The final round of The Lansdowne Classic Series Championship took place at the CRMC ‘Race of the year’ at a dry 1.198 mile Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, after a very exciting year everybody was in the mood to see out the season with some close clean racing as is the norm with The Lansdowne.
Quite a few riders took advantage of the Friday test day, although Richard Hann took a tumble and cracked a few ribs excluding him from the weekend racing, get well soon mate.
Saturday dawned damp and cold, but the sun forced itself through to slowly dry the track for the qualifying session. Everybody tip-toed through the first part of the session before getting down to some hot laps once the track and tyres started to bond, offering our lads the chance of a decent lap time on the notoriously slippy surface (remember last years wet meeting!!). The Bonhams sponsored championship runners headed by Mike Russell found conditions to his liking taking pole a gnats todger ahead of Dean Stimpson , Glen English and current champ Chris Firmin with his ACR team-mate Sam Clews not far away. The National Motorcycle Museum sponsored WRR class was as competitive as ever with that man Ian Bain continuing this years form heading the class.
In the program our first of three races was race seven, which after so many red flags in other classes finally arrived, I will never tire of hearing the assembled bass rumble of four stoke racing singles as they await release to the grid, then out we go to take positions on the damp startline, a green flag starts the warm up lap, all safely round the riders take up their qualifying grid position then twitch and shuffle as they prepare to launch off the start towards the blind rise that leads into Paddock Hill Bend, a real heart stopping right- hander which when amongst thirty five other riders sets the adrenalin racing as you Plummet down towards Hailwood Hill.
Up front Clews, Stimpson, Russell, Firmin and English all refuse to allow each other any quarter as they squable over the same part of track (no change there then), whilst the rest of the riders give a friendly elbow to each other before slotting into line to stream through Paddock knowing that there is limited overtaking on this iconic circuit.
Clews’ charge lasted a few laps until thwarted by a broken gear linkage on lap 4, leaving Dean Stimpson to put the cherry on his superb year taking the win and sealing the overall Bonhams Championship, a great effort from Dean and Team Izzard and a worthy champion. In second was the Richard Adams sponsored Mike Russell who posted the best lap time of 55.139 and 78.282 mph. Third place saw 2016 champion Chris Firmin riding the wheels off his team ACR’s Norton ahead of ‘Works’ jockey Glen English whilst Ex.
Previous Lansdowne Champion Lee Moore had a rare outing taking 5th at the flag ahead of Ian Bain who wrapped up the WRR title with another high quality ride keeping just ahead of Bonhams class duo Clive Ling (Team Tony Dunnell Norton) and Mark Parrett ( Team Chas Mortimer Norton). Second in the WRR class and 8th overall was the experienced Peter Crew who gapped the chasing pack of Chris Bassett, a resurgent Gordon Russell, Brett Randle, Tony Perkin and Mike Farrall who where all within spitting distance of one another. Ian Lucas enjoyed a competitive outing ahead of a determined Stuart Tonge then in 17th place was Derek Bunning guiding his G50 ahead of Roger Munseys Norton Dominator , whilst Adam Wilson had to work hard to keep his G50 a whisker in front of Tim Jacksons lovely 350 AJS they finally crossing the line .034 apart ! Keith Clarke obviously had machine problems as this quality rider is usually well up the order ? whilst Geoff Leather, Paul Pollard and Robert Lusk rode a good steady race to the checkered flag.
Ouside of the Lansdowne series, Unfortunately most of the other races saw many fallers and red flags, with Fran Fletcher paying the ultimate price losing her life crashing her Honda at Clark Curve, from all of the Lansdowne riders and supporters our condolences go to Fran’s family. The meeting was finally abandoned on the Sunday without further races for the Lansdowne.
With the season at an end we now have the Lansdowne Dinner and disco in November, of course as is tradition at all of our former disco’s ? the winners of each class have to perform the first dance to YMCA so congratulations to Dean Stimpson, Ian Bain, ?, and Sam Rhodes the stage is all yours boys !!
Thanks to Tony Perkin for the report and our fantastic sponsors Avon Tyres, The Classic Motorcycle Magazine, The National Motorcycle Museum and Bonham’s the Auctioneers for all your support this season.