Turning back time! 2018 Hawkstone Festival of Legends – Event Report, Race Report & Results
Report by Geoff Shuttleworth – Images courtesy of Andrew Fariclough Photography
There was an interesting comment on social media that asked, in which other sport could you be stood chatting with former World or British Champions, who are without the big egos that are the norm nowadays. Well this was the case over the weekend as riders and spectators mingled with 1981 250 World Champion Neil Hudson, and British Champions Freddie Mayes, Alan Clough, Roger Harvey, Pete Mathia, Perry Leask and Neil Prince. Invited guests arrived on the Sunday and were greeted by Jack Burnicle, in the Putoline VIP hospitality unit provided by Rob Wainwright.
The superb interval interviews with Jack drew a rather large audience, who were kept entertained by stories of bygone days, with Cloughy and Freddie discussing their 250 British Championship wins in the 60’s, and how the forms of transport to the events have changed dramatically, and especially how they had to make ends meet back in the day.
Neil Hudson spoke of his 1981 World title, and his victory at Hawkstone in the 250 GP, and his reply to Jack, when asked where he kept all his trophies was, ‘They are in my garage, gathering dust, although the USA GP one is a bit special so that is kept indoors’.
Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Jack was covering all the GP’s for TMX, so had to get there any way he could, so had to thumb lifts with a lot of the riders, and it was great to hear some of the stories of his exploits with Andy Ainsworth, Harvey and Mathia. And it was good to see one of the original TMX staffers, Dave Dewhurst who was over visiting family, and made the pilgrimage to the Festival, saying ‘What a treat to see all these old faces from the past. A truly
special event’. And among the fifteen former AMCA and IMBA Champions, was Robert Bentham, who said ‘How good is this, I have met people I haven’t seen for thirty years.’
Former Leask Husky rider Alan Clarke told of the days he worked on Saturday night down the mines, before travelling to an event, and paid tribute to the professionalism of Jacks commentaries and knowledge of all the disciplines of the sport he covers. Alan said ‘It is still the best sport in the World, and I absolutely love coming to these events, and long may it continue’. Perry Leask spoke of his six British Four Stroke titles and growing up knowing all the riders who rode for his father, and Dave Tomasik told of his love for the KTM bikes that almost won him the British Championship in 1980, just losing out to Geoff Mayes. Chris Ginn travelled up with Freddie, and spoke about his days on Suzuki and CZ, and his friendship with Dave Bickers. Finally, Jack presented Dick Clayton and Terry ‘Sylvia’ Silvester, with a pair of prints of them taken back in the 60’s. Andy and Ken Nurden spoke of the days the South West was the hot spot for four stroke racing doing the Haynes series.
If that wasn’t enough, following the interviews, the mini parade laps got a bit tasty, with Robert Bentham setting the fastest laps in a battle with Craig Hacking.
The Festival of Legends at Hawkstone Park, once again had two top days of Toughsheet and West Mids Evo racing, supported by KAIS Suspension, with the track in superb condition, and well prepped by the Salop Club. The famous hill was used, which was a bonus for the 260 riders who made the pilgrimage to the Shropshire circuit, for the Cumbria Twinshock event. There were three blocks of racing on Saturday, and two on Sunday, so there was plenty of racing to keep the large crowd entertained.
Gary Parker dominated the Moto X Concepts Over 50 Twinshock class, but a broken carb circlip prevented him taking all five victories, and the subsequent DNF, handed the overall victory to Irelands Willie Burgess, who was presented with the Frank Mercer Memorial Trophy.
Pete Mathia, in his 50th year of competition. on his home turf rode both days, taking a great third overall, just in front of Alan Bott and Tim Sabine.
Martin Snape won the Over 60 class with four wins, with his main rival Wayne Le Marquand absent due to injury. Alan Hambridge won one race, which helped him to the runner up spot from Davie Robb and Steve Mitton. And the Twinshock founder Alan Hardy had three thirds on the Saturday.
As usual some of the best racing was reserved for the MRH Consultants 125 Evolution class, with the top six riders all disputing the lead throughout the five races. Andy Lawton eventually came out on top by finishing in the top three each time, and a first race win. Shane Holmes fought his way to the front in every race, winning four out of five, but a DNF in race one meant he had to settle for second. Third was Nathan Marsden, despite a really nasty high side over the table top before the Hawk bridge. Jack May took fourth from David Blackburn.
Barry Turnbull was once again in a class of his own in the Wulfsport Experts, as he took four race wins, with just a machine problem, in race four preventing the clean sweep. Ben Margetson tried all he could to keep on Barry’s tail, but had to settle for second. Michael Smith took third, helped by winning race four. Next was Jamie Biddulph on his 250 Maico, from Jon McBride.
Matt Rudd was locked in combat with John Davis in every MRH 125 Twinshock race, but took two race wins which gave him the overall. Jason Slater was second, just beating Davis, who had three wins and a DNF in third.
Rick Du Feu showed he has lost none of his class and speed in the Hazport Vets races, and took all five victories. Danny Blakeley rode very consistently in second, with Richard Chinn taking third. Adam Wilkinson took fourth from a battered and bruised Simon Bonser.
There were some frantic battles at the front of the LPE Clubman class, as the lead changed hands almost every lap of every race. But it was Mark Lakeland who eventually dominated, with five race wins. Series leader David Taylor took second from his main rival Timmy Gravener. Riley Copeland had his best result of the season in fourth in front of Luke Freudenau.
David Hopkins took his Husky to four wins and the overall victory in the CI Sport Inters class. Chris Lambourne won race one and that helped him to second, with James Cowgill in third.
An extra modern class was added to the programme, and Ryan Morris enjoyed his weekend to take the top step with three wins from four, Robert Johnson took second and Peter Hamblett was third.
The speed of the Woodys Vintage Honda Evolution class was amazing as Howard Wainwright absolutely blitzed the opposition in every race, but a DNF in race two, gifted the overall to a delighted Barry Turnbull. Michael Ogden took race two which helped him to third overall from Michael Samith and Rian Warren.
The Super Evos was well supported, with some class riders, and Micky Eccles on the John Newsome bike was another who nailed every race to take the win. James Lassu enjoyed the experience as well taking second.
The final class was the West Midlands Pre-85 Evo classes, and with them all racing together, it made for really close racing. James Hudson won the 125 class from Zac Hackett. Matt Hitchman got the better of Mitch Griffin in the four strokes, Chris Jones won the 250 class, and Jonathan Tapp took the 500’s.
The final round will be hosted by Cumbria Twinshock at Howton Court, Pontrilas over the weekend of September 22-23.
Frank Mercer Memorial Trophy – Willie Burgess
Martindales Rider of the Meeting – David Hopkins
MotoX Concepts Over 50’s
1 Willie Burgess, 2 Gary Parker, 3 Pete Mathia, 4 Alan Bott, 5 Tim Sabine, 6 Craig Holmes.
MotoX Concepts Over 60’s
1 Martin Snape, 2 Alan Hambridge, 3 Davie Robb, 4 Steve Mitton, 5 Andrew Savage,
6 Martin Savage.
MRH Consultants 125 Evolution
1 Andy Lawton, 2 Shane Holmes, 3 Nathan Marsden, 4 Jack May, 5 David Blackburn,
6 Alec Everitt.
1 Barry Turnbull, 2 Ben Margetson, 3 Michael Smith, 4 Jamie Biddulph (Best Falcon Shocks 250), 5 Jon McBride.
MRH Consultants 125 Twinshock
1 Matt Rudd, 2 Jason Slater, 3 John Davis, 4 Robin Cowgill, 5 Steve Riley, 6 Jason Herring.
Hazport Veterans Over 40’s
1 Rick Du Feu, 2 Danny Blakeley, 3 Richard Chinn, 4 Adam Wilkinson, 5 Simon Bonser,
6 Gran Hacking.
Hazport Veterans Over 50’s
1 Steve Ward, 2 Nev King, 3 Rob Lewis, 4 Adrian Lewis, 5 Mark Spruce, 6 Rob Glynn.
CI Sport Inters
1 David Hopkins, 2 Chris Lambourne, 3 Jsames Cowgill, 4 Brian Littler, 5 Kyle Godbear,
6 Steve Morgan.
1 Mark Lakeland, 2 David Taylor, 3 Timmy Gravener, 4 Riley Copeland, 5 Luke Freudenau,
6 Mark Gardner.
1 Ryan Morris, 2 Robert Johnson, 3 Peter Hamblett, 4 Bradley Harrison, 5 Jimmy Margetson, 6 Craig Reynolds.
Woody Vintage Off Road Honda Evolution
1 Barry Turnbull, 2 Howard Wainwright, 3 Michael Ogden, 4 Michael Smith, 5 Rian Warren, 6 Dan Shepherd.
1 Mickey Eccles, 2 James Lassu, 3 Darryl Hall, 4 Taylor Baton, 5 Derek Reed, 6 Glen Whitlock.
West Mids Evos 125
1 James Hudson, 2 Zac Hackett, 3 Dean Eggleton, 4 James Shand.
West Mids Evos 250
1 Chris Jones, 2 Jacob Griffiths, 3 Jim Shand, 4 Liam Hunt, 5 Jonathan Smith, 6 Nick Peyton.
West Mids Evos 500
1 Jonathan Tapp, 2 Scott Reed, 3 Nathan Smith, 4 Louis Hamer, 5 Ryan Griffiths.
West Mids Evos Four Stroke
1 Matt Hitchman, 2 Mitch Griffin, 3 Neil Williams.