It seems like ages since my last Scottish Twinshock attendance back in October 2017 but it was great to get back to seeing some familiar faces again as I turned up at their Round 3 event at Carden Farm Powmill on the 27th May.
Early Sunday morning the paddock already looked more than three quarters full with many deciding to camp overnight and make the most of the really good spell of summer weather we are enjoying currently. You could see the campers had enjoyed themselves with the large quantities of empty beer cans lying around and the stone cold barbeques and half eaten burgers and sausages that the morning seagulls were gulping down. There was also evidence that the old Powmill grass took a scorching from disposable barbeques which left some undesirable burn marks in its wake so I am not sure what the farmer will say about that but hopefully he will turn a blind eye and let us all back in August.
Also I just couldn’t believe my ears on Sunday when for just I minute I thought I heard the gaffer announce to the paddock “we don’t require anymore marshals for today”. Wow what a difference from a few years ago when he used to broadcast at the top of his voice “if we don’t get another six or seven marshals we will have to f***ing cancel this meeting”. Never thought that I would see the day when we were turning marshals away. This of course is quite a strange phenomenon really when you consider other organisations struggle to get enough marshals to run their events. Mind you when you think at pocketing £50 a marshal and your lunch thrown in as well no wonder their queuing up. Who knows I might even put my name down at the next round? And if this flag waving rate goes any higher we will have to start paying tax on it.
Anyhow back to what went down on the day . . .
The track builders had been hard at work the Wednesday previous and had laid out a tricky but challenging course to test the riders as they made ready to set out and tackle the Powmill “green ice”. During practise it was apparent that this was going to be a very tough and dusty day for all the competitors as some were already sampling the reason that this track is christened “the green ice” as many were already falling from their machines at each and every turn.
When the racing finally got underway the combined Pre 77’s, Fourstrokes, Youth and Novice riders were first to the start line.
In the Pre 77’s it was Ian Robertson on the hybrid Yamaha who took the overall win with victories in races one and three with Peter Maxwell on the old vintage Maico taking the win in race two. Club secretary Joe McLean had a very consistent ride on his classic Maico to fill the second place spot with John Fullarton in third on the fourstroke Yamaha.
Andy Malloch rode superbly all day to take the win in the Fourstroke class on his very quick 500 Armstrong Rotax, and he even had time during the lunch break to help out Kevin Maguire when his similar engine KTM broke its cam belt. That’s the great thing about these big Rotax motors when the cam belt breaks the motor just stops and you just fit another and away you go, try doing that with a modern fourstroker when it goes bang.
Rick Caldwell managed to take the runner up spot in this class on his ultra-reliable XR Honda from Devon Cunningham in third. Sam Sibbald also started well in this class on his XT Yamaha although suffered a rear wheel puncture in moto 2 which put him well down the pecking order when the points were calculated at the end of the day.
Wee William Penrice once again stamped his authority on the Pre 1990 125 class as he sailed home to an eventual overall win with three wins from start gate to chequered flag. Penrice was flying on the little 125 YZ Yamaha screamer and kicked up some interesting roosters as the Powmill “stoor” started to fly. Johnathan Young was equally quick but just fell short of Penrice’s pace over the three legs although a runner up spot and more valuable championship points to add to his 2018 tally was still a good result for him. Damien Carter on the KX Kawasaki filled the final step on the podium with a third place overall.
In the recently formed Youth class Kyle McClure son of the legendary Grant McClure from Dunoon took the class overall win with three dominant wins in all three legs. Harrison Grosset put in a fine show and tried to make ground on the flying McClure over the piece although he would still be happy enough with a second place finish on what was now fast becoming a Powmill dust bowl. Connel Allardyce another sibling from a legendary Scottish Twinshock Club member showed his dad Brian that he is definitely a chip off the old block as he filled the final podium position in third in this very competitive class.
The big boys in the Twinshock Open class put on a fine show for the many spectators that had gathered to watch the action from their elevated viewpoint on the top of the hill, that was of course in-between football’s running onto the track during racing. Although Gavin Robertson was the class of the field and by default won all three moto’s by a country mile he would not score points or be registered on the overall timings as he is not a club registered rider. Nevertheless he was absolutely awesome riding an Archie Baird borrowed 480 Honda which he will be campaigning at some bigger Classic and Twinshock events in 2018.
It looks like there is no stopping Brian Alexander this year as he took maximum points once again and increased his lead in the 2018 Twinshock Open championship. Alexander was super quick in all three legs as he led the chasing pack a merry little dance around the bumpy landscape of Powmill. Big Gordon Morrison has got to be a title challenger for this year’s Twinshock Open crown and once again put his big 500 Honda onto the second step of the podium with a superb piece of riding. Craig Smith and Paul Chiappa had another ding dong scrap although in the third moto Smith was closing in on the Dunfermline Motorcycles owner for track position and threw his Maico down the inside of Chiappa into turn one. Now whether a collision occurred I’m not sure but Chiappa dropped his machine and lost valuable track positions in the process. Of course as well you know these two have a previous track record for such corner skirmishes so I will bite my tongue and say no more on that matter.
Walter “Waldo” Bickmore was also quick on the day in the Twinshock Open class and was never far from the front two of Alexander and Morrison, although soon after crossing the finish line on lap two of moto 2 and on the uphill jump he went for track position and attempted to pass Chiappa. He unfortunately landed awkwardly and fell from his machine and lost what could have been a good finish spot. Nevertheless he soon remounted to finish the race although naturally his overall result could have been better if this had not occurred.
The old guy’s in the Over 50’s class despite their advancing years were still pretty quick and put on a good show for the now sunburnt Powmill crowds. John Crawford was the man on a mission and never put a wheel out of place over the course of the three legs. Three wins from three starts was more or less a perfect day for him considering the very dusty and quite slippy conditions on the track. John Lamont was the best of the rest in this formula with a second place finish from Johnny “Bunga” Rutherford in third.
Young Calum Kilgour secured the title in the Twinshock 250 class riding his old YZ 250 Yamaha with wins in moto’s one and three with Alex Joiner taking the win in the 2nd race. Joiner would bring his 79 Honda Red Rocket home to an eventual runner up spot from property developer and all round good guy Calum Sangster on the 250 Maico in third.
Personally for me it was a delight to see Tom Grant back racing and winning after his recent health scare and it looked like Tom was back to his old self again as he secured three wins from three starts in the Evolution class. Matthew Harper was equally quick and good enough to fill the second place spot on the podium although he could not match the speed of the flying Ayrshire man on the Loudon Honda. Roy Potts kept the front pairing of Grant and Harper in his sights over the three moto’s and still finished in third overall but more importantly added more valuable championship points to his 2018 championship campaign.
The smokey screamers in the Two-Stroke class appeared to love the dry and dusty conditions of the Powmill landscape as they buzzed and roostered their way around the course. Lewis Farrow took the overall with a win in moto 2 and top three placing finishes in the remaining legs. The remaining two leg wins were divided up with David Simmonds taking moto 1 and Gregor Campbell winning the final moto of the day. It was a good spectacle watching these strokers flying around the Carden Farm track and for me it is always a debateable question whether the two-strokes are a better sounding motocross bike than its fourbanging brother.
The Championship registered modern Monoshock class was again filled to capacity as there just appeared to be about enough room to fit them all into the start gate. Greg Maxwell ended up the overall victor in this formula with three start-line to chequered flag wins. Alan Shields was also very quick and led a fair part of the three moto’s despite a couple of tricky rear wheel step out’s over the bumpy parts of the Powmill track he was very consistent and still put in a superb performance to take the runner up position. Although Maxwell never got the best of starts on the day it wasn’t long before he hit the front and was almost certainly the top dog come closing time. Jamie Clark filled the final step on the podium just ahead of DMC Motorcycles apprentice Matthew Forbes on the big KTM.
Summing up it was another superb day’s entertainment for all lovers of Scottish motocross and under such very dry sunny conditions. There were a few minor incidents throughout the day although nothing too serious I hope but feel free to correct me if I have spoken out of turn here.
Unfortunatly I will not be able to attend the next few Scottish Twinshock events due to other commitments although hope to return for possibly your big 25th anniversary doo when you make the trip back to Powmill in August.
By the time you read this all the racing footage from the day’s event will now be posted on my You Tube Channel, so there is no excuse to see how fast or slow you were on the day so why not just subscribe to my Video channel to see all the racing action. Also I still have some DVD’s left in my collection of some of the older Scottish Twinshock events I have filmed down the years and I am not looking for a fortune for these just want to unload them and make some room around the house so if you’re interested just text me on 07733130300.
So until we all cross paths again ride safe and enjoy you’re racing with the Scottish Twinshock Club and I will have another natter with you very soon.
Chris Montignani (Monty)