Mount honour for veteran riders

Ian Lougher in action at Oliver's Mount
Ian Lougher in action at Oliver's Mount
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Two elder statesmen of the road racing world have been honoured by Auto 66 Racing, the organisers of the Oliver’s Mount circuit.

With an astounding 229 race wins between them, Ian Lougher and Chris Palmer both hung up their leathers at the end of the 2013 season, each having been part of the road racing scene for around 30 years.

Cock Of The North meeting at Oliver's Mount.'Mount favourite Chris Palmer (5) on his way to 125cc victory in the Lightweight 125.'112998f. Pic Kevin Allen.'24/07/11.

Cock Of The North meeting at Oliver's Mount.'Mount favourite Chris Palmer (5) on his way to 125cc victory in the Lightweight 125.'112998f. Pic Kevin Allen.'24/07/11.

Northern Ireland-based Welshman Lougher and Isle of Man resident Palmer now have part of the course named after them.

The Memorial section of the 2.43-mile lap was previously known at Memorial In and Memorial Out, have now been renamed Lougher’s and Palmer’s respectively.

Fifty-year-old Lougher achieved an excellent 132 race wins, not including heat victories, between 1989 when he took his maiden race win in the 125cc race at that year’s Gold Cup event, taking his final chequered flag at the 2013 Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup in the second 250cc race.

Palmer, 51, has a total of 97 victories to his credit, his first coming in the 125cc race at the Spring National Races in 1991, completing his final double in the 125cc races in the Steve Henshaw event last September.

Their close rivalry through the years has been well documented and they remain close friends, and they will be missed by the fans at all road racing venues around the country, but especially at the Mount.

A spokesman for Auto 66 Racing said: “We wish both Ian and Chris a long and happy retirement and thank them for providing close, exciting racing and entertainment to the many thousands of fans who attended Oliver’s Mount over the years.”