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Bumper Entry for Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic - Malcolm - 05-04-2019

[Image: PreTThdr.jpg]

With entries now closed for the Blackford Financial Services Pre-TT Classic Road Races, organisers, Southern 100 Racing are pleased to confirm that a total of 241 entries have been accepted for this year’s races, which take place on Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday 24th, 25th & 27th May 2019.

Last year’s race winners, Mike Hose, Keith Shannon, Dominic Herbertson, Steve Ferguson, Michael Evans and Eddy Wright/Kieran Clarke head a list of the crème de la crème of Classic Racers as they compete for a share of the £14,540.00 prize fund over a total of eight races.

The Senior (500cc) and Junior (350cc) races have proved the most popular, both saw Dominic Herbertson take the winners laurels in 2018. This year in the Greystone LLC 500cc Race the Hexham rider will have the likes of Will Loder, Vic Haskell, Arthur Browning, Chris McGahan, Steve Ferguson, Barry Davidson, Sam Kinkead, Meredydd Owen, Steve Elliott, Mike Hose, Bill Swallow, Alan Oversby, Jamie Coward and Adam McLean to name just a few to contend with before the chequered flag appears after eight hectic laps of the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course. The above ‘culprits’ also join the mix for the Friends Provident International 350cc Race, with the addition of Dave Matravers, Ed Manly, Ben Rea, Bob Owen and Keith Shannon adding to the excitement.

The A D Hewett Dental Practice 850cc Race has once again attracted a full grid headed by 2018 winner Steve Ferguson, Bob Owen (2nd), Dave Matravers (3rd), and ensuring a close race, Will Loder, Arthur Browning, Chris McGahan, Jeff Ward, Alec Whitwell, Barry Davidson, Sam Kinkead, Meredydd Owen, Ed Manley, Ben Rea, Steve Elliott, Mike Hose, Bill Swallow, Jamie Coward, Richard Ford, Dominic Herbertson plus others.

Office Equipment Service once again sponsor the 350cc/250cc Singles Race and last year’s winners Mike Hose and Keith Shannon appear to be the men to beat. Amongst those who will be out to do just that include Will Loder, Ian Bainbridge, Ed Poole, Vic Haskell, Arthur Browning, Chris McGahan, Brian Nicholls, Jim Porter, Sam Kinkead, Dave Matravers, Rich Bool, Meredydd Owen, Bill Swallow and Bob Owen.

The six lap Quine & Cubbon Printers Lightweight Race has attracted 23 entries and once again it would appear that Mike Hose will be the man to get the better of on his 250cc Ariel Arrow. The Moreton man will have Jeff Ward, Brian Mateer, Barry Davidson (3rd, 4th & 5th last year), Ian Bainbridge, Chris McGahan, Rich Bool, Bill Swallow, Keith Shannon, Richard Ford, Geoff Bates and Bob Owen and others to keep at bay in his attempt to get to the chequered flag and retain his trophy.

[Image: Classic500ccSenior.jpg]
Classic 500cc Senior Action from 2018
(Jim Gibson - Ellan Vannin Images)

Manxman Michael Evans returns to defend his 2018 race victory in the 4 Hire Post Classic Superbike Race however he will have another 28 competitors vying for the winners laurels, they include Jeff Ward, Alec Whitwell, Dennis Booth, Colin Croft, Tim Poole, Adrian Kershaw, Ben Rea, Mike Hose, Hefyn Owen, Jamie Coward, Mark Herbertson, Rob Hodson, Rhys Hardisty, Adrian Harrison, Paul Jordan and Alistair Haworth.

Sadly, the Geoff Duke Junior Superbike Race will have a new name on the unique trophy, with James Cowton having dominated this race since its first running in 2014. With 22 lining up on the grid amongst the favourites will be Barry Davidson, Tom Snow, Rhys Hardisty, Gary Vines and Brian Nicholls on 250cc two-stroke twins, whilst Colin Croft, Tim Poole, Andy Sailor, Andrew Cowie, Gavin Brown and Alistair Haworth will be on 600cc four-cylinder four stoke machines.

The two Sidecar races have the honour of opening and closing the races at this year’s Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races, their first race being on the Saturday afternoon after qualifying has concluded and bring the curtain down on the main race day, Bank Holiday Monday. Entries are slightly down on last year; however, lack of quantity is made up by the quality of the entry, headed by Eddy Wright and Kieran Clarke, who showed a clean pair of heels (in the case of the passenger) to everyone during the 2018 races, taking three wins from three starts.

This year the Tadcaster pairing will have to contend with the likes of Wally Saunders with Bob Dowty in the chair, Howard Langham & Doug Chandler, Tony Thirkell & Trevor Johnson, Andy Nourish and Dutch passenger Nicolia Klinker, Keith Walters & Alun Thomas, Frenchman Patrick Geffray and Andy Haynes, Greg Lambert & Ben McBride, Rod Bellas & Danny Quirk, Mike Cookson & Kenny Cole and Philip Boote with Jayne Morris in the chair.

It is encouraging to see a total of 11Newcomers are racing this year, Dean Edwards (Hemel Hampstead), John Cliffe (Whitby), Steve Birtles (Northwich), Andy Farrell (Skerries), Keith Clarke (Shefford, Beds), Dean Stimpson (Doddington, Cambs), Julian Trummer (Austria), David Mead ( Welshpool), Dave Holden (Perth, Scotland), Andy Kildea (Newtownards) and Mark Purslow (Ceredigion, Wales) and three newcomers to the Pre-TT Classic, but have raced on the Colas Billown Course previously, they are Gavin Brown (Port Erin), Richard Ford (Garstang) and Alistair Haworth (Millom).

Southern 100 Racing look forward to welcoming all competitors, officials, marshals and race fans, old and new to the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races 2019 and wish everyone a safe, exciting and enjoyable time whilst on the Isle of Man.