Each of the four classes have an important sponsor, Bonhams the Auctioneers, The National Motorcycle Museum, Avon Tyres and The Classic Motorcycle magazine.
Classic bike racing throughout 2018
The season started with Bemsee on the Silverstone International circuit running out of the F1 Wing. All bikes housed under cover in the enormous pit garages, which was just as well as the weather was mixed. Dean Stimpson on the Izzard Racing Manx Norton took three wins in the Bonhams GP Championship, carrying on where he left off in 2017. Sam Clews showed he meant business by grabbing the final British Championship win of the weekend. Robin Stokes took all four races in the National Motorcycle Museum supported WRR 500 Championship. David May and Mick Baldwin shared out the Avon 350 wins between them.
Our next round was Donington Park in May with Endurance Legends. In the Bonhams British GP Championship class the three races produced three winners – Mike Russell, Sam Clews and Glen English. Three WRR 500 wins went the way of Peter Crew and the Avon 350cc wins were shared by Tony Raynor, Mick Baldwin and David May. Finally, Sam Rhodes cleaned up in the TCM Club Class on a Velocette.
Round three took place over two nice sunny days with Bemsee again, this time on the Snetterton 300 circuit. Dean Stimpson took all four Bonhams British Championship wins with Mike Russell and Sam Clews sharing the silver podium positions. In the WRR National Motorcycle Museum 500 class, George Thomas took two wins with Peter Crew and Chris Bassett claiming the remaining victories. Furthermore, all four Avon 350 wins went the way of Tim Jackson on his 7R AJS.
Next meeting in June was a new one for the Lansdowne at the Mallory Park ‘Classic and Modern Motorsport Festival’ and were the only classic bike races at this one day car race meeting. In an unusual twist for this meeting we raced without the two chicanes, Edwina’s and The Bus Stop. It was just like going back to the 70’s and 80’s and consequently all riders loved it. Mike Russell took both Bonhams class wins, Chris Bassett both WRR wins and Cliff Ransley the Avon 350 wins. Mike Farrall brought his rigid frame Rudge along to this one and cleaned up in the TCM class.
Norton, Velocette and AJS 7R in the mix
The heatwave was still with us for the Pembrey Meeting with NG Road Racing, it made a nice change to be at Pembrey in sunshine! In the Bonhams’ class Mike Russell took two wins of the three races with one to ACR’s Sam Clews. As a consequence this left the Championship very tight. In the WRR Chris Bassett and Peter Crew continued their rivalry going 2:1 in favour of Bassett. Finally, Tony Raynor took all the points in the Avon 350 class.
Next stop in the Lansdowne classic bike racing calendar was the CRMC Classic Motorcycle Festival at Donington. A popular meeting this, run over three days in August with 37 riders entered. Dean Stimpson took three of the four wins with Mike Russell clinching the other. In the WRR Peter Crew took three wins to George Thomas’ one. Cliff Ransley had three Avon 350 wins leaving one to Tony Raynor. A noteworthy ride by Sam Rhodes on the Velocette produced a clean sweep in the TCM class.
It had to happen and it did. The CRMC Cadwell ‘Race of the Year’ in October produced a really horrible wet, cold and windy Saturday. Luckily a much nicer day was served up on the Sunday. In the really wet first race Sam Clews made everyone else look slow, he just cleared off and won easily. However, on Sunday’s two dry races Dean Stimpson did the same. Chris Bassett took two WRR wins and George Thomas the third victory; Nick Bedford stamped his authority on the Avon 350 class with three commanding wins. The TCM class saw a couple of duelling Norton Dominator twins ridden by Derek Bunning and Gordon Russell. The weekend’s tally finally went 2:1 in favour of Bunning.
So, that concludes 20 years of Lansdowne classic bike racing and another excellent season. Thanks to our host clubs, our sponsors and, of course, all the riders who support the Series. We finish the season with an away non-championship meeting at Portimao, Portugal.
Bonhams Lansdowne British GP Championship 2018
1. Sam Clews 244
2. Mike Russell 218
3. Dean Stimpson 204
WRR 500cc National Motorcycle Museum Lansdowne Championship 2018
1. Peter Crew 219
2. Chris Bassett 208
3. Tony Perkin 192
Avon 350cc Lansdowne Championship 2018
1. Tony Raynor 203
2. Mick Baldwin 142
3. Jimmy May 126
The Classic Motorcycle (TCM) Lansdowne Club Class Championship 2018
1. Sam Rhodes 80
2. Charlie Williams 28
3. Derek Bunning 27
500cc Thirkell Cup 2018 (over-60s)
1. Peter Crew 241
2. Stuart Tonge 214
3. Richard Hann 132
350cc Thirkell Cup 2018 (over-60s)
1. Tony Raynor 204
2. Mick Baldwin 127
3. Cliff Ransley 82
Karl Heinz Lansdowne Cup 2018 (highest points scorers over the four Championships)
1. Sam Clews 244
2. Peter Crew 219
3. Mike Russell 218
Report by bonhams.com