The annual “Cock O’ The North Road Races” at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough will be held this coming weekend (24th & 25th June), and many classes are oversubscribed, with some entries unfortunately having to be returned. A full grid of Formula Two Sidecars will be fighting for supremacy in four races over the weekend, with “UK Super 2” points at stake in all of their outings. In addition, the “Robin Daykin Memorial Trophy” will be presented to the overall winners (highest point scorers over the four legs). The current holders – Dave Wallis and Harry Payne – will both be looking to retain the award, but this year line up on separate machines!
Heading the entry are multiple TT and Southern 100 winners Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle, on their DMR Yamaha-R6. They will be looking to make amends for a disappointing Spring Cup event, where mechanical issues ruled them out of contention. The pair took a podium place in the opening sidecar TT this year, and will be looking to build on this result this weekend.
Race victories were shared equally at the Spring Cup by the father and son team of Steve and Matty Ramsden, who have been regular winners at Scarborough in recent years on their LCR Honda; and Lee Crawford and Jake Lowther (LCR Suzuki), who took their debut wins at the circuit, improving their best laptime to a very competitive 1.56.01. The Ramsdens were running strongly in race two at the TT, before a brake problem lost them time, eventually placing twelfth, winning them a bronze replica. Crawford has had a sporadic season thus far. He has run strongly in A.C.U. / F.S.R.A. British Championship events – a dominant win in the torrential rain at Cadwell Park being the highlight – however, reliability problems have hampered his season to date. Teaming up with Lee this weekend will be Harry Payne, who has been competing alongside regular driver Ryan Crowe on the 675 Triumph engined machine with success in a variety of events.
The aforementioned Jake Lowther will be joining up with his brother John (LCR Honda). They have not competed at Scarborough since the “Barry Sheene” meeting last season, but they will be looking to quickly get on terms with the front runners. Jake joined up with Alan Founds for this year’s TT, placing in a fine fourth place in race one, and lapping at over 115mph. The Scunthorpe pairing are having their best season to date in the British Championship, currently lying in joint second place in the standings.
Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle (Bellas Honda) took seventh place in race one at the TT, and followed it up with a fine third place in race two. Coupled with their results from the Spring Cup, they find themselves at the top of the “UK Super 2” championship standings, with a six point lead over the Ramsdens. Surprisingly, the Spring Cup was the debut Scarborough outing for former TT winner Andy, so with the duo now getting more familiar with the new Bellas machine, they could well find the front running form that Conrad has been renowned for at Oliver’s Mount in recent years.
Scarborough regulars Greg Lambert and Julie Canipa (GLR Honda) currently occupy third place in the championship table, their points being boosted by an excellent seventh place in the second race at the TT, with reliability providing them consistent finishes at the Spring Cup. Another familiar team is Dave Wallis and Scott Hardie (LCR Suzuki), who are capable of running at the front – indeed, Dave took several wins at the “Barry Sheene” event in 2016 with his former passenger. Scott quickly got to grips with the circuit earlier this season, so they will be looking to build on these foundations this weekend.
Dean Lindley and Rob Bell (DMR Suzuki) are having a quiet season, with a more relaxed schedule than many of their peers, and this will only be their third outing of the year. They were running inside the top four all weekend at the Spring Cup, until a minor incident ruled them out of contention – they will be hoping to make amends for that with a more positive meeting this time around. Dave Hirst and Doug Chandler (BHR Honda) are welcome returnees to Oliver’s Mount. It has been four years since Dave last competed at Scarborough, where he was a regular top five finisher. Doug has passengered with several drivers (including Dave at the 2012 “Cock O’The North”), but has been more familiar as a sidecar driver around the circuit in recent years.
Andy Wilby and Paul Lowther (Shelbourne Honda) are a newly formed partnership, and have had some decent results in the F.S.R.A. British F2 Cup Championship so far this year. Andy made his circuit debut at the 2016 Gold Cup meeting; however, Paul has competed with a number of drivers at Oliver’s Mount events for over a decade. The entry is completed by circuit newcomer Mark Saunders, with the experienced Karl Schofield (GLR Honda) alongside him. On a newly constructed outfit, this combination, who only teamed up at the end of last season, have had little development and practice time, but still managed a creditable finish in the second sidecar race at the TT, and they will be looking to quickly get to grips with the demanding parkland circuit this weekend.
Practice gets underway at 9am on Saturday morning, with qualifying following immediately after, around 10.45am. Ten races will be held on Saturday afternoon, along with three parades. Sunday warm ups commence at 9am, with racing beginning at 10.40am. Twelve races are scheduled on Sunday, once again with three parades.
Advance tickets are now all sold and have been dispatched, however tickets are available for sale on the gate: £25 Saturday, £35 Sunday. A reminder that advance weekend tickets are available for all events at Oliver’s Mount, including the Barry Sheene Classic and Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup, which allow paddock access, and are heavily discounted when bought online.
A further reminder (to competitors), that entries for the Barry Sheene Classic close this Friday (23rd June) – so please submit entries this week, or in person at the circuit on Friday. It is the intention to run F2 and Classic Sidecars at this event, but these classes will only be run if sufficient numbers of confirmed entries are made by Friday.
Word – Tim Langham
Photo – Dirk Wharton