three wins over the weekend to start to build some solid points and try and reel in Chris Geyton in the Championship. Unfortunately Dave Bristol threw himself down the track and spent much of the weekend in hospital with a concussion, so played little part in proceedings. This left Geyton to end the weekend with two second places but in the final race of the weekend it was Jason Metivier snatching a second place. At the half way point Chris Geyton has a commanding points lead in the championship.
In a slightly depleted entry this time last year’s Production Class runner up returned for his first ride on a Scomadi and soon showed his natural talent to take three dominant wins with some very quick lap times, but John Woods was on good form and beat Zak Tingle into third place in all three races with little between them. Tingle has the championship lead at the halfway point by only by a tiny three point difference. With Gary Peacock likely to be out for most of the year through injury, expect a close battle between those two; but can Graves make up the difference in the second half of the year? It’s certainly not impossible.
As always super competitive but it was Lee Bamber who took a win in all three races over the weekend to score some solid points. Mikey Bonett took a high speed spill at the left hander to provide a spectacular crash into the gravel trap which we would love to show you but unfortunately don’t have the photographer’s permission. The Scootopia bike was patched up in time for the final race though leaving Mikey with two second places to show for his weekend. Behind them a still-recovering Justin Price ignored pain as much as he could and improved in every race to end the weekend with a couple of third places riding the brand new Team DSC race scooter which was built very quickly to replace the one comprehensively destroyed at Cadwell Park! Peter Molkenthin was the one trying to trash his scooter this time though and following a race long battle with Bob West he managed to high-side flat out in third and severely battered himself and his scooter in the process. In the Championship Graham Tatton leads at the halfway after some very consistent points scoring so far.
Super Scooters Auto
Lee Bamber was forced to raise his game even higher after being out-qualified by Scott Swarbrick, but he had his head down to take the first and last race but it was Swarbrick who was victorious in the second race. The two riders really pushed each other on and were the only riders to break into incredible 48 second laps which are at nearly 74mph average speed.
Behind them Warren Wilkinson scored three solid finishes but it was Bamber and Swarbrick who were in a class of their own. In the Championship its Bamber starting to open up a lead of some 40 points now.
Super Scooters Geared
Stuart Day aboard the SRP special was on top form and he is always a force to be reckoned with around the tight Lydden Circuit. He took the first two races by around seven seconds across the line beating Doug Turner and Mikey Bonett but in the final race of the weekend Bonett managed to just overcome Day to take his only win of the weekend with the battle between them taking them both into 49 second laps. Doug Turner managed three solid finishes with a second and two third places. In the Championship it’s developing into a two way battle between Day and Bonett with only 13 points separating them the second half of the season will be hard fought.
BSSO Memorial Race
Saturday afternoon saw great anticipation for a battle between Lee Bamber and Darren Conneely who was riding the Casa SSR265 Badger Beast. The Replay team still had the engine apart minutes before the call for the race and were feverishly working to get it finished and they only just got Conneely out with seconds to spare. Sure enough it was Bamber and Conneely heading the field at the end of the first lap but then Conneely stopped on track for some 15 seconds to check what he felt was something wrong at the back end, but after finding all seemed okay he set about trying to catch up and put in blisteringly fats laps cutting through the field in his super smooth style but unfortunately ran out of laps to catch Bamber but he certainly made a fist of it to get up to second place but Bamber had run away really to retain the coveted Memorial Trophy. Words: Paul Green Photographs: Tim Simpson
Under starters orders.
Scootopia Race HQ.
Radical machine in action.
Hard going in the kitty litter.
JB’s finest. Riding on the edge. Auto action.