PRESTON and District’s 16-year-old outright lap record was finally shattered last weekend as riders hit Three Sisters Circuit for round two.
After more than a decade and a half with the same fastest lap time ruling the Wigan track, Baz Dimelow broke the old mark of 54.6 – set by former British championship contender Alex Gault way back in 2005 – as he dominated the day.
Dimelow opened his account on Sunday with a nearly 20-second win in the 1300cc opener over James Leatham and Keith Ferrari as he scorched to a 54.526, but it was the second big bike race where he set the new record as he doubled up in the class to beat Leatham and Ferrari – this time with a 54.254sec lap in the bag, the new record.
Not content with two, he also clocked a 54.701 in the Formula 600 opener to make it two lap records in a day, leading Ashley Coid and Marty Robbins over the line for another pair of victories.
And that wasn’t the last of the lap records to be broken on the day – Colin McCabe cleared off in the Formula 400 scraps to take two wins and a new fastest lap of 56.318. And just behind, it was all action as Paul Daley and Alex Latham were locked in a battle as they both took a second and a third apiece with tenths separating them.
It wasn’t over there, either – Ryan Garside dominated the opening Streetstock 125 race to win by 13sec over Owen Monaghan and Alistair Tang, before the college lecturer went on to sweep the class with another victory in race two as he notched up a 1:00.844 while Monaghan only just pipped Sean McKenna to second.
But it was the EvoTech race where Garside made it three from three as he and Bobby Varey diced early on ahead of Graham Corfield as Garside took victory with a 1:00.208 while Varey bagged second with a stunning 1:00.095.
The F400 runners were back out for the Up to 500cc battle and once again it was McCabe in front – but this time he had a fight on his hands as he fended off Latham and Osian Jones, who weren’t more than a second behind at the flag.
Jones looked to be on for his own sweep of the Twins class with a dominant opening win ahead of a three-way scrap led by Nick Boggan, Colin Cooke and James Dickinson, with less than half a second separating the trio at the flag. But with Jones out for race two, it was Dickinson leading the way as he snatched the win from Cooke by a quarter of a second with Mark Orrell behind.
Garth Woods was the man to beat in both Classic 251cc and over races, crossing the line comfortably clear of Michael Wall both times as Barry Davies and Brian Cooper split thirds. Just behind, Michael Powell did the double in the 250cc class ahead of Ben Heaton and Scott Park, while the PC500 machines were also in the mix as Tim Jones took two wins with Andrew Frazer and Robin Bartlett taking a second and third apiece. The Classic 50cc spoils both went to Allan Richardson.
While Varey hit the track again for the Single Cylinder 125 scrap, winning the opener with ease, he retired from race two, leaving Powell to secure victory as Monaghan, Corfield and McKenna duked it out for podium honours.
After taking pole position for the Single Cylinder over 125 class, Lewis Thistlethwaite beat Richardson to victory in the opening race by less than two tenths, but Varey was back on the grid for race two, beating Thistlethwaite by just over a second with Richardson third.
Martin Clare continued his Pre-Injection run of form with a double win just as he had at the opening round, but it wasn’t without company as David Jackson was just 0.8sec off in race one while Stephen Johnston was within 0.220sec of Clare at the end of race two.
And like round one, Clare played second fiddle to James Leatham in the only Steelie scrap of the day as Leatham won by almost two seconds, with Johnston third. On the same grid, classics man Hefyn Owen scored the Forgotten Era win nearly 10sec clear of Steven Birtles.