2019 Drumlanrig Castle Grand National Scramble/ Classic and Twinshock – Preview
THE Galloway MCC continues to surpass itself with another fabulous guest of honour to gracing its beer tent and interview stage, as four-times world motocross champion – ‘The Flying Finn’ Heikki Mikkola follows in the footsteps of Graham Noyce and Brad Lackey, in the last two years, in opening the Drumlanrig Castle Grand National Scramble event this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 16/17/18 and 19) in the grounds of the stately home in Dumfrieshire (there will be a bike ride out on Thursday in the local area).
Report and Images by Graham Milne
Mikkola, who won’t be racing, will however, be taking part in an interview session guided by John Moffat on the Saturday evening and will be open to questions from the audience.
The event, now in its third year, has become an incredible success for the resurgent Galloway club and its committee, grabbing yet another star of yesteryear to entice the racers of that era to once again don their stretched pants and race shirts including a LAST MINUTE entry taken from former British Championship and Grand Prix rider Irishman Dave Watson, who was a rider on Mikkola’s Yamaha team after the Finn had retired and taken up team management.
Watson WILL be riding in the Under 50s Twinshock class and should help provide quality opposition to the ‘youngsters’.
Again, well known names from the 70s and 80s British and GP racing fraternity will head to the fabulous, natural track for three days of magnificent racing if the last two years’ events are anything to go by and riders from the four home countries will be joined again by a team from Italy headed yet again by the fabulously named Franco Rippa.
Some of you will know the name of last year’s runaway victor in everything he rode in – former British championship rider and AMCA and IMBA champion Mark Fulton, as fellow Englishmen Pete Mathia, Wayne Le Marquand, Tim Dallaway, Peter Jerred and Maico magician Bill Brown take on the Irish contingent including Watson, Willie Burgess, three-times CZ World Champion Trevor Calderwood, James Thompson, Cecil Pearson and Ian Buchan as they in turn look to take on home favourites Willie Simpson (who will continue to ride number 28 in memory of CI Sport’s Stuart Miller who sadly passed away just before this event last year, with again every rider gifted a commemorative number 28 sticker for their bikes at scrutineering, plus a special CI Sport award for the ‘Man of the Meeting’ being awarded at the end of the event), Jimmy Aird, Fleming and Paul Chiappa amongst many others, in a mixture of Classic and Twinshock races throughout the weekend.
Over 200 riders including those from at home and abroad will descend on Drumlanrig with the by now usual Grasstrack awards being competed for tonight (Friday evening) after being Piped in to the arena by the local pipe band at 6pm, for that authentic Scottish welcome, continued by a DJ for that authentic disco sound!
Practice on Saturday and Sunday begining in earnest at 9.15 with racing proper starting at 9.30am on Saturday and an hour later at 10.30am on Sunday (nothing to do with easing them into it with alleged hangovers?).
The chat with Mikkola is scheduled for 7.30pm on Saturday with a traditional Scottish Ceilidh following immediately after.
The Galloway club has teamed up with two charities this year – Help for Heroes and The Dumfries and Galloway Blood Bikes.
A day’s entry pass is as was priced LAST YEAR – £10 and a weekend’s pass also last year’s price of £15 as Under 16 go FREE again – with weekend camping priced at £10 a pitch – same as last year.
Drumlanrig Castle is well signposted off the A76 Dumfries Road just north of Thornhill, with one of the most dramatic entrances to a motocross event anywhere in the world!