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Road Racing 2015 Round Up

The 2015 Irish Road Racing season kicked off way back at the end of April in Cookstown and finished up with the traditional final round in Killalane in early September. In all there were 8 rounds spread all around the country with 5 in the Southern Centre and 3 in the Ulster Centre. The first two rounds in Cookstown and the following week in Trandragee brought out big grids of classic riders to start the season in style. This meant that heading in to the North West 200 & TT break that Richard Ford, Freddie Stewart, Philip Shaw and Nigel Moore led the 1000cc, 500cc, 250cc and 350cc classic classes respectively.                                                                                                                                  

After the long early season break the action on the roads returned with a vengeance with four rounds over five weeks from late June through July. The Kells Road Races were quickly followed by Skerries and Walderstown. All were held in good dry weather and produced some excellent racing. The last weekend in July saw the action move to Armoy where 24 riders took on the 3.008 mile track. Three of the four Irish Championships were still headed by the same riders after this group of races. The only change at the top of a leaderboard was Barry Davidson taking over on top of the 350cc class with four wins on the bounce.                                                                            

This left only Faugheen and Killalane as the last two rounds of the 2015 Irish Championship. Only one title was decided heading to these events so for the three classes it was all to play for. Barry Davidson was the only confirmed 2015 champion clinching the title at Armoy in the 350cc class continuing his record of winning every race he completed.

Faugheen in county Tipperary saw the crowning of two further 2015 Irish Champions in the classic classes.  In order to ensure a full grid the organisers allowed all classic riders to compete in both races. The junior class was first up with points being allocated only to those who were on the correct size machinery. First in the 350cc class went to Ed Manly who took his first 350 victory of the season. Second was Sean Leonard with Gary Jamison completing the podium.                                                                              

The 250 race and Irish Championship went to Philip Shaw with Richard Ford pipping Gary Hutton on the line to round out the top three. The other rider who won an Irish Championship at Faugheen was Freddie Stewart on his 500cc Honda. He finished second in the class to Ed Manly who claimed a double at the event with Sam Kinkead taking the final podium step. The 1000cc class saw a win for Robert McCrum which propelled him to within five points of championship leader Richard Ford who was second on the big Norton. John Scott was the third rider home in the class.

So heading into the final round in Killalane there was only one Irish title to be claimed but there was still class wins up for grabs in all of the other classes at the years fastest Road Race. The 250 race win went again to Philip Shaw who had been virtually untouchable all season with only one DNF in Walderstown preventing a perfect clean sweep of race wins. Second went to Richard Ford from Garry Hutton on the 200cc Honda. The 350 class was won for the second race in a row by Ed Manly from Herbie Ronan in second and Sean Leonard in third.

The 500 class was claimed by Ed Manly on the G50 from the Champion Freddie Stewart in second and Billy Lyle taking his third podium finish of the season. The 1000cc class was the last 2015 Irish Championship to be decided. Richard Ford came into the race with a five point lead over Robert McCrum. However McCrum had won every race he had finished in 2015 and a tie on points would give him the win by virtue of race wins. In the end the consistency of results from Ford won him the 1000cc title as McCrum retired early in the race.

So the 2015 season is over after eight rounds of classic action on the byways of Ireland. After over 140 miles of racing only four riders managed to complete every race which is a great achievement over a long season. These four riders were Gary Hutton and Robert Wright (both 250cc), Ian Thompson from Armagh on his 350cc Honda and Freddie Stewart on the 500.                                     

Irish Classic 250cc

1st           Philip Shaw                    Suzuki

2nd          Gary Hutton                    Dempster Racing Honda

3rd           Richard Ford                   Bob Jackson Racing Suzuki
 

350cc

1st           Barry Davidson               Dempster Racing Honda

2nd          Ed Manly                       Honda

3rd           Sean Leonard                 Honda

4th           Freddie Stewart              Honda

5th           Ian Thompson (63)          MB Honda

 

500cc

1st           Freddie Stewart              Honda

2nd          Ed Manly                       Seeley G50

3rd           Billy Lyle                       Cairnduff Honda

4th           Gary Hutton                   Honda

5th           Sam Kinkead                 Crazy Desie Honda

 

Unlimited

1st           Richard Ford                  Bob Jackson Racing Norton

2nd          Robert McCrum              ATH Norton Westlake

3rd           Trevor Stewart                Stewart Racing Honda

 

Skerries 100 & Walderstown, Race of the South 2015

The fourth round of the Irish Road Racing Championship stayed south of the border with the Skerries 100 which is often considered the premier southern Road Race. All the elements were in place from a typical Skerries with the good weather and large crowds once again flocking to North County Dublin. However the event became one of sombre remembrance for a hero of the sport. Sadly during the opening lap of a practice session Dr John Hinds had an accident and passed away the next day. It goes without saying that the CBRI add its voice to the masses of rightly deserved tributes that Doc John and the rest of the medical team have received during this period.

         

On the circuit there was a very big grid of 23 Junior Classic bikes who left the paddock to start this race. The rain of overnight had given way to the typical Skerries sunshine and the circuit was dry everywhere by race time. The 250cc class was once more won by defending Irish Champion Philip Shaw. Alan Bud Jackson was second and Richard Ford rounded out an all Suzuki top three. Fourth and fifth was decided by only .022 of a second with Gary Hutton getting the better of Brian Mateer after 6 laps of the 2.92 mile track.
The 350 class was won by Barry Davidson with Ed Manly in second. He was unable to close the gap that was built up early by Davidson. Sean Leonard was third and Sam Kinkead came fourth.

         


The Senior Classic win was taken by Robert McCrum although Richard Ford stayed quite close to McCrum in second. The third big Classic to finish was John Scott on his Triumph. The grids were decided by championship positions and this had the biggest effect on the 500cc class. Ed Manly came through on Tony Carton’s bike from the second wave to take an 8 second win. The next three riders home were together from the start and provided good close racing from the large crowds around the circuit. In the end the second step on the podium was held on to by Manx man Alan Brew from Barry Davidson taking his second podium of the day. Freddie Stewart just missed out on the podium places as he came home just behind the two riders in front.

         


Eight days later and the Road Racing paddock had moved west to Co Westmeath for the 2015 Race of the South. Walderstown is where this race has been held since 2000. The original Race of the South was held on the Fore village course from 1973 to 1987. Once again the Junior Classic was the first of the classic races out. The weather was overcast but every now and then the sun would break through and warm the large crowd but rain also seemed a possibility all day. Barry Davidson took his Honda to a flag to flag victory in which he was never really threatened. Herbie Ronan was holding Sean Leonard off for the first few laps, however once Sean got past he was able to hold a one second gap until the end. George Stinson took a safe fourth from the ever consistent Freddie Stewart.

         


Philip Shaw was leading the 250cc class for 5 laps until he was forced to retire. This left Gary Hutton to take the win on the 200cc Honda. Alex McVicker was second with Dave Crawford getting his first podium of the year by coming in in third place.
The 1000cc class win was taken by a very large distance by Robert McCrum from the second place finisher Trevor Stewart. It seems only a question of how early can McCrum retain the 1000cc class crown. The 500cc class again provided riveting racing. Freddie Stewart lead from the off but had Alan Brew tucked in behind him all the way. The rain that had threatened a few times during the day decided that during the last lap and a half would be the perfect time to have a cloud burst. As Freddie Stewart swept across the line to take another class win Alan Brew had fallen back in second. Gary Hutton completed a good day personally by taking a fine third although Billy Lyle did close up noticeably when the rain fell.

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Classic Bike Live 2015

The second rounds of the MCI Southern Centre and CBRI Championships took place in Mondello Park on Sunday 21st June. This was the day after the Kells Road Races and a good number of riders made the trip down from Co Meath on Saturday night to join those that normally compete on the short circuits. The day started and stayed dry for the racing even if a few minutes of light rain did cause some anxious looking at the clouds and hoping for the best. Unfortunately this little patch of rain happened during qualifying!

                                              

There was a full grid of 23 bikes who took to the track for that qualifying session which was slightly disrupted somewhat by the drizzle but did lead to most of the usual top riders on the first few rows of the grid. The first race was away just after midday and Herbie Ronan stormed to a 350 class and the overall race win on his Honda. Seeley G50 mounted riders were the next two riders home on track. Second overall in Race 1 and first 500 was Dave Hickie, he was also the only rider other than the race winner to dip under 1min 10 mark in the race. Third to the flag overall and second in the 500 class which unfortunately was to be his only finish of the day was Pat Murray.

                                            

Second place in the 350 class went to the BSA mounted Tony Willis who was at his smooth best to keep the single flying. Gary Jamison riding a 350 for a change took the last 350 podium place. Third in the 500 class went to Kevin Callan who was involved in a four way scrap through the race. He led home a group consisting of Gerry O’Sullivan, Sean Henry and Ivan Crowe with only 1.3 seconds covering them at the line. The 250 class win went to newcomer this season Ken Parkes who lead Brian Matthews across the line both mounted on Hondas.

The second race went to the same class winners as earlier in the day with Herbie Ronan leading home Dave Hickie overall once more. Gary Jamison took third overall and finished second in the 350 class with Tony Willis next. Gerry O’Sullivan was the second 500 home but he was chased in the overall race by Ian Thompson from Armagh who was riding well on his 350 Honda but had to settle for seventh overall. There were two other good battles on the line with each pair of riders only separated by less than a second. In the end Bill Smyth on the Ducati got the better of Ivan Crowe and Liam White finished in front of Keith Baxter.

         

The final race of the day had the smallest grid of the day due to the normal attrition and a few fallers who were all ok but weren’t out in this race. The first four places overall once again went to Herbie Ronan, Dave Hickie, Gary Jamison and Tony Willis. The third placed 350 was Ian Thompson (63) with Gerry O’Sullivan the second 500. A red flag on lap 5 brought a slightly premature end to the day but the fallen rider was fine. With the amount of miles covered during the weekend it was decided to retire to the hospitality suite for some refreshment rather than restarting.

         

So once all the points had been added up from all three races on the day the prizes where given to all of the below riders in each class. All riders who took part where awarded a memento to thank them for coming and providing such a great grid of machines. The Dave Manly Perpetual Trophy was awarded to Gary Jamison for his services over many years to classic racing in Ireland on both roads and circuits. This special award is decided by Gillian Manley and many to her for coming to present it.

250cc
• 1st Ken Parkes Honda
• 2nd Brian Matthews Hogg Honda
350cc
• 1st Herbie Ronan Honda
• 2nd Gary Jamison Honda
• 3rd Tony Willis BSA
• 4th Ian Thompson (63) MB Honda
500cc
• 1st Dave Hickey Seeley G50
• 2nd Gerry O’Sullivan Honda
• 3rd Pat Murray Seeley G50

Finally a massive thankshas to go out to Dunboyne Motor Club who managed all of the admin for this event. They did all of the entries, sign on, provided copious amounts of tea, coffee and sandwiches. This event could not function without them so thanks to Tim Crowley, Paula Digan and all of the Dunboyne team who worked so hard on the day so we could go racing.

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Classic Road Racing 2015 - Kells

The third round of the Irish Road Racing Championship took place in Crossakiel Co Meath last weekend. The Kells Road Races were the first round in the Southern Centre this year and a large grid of classic machines made the trip to the 2.2 mile circuit. All of the classic action including both Junior and Senior Classic races were to be on the Saturday to allow those riders who wished to travel to Mondello Park for Classic Bike Live on the Sunday.

         

The weather started with drizzle on and off for much of the morning and it looked like a damp track would be the order of the day. However as 1pm and road closing drew nearer the sun broke through and the day would be dry from there on with only a couple of little showers which barely wetted the tarmac.

The 250/350 practice was the first session up after the newcomers and the first three qualified with only a second and half between them. Barry Davidson lined up on pole from Ed Manly and Herbie Ronan. A bumper grid of 24 riders left the line in three waves for what would be an exciting race throughout the field. Ed Manly led the way for the first part of the race in the 350 class before Barry Davidson passed him on the way down to the hairpin. From there on both riders held those positions to the line but the gap was never more than a few bike lengths. Herbie Ronan took a safe third after a solitary race.

The 250 class was won by the Suzuki mounted Philip Shaw who was well ahead of second placed Richard Ford. The Hondas of Brian Mateer and Gary Hutton took third and fourth place in what was a good grid of 250cc machines.

         

The Senior Classic practice was also held in bright sunshine and a gaggle of 5 riders stayed together for most of it making it interesting to watch but they were holding each other up on the timing screen. This led to the unusual situation of Robert McCrum being third on the grid.

The race though reverted back to type and with a blistering start Robert McCrum flew off the line and in to a 20m lead by Hanlon’s Leap on the first lap. It was a gap he would never give up and Richard Ford had to settle for second place in the 1000cc class 14 seconds back. After a race long duel on the Honda 560’s Dave Brough got the better of Trevor Stewart to take third place in this class.

         

The 500cc class provided a spectacular race between Ed Manly and Freddie Stewart. The pair traded places down to Magee’s Cross on a number of occasions with Manly taking the lead on the brakes. However by the time they returned to the start line Stewart had gotten back in front each time. On the last laps Ed had a few issues and it gave Freddie a comfortable win in the end. Although Freddie didn’t realise Ed had dropped off and made his only mistake of the race after the flag. In looking back to find his closest competitor he went for a look at the grass before getting back on the tarmac! Third place in the 500cc class went to Billy Lyle.

         

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Classic Bike Racing Ireland 2014 Prizegiving

The 2nd annual Classic Bike Racing Ireland awards night was held on Saturday 7th February 2015. The venue was once again the Glenside Hotel just outside Drogheda as it had provided a great night the previous year.

The 2015 club AGM preceded the prize giving dinner and was well attended. A number of points were raised including the success of Classic Bike Live 2014 which had its biggest entry ever. Also discussed was the running of a club road racing championship which will be discussed at committee level and reported back to the membership in time for the beginning of the season. The three Southern Centre Short Circuit rounds were announced (see the calendar section of this site). There have been some small changes to the committee with some roles changing. A number of people have taken a step back for the coming year and we would like to thank them for all the work and enthusiasm they have brought over the last number of years. Finally from the AGM an Honorary President was appointed with George Rogers being installed. Congratulations to George and it is an honour very well deserved.

Once the formalities had been completed a large crowd enjoyed an excellent meal. Once these formalities had been completed the real reason for the large attendance was handled, the 2014 season prize giving. The CBRI club championship perpetual trophies were won by Herbie Ronan (350), Tony Willis (500) and Eanie Horan (Unlimited). All three riders had performance excellently in 2014 and were clear winners of their classes.

         
350cc - Herbie Ronan                         500cc - Tony Willis                                Unlimited - Eanie Horan

A late evening was then had by all discussing previous seasons and the one yet to come. With bigger hopes being expressed as the evening wore on. The committee of the CBRI would like to thank all those who attended, brought raffle prizes or sponsored items. Keep an eye on the website for race reports as the season gets up and running. Also in keeping with classic racing in the 21st century the club are now on Facebook. Please like and share the page to keep up with classic news as it happens in 2015. www.facebook.com/ClassicBikeRacingIreland

The MCI Southern Centre Road Racing awards were also presented on the night and the deserving recipients were:

Junior Classic:

1st           Herbie Ronan

2nd          Sean Henry

3rd           Freddie Stewart

Senior Classic:

1st           Ed Manly

2nd          Tony Willis

3rd           Mark Connolly

 

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Classic Short Circuit Racing 2014: Season Finale

The final round of the 2014 Southern Centre and CBRI Championships took place at Mondello last weekend. The International Circuit was in use at the Kildare track for the final round of the Masters Series. There were three races held over weekend with one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Friday saw a full day of rain fall over the Leinster area which didn’t leave much hope for a dry weekend’s racing. But in keeping with the slightly out of kilter weather Saturday morning dawned with clear blue skies. Thankfully the other classes were available to dry the track before the classics got out for our qualifying session. There was a decent grid of bikes there for the Saturday which is traditionally a bit awkward for some riders.

    

Race 1 was being led comfortably by James Conroy on the 350 Honda, but it wasn’t to be his weekend. On lap 4 after spotting some oil leaking from his machine he retired in to the paddock. Unfortunately it was to prove terminal and he was unable to compete for the remainder of the weekend. With the normal front runner out it fell to Alex Conroy to hold off Herbie Ronan for the race win by 2.5 seconds. George Stinson was a fine third with Nicky Lamb in fourth. The top five was rounded off by Sean Henry on the 350 after a tight finish with Ivan Crowe who was sixth. This brought Saturday’s racing to a close and the hope that the weather would hold out on Sunday despite the forecast of afternoon rain.

    

A number of riders arrived on Sunday morning to help bolster the numbers on the grid. The first classic race of the day was out just before lunch with the dry weather holding although the temperature was low. The first three riders pulled a big gap at the front of the field but stayed quite close together eventually finishing two seconds apart after some good racing.  Tony Willis took the race win from Alex Conroy who just managed to hold off Herbie Ronan to the line. Mark Connolly took fourth on his Manx Norton.  Unfortunately the threatened rain arrived as the afternoon wore on. The track was damp as the last race of the season started with a depleted field. The weather caused a number of riders to decide to save their bikes for next year. Despite the tricky conditions Alex Conroy set a fast pace to win his second race of the weekend from an equally quick Herbie Ronan in second. The rest of the field set a conservative pace although with third placed Tony Willis a small oil leak helped to curb his pace

    

The 2014 season has drawn to a finish with all of the CBRI Championships decided. It has been another year of good racing in Mondello. The 250/350 class in the club championship was won by Herbie Ronan with a clean sweep of race wins. Second place went to Ian Thompson with Ivan Crowe claiming third in the final race of the year. The 500 class was claimed by Tony Willis on the Davies Honda from Gerry O’Sullivan in second and Mark Connolly taking the final podium spot. The Unlimited class was won once more by Eanie Horan with Richard Forde in second.

    

CBRI would like to thank all of the clubs who ran events with classic races in them this year. Also a big thanks to all who have helped in anyway with running events and all the riders who competed during the season. (Championship Positions)

 

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Classic Road Racing 2014: Killalane

The final round of the 2014 Irish Road Racing Championship took place in the North Dublin sunshine last weekend. The Killalane road races run by the Loughshinny Club brought a big grid of classic bikes out in both classes to bring the road racing year to a fitting conclusion. The weather this weekend played a positive part as the weather gods smiled on the organisers with two completely dry and sunny days. First classic practice out was the Junior Classic which had 22 bikes including a certain Michael Dunlop on a 350 Honda. Herbie Ronan took pole from Jonathan Doran with Dunlop back in 5th after a small electrical problem. Dunlop was also out in the Senior Classic practice on the 500 Honda but the 2014 Unlimited Champion Robert McCrum had a problem causing him to retire after a lap. That put him back in the second wave for the race on Sunday. There would be a lot of looking at the stopwatch to see where he could make it up to during the race.

                                                          

Race day turned out more like July than September with everyone reaching for their sunglasses as the Senior Classic went out for their warm up lap. There was a large crowd around the circuit to watch this race. The first lap saw Richard Forde first out of Kennedy’s Corner with Dunlop followed very closely by Ed Manly and Gary Jamison. Robert McCrum led the second wave and was already setting off after the last rider from the first wave. Next time around Forde still held a good lead from Dunlop with Manly tucked in right behind him. The rest of the field had already spread out a bit but McCrum was already moving through the field.

Dunlop retired on lap 3 leaving the race a battle between Forde and McCrum on corrected time for the Unlimited class win. Despite finishing first on the road McCrum took the victory by 6 seconds after getting within sight of the leader on the road. The 500cc class was won by Ed Manly. Gary Jamison the 2014 500cc Champion just held off a hard charging Mark Connolly at the flag by a tenth of a second.

                                                            

A number of red flags in other classes caused some delays before the Junior Classic got on track before the grand final. Michael Dunlop made up for his earlier retirement with a storming flag to flag win in the 350 class. Second place went to Jonathan Doran after a race long fight with Herbie Ronan won finished third. Sean Leonard on the newly County Crest liveried bike came in 4th. The three Suzuki’s in the field filled the podium positions in the 250 class. Philip Shaw came home first from Richard Forde and Bud Jackson who filled 5th to 7th positions overall in the race.

                                                               

So the final flag drops on the 2014 season. 9 events were successfully run starting last April with a couple of events returning successfully to the calendar after a break of a number of years. However there is still racing to happen this season with a number of short circuits to be completed.

                                                            

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Classic Road Racing 2014: Armoy and Faugheen

The last round of the Irish Road Racing Championship in the North took place in in Armoy on the 26th July. There were heavy showers during the day which posed the usual problems for all the competitors. The Junior Classic was the fifth race of the day, in the 250cc class Philip Shaw continued his winning streak by coming home just under two seconds ahead of Richard Forde who was in second. Third place in the biggest 250 field of the season was Garry Hutton on the Dempster Honda. Barry Davidson took his fifth win of the season in the 350. His normal sparring partner Nigel Moore was second once more just over three seconds back from the winner with Freddie Stewart in third.

         

The Senior Classic was out two races later and Robert McCrum continued his 100% record for the season. Richard Forde on his Norton was second in the 1000cc class and third on the road. First man home in the 500cc class was Martin Lyons on the Ewing Racing Honda. He was well clear of Gary Jamison who secured second from Gary Hutton.

The penultimate event of the year brought the paddock back to Faugheen in Tipperary for the first time in five years. The overnight weather of very heavy and persistent rain did not bode well for race day. However despite some showers during the day most of the races managed to escape the worst of the rain. Barry Davidson was again the race winner in the 350. Ed Manly held second from flag to flag and with Nigel Moore having machine problems third place was up for grabs. That went to Herbie Ronan in the end although he had to fight hard with Jonathan Doran for a number of laps. Richard Forde and Gary Hutton rounded out the 250 class from winner Philip Shaw.

         

The senior classes had quite a small grid after a number of breakdowns and retirements from the practice day. The 1000cc class had a somewhat familiar look to it with the Westlake of McCrum once more heading Richard Forde home. Third went to the returning John Scott in the big bikes. The 500cc class threw up a first time winner this year with Marl Connolly on the Norton. Sean Henry was a fine second with Kevin Callan on the third step of the podium.

Overall it was a good return for the small club on the Tipperary / Kilkenny border who ran a slick event despite the heavy showers. Hopefully they can continue again next year along with the Kells and the cancelled Mid Antrim events.

         

With only one round left in Killalane at the beginning of September all of the championship winners have been decided. In ascending class order the 2014 Irish Champions are Philip Shaw (250), Barry Davidson (350), Gary Jamison (500) and Robert McCrum (1000). The podium places are still up for grabs in all of the classes and will be decided on the 9th and last event of the season in north county Dublin.

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Classic Road Racing 2014: The Season so far Part 2

The Irish Road Racing Championship returned to Dungannon for the Bush Road Races on the last weekend of June. This was the fourth round of the 2014 championship which was held on a fine bright day. Nigel Moore’s first finish on his 350 Honda was a winning one. Taking a victory around the 3.31 mile circuit, this included a new lap record on lap 6 which dipped 2 seconds under the previous best.

           

There were a number of close battles through the rest of the 350 field. Second place in the class and on the road was claimed by Herbie Ronan. He managed to hold off championship leader Barry Davidson by four hundredths of a second in third. Alan Brew was a safe fourth with eventually going to Davie Hastings by less than half a second from Freddie Stewart. Jonathan Doran was next home besting Billy Lyle also by half a second for seventh.

The first of the 250cc runners were next to finish on the road. Victory went to Jeff Shaw who reversed the Kells result by leading home Garry Hutton. Third in this class was Brian Mateer on the second Demspter Racing Honda 198. While numbers were down somewhat on previous years it was Philip Shaw on the number 76 Suzuki who took another road race victory in the 250 class. Wattie Brown on another Suzuki kept the leader honest to eventually finish the race some 6.7s back in second place. Barry Davidson on the 198cc Dempster Racing Honda was third at the flag. The big Westlake of Robert McCrum was the winner of the 1000cc class to extend his tight grip on this championship. Second in the class was Trevor Stewart on his Honda. The 500cc race got quite strung out by the time the race ended after 8 laps. The winner was Alan Brew on his Seeley G50, his first victory of the 2014 season. Second place was taken by Martin Lyons with the third step occupied by Gary Jamison.

The Skerries 100 in North County Dublin provided the backdrop for round 5 of the 2014 Irish Road Racing Championship. This is probably the biggest of the southern rounds and always attracts a big crowd of spectators and usually excellent weather. However this wasn’t the case during Friday practice where some heavy downpours led to untimed practice for all classes. This meant that the grid for all of the races would be formed based on championship positions.

A much brighter day greeted all the riders on Saturday morning and there was optimism that the weather gods had smiled on the event again. This held right up until the Junior Classic race was on the road preparing for the warm up lap. A large squall passed over the circuit as the riders formed up on the grid. This left the track wet and slippery as the first wave left the line. Nigel Moore thrived in the difficult conditions and took the 350cc race win from Barry Davidson and Richard Lambourne who came through from the second wave. The 250cc win was taken by Jeff Shaw from Alan Bud Jackson and Garry Hutton.

Thankfully the weather improved and the Senior Classic was held in perfectly dry conditions. There was still however drama with a red flag coming out for a fallen rider turned the race into a 4 lap sprint. Tony Willis who had been the leading 500 on his Honda was unable to restart the re-run due to a fuel leak causing a small fire. Luckily a marshal was on hand and minimal damage was caused. When the race did get going again it was Robert McCrum who swept to the win from Richard Forde in the 1000cc class. The 500cc race was won by Ed Manly on the beautifully turned out G50 of Tony Carton. Second and third places in the 500cc class went to Gary Jamison and Alan Bud Jackson respectively.

         

Continuing this busy period of Road Racing the Race of the South at Walderstown Co. Westmeath was next up a week later. Once more the weather was unkind on practice day although the track was more damp than the all-out wet of the week before. Still the decision was taken to run all practice as untimed which once again meant a championship position grid for race day.

The dry weather of Sunday morning this week held all day and a full day’s dry racing was had. The first classic class on the road was the Junior Classic once more. A large field of 19 riders started the race. Barry Davidson broke the lap record on his way to the win by seven seconds over Nigel Moore. Herbie Ronan was third with George Stinson fourth from the second wave. The 250cc class started as the third wave and the front runners soon made it up to the 350’s from the back of the second wave. Philip Shaw once again took the class win and made it up to seventh overall. Second was Richard Forde on his Suzuki with Gary Hutton on the 198 Honda a fine third.

Robert McCrum continued on from the week before to take the win from Richard Forde in second. He did however attract some official attention and was pulled over by a Garda at turn one on the slowing down lap. Luckily for him all the Garda wanted was her photo taken on the big Westlake! The 500cc class saw superbike regular Andy Farrell out on Gerry O’Sullivan’s 500 Honda. He started in the last wave due to the championship position grid. At the flag Tony Willis led on the road in the class but Andy Farrell took the win by 2/10th second when corrected time was applied. Third place went to Gary Jamison on the Black Bomber 500.

         

So after six rounds of the 2014 Irish Road Racing Championship the standings for the various classic classes are as follows. Philip Shaw heads the 250cc table on 145 points. Gary Hutton is 52 points back in second with Alex McVicker in third. Barry Davidson has consolidated his lead in the 350cc class on 161 points. Herbie Ronan is second on 79 points just 9 points ahead of Nigel Moore. Gary Jamison has taken over the lead of the 500cc class on 94 points from Tony Willis in second on 85 points. Billy Lyle is only 2 points further back in third is a very close championship. The 1000cc class is led by Robert McCrum on maximum points from Dave Brough in second place and Richard Forde.

         

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Classic Road Racing 2014: The Season so far Part 1

The Irish Road Racing Championship of 2014 kicked off at the end of April with its traditional curtain raiser the Cookstown 100. As always on the Orritor circuit there were three classic races, 250cc, 350cc and Senior. The 250cc was the first of the classic classes to race on the Saturday which turned out a dry and pleasant spring day.

          
(© Big Joe Photos www.bigjoephotos.eu)

While numbers were down somewhat on previous years it was Philip Shaw on the number 76 Suzuki who took another road race victory in the 250 class. Wattie Brown on another Suzuki kept the leader honest to eventually finish the race some 6.7s back in second place. Barry Davidson on the 198cc Dempster Racing Honda was third at the flag. Barry Davidson took the flag first in the 350 race which was the next classic race up. There was a tight three way battle for the final two podium places between Davie Hastings, Johnny Doran and Freddie Stewart. All three riders were lapping within a second of each other each time around. The second step finally going to Hastings with Doran just over a second back in third and Stewart another second back in fourth.

The Senior classic was last out with Robert McCrum taking the spoils in the 1000cc class and Dave Brough in second although somewhat further down the field. A close battle was fought out between four riders for the 500cc victory. The group system of starting riders in multiple waves came into play as Tony Willis came from group 2 to pip Martin Lyons from group 1 by 8/10ths of a second. Billy Lyle just held third at the flag from a hard charging Gary Jamison who also started from the second wave.

A week later 23 riders lined up on the grid at the Tandragee 100 to take on the 5.3 mile circuit. The biggest talking point was the pole man on the 500cc Patton, Ryan Farquhar. He had been under the existing 500cc lap record during qualifying which was set by Bob Jackson on a Norton in 1998. Come race day he was unable to replicate the lap times of the day before and was outside the record by 1.5secs. He did however move onto 200 National Road Race wins with the victory, the first rider to amass that many. Robert McCrum, Barry Davidson, Philip Shaw were the other class winners in the 1000cc, 350cc and 250cc respectively.

           
(© Big Joe Photos www.bigjoephotos.eu)

The Kells Road Races made a welcome return to the calendar on the 21st & 22nd June. It had been a number of years since racing had been held at Crossakiel. Both classic races were hels on the Saturday evening to allow riders to get to Mondello to compete at Classic Bike Live the next day. Once again the CBRI club thanks the North Meath Road Races club for this. The 350cc win went once more to Barry Davidson with Herbie Ronan a fine second and Freddie Stewart rounding out the top three. The 250cc race which was held concurrently had a very tight battle for the victory. At the end of the 6 laps Garry Hutton took the win from Philip Shaw by less than a second. Robert McCrum put the 950cc Westlake back on the top step by taking the overall race win and the 1000cc class in the Senior classic race. Richard Forde was a fine second place and he had a hard dice with the 500cc class winner Tony Willis to the line. Martin Lyons just held off the always hard charging Ed Manly by 1/10th second to claim second in the 500cc class on a very successful weekend for the returning event.

           
(© Mark McCloskey)

This means that after three rounds of the Irish Road Racing Championship that the standings for the various classic classes are as follows. Philip Shaw heads the 250cc table by 25 points from Gary Hutton with Alex McVicker only a further 10 points behind in third. Barry Davidson has an already commanding 35 point lead in the 350cc class from Davie Hastings and Johnny Doran with Herbie Ronan snapping at their heels in fourth. Tony Willis heads the closest of the four championships on 50 points from Gary Jamison (42 points) and Martin Lyons (40 points). The 1000cc class is led by Robert McCrum on maximum points from Dave Brough in second place.

            
(© Big Joe Photos www.bigjoephotos.eu)

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Classic Bike Live Mondello Park June 22nd

The fantastic weather of early in the week held to the weekend bathing Mondello Park in glorious sunshine. A bumper grid of 23 riders went to the line for the first race. It was all set up for a great days racing. So it proved as the large crowd were treated to some great battles throughout the field.

                   

Race 1 included the top riders in the CBRI Championship mixing it with some regulars from the road racing scene including Gary Jamison and Richard Forde. After 9 laps in the heat Tony Willis took an overall win by seven seconds from Eanie Horan and the 350 of Herbie Ronan in third. After this race the top position in each class of the club championship tables was filled by these three riders. The battle of the race though was for 10th place. For a number of laps four riders battled hard with positions 10 to 14 eventually settling down to read Bill Smyth, Ivan Crowe, Kevin Callan & Willie Wilson.  The large number of onlookers knew they were in for more excitement for the remaining two races of the day.

                 

CBRI also looks to promote parading of classic bikes where possible. A good number of classic and exotic machinery made it on to the track to make some lovely sounds just before lunch. There was Manx Norton, a Motobi and other immaculately prepared machines on show in the best possible way, in motion and at speed. A big thank you to all the riders who brought their machines out as they are not often seen running with the limited parading options in Ireland.

         

Race 2 finished the same order as the first down to fifth place. Almost all the riders upped their game in this 10 lap race to lower their best lap times in the sunshine. Race 3 started with 21 riders despite some running repairs to some bikes and the normal attrition rate this was a fabulous number to fill the track at Mondello. The race finished once more in the same order as the first although it was cut short by a red flag a couple of laps from the end. Kevin Callan, Bill Smyth and Ivan Crowe had been dicing together all day and unfortunately a fall from Bill at Dunlop brought out the red flags. All involved were ok and this brought an end to the excellent racing for the day.

All that remained was for the worthy podium finishers to receive their trophies. First however each rider received a memento from Luke Lawlor, the Honorary President of Dunboyne Motor Club. The CBRI club would like to thank Dunboyne Motor Club for doing so much for this event and without them it simply would not be on. A special thanks to Paula Digan and Tim Crowley who put in a lot of work to let us go racing on Sunday, there was also a very special welcome to our recipient of Services to Classic Motorcycling Award, Mr. Jack Fahy.

The 250/350 class was deservedly won by Herbie Ronan with Johnny Doran in second. Third was a tie on points between Ivan Crowe and Sean Henry. Sean had to start further back on the grid than usual due to a fuelling issue with his Honda in practice.

             

The 500 class was dominated by the only race winner on the day Tony Willis, second was Gary Jamison with third going to Pat Murray. The Unlimited class was won by Eanie Horan with Richard Forde taking the runners-up spot. Check back to the website soon to see all the photos of the day. It was an excellent spectacle put on by all and a thank you to all the riders who made the day a success. The hope now that the weather will be dry once more in October for the final round of the CBRI Championship and the grid will be of a similar size.(More)

Championship Table after Event 2

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Mondello Park May 25th

A mixed bag is the best way to describe the changeable conditions that greeted the start of the 2014 classic racing season in Mondello over the weekend.  Rain made the International track at Mondello Park very slippery at times, with a number of riders unfortunately in all classes having to pick bikes up off the deck

                              

There were 3 races over the weekend. Qualifying and practice took place in the wet from the overnight rain. As the wind got up at lunchtime and no more rain falling the track was nearly dry by the start of the first race on Saturday. The overall win went to James Conroy on his 350. Alex Conroy was second but had to battle with Eanie Horan for a lap before pulling clear to the flag. Sadly though there was a decent entry of 14 bikes only 7 made it to the grid for the first race for a variety of reasons.

                     

Sunday the weather picked up a bit from the after more rain overnight. A fully dry track saw James Conroy once again take the overall win this time from Tony Willis on his 500 Honda. This was also the result in the final race of the weekend which took place at the end of the day in tricky damp conditions. Unsurprisingly the pace dropped considerably but all made it home safely which was a positive way to end the weekend.

Race 1 Result        Race 2 Result        Race 3 Result

Championship Table after Event 1

This event was also the first three rounds of the CBRI club championship. Herbie Ronan leads the 350 class, Gerry O’Sullivan the 500 and Eanie Horan the Unlimited. Full championship positions can be seen in the results tab of the site. (Results)

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So as the Irish weather begins to improve, slightly, the first meeting of the 2014 CBRI club championship comes in to view. Mondello Park International circuit will be the venue for the first three rounds on May 24th & 25th. This event will also be rounds of the Irish Championship.

While this meeting seems a distance away, now is the time to get organised for the upcoming 2014 season. There are new bike regulations to consider with rear lights and brake protectors needed. The entry form and regs can be found on the calendar page of this website (Entry Form). We would encourage all riders to get their entry in for this event as soon as they can.

It is hoped that a large number of classic machines will be on the grid on the back of the success of the two day events of last season which were popular with all. Our three reigning champions Herbie Ronan (350), Dave Hickey (500) and Eanie Horan (Unlimited) will be looking to make a good start to the defence of their titles. As will those looking to challenge them this season. But in order to be part of the CBRI Club Championship you must be a member. So if you’ve not got around to it yet, get in contact with a committee member to ensure you’re part of it this year.

 

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The 1st annual Classic Bike Racing Ireland awards night was held on Saturday 1st February 2014. We had a lot to celebrate as the club has gone from strength to strength in its first full year. The Glenside Hotel just outside Drogheda was the venue for the night.

The 2014 club AGM preceded the prize giving dinner and was well attended. A number of excellent points were raised from the floor and the new committee will look to implement all those it can. The three Southern Centre Short Circuit rounds were announced (see the calendar section of this site). Thankfully the majority of last year’s committee were willing to continue with Sean Henry being reappointed as Chairman for 2014.

Once the formalities had been completed a large crowd enjoyed an excellent meal. Music on the night was very kindly sponsored by George Rogers. Once everyone had eaten their fill the important business of trophy presentation was handled by Gerry O’Sullivan. The CBRI club championship perpetual trophies were won by; Herbie Ronan (350), Dave Hickey (500) and Eanie Horan (Unlimited). All three riders had performance excellently in 2013 and were convincing winners in their classes.

The MCI Southern Centre Road Racing awards were also presented on the night and the deserving recipients were:

                Junior Classic:

1st   Sean Leonard

2nd   Herbie Ronan

3rd   Kevin Callan

                Senior Classic:

1st   Freddie Stewart

2nd   Tony Willis

3rd   Sean Henry

A late evening then followed with a well supported raffle and an entertaining auction to raise some funds for the club. The committee of the CBRI would like to thank all those who attended, brought raffle prizes or sponsored items. Look out for the first newsletter of 2014 for a full report on a great night’s entertainment.