After 3 meetings in 3 countries earlier in June, it was now across the border in Scotland. Myself and Dan Evans made the 360 mile trip from Bwlch, along with elder daughter Tamara, who wanted to escape (somewhere, anywhere) for the weekend.
Malcolm ‘Jock’ Bell had been trying to persuade Dan to head north for a while to race the Scot’s and it seemed like a good idea to tag along (not that I was intending to win anything). Headed off on Saturday morning and after some hanging around on the Wirral watching the Lion’s v Australia rugby, picked up a Honda Transalp, finally got to Thornhill at 6pm. Tamara’s first trip to Liverpool was a wide-eyed roller-coaster run up past the teenage mothers and pornbrokers on the A59. Dan and I also enjoyed spotting orange women staggering out of bars.
We ended up at Townfoot Farm at around 6pm, where Jock had saved us a nice parking spot with a great view, so time to pitch tent, grab a brew and then walk the track. The setting was great (could have been Wales) and track excellent, with a really nice out-and-back natural scrambles track, with some great off camber and gaps in stone walls.
Back to the van to understand why Tesco value barbeques are indeed only £2 and that checking if the gas bottle is full before I pack it is also a good idea. Tamara turned down the burgers, but joined in with a Jupiler. Burgers were very slow roasted. Enjoyed a good conversation with Keith Mason, Martin Spouse and Jock whilst they were cooking, and after consuming them (and more beers) retired to the tent relatively early.
Getting woken up at 6.30am by the sweet note of Quad bike exhaust wasn’t the best start but the day got better and better. Well organised practice and racing ran to schedule. What I didn’t realise that rather than the just measly 3 class races at some events, you also got 3 age related races after lunch 🙂 excellent. Classic races were 4 laps, whilst the twinshocks got 4 eight lap races. Great value.
AMCA licenses not valid north of the border, but still good value with a SCMRC day-license, especially as a t-shirt also part of the deal.
Practice was good and the track rode really well, and though it got pretty rutted later, it was a quick track.
Dan worked out that he’d potentially got 10 races (3 pre75, 3 age related and 4 twinshock races), but after the third race (2nd pre75 race, which he came second in), he took a tactical break so as to try to get the overall win. After the break he came out to challenge for the twinshock class, where he was up against one of his hero’s Paul Chappia. More on this below.
For me, first race saw a crap start (excuse that I’ve never started with my hand on my helmet before), and then stalling the bike trying to get past a CCM on the last corner. Could have been worse. Great fun though.
Second race saw a much better start, but missed a shed load of gears and lost a few places in the process, much better though.
However, the first age related race saw the gearbox on the SC500 get stuck in first gear, so that was that. No complaints as had managed four excellent races !
A lot of people turned up to the event (the weather perhaps) and a lot of interest in the paddock about the bikes etc and once my ears got tuned in to the local accent, had some good conversations on the merits or otherwise of the pre75 Yamaha collection. There was another SC500 and an MX360 racing, which was good to see. A lot more pre75 Maico’s and CCMs than you normally see, as well as the usual collection of British bikes.
The last twinshock race saw Dan have an excellent start and pull out a good lead, with once again Paul Chappia and … start to reel him in. Unlike the first race, he managed to ride his own race and keep on the pace, making it hard for them to get past. Close racing but an excellent win.
Took a pleasant 6 hour drive to get to Bwlch and Dan had over another hour to get to Llanelli but a trip well worth while. Good weekend, which really enjoyed.
The plan is to upload the bulk load of photos that Tamara took and I’ll plan to do sort this out over the next few days.
You can also see Monti’s excellent videos on youtube.