CLASSIC racers broke new ground in their maiden outing of 2019 as the CRMC descended on Castle Combe for the very first time.
The high-speed Wiltshire circuit didn’t disappoint and while Lee Hodge was the big winner with eight victories to his name, there was plenty more action between the solos and sidecars.
Robert Bowden did the double in Saturday’s 125cc Grand Prix 9d races, beating Mark Handley comfortably in each, but it was bad luck for Bowden as he bowed out with a DNF in Sunday’s opener, leaving Handley to two victories over Stuart Cox.
In the class 9e battle, Tom Hayward was on similar form as he beat Ashley Beckett to the first two race wins before Beckett pipped him over the line in the second two.
Yamaha man John Warwick stole victory in the opening 8k Post Classic Superstock just over three tenths ahead of Liam McCarter, but Suzuki-mounted McCarter made sure to stamp his authority on the rest of the weekend with a hat-trick and a winning margin of almost 30sec over Warwick and John Smith.
Richard Cheetham swept the 200cc class 2a in dominant fashion, while Iain Green nearly did the same in class 3a, but was forced to give one to Stuart McDonald thanks to a retirement. In the BSA Goldstar-filled 4d ranks, Andy Guy was the man to beat while Warwick, Jeremy Longland and Andy Green shared the Post-Classic 250 Air Cooled and Classic 250 Twins 8h class.
Warwick was also out with the Post Classic 500 Air Cooled 8d riders where he bagged a double as Gary May and Symon Woodward shared the remaining two race wins. On track with the 500s were the Grand Prix 350s, where Ant Hart and road racer Jamie Coward split victories. TT man Coward also managed to beat Hart and Phil Atkinson in the ACU Post Classic scrap as he lifted the Peter Williams Trophy.
In the 8e Production battles, Warwick pinched the opening race by 0.044sec over Danny Imberg before Ducati-powered Imberg took the second by nearly 10sec. But it was Beckett who swept the final two races, with a 0.135sec win ahead of Imberg and a 2sec win over Warwick in the final.
While he won all four races by less than a second, reigning 500cc 5a champ Richard Molnar made a perfect start to his season, beating Hodge, Joe Barton and Alan Oversby to the line. Michael Bevan all but controlled the Classic Clubman 500 5b proceedings and only gave one up to Paul Potter, while Andy Pike took all four Goldstar 500 5c class races by no less than 12sec.
Drixton Honda rider Mark Woods controlled action in the 4b Classic 350 ranks, but among the 4c Twin and Multi 350s it was Craven-mounted Harley Rushton who took a hat-trick after losing out in the opener to Davies Motorsport’s IOMTT bid and Classic TT winner Dominic Herbertson.
MRE Imp-powered duo Doug and Andrew Street made a clean sweep of the Sidecar battles as Tony Thirkell/Trevor Johnson, David Lissaman/Mark Leeton, Ian Johnson/Kevin Roughan and Brian Gray/Jason Pitt shared the podium spoils.
*Images: Paul Korkus