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Titles Claimed at Tonfanau

Monday September 4, 2017 at 12:27pm
James Evans, the 33-year-old motorcycle dealer from Shrewsbury, on his Pro Bike Repairs Yamaha 600, wrapped up the Crewe and South Cheshire club’s 401-1100cc championship with three consistent rides in the fourth and final round of the series at Tonfanau.

Once again it was the 2016 champion, Chris Mort (Honda 600), who dominated the meeting winning all three races to grab runner-up spot in the championship.

Evans held a 17-point lead coming into the meeting and a bad start in race prevented him from finishing higher than fourth, behind Mort, Grant Gaskell (Kawasaki 600) and Josh Williams (Honda 600).

A last lap incident in race forced Evans off the track, but he went on to take fifth place and make sure of the title. Mort won again, with Gaskell and Josh Williams second and third, separated by just four hundredths of a second. Adrian Williams (Yamaha 600) was fourth.

Evans looked set to be fourth in the third and final race, but the battling Gaskell and Josh Williams crashed out on the penultimate lap, gifting him second spot. Evans was the champion by 15 points from Mort, with Gaskell relegated to third after his spill. Evans had faced a battle to be ready for the meeting after a big high-side at Anglesey two weeks earlier, which had left him battered and bruised and his bike in a bad state. The re-build paid dividends after he was awarded Best Prepared Bike, by the judges, Paul Tye, who led the Forgotten Era up to 250 class coming into this final round, was absent leaving Phil Leatherland to lead fast lady Caron Roberts by just a single point. Leatherland drew 23rd place on the grid on the Tuning Works Suzuki for the first race, with Roberts alongside him.

Leatherhead made a good start and fought through to eighth place overall and first in his class with teenager Sam Grief on a Kawasaki 250 second and Roberts third on her Yamaha. Leatherland made a better start in race two, finishing class winner and fifth overall. The final race resulted in a third class win of the day for Leatherland, who was seventh overall. Leatherland the champion on 79 points, with Roberts second on 73 and the absent Tye third with 70.

Sam Grief was also out in the Racing 50 class, on his Kreidler. The teenager won his first two races, but retired in the third. Ian Cowles was fifth in the 50cc championship coming into this meeting, but two seconds and a win gave him the title, 17 points ahead of Darren Eaton. Running alongside the 50s were the Classic 125-20 Single Cylinder bikes.

Mark Purslow, making his first appearance of the season won all three races on the Honda RS125, but behind a real battle for the title raged.

Fast lady Caron Roberts was leading race one, when it was red flagged. Because there was a lengthy delay sorting out the incident she had to stop the Bultaco engine, because it was overheating. She could not start the motor again for the re-start leaving Dave Thorp (Ducati) to take second place and Roger Smith, on his Ducati, third. Roberts chased Purslow home in the next two outings, but Smith added a fifth to his points tally to end the year 0n 73 and take the title from Thorp by one point. Missing that race cost Roberts the championship.

John Price was out to retain both the 400 Supersport and the Forgotten Era 251-500cc titles. A hat-trick of wins made sure of the Supersports series. With 11 wins to his credit he ended the year on 110 points, 24 points clear of his closest rival, Tony Griffiths.

Price was trailing arch rival, Phil Millard by just two points in the Forgotten Era series at the start of racing and despite collecting a ten second penalty for a jump start in race one Price was still the winner by one and half seconds from Millard. Price won the second race, too, over seven seconds ahead of his rival.

They were now level on points going into the final race. The pair battled it out at the front of the pack, passing in re-passing, but fluid was seen coming from Price’s Kawasaki and he was black flagged. Millard won, taking the title by ten points from a bitterly disappointed Price.

Roger Ford had already made sure of the Classic over 501 series and Paul Birch comfortably wrapped up the Classic 251-500 championship with a hat trick.

Ted Cornes won all three Classic 250 races to make it ten victories for the year.

Just one point separated series leader, Paul Stones and Steve Birtles in the Forgotten Era over 501cc championship. Birtles won the first race by just over two fifths of a second to level things up. Stones was keen to win race two, too keen in fact.

He quickly hit the front, but on lap two crashed out. He suffered a leg injury in the spill, but it was the damage to the bike that prevented him going out in race three. Birtles took the title with 94 points, 20 more than Stones.

John Bain (Suzuki 650) wrapped up the Minitwins title with a third, a second and a win, beating his closest rival, John Nicklin (Suzuki 650) by a comfortable 20-point margin.

Tony Griffiths was unbeaten in his three Steel Frame 600 rides, taking his tally of wins for the season to eight. He ended the championship with 97 points, 24 ahead of Dean Ephgrave, who was runner up each time out, Roger and Bradley Stockton (Windle Suzuki) rattled up an impressive hattrick of sidecar victories, but it was not enough to stop Gary Wilson and Sue Taylor (Windle 1000), who were runners up each time out, from taking the championship.


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