MANXMAN Michael Evans put on a display of dominance in today’s Mylchreests Manx Grand Prix Junior race after red flags stalled action for over an hour.
Racing went ahead right on time just after 10:15am, and from the off it was clear the practice week leader was the man to beat. At Glen Helen, local lad Evans had already powered the Martin Bullock Motorsport Honda out to a three-second advantage over Jurby ace Dean Osborne and nearly five clear of Aussie Royce Rowe.
And by Ramsey, Evans had stretched his lead to eight seconds over Osborne, with fellow Manxman Jamie Williams just a half second off the runner-up spot as Rowe’s transponder played havoc and he disappeared temporarily from the timing screens.
But when the leading pack came down the mountain and up Glencrutchery road, Rowe was back on screen seemingly leading Osborne by almost two seconds.
Seconds later, Evans blasted past the grandstand with a 121.066mph lap from a standing start, leading Rowe by some 10 seconds and in the process shattering the late Malachi Mitchell-Thomas’s 2015 lap record of 120.565mph.
The race was tragically red-flagged shortly after the excitement of lap one due to an incident involving Rowe at Union Mills, negating Evans’ lap record. The Australian youngster was described as stable with leg injuries, but a fallen lamp post, fuel and debris on the track necessitated a clean-up crew, putting a hold on action.
When the reduced three-lap race was restarted over an hour and a half later, Santon’s Evans was straight back out into the lead with a three second advantage over Darren Cooper at Glen Helen, with Charles Rhys Hardisty a further 2.5 seconds back.
And by the time they started the Mountain climb at Ramsey, Evans had stretched out a five-second gap ahead of Cooper as Williams slotted into third ahead of Newcomers A winner Brad Vicars.
Heading into the pits to take care of his fuel stop early, Evans officially broke Mitchell-Thomas’s standing start lap record at 120.619mph as Cooper flew past the grandstands at 120.018mph, planning to stop just before the final lap for a ‘splash and dash’.
Without pit stops to yet slow their average times, Cooper led Joe Faragher and Richard Charlton by seven and 23 seconds at Ballaugh, but Evans was gaining momentum, even with a full tank of fuel, and was within 30 seconds of the lead taking over for Charlton in third at Ramsey.
With Preston’s Cooper in the pits at the end of lap two, the Manxman was able to fly straight through to a monstrous 24-second lead at Glen Helen on the final lap that he held all the way to the finish. Evans took the chequered flag 22 seconds clear of Cooper, with Williams nearly six seconds off the runner-up spot.
“It was tough to get going after the restart,” Evans said. “It was a bit tight after the first lap, just not as fast as I wanted to be. After the pit stop I got ‘P3 +18’ and my heart just went – I thought I may have gone too fast in the pits or something.”
“The team were mega, but it wasn’t the best pit stop from myself. I slowed down a bit early and didn’t turn the limiter off until late but it’s obviously all learning. I was scared of running out of fuel but I just short shifted and got it home.”
Retirements included Philip McGurk, Brendan Fargher, Andrew Fisher and Tom Robinson.
Mylchreests Junior Manx Grand Prix top 10 (provisional)
- Michael Evans
- Darren Cooper
- Jamie Williams
- Barry Lee Evans
- Dean Osborne
- Joe Faragher
- Glen Harrison
- David Lumsden
- Gareth Evans
- Steven Procter
*Main image: IOMTT
*Side image: Andy McKnight