Holmes triumphs at Northampton MCC return to racing – Race Report and Results
Northampton MCC made a triumphant return to racing after almost a full year’s absence, caused by last autumn’s terrible weather and then the global pandemic. Utilising all of the latest ACU Covid-19 regulations, the club finally felt in a position to attempt to run racing once again.
Report and Images by Fraser Law
The new track prep. crew had worked wonders with the Long Buckby circuit, helped by heavy overnight rain which made conditions close to perfect. With signing on and entering all being done on-line in advance the pre-race admin went very quickly and smoothly, and soon practice was underway. As heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon it was vital that racing started on time, but miraculously the sun came out and the rain stayed away until everyone was well on their way home.
First away was the Expert Class where Shane Holmes got faster as the track dried. After a third place first time out he soon found his groove and dominated the two remaining legs. Lewis O’Sullivan also favoured the drying track taking second place in the final two races but had to settle for third overall after a lower position in race one. Consistent top three places gave second overall to Ethan Etheridge. In the Junior Class Shaun Robinson took a clean hattrick of wins. Second and third places were traded each time out by Dan Whitehead and Charlie Sellick. Charlie finally finished in front in the last moto, but fast starting Dan had already done enough to secure second overall. The Clubman Class which is meant to be effectively Junior B featured some fast riders on this occasion. David Edge took all three wins to secure the top step of the virtual podium. Jan Howells finished second overall after being runner-up twice. John Flynn stayed inside the top four all day to finish overall in third.
In the Premier O40 class the result was never really in doubt. Laurence Wiltshire took all three wins showing incredible speed, and lap times that would have put him top five in the Expert Class. Second place each time out went to John Barnes who was also looking impressive. Stuart McClurg returned to racing with a fine third place overall. The Elite O50 class has now become by far the largest of the age group categories. Chris Koch revelled in the early tricky conditions to make a triumphant return to racing in first overall. Second place overall just went to recently promoted Tony Fricker, by a single point from hard charging Greg Cox. John Smith looked to have the Super O60 class sewn up after winning the first two encounters, before a dnf in the third dropped him down the order. First place overall then went to Ross Dover, with Reg Willis claiming second overall from Stephen Hollins by a single point.
Expert winner Shane Holmes also took on the 2 Stroke and U40 combined class taking the overall once again with two wins and a second place. Corey Blackwell finished second overall in the U40 category, while John Holmes was runner up in the 2 stroke classification. Ashely Batten stormed the workers race, doing just enough to stay in front of the rapidly closing Cameron Curtis. Luke Twelvetree finished third ahead of Sam Waterman.
Now that the club are confident of running under Covid-19 regulations, we’ll be back with another meeting on September 20th.
Expert: 1 Shane Holmes, 2 Ethan Etheridge, 3 Lewis O’Sullivan, 4 Thomas Allsopp, 5 Jacob Russell, 6 Simon Wyse
Junior: 1 Shaun Robinson, 2 Dan Whitehead, 3 Charlie Sellick, 4 James Thompson, 5 Sam Chapman, 6 Josh Young
Clubman: 1 David Edge, 2 Jan Howells, 3 John Flynn, 4 Jason Mills, 5 Michael Owen, 6 Corey Blackwell
Premier O40: 1 Laurence Wiltshire, 2 John Barnes, 3 Stuart McClurg, 4 Bryan Rouse, 5 Scott Robertson, 6 Matthew Mason
Elite O50: 1 Chris Koch, 2 Tony Fricker, 3 Greg Cox, 4 Rupert Fairclough, 5 Fraser Law, 6 Garry West
Super O60: 1 Ross Dover, 2 Reg Willis, 3 Stephen Hollins, 4 Richard Jochacy, 5 Andy Sturt, 6 Peter Chapman
U40: 1 Shane Holmes, 2 Corey Blackwell, 3 Josh Young, 4 Aaron Smith, 5 Jacob Wills, 6 Sean Kettlewell
2 Stroke: 1 Shane Holmes, 2 John Holmes, 3 Josh Young, 4 Josh Ford, 5 Richard Cox, 6 Thomas Elliott
Workers: 1 Ashley Batten, 2 Cameron Curtis, 3 Luke Twelvetree, 4 Sam Waterman