DEAN Harrison, Jim Hind, Jamie Coward and David Bell were among the winners today as Oliver’s Mount roared back into life.
And it was a day of tight battles as the opening races of the 69th Steve Henshaw Gold Cup hit the track.
After dominating qualifying across three classes, Hind launched himself into the winner’s circle at the Scarborough circuit with victory in both 250cc races today.
The reigning National 250GP champ rocketed ahead from the off in both races, taking control from the off to beat local ace Joey Thompson and Chris Moore by some 11sec in race one before crossing the line almost 27sec ahead of Moore in race two as Thompson retired to the pits.
While Nick Anderson got the better of Mark Purslow in the 400cc battle going on behind, Purslow hit back in race two to take bragging rights by more than 11sec as Andy Jackson was the first 125 home in eighth and fifth overall.
In the opening Twins race, Coward hit the front when the lights went out for race one with Cowton Racing’s Dom Herbertson and Team ILR’s Hind in tow.
Herbertson cut the gap down from 2.4sec to 1.3 on the penultimate lap, but it wasn’t enough for the KTS Racing man as Coward scored victory while the Geordie was pipped to second by Hind on the final lap.
It looked to be a carbon copy in race two as Coward led a close battle with Herbertson early on, but it was disaster for the latter as he retired on the second lap, allowing Dafabet Devitt Kawasaki’s stand-in Harrison to move ahead of Hind and secure second over the 20-year-old, some seven seconds down on the winner.
Harrison was back on the Greenall Racing Kawasaki for the Bennetts Classic Superbike scraps as he destroyed the field to win the opener by more than 26sec in race one, with the Yamahas of Bell and Sam Johnson rounding out the rostrum.
But the Bradford ace sat out of race two with bike issues, leaving former Barry Sheene trophy winner Bell to cross the line more than seven seconds clear of Johnson, as Dean’s brother Adrian Harrison fended off Dave Hewson to nick third by just a quarter of a second.
Dan Booth led the opening laps of the first 600cc B battle of the day with Julian Tillotson and Keith Pringle in tow and while the three were locked together for much of the race, Pringle dropped off the pace on the final lap just as Tillotson sneaked through on Booth to steal victory by 0.519sec.
Pringle powered into the lead of race two early on with Tom Robinson and Tillotson behind, but as Tillotson fell a few seconds back before retiring, Robinson made his move with three laps to go before a stretching a winning margin of 5.699sec as Pringle took second while Booth held off Barry Furber to take third.
In the opening Non-Qualifiers scrap, Lewis Buckerfield grabbed the holeshot, but it wasn’t long before Lewis Arrowsmith took over at the front as he built a gap of more than 8.5sec to pick up a victory while Martin Ingham pipped Ricky Martin by 0.280sec to bag the runner-up spot.
But there was a new front-runner in race two as Brian Clark led from lights to flag to win by 0.754sec despite advances from Ingham and eventual runner-up Paul Drinkwater, while Colin Croft took third.
*Images: Steve Gormley, Gary Howlett