Dartmouth Classic, Harberton 4th May 2014

Managed to shake Saffron out of bed and we were on the road at 06.30, which turned out to be plenty of time. Though Harberton is near Totnes, the M5 and A38 made it a relatively quick journey and going on a Sunday on a Bank Holiday weekend meant there was no traffic of note.

It's a long way down the M5

Actually got to the track just after 08h30 and the fresh morning and long wet grass made it all a bit spring-like. Did the deal with the Husqvarna and then had a quick look at the track. Very much a traditional scrambles track round fields and through gaps in the hedges. To get the start in, they’d set in the middle of the big field at the top of the track, a really good innovation I like and one that gives you a bit of flexibility with track layout.

Alan Barnett's Cappra

Not a good start, when the Yamaha SC500 spat out the decompressor mechanism during practice. This an automatic decompressor connected to the kickstart shaft, and is located in the front of the cylinder above the exhaust. Bike seemed to run well, but was a tad loud. Managed to get it back to the van, but the internal plunger was missing, so even if I’d had screwed the unit back in, it wouldn’t have been usuable.

Doug's TM400

So the newly purchased Husqvarna was the weapon of the day. With only 4 races per block there was no rush to start, so I managed to work out how to kick start the thing and develop my technique. First time riding the bike, was in Race 3, the first pre74 and Circa75 race. Off we go.

Great stuff and though I wasn’t blisteringly quick, I put this down to the fact that I had brakes (front and rear), as well as an uncanny ability to find all the gears.

Harberton : a classic scrambles track

Some good racing in all 3 races, though I managed to drop it into a corner of the second race. The Marshall commented that there was a bike like mine on ebay in Cornwall; not any more there wasn’t. All in all a good event, and even if entries were not strong (I was the only person not from the South West racing), only running 4 blocks made the racing good. Nice meeting at an interesting track and it’s always good to race at different venues.

All racing done by 4pm, so back in Bwlch before 7pm and then spent an hour in the garage fixing the SC500 prior to the following days racing at Cilfronydd and the Welsh Championship round.

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