THE CRMC’s flagship meeting of 2021 brought sunny skies and some of the closest finishes in recent times as the Classic Motorcycle Festival rolled into Donington Park.
Race 1, 12, 24 & 37 – Post Classic 125cc
It was Jamie O’Brien that continued his domination of this class, putting his Windy Shed RS125 on pole position convincingly from James Blackmore and William Grant. O’’Brien went flag to flag in Race 1, taking the victory by 0.357 seconds from Grant with Blackmore a respectable third. In the Piston Port class it was Jerry Lodge that took the victory, taking 3rd on the road, from Simon Beaumont and Robin Lamb again making his journey from Dundee worthwhile, taking 16 points in the opening race.
Race 2 saw O’Brien’s overall control of the class by taking victory, this time a tad more comfortably from Grant with Blackmore making Race 2’s podium a carbon copy of Race1’s. Lodge continued to take the flag in the Piston Port Class, from Lamb moving up to 2nd after Beaumont was hit with a 10 second jump start penalty, this made way for Nev Busson to take 3rd in class.
O’Brien went onto take the hat-trick with the victory in Race 3, opening up the gap to 1.5 seconds from Grant and Blackmore just couldn’t find the power overnight to keep up with the top 2. Lodge continued his run as well taking another class victory and 6th on the road, with Lamb taking another 20 points and Beaumont learning his lesson and coming home third in class, 9th overall.
O’Brien continued to acquire 100 points from Donington Park, taking the full sweep of victories, however Grant had to retire in this race, meaning that Blackmore could step up for 20 points and John Smith took third in class, 4th on the road. Lodge followed the suit of O’Brien, taking his full house from Lamb and Busson made the podium again, after Beaumont suffered the same fate as Grant.
Race 2, 14, 25 & 38 – Formula 750cc & Post Classic 750cc Clubman Superbike 1
George Hogton-Rusling continued his sweep of pole positions, taking the race craft he has learnt in the National Superstock class at Donington, from Dan Ingham and Andy Hornby making up the front row. Ingham used the centre of the track from the word go, and managed to get the overall victory in Race 1, from Chris Mayhew, who took 2nd on the road, 1st in the PC750 Clubman class and Hornby third overall, 2nd in the Formula 750 Class. Tony Hart came home 4th on the road, 2nd in class in the PC750 Clubman, with Steve Mason taking 3rd in that class. Just after him was Norfolk’s Graham Higlett on his 750 Triumph to take 3rd in class in the F750 category.
Ingham continued to show everyone the way round in Race 2, taking a convincing victory by 4 seconds from Hornby, and after a DNF in Race 1 George Hogton Rusling worked his way through the pack to come home third in class, 6th overall. In the PC750 Clubman class Mayhew took another victory, from Mason and Darren Cooper came home in third place.
Ingham led the pack round in Race 3 before making a mistake on the last lap at Redgate and crashing out, handing the victory to GHR, with Hornby taking 2nd overall and in class and Michael Russell made use of Ingham trying too hard to come home 3rd in class. Mayhew took his hat trick in the PC750 Clubman class, from Hart and Mason took 3rd in class this time round.
In the final race of the weekend it was Tony Hart that took the overall victory, from Ingham, learning his lesson and taking class victory in the Formula 750 class. Mayhew came home third on the road, 2nd in class in the PC750 Clubman class, with Mason taking third in class to end off his successful weekend at Donington. In the Formula 750 Class, Hornby took another convincing 2nd in class from Higlett.
Race 3, 15, 26 & 39 – Post Classic 500cc Air Cooled, Post Classic 350cc & Post Classic 250cc 1987-89
Phil Atkinson proved his talent is endless on any bike he steps on, taking pole position by 1.2 seconds from Ant Hart, with Mike Cooper on the tail end of the front row. Atkinson made use of the pole and went flag to flag with a convincing 6 second victory over Hart, with Cooper finishing in a lonely 3rd place. In the PC250 Class it was Jordan Wainwright that took the victory from Simon Beaumont. The PC350 Over 55s was won by Robin Lamb, with Simon Lehane taking 20 points and Derek Skinner adding to his points haul, taking 3rd in class. The PC500 Class saw Andrew Widdowson take the 25 points, from Symon Woodward and Oli Bingham came home third in class.
Race 2 saw Atkinson continue his run of good luck, from Hart and Cooper with Neil Watson fancying a play but not making his charge until too late. Wainwright continued his haul of points in the PC250 Class, from Beaumont again in 2nd and Vince Cundle took third in class. The Over 55s was won convincingly by Lamb for the second time this weekend, from ark Edge and Lehane got eaten up by the pack this time and could only scrape third in class. The 500 class saw victory for George Hogton-Rusling, from Woodward, and Widdowson had to take the bridesmaid place this time, coming home third in class.
Race 3 saw Atkinson crash at Redgate on the first lap, gifting the victory to Hart as he watched on from the sidelines. Cooper took 2nd and Watson was happy to see Atkinson sliding along the tarmac so he could add 16 points to his championship. GHR continued to take points in the PC500 class, 3rd overall and 1st in class, from Widdowson and Bingham bounced back from a challenging 2nd race to take 3rd in class this time out. The Over 55s saw Edge take the victory after a late move on Lamb, with Bob Farrington coming out of the woodwork to join the party and take 3rd in class.
It was a great race in Race 4, with Cooper taking the victory by 0.362 seconds from Hart. Atkinson’s confidence took a hit with the earlier crash he suffered, but he still managed to bring the bike home 3rd overall and in class after starting down the grid. Wainwright took the clean sweep in the PC250 class, from Beaumont and Cundle tried to battle with Beaumont, but just didn’t have the power on him. Edge took class victory in the Over 55s class, from Lamb and Farrington took another set of points to add to his tally. GHR took the class victory once more in the PC500 class, proving him the right man to replace absent Dom Herbertson as he competed at Armoy this weekend. Widdowson took a 2nd in class again with Bingham taking another solid third.
Race 4, 16, 27 & 40 – Classic 200cc 4 Stroke, 250cc European, 350cc Goldstars & PC 250 Air Cooled
Jerry Longland proved that no matter what circuit we visit, his knowledge of where to put the power down on his Suzuki GT-X7 can give him dominant pole positions, with Donington being no exception as he took pole by 2 seconds from Charles Murdoch and Graeme Acott finished off the front row. Longland went flag to flag in Race 1, taking the victory from Woodward and Andrew Thornton took third in class. Murdoch took class victory in the 250 class, from Dave Whitehouse and Stuart McDonald. Peter Henwood took victory in the 200 class from Nigel Parker and James Williamson in 3rd. Over in the 350 Goldstars, it was Barry Mason that continued his superb season so far, taking victory in Race 1 from Steve Hands and Gary Abbott coming home in third.
Race 2 saw another overall victory from Longland, with Murdoch taking 2nd on the road, 1st in class, and Acott taking 3rd overall, 2nd in the PC250 Air Cooled class. Thornton took another 16 points in class this time out. In the 250 class Whitehouse took the 20 points from Titchmarsh took third place, whilst over in the 350 Goldstar class, Hands took the victory this time, from Abbott, with Mason struggling to keep up with his earlier pace, only managing third in class time.
Race 3 saw Joe Woodward pull the pin and take the victory, putting any of Longland’s plans for a weekend domination firmly to bed. Longland could only take 2nd this time both on the road and in class, with Acott taking another firm 3rd in class this time out. Murdoch role the wheels off his CB250 to take 3rd on the road and another 1st in class in the 250 class, from Whitehouse and McDonald taking another 3rd place. Henwood took another victory in the 200 class this time out, from Parker and Martin Dyke took third in class. It was Hands who took another victory in the 350 Goldstars class, from Mason this time and Abbott taking 3rd in class.
Longland returned to winning ways for Race 4, with the podium made up of 3 different classes! Murdoch took 2nd overall and 1st in the 250 class again, and hands had an outstanding ride to take 3rd on the road and another victory in the Goldstar class. McDonald saved his best until last in the 250 class, taking 2nd from Whitehouse in third this time out. Mason took another 2nd in the Goldstars class from Abbott, in a race long battle with the pair of them and Graeme Acott, who took 2nd in the PC250 class, from Charles Spinks, who made good use of Woodward’s retirement.
Race 5, 17, 29 & 41- Classic 1300cc, Superstock 400cc & Supermono GB
Peter Boast came in and took pole position on his KTM Tigcraft in this race, from Andy Pike and Grant Goodings making up the remainder of the front row. However it was George Hogton-Rusling that took the victory in Race 1, firmly securing that from Pike and Boast coming home third on the road, 2nd in the Supermono class. It was Tom Blackwell who took 3rd in the Supermono’s, in the Classic 1300cc class Gary Porter took 2nd place and Stephen took 16 points in the first race. Over in the Superstock 400cc class it was Goodings that took the 25 points, from Neil Robinson and Simon Walsh took 3rd in class in the first outing of 4 for this category.
GHR continued his overall domination so far this weekend in this race, taking another victory from Boast and Pike both on their Supermono. Alex Sinclair took 3rd in the Supermono class. Over in the Superstock class, Walsh must’ve put his rocket fuel in this race as he took the class win this time, Goodings and Robinson came home in this class in 3rd. Porter took another 2nd in the Classic 1300cc class and Graham Williams took third in class.
Race 3 saw another victory for GHR, with Williams taking 2nd in the Classic 1300cc class, from Porter taking 3rd this time. Boast took 2nd on the road from Pike in 3rd to take another 1,2 in the Supermono class with Andrew Widdowson joining the party to take a third in class. Robinson took the victory in Superstock class, from Goodings and Jason Lamb took third in class this time out.
Race 4 saw the clean sweep for GHR, with Williams and Porter making up the final podium in the Classic 1300cc class, with Boast, Pike and Widdowson all finishing within just over a second of each other to make for an exciting final Supermono podium. The race was restarted after a nasty looking crash from Ben Langton in the Superstock 400 class, thankfully he got up and walked himself to the ambulance, but this gave the victory to Goodings from Lamb and Robinson in 3rd place.
Race 6, 18, 30 & 42 – Lansdowne Classic Series
Sam Clews came to show who was boss this weekend and started that by placing his Manx Norton on pole, from George Thomas with Pete Bardell taking third on the grid. Race one saw Bardell fly away with the victory, and it was Richard Cooper who was here testing his bike for the Goodwood Revival that took second place, Thomas took third by the narrowest of margins from David Tetley. Thomas took the victory in the Clubman class from Tony Perkin and Matthew Hebb took third. Pre 55 honours for Race 1 went to Stevan Radakovic from Jimmy May and Roger Munsey, with the 350 Class victory going to John Cragg, from David Hebb and Ian Austin coming home 3rd in class.
Race 2 was exciting as anything! Bardell took the victory by 0.058 seconds from Clews, with Tetley a firm spectator, but taking another 3rd in class – proving his name in this series. Thomas took another convincing victory in the clubman class from Fernando Mendes and Perkin came home third in class this time out. Radakovic took another victory in the Pre 55 class from Richard Hann and May took third in class this time out, with 350 honours going to Cragg once more, from Hebb and Roger Ashby making the podium this time.
Bardell got his hat trick in race 3, from Thomas and Clews. Hebb took 2nd in the Clubman class this time from Mendes, and Jimmy May took a victory in the Pre 55 class. Cragg took another victory in the 350 class from Hebb and Ashby took another third. Bardell cleaned up in the last race from Clews and Tetley took third in the Bonhams class. Thomas got his set of victories as well, taking the Clubman victory this time from Perkin and Steve Parrott making a late appearance to the podium. Radakovic took another Pre 55 victory from May, and Cragg took a clean sweep in the 350 class from Hebb and Ian Austin.
Race 7, 19, 31 & 43 – Production up to 1300cc
Mark Taylor came in at the start of the year and has dominated this class from the word go, Donington was no exception as he put his FZ600 on pole by over 2 seconds from Dominic Clegg and Darren Cooper. The top 3 stayed that way for the first race, Taylor taking a convincing victory from Clegg with Cooper a lonely race in third.
Race 2 the same 3 took the podium, Clegg a bit closer this time but still no match for Taylor’s dominance in the class. Clegg had issued in race 3 though! This promoted Cooper to 2nd and put Graham Higlett into 3rd place. Jamie Edwards thought he could get the better of the flag on the start this time, landing him with a 10 second Jump Start Penalty which demoted him to 8th overall.
Taylor took his clean sweep in Race 4, Edwards worked out how to perfect his start to take 2nd place and Clegg took third, ahead of a battle between John Warwick and Cooper for 4th and 5th.
Race 8, 20, 32 & 44 – Classic 500cc
Alan Oversby took pole in this race, from Joe Barton and Sam Clews, and Barton took a firm victory in race 1, gapping Cooper by over 7 seconds. Cooper had a friend all race in Richard Molnar, taking 2nd from him by less than a tenth of a second. Stephen Atkin took victory in the Over 55s class from Stephen Elliot and Ian Stelner coming home third in class. Andy Pike took victory in the Goldstars class, from Garry Abbott and Barry Mason.
Cooper found pace and pipped Barton at the line by 0.088 seconds in race 2, with Molnar a comfortable spectator of one of the battles of the meeting, coming home in third place. Elliot took another victory in the Over 55s, from Stelner and Simon Lehane came home third in class this time. Pike took another Goldstars victory from Mason and Steve Hands took third in class this time out.
Race 3 was the closest battle of the weekend, with Mark Cronshaw coming out on top after a race long battle with Cooper, Molnar and Barton. The top 3 were separated at the line by 0.061 seconds, proving the trust these riders have racing against each other. This was the only race that I sat in Race Control and went “WOW!” at when it finished! Stephen Atkin took the Over 55s victory from Elliott and Lehane took another third in class, whilst Pike pipped Mason and Abbott to Goldstar victory once more.
The final outing saw Barton take a comfortable victory from Molnar and Cronshaw. Atkin took another victory in the Over 55s class from Elliott and Lehane, whilst Mason took victory in the Goldstars, from Abbott and Robert Coley adding 16 points to his championship.
Race 9, 21, 33 & 45 – Classic Sidecars
Kieran Clarke and Patricia Visscher put their 1066 BMW on pole, from Jon Perkins and Ian Nickels and Adrian and Bob Dawson in a reduced qualifying session after the red flags came out on red one after an outfit broke down on the exit of the chicane. Clarke/Visscher continued their domination this year, taking the Race 1 victory from Dawson/Dawson by 7 seconds, with Perkins/Nickels coming home third in class. Joe Heys and Derek Salleh took victory in the 2 stroke class from Steve Brooks and Ben Stell, over in the Period 2 class it was Matt Kingsmill and Paul Sands that took the victory, and in the Period 1 class it was Shaun Motson and Lizzie Quinlan that took victory once more, from Darren Chapman and Rob Cook, with Nigel Thomas and Ben Robinson putting 16 points on the board, coming home third in class.
Race 2 saw the Dawsons get a bit closer to Clarke/Visscher, but they couldn’t get any closer than 3.7 seconds and had to sit back and watch them take another victory. It was the combination of Andrew and Doug Street that took 3rd in class this time in the Period 3 class. Heys/Salleh took another victory in Period 4, from Brooks/Stell, Period 2 saw another victory for Kingsmill/Sands and Period 1 saw Motson/Quinlan as the sole finishers in the class.
Race 3 saw another annihilation from Clarke/Visscher – I’m struggling to see how anyone can even get close to them this year! The Streets took 2nd this time with the Dawson’s coming home third. Heys/Salleh are dominating Period 4 this year, another victory from Brooks/Stell, and Matt Kingsmill took another 25 points on his return to racing after a couple of years off in Period 2. Motson/Quinlan enjoyed another race win in period 1 from Chapman/Cook, with Ian Champ and Samantha Line coming home 3rd in Period 1 to add to their championship.
Clarke/Visscher finished their weekend with another 4 victories, from Street/Street and Dawson/Dawson. Heys/Salleh took home a clean sweep as well, likewise from Kingsmill/Sands and Motson/Quinlan also added another 100 points to their title chase over the weekend. Chapman/Cook put 20 more points on their championship assault, and Champ/Line added another 16 onto theirs.
Race 10, 22, 34 & 46 – Post Classic MotoSuperbike & Post Classic Superstock
Joe Barton loves riding his 1260 Minnovation Kawasaki, and that was proven this weekend when he stuck it on pole by over a second from John Dieterman and Michael Russell making up the remainder of the front row. Barton took the victory in race 1, from Ant Hart and Dieterman came home in third. Over in the Superstock class, it was Mark Purslow who is making great ground in the class this year, from Paul Kirkby and Derek Cripps took third place.
Race 2 saw another victory, by 0.318 seconds, for Barton from Dieterman, with Hart just a spectator coming home in 3rd. Purslow took another Superstock victory from Kirkby, and Neil Robinson came along for a third place in class this time round. Barton continued domination in Race 3, with Hart taking another 2nd from Dieterman. Purslow continued his good run of form to take another class victory from Cripps and Robinson, and Race 4 gave Barton the full house from Hart and Dieterman, with Purslow, Cripps and Robinson making up the Superstock honours once more.
Race 11, 23, 35 & 47 – Classic 350cc
With Dom Herbertson away at Armoy, George Hogton Rusling kept the seat of his Davies Honda very warm, sticking it on pole from Mark Cronshaw and Joe Barton. Race 1 saw GHR take the victory and Simon Walsh had a great race to come home second, beating Barton by 0.093 second! Richard Parker took third in the 350 Twins class, whilst over in the European class with Barton taking the class victory it was David Tetley that took 2nd place and Andrew Guy taking third. Over 55 honours were given to Stephen Elliot, from Gary Freeman and Richard Llewellin taking third in class.
GHR continued domination in Race 2, taking a 1.5 second victory from Walsh, with Parker taking 3rd in class and on the Road. Barton struggled in this race to keep up with the pace, still taking the class victory, but finishing a bit lower down the order than usual in 5th place. Tetley took 2nd in class from Will Loder on his Greeves. Peter Boast took the Over 55s trophy this time, from Elliott and Freeman.
Parker gave GHR a fight to the end but GHR pipped it by half a second in Race 3, with Steve Mason taking 3rd in class after Simon Walsh got a it excitable and found out what the grass felt like, taking a tumble from his machine. Boast took another victory in the over 55 class, but being only 1.3 seconds off GHR, you wouldn’t think he was eligible for the class! Elliot took 2nd in class and Llewelllin took another 3rd place. Barton took victory in the 350 European class again, from Loder and Guy came home for another 3rd in class.
Mark Cronshaw came to the party in Race 4, taking the 350 European victory and narrowly missing out on overall victory by 0.14 seconds from GHR, who proved his talent to ride anything that’s thrown at him. James Gerrard took his Honda to 2nd in class in the 350 Twins, with Gary Long taking 16 points in their last race of the weekend. Barton had to settle for 2nd in the European class, with Loder taking 3rd. Boast took another Over 55s victory, from Elliott and Freeman.
Race 28 – ACU Classic 350cc & 500cc
Mark Cronshaw took pole for this race from Mike Cooper and Richard Molnar, the front row separated by less than a second. On raceday though it was Joe Barton that put the G50 where it mattered, taking the victory from Cronshaw by a convincing 6 seconds, with Molnar coming home in third. Gary Long thought that he could outrun the flag, getting a 10 second jump start penalty, moving him down to 14th place overall. George Hogton-Rusling took the 350 victory from Richard Parker and Peter Boast, Parker and Boast separated by 0.044 seconds at the line.
Race 36 – ACU Post Classic 750cc & 1300cc
Joe Barton took a convincing pole by 2.3 seconds from John Dieterman, with Phil Atkinson pushing his TZ350 hard to end 3rd on the grid. Following on from the on grid interviews and BSB style build up to this race, it was Barton that flourished with the attention, taking the victory from Hart and Dieterman. The battle for fourth was intense until Richard Molnar pulled in with a problem, gifting Michael Russell 13 points. Atkinson came home in 5th, first of the Under 750cc class, from Oli Linsdell and Mike Cooper coming home 3rd in class to put some respectable points on the board.