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Ulsterman Kirk Wins The ‘Anglesey Grand’

Wednesday October 13, 2021 at 4:11pm
Ulsterman Kirk Wins The ‘Anglesey Grand’
The Wirral Hundred club’s final race meeting of the year on 9th & 10th October marked the 29th anniversary of the Club’s first meeting at Anglesey, and as well as the final races in the Club’s abbreviated 2021 championship season, it incorporated its flagship ‘Anglesey Grand’ run over two 12-lap legs of the international circuit, with £2,000 of prize money on offer.

Anglesey Grand

The surprise packet in qualifying practice was Alistair Kirk (1000cc BMW), a debutant in the Grand but a leading light this year in the Ulster Superbikes Championship. He qualified fastest, 0.7 secs ahead of Mallory specialist Louis Dawson (1000cc Aprilia), who was the winner on debut at the previous Grand in 2019. John Robb (1000cc Kawasaki), the winner of the Grand 12 years ago, was back on form and a close third in practice. TT specialist Jamie Coward (Kawasaki), after writing off his big bike at the last W100 meeting, was the fastest of the 600’s.

At the start of the 1st Leg, Kirk took the lead and was never headed in the 25 miles, winning by a comfortable 8 secs from Dawson with Robb a further 7 secs back. Local man Joey Taylor (1000cc BMW) snatched fourth and was followed home by the best of the 600’s, Jamie Coward and Barry Dimelow.

Kirk’s fastest lap in the 1st Leg brought him pole position for the 2nd Leg, and this race was very much a mirror image of the first race, with Kirk, Dawson and Robb in their same positions and Coward again the best of the 600’s. With prize money down to 8th place in the two Legs there was some close racing throughout the field and all credit then for each of the 29 invited riders for putting on a great show, much appreciated by the large crowd.  

Championship races

Whilst the Anglesey Grand races were the main focus for the spectators, it was the other 27 races across the weekend that determined the finishing orders in the various club championships. Saturday was mainly dry with some light rain, but it was sunny and warm on Sunday.

For once the four sidecar races, with nearly full grids and some fast visitors, making their first W100 appearances of the year, attracted particular attention. In the W100 Open Sidecar class the main issue was the effect that those ‘visitors’, testing their TT machines in the hope that they will get to use them in 2022, might have on the final Club championship positions – Steve & Matty Ramsden had two wins and John Holden & Jason Pitt, and Dave Molyneux & Dan Sayle, had a win apiece, the latter aboard the special development twin-cylinder KTM 890. The Holden / Pitt pairing were in 7th place in the Club championship after competing at Oulton in April, but their win, two 2nd’s and a 3rd here saw them clinch the title for the first time, 4 points ahead of the Manx pairing and former Club champion Michael Jackson & Jake Roberts with three 4th’s and a 5th  who did enough to clinch the championship, just 5 points clear of the many-times Club champion Craig Hauxwell, with Tom Bryant as stand-in passenger, out for the first time on a resplendent Adolf RS1 outfit. The W100 Sidecars were joined on track by the teams competing in the final round of the nationwide FSRA Wintec Pre-Injection Sidecar championship. Ten times TT winner Rob Fisher with Sarah Stokoe alongside him has dominated the F2 class this year, and they again recorded four impressive wins. In the F1 class there were four wins for John Shipley Jnr & Gary Wheeler, but Simon Horton & Jordan Forrest, with two 2nd’s but two DNF’s, did enough to comfortably secure that championship.

In the AS Racing Formula 600 series Adrian Kershaw went into the meeting with an 8 points lead, but the man-on-form all year has been Barry Dimelow and his three impressive wins secured him the title with Kershaw second and Chris Eden third. It was good to see Joel Morris return to action, his best result being a 2nd, and particularly impressive amongst the newcomers was the youngster Max Ingham (636 Kawaski), coached by Steve Brogan and with a 2nd, a 4th, and a 5th, good enough to warrant an invitation to the Grand. The most impressive display, however, was the flamboyant use of the chequered flag at the end of the final 600 race by Craig Thompson, the series trophies sponsor!

In the Carl Roberts / Emjess Racing Powerbikes class, the first two race meetings of this truncated season had been dominated by Nathan Harrison and David Jones, absent at this meeting and both saving themselves for the final BSB round next weekend. Alistair Kirk, later to show his quality in the Anglesey Grand races, won all three Powerbikes races comfortably, but it was a question as to whether any of the other riders could amass enough points to overhaul Harrison or Jones. As it was, Robert Coppock’s 3rd place in the final race saw him move ahead of David Jones, but Nathan Harrison, at home and monitoring the action on TSL’s Live Timing, knew that his championship lead was safe. Behind Kirk, the racing was superb with, unusually, six different riders filling the 2nd & 3rd positions in the three races - John Robb, William Burchell, Louis Dawson, Joey Taylor, Robert Coppock and Oliver Riley.

The Pre-Electronics Powerbikes run alongside their more-modern brothers and at the start of this meeting Steve Jones led Tim Poole by 18 points. His three 2nd places were all that was needed to stay on top – witness wild celebrations at the end! The first race saw a popular first win for Jake Wall, whilst Tim Poole, the winner of three Anglesey Grands from 1999 to 2001, again showed he still has what it takes, with the wins in the other two races.

After the first two meetings this year, the Creation Campers Golden Era Supersport class had seen James Leatham build up a 21 points lead over Martin Clare. The two were not quite in contention for wins at this meeting, but were always not far behind the top three; the end result was that James Leatham took the title by 23 points. The four race wins were shared by two Manxmen – Paul Cassidy and Joe Yeardsley - with Gethin Edwards the best of the rest.

In the 650 Twins class Mike Bampton, the 2018 and 2019 champion, had in effect a 34 point lead at the start of this meeting, and a 2nd, two 3rd’s and a 6th saw him safely secure the championship again with Max Dixon second. The races wins were shared by Jamie Coward and Louis Dawson.

Mike Bampton (750cc Kawasaki) was also ahead in the Pre-Injection championship and his three wins from four only increased his lead over Craig Makin; the other race winner was Gethin Edwards.

There has been a battle royal this year in the 100-500cc Allcomers championship with just 7 points separating the two W100 stalwarts, Adrian Kershaw and Tim Bradley on their production-based 400’s. Kershaw, though, had an unexpected DNF in race 1, and Bradley was back in the lead; in the three remaining races, however, Adrian Kershaw, with two wins and a 2nd had the upper hand and eventually clinched the championship by just five points. The other two races were won by Rob Varey, impressively returning to action after an absence of four years, aboard a very quick 250 Yam.

In the Forgotten Era races for machines up to 500cc, Tim Bradley has been unbeaten all year, and with two wins and two 2nd’s his domination continued. There was a great scrap, however, for the ‘podium’ places with the consistent Adrian Morris finishing 3 points ahead of Dan Hanby, who unfortunately had two DNF’s; Tim Kermode made a late charge and finished only 2 points behind Hanby in fourth place.     

At the end of each day Anglesey Vans Senior and Junior Open races took place.  In the Senior Barry Dimelow and John Robb took a win each, and they finished in that order at the top of the championship. Rob Varey took the two wins in the Junior races, but Andy Jackson maintained his lead in the championship from the teenage British Talent Cup rider Ted Wilkinson.

Finally, there was a non-championship ‘Frolic Race’ on Sunday for those Formula 600 and Powerbikes riders not competing in the Anglesey Grand, and it was pleasing to see that this was dominated by riders from across the Irish Sea, just reward for their tortuous journeys. Glenn Walker from Belfast was the winner followed by three from the Isle of Man – Paul Cassidy, Stephen Magill and Marc Colvin.

W100 Club Champions 2021

100-500cc Allcomers                                                      - Adrian Kershaw

Forgotten Era                                                                     - Tim Bradley

650 Twins                                                                            - Mike Bampton

Creation Campers Golden Era Supersport              - James Leatham

Pre-Injection                                                                     - Mike Bampton

AS Racing Formula 600                                                   - Barry Dimelow

Pre-Electronic Powerbikes                                           - Steve Jones

Carl Roberts / Emjess Powerbikes                             - Nathan Harrison

Open Sidecars                                                            - John Holden & Jason Pitt

Anglesey Vans Senior Open                                         - Barry Dimelow

Anglesey Vans Junior Open                                          - Andy Jackson

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