BRITAIN may have endured a long, hot summer, but Tonfanau’s final round this weekend was once again affected by rain, wind and cold.
Bultaco rider Caron Roberts admitted it was not the best day for racing, but the fast lady won all three of her races to take the Classic 250 Single Cylinder class championship for the first ever time, ending the season 45 points ahead of her closest rival, Sarah Measures.
Roberts did not go out in the Forgotten Era 250 races and that, coupled with the absence of Paul Tye, who was at the Classic TT, left Phil Leatherland an easier task that it might have been to claim the title for the second season in succession.
For his first race grid positions were set up depending on engine capacity, with Yamaha FZRs and Suzuki GXRs taking up the front row and the smaller capacity machines at the rear.
Leatherland lined up at the back, not the best start to the meeting, Faced with a wet track and rain, he managed to fluff the launch and lose ground on the pack, not his usual starting mode.
After eight laps he had pulled through to ninth overall and first in his class on the Tuning Works RGV Suzuki 250. He was seventh overall next time out, once again winning his class, and while the track had dried for the final race, there was the threat of more heavy rain.
Leatherland made a demon start, riding around the all too familiar traffic jam at the first corner and made up a few places. He crossed the line behind second race winner Phil Millard on his ZXR400, to take seventh place and a hat trick of class wins. in 7th overall with a hat trick of class wins.
Unlike Caron Roberts, Sarah Measures did race in a second class and came dangerously close to winning the Classic 251-500 title on her Yamaha 500.
But Adrian Day was fortunate enough to be given the win after his bike had broken down in the second race after it had been red flagged. With the Honda sidelined, Day failed to score points in race three, but Measures, who had three third places, still came up five points short.
Just seven points covered the top three in the Minitwins going into the final round and after a dramatic day’s racing Dave Evans took the title, six points ahead of Darren Raybould, with Martin Robbins third and 15 behind Evans after failing to score points in race two after winning the first and third outings.
Six wins from his last six rides gave Martin Clare victory in the Steel Frame 600 class, beating Karl Brandon by a comfortable 17 points.
John Price was out to make up for last season’s slip up and win both the 400 Supersport and the Forgotten Era 251-500 series.
His first race of the day was the 400 Supersport, which led from start to finish in the miserable wet conditions, beating the opposition by 12s to clinch the crown for the fourth season on the trot. After taking the same result in race two, he decided to give the third race a miss.
Price had a slender six-point lead going in to the first Forgotten Era race and from tenth on the starting grid he charged through to take the lead, going on to beat his main rival, Millard, by over a second. Tucking in behind Millard in race two, Price crossed the line less than a fifth of a second down on Millard.
Price lined up second the grid for the crucial third race and crossed the line third overall, behind two big bikes, but more than five seconds in front of Millard as he regained the championship.
Steve Birtles had won the Forgotten Era over 501cc championship three times in the past four seasons and after another tough year he clinched crown number four.
He couldn’t stop Paul Stones winning two of the day’s three round, but two second places and a single victory were enough for him to top the championship table and beat Paul Myler by 14 points.
Ted Cornes needed just a single point to win the Classic 250cc championship for the third year in a row. He finished third in the class on his Suzuki in his first race to notch up another eight points and move to an insurmountable position, while Geoff Hadwin won the day’s three races to end the season seven points adrift.
Kevin Burton took two wins and a second in his three 50cc outings, but it was Derek Betts who took the championship with a sixth, an eighth and a fifth.
Mick Crompton had already clinched the Classic over 501cc championship, but to rub it in he won two more races to add to his impressive season tally.
Gary Wilson retained his Sidecar crown, this year with Mark Griffiths in the chair of the Windle Suzuki outfit, instead of Sue Taylor. But the title winners couldn’t stop CKJ Windle duo Craig Hauxwell and Dickie Williams from going unbeaten through the day.
*Images: Paul St Clair