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First Anglesey Thundersprint a Huge Success

To improve on the standard football quote, the first ever Thundersprint in Anglesey was a game of three halves.

Click To EnlargeAs riders and traders arrived at the beautiful Anglesey circuit on the day before the Thundersprint the biggest danger was sunburn. Next, the Celtic weather Gods decided on a change of plan and ordered up lashing rain and strong winds until lunch-time on Sunday.

Then the sun beat down and steam lifted off the amazing 2.1 mile track like the Amazonian rain forest drying out.

Jim Redman had a great time in Anglesey riding Clive Brooker’s superb CR750 Honda

Despite the storm, the overwhelming reaction to the new venue was positive. Six times World Champion Jim Redman said: “What a fantastic track. I would have loved to ride this in the dry. It’s got to be one of the best locations anywhere in the world and I am absolutely guaranteed to be here next year.”

Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike star James Ellison said: “I had a great time and I want to come back next year. I just wish the track had been dry and then I could have put on a real show for the fans.”

 

James Ellison enjoys the sun on the Tamworth Yamaha R1

Classic star Graham Ashley made the long trip from Abu Dhabi to win the Masterclass

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Graham’s team mate Gary Nathan said: “What a great Thundersprint. I was hoping that it would be a success and it was. The event ran like clockwork with great organisation.

Click To Enlarge“The track was fantastic and even the weather worked out well in the end.” 

The sun came out and the crowds packed in.

Thundersprint organiser Frank Melling said: “The whole event was better than we could have hoped for. The welcome we have had from the people of Anglesey has been incredible, not to say heart warming, and the efficiency of the Anglesey Circuit showed why they have a well earned world class reputation.

“We were also delighted with the reaction of long time Thundersprint fans, who had nothing but praise for the Anglesey circuit.

“The weather wasn’t ideal – Anglesey even does world class rain and winds – but, overall, it was a great success and even Rolo, the world’s most intelligent sheep, has asked if she can come back next year.”

Sunday afternoon and the fabulous Anglesey track basks in the sunshine

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And it’s goodbye from Rolo until Thundersprint 2014…


James Ellison Superbike Masterclass on the Carole Nash Stand at Thundersprint 2013

Fresh from his stunning success at the first round of the British Superbike Championship riding his Milwaukee Yamaha R1, James Ellison will be starring at Thundersprint 2013 which will be held at the Anglesey Race Circuit on the 21 April.
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James Ellison – Superbike star

James really is the ultimate seen-that-and-got-the-shirt racer having competed successfully in everything from MotoGP to the World Endurance Championship and he is looking forward to the unique Thundersprint.

James said: “I have wanted to ride in the Thundersprint for years now but it has always clashed with my world championship commitments. When I found out that I was free this year I couldn’t wait to sign up.

Click To Enlarge“The great attraction for me is that the whole motorcycling world is at the Thundersprint from Superbikes to really old classics. As someone who loves bikes, as well as being a professional motorcycle racer, it’s going to be a dream day out for me.

And this is how to ride a Superbike…

“I’m also looking forward to meeting my fans away from the pressures of championship racing. There’s going to be lots of time for autographs and pictures - plus a bit of fun riding an R1 on the fabulous Anglesey track too.”

When James is not riding, he will be on the Carole Nash stand chatting to fans and explaining how to get the best from your Superbike on the track.

There are no “Keep Out” or “VIP” areas at the Thundersprint and so when James isn’t in action, or making appearances at the Carole Nash stand, he will be there to talk bikes with Thundersprint fans.

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What’s On and Where – Your Complete Guide to the Thundersprint Weekend

Welcome to the first ever Thundersprint at the fabulous Anglesey Circuit.

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The track is one of the best in the world and there is something at the Thundersprint for everyone.

The fabulous Anglesey Circuit

We’ve got some of the best classic riders in the world, and their unique motorcycles, in action on the track. 

And of course, the Thundersprint in Anglesey wouldn’t be complete without Rolo, the world’s most intelligent sheep, and her duck herding demonstration – and you won’t see Rolo at MotoGP!

More than anything else, we want you to have a great time at the Thundersprint so ask any of our staff if you have any queries and they will be pleased to help.

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Bydd staff ar y safle i gynorthwyo os oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau y fyddwch yn dymuno ei ateb trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

We pride ourselves on having a relaxed atmosphere at the Thundersprint but always remember that there are race bikes about – especially in the paddock – so do take care at all times.

Have a great time – but do take care in the busy paddock.

Please note that the whole of the Thundersprint is rigidly pedestrianised and NO powered vehicles, or bicycles, scooters or skateboards are permitted.

Finding Your Way Round the Anglesey Circuit:

Click on the map below to download your copy of the Anglesey Circuit

Sit back a watch a lap of the track seen from the saddle of a classic GP Bike

As you come into the circuit, public camping is to your immediate right. The camping area is inside the circuit, actually next to the track, with excellent viewing.

Sixty seconds walk from the campsite and this is what the track looks like!

Click To EnlargeNear to the camping, at the top of the circuit, is the funfair, simulator rides and children’s inflatable centre.

There are some lovely grass areas here too, if you want to chill with the kids and have a picnic.

There are also plenty of food vendors in the area.

Disabled viewing is accessed via the paddock and just after the first corner. There is wheelchair access and the first three corners of the track are clearly in sight.

Disabled parking is at the base of the disabled viewing area.

The Lost Child Centre, and nursing Mums’ area, is to the right of the paddock control box, inside the St. John’s First Aid centre.

Families are very welcome at the Thundersprint

Click To EnlargeThe race and cavalcade paddock is at the end of the access road and is open to spectators after you have parked your vehicle. However, please remember that the paddock is a working area and there will be a lot of vehicles on site

Take particular care near to participating motorcycles because these may well be hot.

Please take particular care of children and pets, which should be kept on a lead at all times.

If you have any doubts regarding your ability to be in the paddock safely, do not enter the area but remain in the spectator viewing parts of the event.

That tells you where everything is happening - and now here is the provisional timetable.

Please note that these timings are not fixed in stone so you need to check this website for updates as the event gets nearer.

If you would like to receive Thundersprint newsletters and press releases directly, then please email info@thundersprint.com asking to be included in our mailings.

You will only receive Thundersprint information and your contact details will not be sold or passed on to anyone else – honestly!

What’s On and Where:

Friday 19 April:

17:00 – Public Camping opens. The public camping is directly next to the main entrance to the circuit and is two minutes away from the action.

Camping costs £20 for the whole weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Click To EnlargeThe £20 camping fee is the same whether you have a motorhome, caravan or tent and is per camping unit, not for each person. Commercial sized tents are not included in this offer. These should be arranged directly with the Anglesey Circuit.

Well behaved pets are welcome and there is a quiet area for those campers who want a peaceful stay.

Pets must be kept on a lead at all times.

To get your Thundersprint 2013 camping pass please click here

17.00 – Paddock opens for Thundersprint Hillclimb, Thundersprint Cavalcade, Trade and club exhibitors

There will be some fabulous bikes on display

Saturday 20 April:

08.00 – Public Camping opens

08.00 – Paddock opens for Thundersprint Hillclimb, Thundersprint Cavalcade, Trade and club exhibitors.

Riders and traders will be setting up and it’s a great opportunity to meet them in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sunday 21 April:

07.00 – Paddock opens for Thundersprint Hillclimb, Thundersprint Cavalcade, Trade and club exhibitors.

Special Note:
Everywhere, except the track, has open access to the public but please be aware that the paddock is a working area and there will be a lot of vehicles on site.

Take particular care near to participating motorcycles because these may well be hot.

Please take particular care of children and pets. Keep pets on a lead at all times.

Peaceful pets are welcome at the Thundersprint

If you have any doubts regarding your ability to be in the paddock safely, do not enter the area but remain in the public viewing parts of the event.

Meet Classic Racing Superstars Jim Redman and Sammy Miller at Technical Control

Click To Enlarge08.00 – 09.00 – Technical Control. Meet the riders as their bikes go through the essential pre-event checks.

09.00 – Trade stands and children’s entertainment open to the public.

Free Practice For the Thundersprint:

The Thundersprint is using the full 2.1 mile International GP Circuit and there is spectator viewing all the way round the track.

09.30 – Group One Free Practice: this group is for the less fast “gentlemen” and “gentle lady” riders

09.45 – Group Two Free Practice: a faster group for experienced riders, but who are new to competitive Hillclimbing.

10.00 – Group Three Free Practice: the quickest riders on the fastest bikes!

10.15 - Group One Free Practice.

Watch out for classic racing superstar Jaeson Caunce
 on his 350 Honda

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10.30 - Group Two Free Practice.

10.45 - Group Three Free Practice.

11.00 - Group One Free Practice.

11.15 - Group Two Free Practice.

11.30 - Group Three Free Practice.

11.45 – Sidecars Free Practice

12.00 – The Thundersprint Cavalcade of Motorcycling. Fantastic bikes from the history of motorcycling parading around Anglesey’s 2.1 mile International GP Circuit

12.30 – Lunch Break

Rolo the Superstar Sheep

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13.00 – Rolo, the World’s Most Intelligent Sheep, and her unique duck herding display. And you’ve never seen anything like this! 

Click To Enlarge13.35 – 17.00 – The Thundersprint Hillclimb using the full 2.1 mile International GP Circuit.

Watch out for spectacular action from Moz Baines
 and Danny Fitzsimons.

17.45 – Prize giving in the paddock. Spectators are most welcome to join us.

13.35 – 17.00 – The Thundersprint Hillclimb using the full 2.1 mile International GP Circuit.

17.45 – Prize giving in the paddock. Spectators are most welcome to join us.

18.01- Preparations begin for
Thundersprint 2014


New Class for Modern Bikes at Thundersprint 2013

The Thundersprint has always been the “must do” event of the year for classic riders but with the re-location to the fabulous Anglesey circuit the interest from riders of modern machines has been incredible.

This year, we have had so many enquiries from riders of modern bikes that we have decided to create a new class so that everyone can take part.

Click To EnlargeModern, as well as classic, bikes will be in action on the fabulous Anglesey track

Previously, our cut-off date was 1988 but the new Powerbikes class will accept all motorcycles made between 1989 and the current day.

We hope to attract the same range of riders as with all our other classes so we will be just as pleased to see a Yamaha Virago - preferably without the dangly tassels on the handlebars - as the latest Ducati Panigale.

The great joy of the Thundersprint is that riders are racing only against the clock so there is none of the fairing banging aggression of full on road racing.

The atmosphere is also very relaxed, with the emphasis on having fun rather than do or die competition.

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The Thundersprint - plus the most beautiful race track in the world.

The two reasons to be in Anglesey on the 21 April

Riders can buy a one event ACU competition licence, tape up the lights on their bikes and then enjoy the spectacular international 2.1 mile Anglesey track.

Entry to the Thundersprint includes three 15 minute track sessions in the morning plus the Cavalcade and the Thundersprint in the afternoon so there really is a packed day on offer.

Click on Thundersprint preview to see what a lap of the track looks like from the inside.

For an entry form, please e-mail info@thundersprint.com or phone 01928 740 498.


Thundersprint Entries Available Now

Entry forms for both the Thundersprint hillclimb sprints and the Cavalcade are available now.

The Thundersprint is a sprint hillclimb run under an ACU Permit where riders compete against the clock. We are using the full 2.1 mile International Circuit at Anglesey. Riders will leave the start line singly as with a conventional sprint.

Classic racing star Graham Dickinson has already confirmed his entry with his beautiful T500 Suzuki

Click To EnlargeEntries are open to Pre-1973 classic machines, race and road, and there are also two special classes one for 50cc and 80cc machines made before 1978 and the other for sports bikes manufactured before 1989.

Click To EnlargeTony Hudson will be bringing his iconic Honda “4”

Riders will get three 15 minute practice sessions in the morning and then the sprint in the afternoon. As part of their entry fee, they will also be able to ride in the lunch-time Cavalcade at no extra cost.

Click here for a preview of what it’s like to ride the fabulous Anglesey track.

 

Rockers delight in entertaining crowds at the Thundersprint Cavalcade

Click To EnlargeEntries for Thundersprint Cavalcade are open to all bikes of any type or capacity. We welcome everything from the latest Supersports machines to customs, cruisers and classics.

Cavalcaders will get three laps of the full 2.1 mile circuit behind a pace car. The emphasis will be on smiling and waving to the crowd because the Cavalcade is strictly speed limited. This event is absolutely NOT suitable for anyone who wants to ride anything other than very slowly on a race circuit.

Entry to the sprint hillclimb costs £90 and this includes two admission tickets and a camping pass.

The Cavalcade costs £30 and again this includes two £10 admission tickets and a camping pass with a value of £20.

For an entry form for either event, e-mail info@thundersprint.com or phone 01928 740 498.


Camping and spectator admission tickets now available from £5.00

Thundersprint 2013 tickets are now available at half price until 1st March. To ensure your place at Europe’s Biggest and Best Motorcycling Festival click here to order yours now.


Thundersprint 2013 Moves to the Anglesey Race Circuit

Next year’s Thundersprint sees the unique celebration of all that is good about classic and modern motorcycling at the breathtaking Anglesey Race Circuit.
Anglesey is one of the world’s great circuits. Its 2.1 miles of superb track enjoy one of the most spectacular settings anywhere, overlooking the Caernarvon Bay with views stretching all the way to Snowdonia. There’s not many circuits where dolphins can watch the racing!

The spectacular Anglesey race circuit

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The facilities are superb too and the welcome we have been offered has been outstanding.

In short, the Anglesey track will take the Thundersprint on to the next level.

We will have a packed day of activities both on and off the track and as with all Thundersprints we are offering a welcome not only to the motorcycle world but to the whole community. We want to see Mum, Dad and the kids having a great time at the Thundersprint and soaking in the unique atmosphere.”

Anglesey is a real riders’ track.

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Richard Peacock, Operations Director of the Anglesey Circuit, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Thundersprint at our circuit. The Thundersprint is acknowledged as one of the great motorcycling events in the world and we intend providing a setting worthy of a festival of this status.

“Not only do we have a superb track but we also have great spectator facilities including a beautiful campsite.

“There is already a real buzz amongst our staff at the thought of having the Thundersprint here and we just can’t wait for next April.”


Thundersprint on TV

Available to view here Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4

The show you’ve all been waiting for. Almost an hour of action, interviews and on track video. And it’s all free to view and with absolutely NO advertisements.


Thundersprint – 2012 – The Full Story

8am on a glorious sunny morning in Northwich and the sound of a works racing Honda echoed through the streets of this delightful Cheshire market town. Northwich’s very own Grand Prix in a Car Park had burst into life for Thundersprint 2012.

The Thundersprint Bike Show, held on the piazza outside the Memorial Hall, saw a huge attendance with over 150 bikes on display and traders reporting record sales.

Thundersprint Bike Show was packed

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Howard and Amanda Smith displayed their lovely little 50cc Yamaha and said: “We displayed our bike at the show on Saturday, in the Classic 50 Racing Club’s section. There was a wonderful atmosphere in the Piazza, and at one point in the day we had a queue of parents with small children who wanted to have their photographs taken sitting on the bike. It was great.”

If Saturday was impressive Sunday was off the scale with riders and fans queuing to get into the town centre even before the first light of dawn.

When practice began at 8.40, the grandstands were already packed and everything was set for what proved to be a truly enormous crowd.

Suzuki star, Mike Hunt, lines up for morning practice

Veteran ace Peter Wilson feels his way round the cold Thundersprint track first thing in the morning.

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After practice came the Thundersprint Cavalcade. Over 200 bikes parading through the town to the cheers of tens of thousands of spectators.

Paul Davison (#208) and his Norton Dominator lead regular Thundersprint winner Oliver Presswood (#65) on his Velocette and Andrew Dickinson’s Suzuki (#96) whilst Steve Clark (#62) and Malcolm Dewhurst (#266) keep close formation.

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John Young and Keith Laker on their version of a burn up in Northwich town centre.

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No-one knows precisely how many Thundersprinters came this year but there were enough to fill over four miles of pavement for the spectacular lunch-time Cavalcade.

The Bennetts Babes on their Royal procession. QEII eat your heart out! The Babes were in action again on the Bennetts stand during the lunch break…

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Whilst Jacob, little brother of teenage biking prodigy Joe Francis, tries to beat the Babes on the Bennetts Bucking Bike.

And Forge Formby, and his faithful mechanic Jeremy, give the Babes dancing lessons.

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To launch the racing a Second World War Spitfire roared over the skies of Northwich accompanied by the cheers of thousands of fans.

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Click To EnlargeAs the Spitfire departed, racers began four solid hours of entertainment with bikes ranging from classic Grand Prix machines – and equally classic riders like 81 year old, six times World Champion, Jim Redman – to current GP stars such as Danny Webb riding the latest AJP machine – and keeping the fans entertained all day was the inimitable “Voice of the Thundersprint” – Mr. Garry Gardiner.

Garry Gardiner with his good friend Jim Redman

First to the line was the Masterclass featuring an all star entry led by motorcycling legends Jim Redman and Sammy Miller – both with their eyes on the super dooper trophies presented by title sponsor Bennetts.

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Motorcycling legend Sammy Miller was smooth and fast on his Honda RC181

Backing up Jim and Sammy were ex GP stars Richard Morley and John Hughes and current French classic Superstar Alain Marie on his ferocious works replica BMW.

It was the Frenchman who set the pace from the off with a string of super fast sub-24 second runs.

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But when the clock stopped for the final run of the Masterclass it was Thundersprint organiser, Frank Melling, who pipped his French friend and racing rival to the post with a blistering time of 22.49 seconds on his Seeley Suzuki.

Frank said: “Riding the Seeley is a bit like cheating, it is so good. I was rushing round like a mad thing and it is only because Mike Hunt and Ian Jackson remembered to take the bike to the starting area for me that I got a ride at all.

“I ran down to the start line and just jumped on the Seeley and let it do all the work. It’s a wonderful motorcycle and is the nearest to a self-riding race bike that you can imagine.”

Click here to see a lap of the Thundersprint taken from Frank’s Seeley.

 

Frank Melling on his self-riding Seeley Suzuki

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Click To EnlargeStar of the Motorcycling Personalities class was Danny Webb with the little known AJP Supermoto bike. The Portuguese bike proved to be a real rocket ship with Danny posting a time of 21.05 seconds which was over half a second faster than second place man Scott Redding.

Danny Webb blasts the opposition with the AJP Supermoto

Allan Pumfrey, Brand Development Manager of the British AJP importer said: “2012 was AJP Motos’ first time at Thundersprint and we were thoroughly impressed with the venue, organisation, format and especially the huge audience.

“Running our PR5 250 Air and Oil cooled Supermoto bike up against some of the best machinery available, and winning our class with no small thanks to our superstar pilot Danny Webb, rounded off an absolutely amazing experience for us.”

As the Motorcycling Personalities cleared the track, the sidecars rolled into sliding, tyre screaming action.

Almost inevitably, the fastest outfit was the mighty Weslake crewed by Graham Hilditch and Tony Dalton but John Young and Keith Laker had a truly amazing ride on their Vintage JAP outfit – half the capacity of the Weslake crew and less than half a second slower.

Belgian visitor Johan Van de Perre really lit up the Thundersprint track with a time of 23.09 seconds but Velocette expert Pete Livesey on his superbly prepared 350 KSS.

Perennial Thundersprint winners Graham Hilditch and Tony Dalton Fast Belgian Johan Van der Perre was amazed at the size of the Thundersprint crowd
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Click To EnlargeOliver Presswood – neat as ever on his Velocette Venom

The packed arena echoed to the cheers of thousands of Thundersprinters as the fans’ favourite class came to the line: the Golden Age Unlimited Class for bikes made before 1958.

The battle was white hot between Thundersprint experts Steve Clark, and his thundering Tribsa, and Oliver Presswood’s immaculate, home built Velocette Venom. At the final count, top spot on the podium went to once again to Presswood.

In the 250cc Class there was another tight battle between Peter Jordan riding a Royal Enfield, the quality of which the Redditch factory could never achieve, and TT star John Holt with his original DMW. Peter just edged out the affable Cumbrian with a blistering 23.23 final run.

Click To EnlargePeter Jordan on his home built Royal Enfield – as the factory could never build them!
 

The crowd dutifully stood for the National Anthem but they should have been on their feet for a second time when the Classic 350 class came to the line because heading the all-star line up was Jaeson Caunce. No other classic rider has got round the Thundersprint course faster than Jaeson – and no-one ever will.

Click To EnlargeWe are not worthy… Jaeson Caunce – the fastest ever classic rider at the Thundersprint – bar none!

This year Jaeson posted 20.80 seconds – a time so fast that one of the other class winners, a very fast rider in his own right, commented: “If I could ride that fast I wouldn’t want to. 20 seconds is science fiction best!”

Not that second place Jerry Ashton was slow at 22.78 seconds. The MV riding engineer simply has the misfortune to be riding against Caunce!

Thunder rolled across Northwich as Dave McCoy rolled to the line with his booming Jawa speedway engine Norton. The bike’s bark was as good as its bite and Dave was over three quarters of a second quicker Suzuki riding brothers Graham – who took second place – and Andrew in third.

Dave McCoy – elegant to win the 500 class

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Paul Rushton – middle man in team Rushton – takes home another trophy

Click To EnlargeAlmost inevitably, the Rushton family racing at the Thundersprint meant that a lot of the trophies were going to be heading north up the M6. Grandad Rushton had already won the 500cc class in the Vintage category and when Paul Rushton loosed his mighty 750cc Rickman Commando up the 110 yard long main straight no-one was betting against him. Not that Sheffield’s Mick Rooney did not put up a good battle but Rushton was just too quick at 21.46 seconds.

Dave Edwards eases his TA125 to another class win

Click To EnlargeIn very stark contrast to the thundering twins of the Classic Unlimited Class, the Lightweights are all about finesse and delicacy through the Thundersprint’s challenging 447 yards.

Dave Edwards was on superb form with his all original Yamaha TA125 running a full two seconds faster than Tony Tuttle and his sweet sounding Honda.

Requiring even more finesse, not to say a lot of courage to keep the tiny engines screaming on the tight course which threads itself through Northwich’s biggest – and, clearly, best – car park there was no higher skill level at the Thundersprint than the Ultralightweight pilots.

 

The battle was intense between Roger Naul, Kevin Theobold and Dave Bushrod with Roger eventually taking a well-deserved win in 26.24 seconds.

Dave Bushrod and his tiny Kawasaki screamer. Peter Whitelegg was very fast on his Laverda twin.

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The sun still beat down on Northwich and the trade stands were as packed as ever when the Modern Classic Class was called into battle: modern bikes and modern riders, all selected from a huge number of applicants because both the bike and rider had the classic attitude to racing. Every rider, and bike, had the desire to show the spirit of the Thundersprint to the tens of thousands of fans who come to enjoy the Thundersprint every year.

Almost inevitably with Harley, the youngest member of team Rushton on the track, the fastest time was only going to be recorded by one person and at 22.14 seconds the Baby Rushton beat Dad and Grandad – and that has to be one for the record books.

Machines covering 84 years of motorcycle racing, with clubman enthusiast riders lining up against World Champions in the world’s only Grand Prix in a Car Park: for anyone with race oil in their blood there could never be a better day’s motorcycle sport.

Hannah Squirrel, Associate Director of Thundersprint title sponsor Bennetts, summed up the weekend perfectly when she said: “This year's Thundersprint proved to be the most spectacular yet with some first class entertainment both on and off the track for what was surely a record-breaking crowd. Frank and Carol Melling should be immensely proud of what they've achieved."

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