MIKE HAMMONDS PRE TT CLASSIC RACES QUALIFYING BLOG ONE PAGE
2023 Pre-TT Classic Qualifying
The S100 races in July are known as 'The Friendly Races' for a good reason. The S100 club bends over backwards to make the event a great experience for all concerned. Likewise the Pre-TT Classic races and the Post TT races have been viewed in the same vein. Sadly, due to the new TT schedule with racing on Saturday 10th June, the Post TT races have been scrapped.
The goodwill of local residents and their relationship with the Club is key to the success of every meeting at a road circuit. Spectators also need to play their part and respect landowners property and walk through crop fields but around the edges.
The S100 started in 1955 and since that time spectators have been allowed to cross the driveway of Balladoole Mansion so that they can walk from the Paddock all the way up to Ballakeighan and back. Sadly this can no longer happen because the new landowner has withdrawn the permission for spectators to cross his driveway.
He is within his right to do so but this doesn't really fit with 'The Friendly Races'. Not everybody who comes to the Isle of Man is a race fan and if they choose to buy a house on the Billown Course or the TT Course they have every right to do so. The challenge for the organisers is to ensure that residents are not overly disadvantaged and that objections are kept to a minimum.
The Pre TT Classic was blessed with perfect weather for all three days of the event. Practicing started on Friday evening in lovely sunshine. After an initial delay to check that all marshal points had the correct safety equipment the programme ran smoothly and caught up time. There were 318 entries for the 9 races including 32 newcomers. The large entry meant that there was plenty of action to watch during each qualifying session.
A total of 654 laps were completed on Friday evening, including out laps, a race distance of 2,779.50 miles. It was a great way to spend a Friday evening and all for free!! The Club, however, doesn't run on fresh air and its main revenue stream is through programme sales. It cost £6, less than a couple of pints of beer, and is a must for every spectator should buy one. Where else could one get 12 hours of entertainment for £6?
The fastest solo of the night was Jamie Coward in the Senior Superbike Class. He lapped at an average of 102.454 mph on a 750cc KTS Racing Kawasaki. The fastest Solo newcomer, ex TT rider Ian Armstrong, was also in the Senior Superbike Class. Ian was 9th quickest on his 750cc Suzuki with an average of 91.302 mph. The best of the sidecars were also the fastest newcomers. Kieran Clarke with Andrew Johnson in the chair averaged 85.632mph on their 1066cc KCR BMW.
The only disappointment of the evening was the small number of spectators watching. This could be a reflection of less people being on the Island due to TT practice not starting until Monday. For the first time in my living memory there were no announcements on the boat crossing requesting passengers not to take up seats with bags to allow everyone to have a seat. The boat was busy but there were spare seats in the lounges.
The second qualifying session was on Saturday afternoon, again in perfect conditions. The programme was the same as last night's with all classes getting a run out. 719 laps were completed with a total mileage of 3,055.75 miles. The total qualifying mileage being 5,835.25 miles which is pretty impressive bearing in mind the age of the machines and of some of the riders!!
Topping the leaderboards after the two sessions were:
Race 1 SP-R Singles Race #4 Mike Hose, 350cc Bultaco-Lea Gourly at 86.161mph
Race 2 AD Hewitt Dental Practice 1100cc Race #56 Adam McLean 499 Royal Enfield Bullet / Flitwick Motorcycles at 93.543mph
Race 3 Geoff Duke Junior Post Classic Superbike Race #6 Rhys Hardisty 250cc Yamaha RHR Racing / Wilson & Wilding / Kaymac at 95.039mph
Race 5 Greystones LLC Senior Classic Race #36 Jaime Coward 500cc Craven Manx Norton at 94.454mph
Race 6 Quine & Cubbon 250cc Classic Race / 125cc Post Classic Race #51 Keith Shannon 250cc Suzuki TR / Keith Shannon Racing at 81.526mph
Race 7 Vintage MCC(IoM Section) 350cc Classic Race #96 Dominic Herbertson 350cc Honda / Davies Motorsport at 88.637mph
Race 8 UGGLY Post Classic Superbikes Race #36 Jaime Coward 750cc KTS Racing Kawasaki powered by Steadplan Kawasaki at 105.193mph
Race 4 & 9 3 Wheeling Sidecar Race #9 Keiran Clarke / Andrew Johnson 1066cc KCR Moorespeed BMW / Eddy's Mcles at 89..869 mph
All of the fastest laps, bar Race 3, were set on Saturday afternoon where the conditions were nigh on perfect . Sidecar newcomers Keiran Clarke / Andrew Johnson were most impressive in taking pole position for the 3 Wheeling Sidecar races