This year’s Senior Classic featured the introduction of 750cc machines for the first time and a total of 46 riders lined up on the Grid, including 6 in the Formula (750cc) Class.
The field was led away by Alan Oversby, riding the ’72 MV with Mark Parrett (’62 Matchless G50) and Wattie Brown on the 1970 Manx Petty starting at 10 second intervals. With Olie Linsdell’s withdrawal following the incident at Bishop’s Court in Monday’s Post Classic Race, Oversby was the fastest on the grid and he set the early pace to Glen Helen, opening up a 9 second lead from Roy Richardson racing the 1969 Aermacchi Ala D’Oro with Mark Herbertson on the ’68 Matchless a further 16 second behind Richardson. Herbertson was reported as stopped at May Hill leaving Mark Parrett to move up into third by Ramsey, 46 seconds behind Oversby.
Oversby completed the first lap at 107.457, outside the lap record of 110.984 set by Ryan Farquhar in last year’s race, with Richardson (106.062) holding second place and Mark Parrett (101.044) completing the top three. However, Parrett was reported as having stopped at Pear Tree Cottage near Greeba Castle to make adjustments and he eventually retired there, promoting Paul Coward into third place by Glen Helen on the second lap.
Overby extended his lead to 38 seconds after a second lap of 109.089mph but tank capacity on the MV meant that Oversby pitted after the second lap to refuel, which put Roy Richardson 7 seconds in the lead after he went through the Grandstand to clock 107.203 (21:07.01) for his second lap. Coward, with 99.770, was a further three and a half minutes behind in third.
By Glen Helen Oversby had cut the lead to 0.7 seconds and passed Richardson again by Ballaugh. Wattie Brown, who had been running eighth, was reported to be a retirement at Quarter Bridge on his third lap. Overby completed the third lap (105.220), with a commanding lead of 25 seconds over Richardson (106.369mph) with Coward in third.
However, on a dramatic final lap, Alan Overby stopped at Guthries less than 11 miles from the finish and Roy Richardson’s machine was reported to be misfiring through Ramsey. Richardson nursed his machine over the line with a final lap of 103.496 and race time of 1:25.37.01 (105.764) for his second win of the week. Coward final lap of 99.170 put him in second place.
The battle for the final position was a question of which bike was going to be able to hold it together for the last leg from Ramsey. Mereddyd Owen, on the Seeley, was a retirement by Parliament Square with Stuart Garton who was running fifth on the Seeley also retiring on the last lap and Ken Davis on the ’72 Honda Drixon, who was briefly up into third, report off at Guthries leaving Dave Matravers, from a start plate of 40, riding a Matchless to eventually claim the final podium slot.
After the race, Roy Richardson confirmed that he’d had problems on the last lap.
“I rolled the bike onto half throttle to nurse it over the mountain as it was misfiring through Ramsey. I was aware that I was behind Alan and just pushed as hard as I could to put pressure on him. It’s been brilliant week.”
Chris McGahan on the ’71 Miles Trident started the Formula Senior Classic class with a 30 second gap from Dave Madsen-Mygdal and Alec Whitwell a further 10 seconds back and McGahan led by almost six seconds at Glen Helen from Dave Madsen-Mygdal with Alec Whitwell on the ’72 Honda 560cc in third. Davie Morgan on the 1970 Honda Drixton was reported retired at Cronk Y Voddy on the first lap.
Chris McGahan held a 13 second lead after clocking 102.007 on the first lap but stopped at the Grandstand to refuel, described by Manx Radio commentator Chris Kinley as a ‘splash and dash’, and he rejoined the race in second place behind Madsen-Mygdal (100.988) with Whitwell third over a minute behind.
Madsen-Mygdal held a 27 lead by Glen Helen from McGahan with Whitwell third but Madsen-Mygdal came in at the end of his second lap (102.896mph) to refuel only 18 seconds ahead and McGahan duly retook the lead with a lap of 100.495, which gave him a lead of 27 seconds on corrected time. McGahan extended his lead and was over a minute ahead after his third lap (104.863mph) and he eased his machine over the line to complete his victory with a final lap of 102.987 (1hr:28mins.17.33 seconds/ 102.563mph), with Madsen-Mygdal second (1:29.25.51/101.260mph) and Whitwell third 1:35.51.09/ 94.471mph).
Race winner Chris McGahan commented after the race:
“The bike was absolutely perfect and it was fantastic to hear people cheering the sound of the bike. I didn’t really have any problems and probably lost a bit of concentration on the last lap so had to pull myself together.”
The day ended with a final practice for tomorrow’s Senior, Lightweight and Ultra-Lightweight practice with riders keen to take advantage of the good track conditions. Ivan Lintin (116.137mph) posted the fastest time of the Senior session with Dean Martin (102.221mph) and Rab Davie (107.010) posting the fastest times in the Lightweight and Ultra Lightweight respectively.
Tomorrow’s lightweight and Ultra Lightweight race is scheduled to start at 10.15 with the Manx Grand Prix Festival meeting closing with the Senior Race from 1.15pm.