ROAD racers descended on Castletown this afternoon as the Billown Course roared into life for the Colas Post TT Road Races.
After qualifying on pole for the opening CuPlas Callow 600cc race, Nathan Harrison looked on for victory as he led the opening laps. But disaster struck as he and circuit rookie Mike Browne diced for the lead when Manxman Harrison’s engine gave up the ghost, allowing Irishman Browne to tear past.
And despite advances from Wigan’s Rob Hodson, it was the Cork rider who took his maiden Billown victory by just over half a second with Rhys Hardisty a further five seconds adrift in third.
A Welshman and a Manxman did battle in the Manx Independent Carriers 250/650cc scrap as Hardisty and Dave Moffitt fought for the entire six-lapper. Two-stroke 250-mounted Hardisty led early on, but on lap four Supertwin man Moffitt grabbed the lead before losing it again with a lap remaining.
Moffitt had snatched the lead back by the time they hit Cross Four Ways on the final lap, but Hardisty stole it back in the final few corners as he crossed the line over 1.6sec clear of a frustrated Moffitt, with Gavin Brown 51sec back in the final podium spot.
In the finale Colas 1000cc race, Hodson got the jump on the field but Ryan Kneen was right on his tail giving chase as Browne slotted into third with Mark Goodings and Anthony Redmond close behind.
Hodson eked out a 0.8sec lead by the second lap, but Kneen reeled back time by the half-way point and with just three laps to go, he had brought the gap down to a mere 0.118sec.
But with traffic in play on the penultimate lap, Hodson managed to squeeze out another few tenths to lead by almost a second before Kneen pulled it all back as they went into the final lap with less than 0.4sec between.
Kneen’s charge came just a touch too late, however, and despite a 111.090mph last lap he missed out on victory by 0.078sec at the chequered flag as Hodson took victory, leaving Browne to third.
*Image: Southern 100