Round 9 Balvaird farm, Glenfarg , Race Report by Jim Grieve
Photographs by Barry Gordon
Scottish Twinshock Round 9
Balvaird farm, Glenfarg
Sunday 7th October 2018
Report by Jim Grieve
Hello everyonel, well another superb final race at Glenfarg and some good, close riding in all classes.
As usual this final race of the year was well supported and the track was looking very good, after being built the day before by John Hopton and his team.
The last stubble field race of the year, Glenfarg is always well attended, and the parade lap, showing solidarity for Sean Doherty (and Graham Anderson), some of our very special club members, who have had serious health issues, are always a huge spectacle to be seen, with lots of videos and photographs being taken of this memorable occasion. The weather gods were kind to us, well initially anyway, before the track became a little sodden for the third group of races.
Onto the racing and the first block of racing with Pre-77,4-stroke, Pre-90’s 125, and the youth class racing. The Pre-77 class was won by Ian Robertson, who was beaten in race one by some great riding from Grant McClure and his Macio. After a machinery change for the second and third race, Ian Robertson displayed a masterclass of riding to take two comfortable wins and a second for the overall. Equally good riding from Grant McClure to take second overall and third was taken by our retiring club founder and this year’s Pre-77 club champion, Joe Mclean after some brief tussles with his arch nemesis John Hopton. These two riders are never far apart and highlight the reason that the twin-shock club racing has been so successful throughout the year’s as the competition from 1st to last is always hard fought.
In the pre-90 125 class, well this would be a runaway victory for last year’s and this years, pre-90 125 champion, William Penrice with three back to back first places. For second and third places, this would be closely fought by Damian Carter, Ewan Campbell and Jonathan Young, second overall going to Damian Carter and third to Ewan Campbell. Moving on to the four-stroke class and this was very entertaining as usual, with the two fast protagonists of Sam Sibbald and Andy Malloch fighting tooth and nail, with “BIG” Andy Malloch coming out the victor even after some slight troubles in the second race, but keeping Andy honest was this year’s champion Sam Sibbald who was never too far away and he did not let Andy rest for a moment, to take second overall on the day. The third place in this class looked as though it would be coming the way of Ricky Caldwell but after a tumble in the second race, and feeling a little battered and bruised, with a holiday looming on the horizon, he thought it better to call it a day and not incur his wife’s wrath, and be left at home with no holiday, lol. Instead third would fall to the tenacious riding of Devan Cunningham on the beautifully prepared dial-a-tow 4 stroke Can-Am.
In the youth class were some terrific “scraps”, with three different race winners in each race, reliability though, would rear its ugly head as Kyle Haddow, Harrison Grossett and Connor Paton all took a race win, but with Connor’s bike failure in race one putting paid to any chance of a podium placing, so Kyle Haddow would take the win, with Harrison Grossett in second and this years club youth champion Kyle McClure taking a very well deserved final rostrum step.
Moving on to the group 2 of races which would be the twin-shock 250 class, the twin-shock open class and the over 50’s class combined in this group of racing. Because of the wide start gate at Glenfarg, everyone would start off the line together and this led to some very exciting racing indeed. In the open class it was a very hard-fought affair between Gordon ”Montana” Morrison and Paul Chiappa (this years open class champion), with less than a second between these two in the final race, Gordon would take the top step of the podium, followed closely by Paul and with three superb consistent races James Mclean would take the final step on the podium for third overall.
The twin-shock 250 class was a bit of a superb swan-son for Calum Kilgour, taking all three race wins and indeed this year’s club championship as well, from the hard charging Callum Sangster in second place, who tried very hard but could just not get close enough. Graham Miller was “Mr consistency” with three third places and a podium position would be his just reward after riding well all day.
The over 50’s class was to be an interesting group of races with new club over 50 champion bringing out his big 500 Honda on the very fast Glenfarg stubble field, John would take the overall with some hard riding, as he man-handled the big bike around the circuit. Some very interesting racing ensued as the over 50’s mixed it up with the twin-shock riders on a head to head basis, which made for some close exciting racing. Taking second was “yours truly”, James Grieve and even after a race win in the second race, this would still not be enough to take the overall. Taking third on the day would be Mike van der Merwe who seems to be improving each and every week.
Onto the Group 3 of races, for evolution, and 2 strokes riders. In the evolution class we had Tom Grant and Paul Johnston challenging for overall honours on the day and in the championship, Tom did exactly what he needed to do and took second overall on the day with a brace of second places and the championship to boot, with some very fast riding. Paul Johnston also did everything that was asked of him , even probably more and flew to three first places for the overall but could not take the championship, probably not aided by the fact that he missed one round but as they say, you “ GOTTA” be in it to win it and nothing can be taken away from the superb fast riding of Tom Grant, and as this reporter believes, with a few more championships still under his belt I am sure. Let us also not forget the hard riding of Roy Potts who took third overall on the day, with a hat-trick of third places.
The two-stroke class was very fast and exciting to watch, with many riders pushing their machines to the maximum. In this round we would have a rare appearance from the flying Lewis Farrow, and he appears to have healed from all his previous injuries to take the top spot in the two stroke class, ably followed along by this years champion Gregor Campbell taking the championship in fine style, pursued relentlessly by Andrew White and Bryan Colligan, both of whom had the tenacity and aggression needed to have fine places on the day with Andrew coming out the victor on the day with third and Bryan fourth but second in the overall championship. This class is surely one to be watched and followed very closely next year.
The Group 4 of racing was no less exciting and it is always great to see Colin Mcluckie riding very well, especially after his misfortunes throughout the year with stolen bikes etc – well done Colin on a solid performance and a brace of firsts taking the first-place trophy on the day. Flying behind Colin were a gaggle of riders, including Jason Martin, Allan Shields, and Shaun Robertson, and Jason Martin was riding equally well after his recent success down at the Bridgestone master’s rounds, using his KTM two stroke to great effect, until the rain hit in the third race and the four stroke machines seemed to have the upper hand slightly, but since Jason was riding as a day member, there would be no points for him today, and so the results would be Colin Mcluckie first, Allan Shields second and Shaun Robertson third, with the latter two having some great ding-dong battles during the day. There are sure to be some surprises in store for this class next year, with Allan riding a two stroke on the day and Shaun selling his 250 SXF straight after the race, we wonder what looms on the horizon for next year – stay tuned folks as the twin-shock club under new leadership and with the largest amount of members in Scotland grows from strength to strength. We also hope the old boss enjoys his retirement and thank you indeed sir, for the last 25 years of hard work and the super-human effort that was given to this fine organisation. I believe I speak for everyone when we say many thanks and we still look forward to hearing you on the mic at the races
Onto the dance and the AGM after this folks ,and I hope to see each and every one of you next year. So, enjoy your winter hiatus and roll on 2019.