A little bit of something for every one really at the Sywell Classic. I started off touring the club displays, stopping for a chat with a couple of friendly and enthusiastic members at the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club stand (VJMC) – I think they might have talked me into joining. This Kawasaki Z1000 with bling was in their display.
I was a little disappointed that bike clubs were relatively far and few between as I picked my way through the various car clubs. However there were some interesting motors, past and present.
Nice car, awful colour.
When cars had style!
Caravans aren’t my thing but this early (American?) aluminium caravan caught my eye – interesting but somehow looks far from practical.
I was late getting to the drag strip and the noise and tyre smoke drew a good crowd very quickly so I was unable to get a good viewing position. Still what I did see was entertaining enough and there was a good mix of cars.
Corvette spinning up
Stunning attention to detail.
There were some nice machines in the bike paddock, my favorite was this beautifully turned out RC30. There were also some famous faces…
Phil Read in reflective pose.
Whilst in the paddock I had an interesting conversation with artist and writer Paul Chenard who was sketching a Maico racing bike. Paul specialises in motorsports artwork in a variety of media and even took time to show me some of his work. You can find out more about him on his Facebook page.
For the British Superbike free practice session I positioned myself across from the pitlane exit to get a good look at the bikes….
Tommy Bridewell flashes past his pitboard.
John Hopkins leaves the pitlane on the Ducati Panigale.
Dan Linfoot walking back to the pits after his bike let go on the straight……
unfortunately leaving a trail of fluids along the straight causing the session to be red flagged….
and for the marshalls to clean up in the sweltering conditions.
Double race winner Josh Brookes at Hall Bends.
Away from superbikes, the Ducati Trioptions Cup race was a good close race but an incident at Charlies led to a stoppage.
After the restart Dave Ferns flashed by on the grass coming out of Coppice - it looked like he had it under control but got pitched off….
bike and rider ending up on the track….
Ferns very quickly got to his feet, back onto the grass where he waved riders to slow down…..
then unaided, picked up his bike and moved it out of the way - quick decisive thinking!
And finally for a change of subject….
at the Monster Energy stand - free drinks and a fire-eater!
I arrived early Sunday morning and was surprised to find that the event programmes had sold out on Saturday, which presumably reflected a good turnout for the previous days racing which included an endurance race. I tried to download a timetable on my phone unsuccessfully – Vodafone data connectivity at Cadwell Park often seems hit and miss and really should be better. Fortunately revised Sunday timetables were available at the paddock shop/office. I watching much of the mornings practice at the Mountain, a number of riders clearly enjoyed this section, and I thought the Neave twins (pre injector 600 class) in particular tackled this section in some style. However one or two riders should count themselves lucky! The racing didn’t disappoint and was generally competitive but clean throughout the classes. A good day but not having a programme was a real pain for me and many of the following photos are caption-less, if anyone can help here I’d be grateful.
Tom Neave (top) coming out of Coppice.
and after the race.
Too much brake approaching the mountain section
TSGP Yamaha TZ350 - Paul Fyson
Anyway, the meeting was one of the best planned and most enjoyable events I've been to for a long time. Besides the track action there was a display area in the paddock with variety of club displays, collections and a stage. So much was going on it was difficult to get around without being distracted. A programme was a must and even this impressed - nice design, a good read and well worth a fiver.
First stop was the Gold Star Owners Club immaculately restored bikes and lots of chrome, a nightmare to photograph close up on a sunny day!
Further on there was a nice line up of RC45s, Honda's iconic 1990s superbike.
I stopped quite a while for a chat at Road & Race Classics who specialise in the sales, repair and restoration of classic road and race motorcycles. The two bikes that caught my eye were a Honda RVF 750 RC45 and a Honda VFR750R RC30 (a French Bol D'Or import). Both great bikes but I love the classic paintwork of the RC30, if I had a spare £17000 I'd have it! You can find more bikes and details at Road & Race Classics.
On to the stage where Steve Plater interviewed Peter Williams - a brief but interesting history of his time as a rider and engineer with some amusing anecdotes.
James Hayden had his work cut out but did a good job interviewing Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. Plenty of banter and a some good laughs - Ago came across as very funny and charismatic.
Wandering around the display area a little later I came across Phil Read firing up the MV Agusta 4 cylinder on his way to one of the parades.
Here he is earlier in the paddock after returning the John Player Norton. Peter Williams in the background.
This is a photo I never thought I would take - the legendary Giacomo Agostini on the MV Agusta 3 cylinder going through Hall Bends……..
and this was a bike I never thought I'd see or hear in action, the fantastic sounding Honda 6 ridden by John Cronshaw.
All in all a great success, rare and exotic bikes with past and present stars seemingly around every corner. Johnathon Palmer should be rightly proud of the event that he and the staff have organised. My only regret is that I didn't attend both days.