Monday is Race Day at Billown

It was a grey and breezy morning down at Billown for Monday morning's four Pre TT Classic Races. The usual commentary crew were in attendance for Manx Radio, Chris Kinley at Parc Ferme, Roy Moore at Cross Four Ways and Tim Glover at the start / finish line. They certainly portray the excitement and atmosphere expertly to those spectating and those listening further a field.
The S100 Club are always slick in moving the race programme so that riders and spectators are not kept waiting around for no apparent reason. There is a fine line between rushing the programme through and not giving the riders a break between each race and delaying too long. The S100 have it off to a fine art and the meeting runs as smoothly as it possibly can.
First race was the Quine & Cubbon Printers 250cc Lightweight Race, held over 6 laps Jeff Ward (Carbutt Suzuki) continued his fine practice form and hit the front from the off and won by nearly ten seconds from Brian Mateer (Suzuka) and Mike Hose (Ariel Arrow).

Brian Mateer on his way to second place in the Lightweight Race

Junior winner Jamie Coward at Cross Four Ways

Next up was the Friends Provident International 350cc Junior, this time held over 8 laps. This race turned out to be a battle royale between Jamie Coward (Craven Honda) and Alan Oversby (Honda). The noise from these Junior machines is deafening particularly when the sound reverberates off the cottages and the dry stone walls, just brilliant. Oversby crashed, unhurt, on the exit of Cross Four Ways on lap 5 leaving Coward a clear winner by nearly 55 seconds from Bill Swallow (348cc Honda K4) and Mike Hose (Honda).
The third race of the morning was the 8 lap A.D. Hewitt Dental Practice 850cc Classic. The weather started to close in but the rain was still holding off. Jamie Coward (500cc Craven Manx Norton) didn't get into the race and retired on the third lap. Alan Oversby, showing no ill effects from his spill in the Junior had a ding dong battle with Mike Hose throughout the race. Oversby (500cc Ireland Honda) winning a fantastic race by less than 0.2 seconds from Hose (73cc Seeley Weslake) with the effervescent Dominic Herbertson (500cc Honda) third.

Alan Oversby and Mike Hose battling for the lead in the 850cc Classic

The final race of the morning was the Geoff Duke Post Classic Junior again over 8 laps, the late James Cowton had won this race for the last five years. Again it was two fold battle for the lead between Rhys Hardisty (250 Yamaha) and Jamie Coward (250 Yamaha). They kept swapping the lead until Jamie overshot leaving Rhys the spoils from Gary Vines and Barry Davidson both on 250cc Yamahas. The first 600 home was Andy Sailor's Kawasaki in tenth place.
The heavens opened during the lunch break, fortunately the road had nearly dried before the afternoon racing began. There were considerably more spectators for the afternoon's race than had been early in the day. First off was the Office Equipment Centre Singles Classic Race. Alan Oversby (350 AJS) won his second race of the day by beating Will Loder (350 Greeves Oulton) by 3.5s with Meredydd Owen (348 Seeley 7R). The 250cc class was won by last years winner, Keith Shannon (250 Cotton Telstar) with Adam Ward (249 Ducati) second and Geoff Bates (250 Honda) third.
Jamie Coward won his second race of the day in winning the 8 lap Greystone LLC 500cc Senior. He took his 500cc Craven Manx Norton to a 13 seconds victory over Dominic Herbertson (500 Honda) and newcomer Dean Simpson (500 Manx Norton). Simpson had impressed throughout practice and thoroughly deserved his podium finish.
The last solo race of the meeting was the 4 Hire Post Classic Superbike race, Jamie Coward completed a hat trick of victories with a runaway win on his 750cc Kawasaki, 14 seconds ahead of Adrian Kershaw and newcomer Paul Jordan, both Kawasaki mounted.

The clouds broke up and the sun came out for the final race of the Pre TT Classic meeting. For once, the sidecars had the best of the conditions as the 9 crews lined up on the start line. Rod Bellas (1200 B.L.R. Imp) with Danny Quirk in the chair won the 4 lap race, just as they had done on Saturday, by 26 seconds from Tony Thirkle and Trevor Johnson (1070 BMW M.R.E.). Patrick Geffray and Andrew Haynes (1070 BMW M.R.E.) came home third of the 7 finishes.

Patrick Geffray & Andrew Haynes on there way to third place.


This concluded a very successful meeting for the S100 club. This is racing at its purest, the majority of riders racing for the love of the sport, not for money, just trying achieve their personal goals. It's well done to all involved, the riders, organisers, marshals and medics. The next meeting at Billown is the Post TT Races on Saturday 8th June 2019 and then the S100 in July.

Photographs by Mike Hammonds

Mike Hammonds