ANDY Guy and Russ Mountford shared the Formula 600 honours at Aintree as they opened the club’s season with a win apiece this weekend.
And with a few Isle of Man TT riders in the mix to get some last-minute track time before heading over to the island next week, the action quickly heated up.
Mountford, who has been in and out of action since his massive smash at the 2015 Macau Grand Prix that left him with a broken tibia, pelvis, sternum, L5 vertebra and finger, was back out on track aboard his Kawasaki and setting a strong pace in the first Formula 600 scrap of the day.
The former Classic TT podium finisher led every lap of race one to take victory by just over two seconds, while Stuart Hall passed Josh Daley early on to bag a runner-up finish.
But in race two, Guy shot from fourth on the grid up to first, where he put his head down and began to stretch a gap. At the chequered flag, the Triumph rider had extended a 2.309s lead while Mountford held off F600 lap record holder Daley to nab second.
Guy, who grabbed his first win of the season, admits he wasn’t sure what to expect when he saw the entry list – or the new grid system.
“I was dubious of our chances when I saw a lot of Manx and TT riders there,” he told UK Clubsport. “And a new system meant to promote safety meant that all these riders were seeded on the front two rows in the qualifying race, and I drew 13th on the grid so I was up against it.
“I chipped away in the qualifying race after a reasonable start and ended up battling with Josh near the end, which made me a little more optimistic with a front row start for the final.
“Then in the second race I got one of the best starts I’ve ever had and tipped into Country corner first. From there I knew I had to push to keep them behind me so I threw everything I had at those first few laps.
“I was always expecting and waiting to see someones front wheel at every corner, but then just relaxed a bit and kept my head down to bring it home.”
While he has a busy season ahead at Thundersport, Guy says he still enjoys going back to the home of the Grand National for some banter and friendly racing.
“We love Aintree, it’s such a great friendly club with amazing atmosphere, great spectators, some great riders and great fast racing. It’s a welcome change for us from the pressure cooker atmosphere of our main championship with Thundersport.
“We’ll be doing the full season with both and it’s good to have the two very different challenges and environments to race in each once a month.
*Images: Colin Port