CREWE and South Cheshire Club riders finally broke their winter slumber as racing rolled back into Tonfanau last weekend for the first round of the year.
Chris Mort’s campaign to retain his 450 – 1100cc Open title at Tonfanau got off to the perfect start, the Malpas rider taking a clean sweep of victories at the Crewe and South Cheshire Club’s Easter Sunday meet.
The closest anyone could get to the Honda 600 rider was a little under seven seconds, that by fellow Honda rider Mike Norbury who took two seconds and a third. The podium placings in all three races were completed by James Evans (Yamaha R6).
Another rider to make a strong start to his title defence was reigning 400cc Supersport champion John Price (Kawasaki ZXR). The Church Stretton rider was undefeated throughout last season and kicked off this 2019 season with another clean sweep of wins. He was followed home on each occasion by Pontypridd’s Tony Griffiths (Kawasaki ZXR) while there were two third places for Phil Millard from Hawarden (Kawasaki) and one for Wayne Collins of Barmouth on his Kawasaki.
Caron Roberts similarly dominated the 125cc and 250cc single cylinder category, the Halkyn rider taking her 250cc Bultaco to three victories. She was followed home each time by Preston’s David Thorp on his Ducati while in the 50cc racing category there were three wins for Ian Cowles on a Yamaha. South African Hudson Kennaugh cleaned up in the Freetec category on his Honda CBR.
Among the larger engined Classics, Paul Johnson was unbeatable on the 750cc Rob North Triumph. The Kingswinford rider was followed home each time by the similar machine of David Bradley, the Matlock rider also winning the award for Best Prepared Machine at the meeting. Arthur Browning cleaned up on his Seeley Matchless in the 251 – 500cc class with Sarah Measures taking two second places and a third on her Yamaha SR. Reigning champion Adrian Day (K4 Honda) claimed a second and two thirds.
Geoff Hadwin and Rob Knight shared the honours in the 250cc class with Hadwin taking the opening race on his Suzuki and following it up with two second places while Knight was absent from the opening race but took victory on his BSK Racing Yamaha in the remaining races.
The Forgotten Era riders produced some of the closest racing of the meeting, despite which Paul Davies took his Suzuki GSXR, not eligible for class honours, to two outright wins. The third win went to Hudson Kennaugh on his RGB Weslake while there were two class wins in the over 501cc category for Paul Stones on his Yamaha FZR.
John Price’s hard-working Kawasaki ZXR took him to three wins in the 251 – 500cc class ahead, in each case, of Phil Millard (Kawasaki) while there were two third places for Tony Griffiths and one for Wayne Collins, both on Kawasakis. Caron Roberts took her TZ Yamaha to three wins in the up to 250cc class.
There was a hat-trick of wins in the Steel Frame 600cc category for reigning champion Martin Clare ahead in each case of fellow Honda CBR rider Dean Ephgrave. Karl Brandon took two third places on his Honda with the remaining podium place going to Kyle Baynham on a Suzuki.
Mark Purslow took the Minitwin honours in his Kawasaki in the opening race with the two remaining wins going to the Suzuki SV650 of Martin Robbins.
Dan Knight and Matthew Rostrom won the opening sidecar race but their LCR failed to reappear in the remaining races, leaving victory in those to the Green Ant Racing outfit of Anthony Eades and Ash Gibson.
*Images: Steve Snelling