The Wirral Hundred club’s race meeting on 29th
July on the Anglesey 1.55 mile coastal circuit was its fourth championship meeting of the year, with one now remaining. The meeting also included the fourth rounds of the ACU British Formula 2 Sidecar championship and the FSRA Post Classic / Pre-Injection series. In the W100 championship races Johnny Blackshaw (Powerbikes) and Adrian Kershaw (100-500cc Allcomers) both had four wins apiece and clinched their respective championships.
In the Powerbikes class, with Blackshaw maintaining his unbeaten run with four victories, the main competition came from Sean Neary, having a weekend off on a BMW instead of his more usual Ducati Panagale, and claiming three 3rd
places. Regular Irish visitor Alastair Kirk and young Joe Ravenscroft were the best of the rest. The club’s newly-introduced Pre-2009/Pre-Electronics Powerbikes category saw Chris Ganderton take an early-season championship lead but, after missing the first round, former W100 champion John Robb has been on top form, and claimed another three wins, his only blemish being a slow-speed fall in the fourth race, which saw him hand the win to Ganderton and hence a 10 points lead in the the championship. John Jones on his 750 Suzuki GSXR was the best of the Golden Era brigade.
It was the two 250 GP Hondas of Paul Metcalfe on Saturday and teenager Myles Wasley on Sunday who provided the main competition to Adrian Kershaw on his production Kawasaki 400 in the 100-500cc Allcomers, but each time Kershaw took the flag first. On this occasion the Forgotten Era riders shared the track with the Allcomers, and with championship leader John Price elsewhere, the wins were shared between James Labdon and Leslie Mason, with the popular Manxman Labdon closing the gap at the top of the championship considerably.
Once again the Paul Bland Motorsport
Formula 600 class provided some epic racing at the front, provided by the experienced circuit specialists Jamie Harris and David Jones, with the latter forsaking his usual big Kawasaki for its little brother. Harris was too late into the assembly area for the first race, but then stormed through the field from the rear of the grid, to take 2nd
place, just 0.2 seconds behind Jones. Lesson learned, he did not give himself such a disadvantage in the other three races and managed to win them all, but only by fractions, with Jones in second place showing great form on his return to the class. Chris Eden maintained the pace he has been showing all year with three 3rd
’s in the first three races, but a fall in the final race was a disappointing end to his weekend. This class has quality in depth with the younger generation of Nathan Harrison, Chris & Carl Jones, Simon Napier and Joel Williams all now pushing for top six places.
The Pre-Injection races this year have also been entertaining with Chris Ganderton and Joe Ravenscroft level on points before this meeting; they again were at the front of all four races but Ganderton’s three wins against Ravenscroft’s one saw him eke out a meagre 6 points lead, with all to play for in the final round. Owen Hunt and John Jackson were the best of the rest.
In the SSR Suspension
Golden Era Supersport class, former W100 champion Tim Bradley, who missed the first championship round, dominated proceedings with four clear wins and moved into 3rd
place in the championship. Championship leader Ray Stevenson kept his cool, however, with three 2nd
’s and a 3rd
, and remains the favourite to clinch the title at the final round. The 650 Twins raced alongside G/E Supersport and Mike Bampton repeated the form he has shown all season with four impressive wins, further extending his championship lead over David Evans. Evans and Andrew Ganderton remain in 2nd
places respectively and look likely to maintain these places at the final round.
At the end of each day, the Anglesey Senior and Lightweight Open races took place. Predictably Johnny Blackshaw won both Senior races, the first narrowly from Sean Neary, the second somewhat more comfortably from the not-to-be-parted Jamie Harris and David Jones. The Lightweight Opens were dominated by 650 Twins and Mike Bampton in particular; with the Twins of David Evans and Joe Walton next; Stephen Johnson on his CB500 took creditable 4th
places in both races.
This meeting was undoubtedly boosted by an extravaganza of sidecar racing. The ACU British F2 championship races will be reported on elsewhere by the FSRA but in summary in race 1 the championship leaders Peter Founds & Jevan Walmsley led from the start until the last part of the last (and 20th
) lap, when a front wheel technical issue forced them off the track and then tour home in 6th
position, allowing Steve & Matty Ramsden to take the win. No such gremlins in race 2 with Founds & Walmsley winning comfortably from the Ramsdens. It was a good day for the Wirral – Peter Founds was born and bred there, the Ramsdens were the club’s 2015 sidecar champions, and the 2016 champions Michael Jackson & Cullum Crowe were the fastest of the ‘Cup’ teams in both races! In the two races counting towards the FSRA’s Post-Classic / Pre-injection series there were four wins for Wesley & Thomas Pettman, a seemingly just reward for travelling all the way from Gravesend in Kent. Finally the W100 races were boosted by several British F2 crews taking the opportunity of more track action, but it was the current W100 championship leaders Sam & Adam Christie on their beautifully-prepared long-wheelbase LCR Suzuki, who dominated and won all four races followed home each time by John Shipley & John Saidi.
The next Wirral Hundred action is on Sunday 24th
September when its Formula 600 riders take part in a joint BRSCC / W100 car-bike race day on Anglesey’s coastal circuit as part of the circuit’s 25th
Anniversary celebrations. The event will be run in a similar fashion to the Anglesey Grand with morning qualifying and the two 12-lap legs and a prize fund of £1,000. The Club’s season ends with the iconic Anglesey Grand meeting on the International circuit over the weekend of 7th
October, with the 24th
running of the Grand and a full complement of W100 championship races.