Whilst the rest of the UK headed to the seaside for sun and ice cream a band of NSA racers headed towards the southern outpost that is Westonzoyland for the second round of the Southern Sprint Championship.
Another good entry consisting of 80 riders and 16 day entries all melted under the Somerset heat as they braved the six or so sessions of class sprinting. The track was also in excellent shape with the start line looking more professional with its spectator fencing on one side and more pa speakers on top of sprint control so that those hardy souls who wants to listen to an old man droning on can do so over the noise of highly tuned engines or on your FM radios!
We were also treated to a fly past from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on Saturday which Dave Massam didn’t lay on for us (!) along with a Dakota on Sunday. Late in the afternoon we could also see the famous Red Arrows performing one of their breath taking display’s far far away. It was all happening at Westonzoyland that day.
Although everyone had a smashing weekend that wasn’t so much for Dorset’s Tony Davidge whose 1500cc Suzuki drag bike reared up unexpectedly 60 foot out and high sided Tony to the ground while the bike and its new streamlined body carried on some more feet before coming to rest. With Tony on the deck for an agonising few minutes it was pleasing to see him walk to the ambulance with bruised pride more than anything especially as the normally aspirated machine was starting to creep back to the nines with a couple of ten zeros on Saturday. The crowd gave Tony a big round of applause too. According to Tom early indications suggest this might very well have been the last we’ll have seen of this machine but hopefully it won’t be the last we’ll see of Tony!
So to the classes and again it was all down to Peter Wilson’s Morini in the 50cc class with a Sunday best of 32.862s. In the 125cc Racing class the Yamaha Special of Martin Bracey led James Waddup’s AJS Cadwell led all day long (15.059s to 19.330s). The 250cc Racing class was all down to Brian Priddle’s Honda CB175 on Saturday and Pete Thomas’ PRS Hagon BSA the following day. Pete only made one pass of 17.149s against the Ariel Arrow of Les Toogood with a close 17.668s.
Cheltenham’s Neil Curtis made the 400cc Racing class his own again as his 347cc Yamaha RD whipped off two mid elevens each day (11.504s and 11.327s respectively). Both Tony Pettitt and Martin Barcey were the only other two class runners with Tony improving on the Sunday with a 12.948s pass on the Clift Honda drag bike over Martin’s race similar machine at 13.097s.
In the 500’s it was Neil again as he took his Kawasaki drag bike through to a 11.796s best on Sunday. The only other runner came in the shape of Tom Weeks who had excavated his 500cc Triumph drag bike from the shed for the weekend with a single 12.665s lap.
As always the 750cc Racing class was another hot bed of action both days. Breaking his own record not once but twice was Black Dragon Motorcycle’s owner Peter Ford with times of 9.026s and 8.995s on Sunday to eclipse his own 9.04 track record. Second in class both days was Simon Havercroft’s fully tuned and nitrous injected 749cc Suzuki pulling consistent high nines at 9.850 and 9.867.
Alan Tinnion’s R6 was third quickest on Saturday with a 10.212 while Sunday’s third quickest was the gleaming bright green nitrous assisted Kawasaki ZX6R of Andy Thompson with a 10.251s time slip to his credit.
Moving up to the 1000cc Racing class, it was good to see Tom Davidge back on his game with his Streetfighter inspired Outlaw Street Suzuki now wearing his dad’s old and much modified bodywork from the 1500 machine. A 9.671s and a Sunday best of 9.611s kept the youngster on top to fend of Curtis Wheeler’s SV1000 and the late eighties Yamaha Funny Bike of Barry Curtis. Originally built by British Drag Racing Hall of Famer John Clift the fast man from Cricklade has plans to install a turbo set up to the already quick 1200cc Yamaha.
The Unlimited class was in the hands of Mark Taylor’s rapid nine second GSX and Clifford Long’s as equally rapid Hayabuas. Although developed originally as a classic racer there was nothing classic about his times this weekend. Two solid 9.6s (9.695s and 9.643s) earned Mark top points for both days. Meanwhile Clifford’s Suzuki was pushing hard with time slips of 9.766s and 9.844s respectively. Tony Davidge was third quickest on Saturday while Andy Boswell who is still looking for that elusive nine was consistent all weekend long with solid 10.2s on the B&H Motorcycles 1200cc HD Sportster. Also down into the elevens for the first time I think was Ian Baker’s 1200cc HD which amounted to a weekend’s outstanding time of 11.738s on Saturday. And also into the eleven’s with a bit more R&D was Rob Brittain’s Sportster. Came out twice on Sunday and cracked off an 11.854 at 116.93 mph for a Personal Best. Well done guys.
Into the Vintage classes and Peter Thomas (Triumph Tiger), Douglas Kenyon (Velocette Mac) and John Young (Triumph Japs) made the victories there own although Noah Harrison with his Levis Jap and John Carter’s Velocette Mac and the old skool BSA B32 350 of Jeremy Deeks all gave the leading class runners a run for their money.
The Classic Non Jap boys were in good order as Tony Lockwood’s Greaves Oulton 350 ran out to a 14.929 on Saturday but he didn’t count on Sunday of the 500cc Tricati of Glen Jefferies the following day; 14.817s against Tony’s 15.377s. Both Jasper Joy (Triumph Trident), Clive Hurst (H1 Kawasaki) and Jason Winterson all took wins in the other Classic and Classic Japanese classes unopposed.
In the Road classes Alan Tinnion took the 125cc category on his Cagiva while Andy Ball bounced all over Arthur Bosworth’s RS Aprillia with a best of 12.941s from his Yamaha TZR in 250cc. Trading places both days in the 400cc class was Chris Layzell and Alistair Bury both in the 12s on Sunday while in the 750cc class Alan Tinnion was on form again with the J&L Kawasaki powering Al to a best of 10.175s on Saturday but the class on Sunday belonged to Neil Jenkinson’s Suzuki GSXR at 10.677s over Simon Hewer’s 600 Honda CBR.
The 1000cc Road Legal class turned into a battle royal with Anthony Wood’s K6 Suzuki coming out on top both days over Mark Wheeler’s R1 Yamaha; 9.750s to 9.933s respectively.
Following his trials and tribulations in May Bill Marsh pushed his bike to two convincing wins as the mighty Busa called Armageddon ran out a 9.750 Saturday followed by a track busting 9.548s the next day at 148.57 mph. Also looking for a low nine was Hampshire’s sprinting ten year veteran Barry Varndell as his Z1100 Turbo cracked out a 9.371s followed by a 9.186s at 155.80 mph for the Superstreet class points. Quickest ‘Day Rider’ was Romford’s Colin Carter with a very rapid nitrous injected Suzuki GSXR1000 resulting in a 9.797s at 147.58 mph flyer.
Full results with timing data from Portatree can be viewed from the ‘Results’ page of the sprinting.org.uk website.
A Southern sprint.
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