In addition to the T/O entourage of Rob Iannucci, Josh Mackenzie (who had done much of the prep on Wagon Wheels), Josh's girlfriend Cristy, Mike Gontesky and Stu Carter, Peter Williams himself came over. Peter hadn't been there since 2000, and people were very glad to see him and be able to say hello.
|The Arter Matchless 'Wagon Wheels' at Team Obsolete HQ|
|This year's Transit Van|
|The view across the circuit at the top of Barregarrow|
|We saw these Bantam trials bikes (and the Cub) at several places around the Island including here at Barregarrow.|
|Ian Lougher stopped in an early practice at St. Ninian's Crossroad with a fuel problem|
Jurby is a WWII airfield in the north of the Island where they've laid out a 1.7 mi. circuit. The Festival has static displays of classic racers as well as lapping divided up into different groups based on year and capacity. The Lap of Honour riders get two sessions of their own and I was able to do 9 laps in each on Wagon Wheels, on the track with Freddie Spencer, Pier Francesco Chili, Mick Grant, Graeme Crosby, Phillip McCallum, Hurley Wilvert, Maria Costello, and many others. John Cronshaw rode one of the George Beale replica 250 Honda Six. Wagon Wheels worked well and it's a great opportunity to check everything out before doing the Lap on the Mountain circuit the next day.
Once again, there was a huge crowd at the festival.
That evening we went to the embarrassingly titled 'Heros Dinner'. I sat next to Dan Cooper, winner of the 2005 British 125 Championship and participant in over 40 TT races, at our table. Charlie Williams was M.C. and he recognized all the TT winners before he interviewed John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey then Freddie Spencer, Graeme Crosby and Pier Francisco Chili. Rob Iannucci had created a new trophy, The Peter Williams Trophy, for the best finisher on an AJS or Matchless motorcycle in the Classic TT, and he and Peter presented it, to be awarded the next day after the Junior Classic race. Australian Cameron Donald, winner of two of the 28 TT's he's been in and someone who's done a 131+ mph lap of the IOM, came over to our table and told Peter and Rob that he really wanted to win that trophy. He loves the Classics as well as the modern Superbikes and his dad raced a AJS 7R and he was to be racing one the next day in the Junior Classic.
So, the next morning, I went to spectate somewhere relatively close to the paddock and missed the turn for Union Mills and ended up at Crosby. But, there was no good place to spectate there and I went back to Union Mills and watched from the Railway Inn. Michael Dunlop won the race on an MV350-3, with Michael Rutter 2nd and Alan Oversby 3rd, both on Hondas. But, sure enough Cameron Donald was 4th and first single on the 7R, becoming the inaugural winner of the Peter Williams Trophy. 5th was Dan Cooper, my table mate from the night before.
|I saw this Benelli 2T and Gilera CX125 while spectating at the Railway Inn in Union Mills|
The next day, we crated the bike, then I took Peter for a lap around the course in the van. He hadn't been around since 2000 and he couldn't get over how long it was between corners, he remembered doing it at race pace and we doing it at close to legal van speed. He told me of a scary slide he had at Union Mills, of having Alan Barnett crash in front of him at Doran's Bend, of being proud of how he did Rencullen, of a tank slapper at the kink in Sulby Straight, of how he felt that he never got the corner between Mountain Box and The Black Hut right (I feel the same way but somehow I think Peter not getting it right and me not getting it right are two very different things), of how one had to get Windy Corner right in order to do The 33rd flat out (the two are separated by almost a mile), of how much he loved the Hillberry/Cronk-ny-Mona section, and how he fell off one on the incredibly slow Govenor's Bridge. As we crossed the start/finish line, I said that we could turn at St. Nininan's Crossroads to go back to the hotel, to which Peter replied "or, you could do another lap". So, we did. What a treat to do a couple of laps with one of the real masters of the circuit.
That afternoon we went to the Norton Rally at the Shore Hotel in Laxey, where Peter sold a bunch of the revised edition of his book "Designed to Race". There were a number of interesting bikes there and I got to chat with Mick Hemmings and Art Bone.
|One of the many beautiful bikes at the Norton Rally|
|Rodger's '61 Greeves 32T|
|Ken with his '56 British Anzani 325 Greeves. Ken and Rodger were staying in our hotel on the Prom|
|Daily transport at the Classic TT|
|A very clean CL350 at the Norton rally, of all places|
|A Norton Navigator 350|
|Just like my first bike: a Ducati Diana|
|A Motosacoche ready for the Parade|
|A Moto Guzzi Dondolino|
|A Bultaco Metralla racer|
|Your typical commuter bike: an H-1 Kawasaki with nitros|
|A Velo MAC spotted in the paddock|
|A 'field expedient' oil cap|
|All the horn and headlight needed to make this Bantam legal|
|ES-2 Nortons were thick on the ground|