Dean Harrison shines on return to Oliver's Mount

Dean Harrison celebrates success at Olivers Mount  ''PHOTO BY JOHN MARGETTS
Dean Harrison celebrates success at Olivers Mount ''PHOTO BY JOHN MARGETTS

After almost two years of waiting, action returned to Scarborough’s iconic Oliver’s Mount track with the Barry Sheene Memorial Classic.

A Barry Sheene record crowd of an estimated 15,000 flooded in by the droves, showing their support to the volunteers who’ve brought the historic racetrack back from the ashes.

Legendary TT rider and joint president of the new club, Mick Grant gave an emotional speech from the new podium.

He said: “We couldn’t let this track fall into the history books, it means so much to me, Eddie Roberts (joint president) and the rest of the club.

“We can’t thank the fans enough for their support.

“Behind the scenes our team has worked tirelessly to get the track back up and running – and the race fans today have shown it was worth it,thank you all.”

Arguably the highlight of the weekend was the exotic parade, when close to £3million worth of bikes took to the track.

The star riders included seven-times TT winner Carl Fogarty.

The three-time TT winner took to the grid with friend and ex-Oliver’s Mount lap record holder James Whitham and TT legend John McGuinness.

Fogarty was happy to be back on track.

“That was great, the place is packed,” he said.

“Scarborough has always pulled in a huge crowd and it’s the same this weekend.

“I really enjoyed that, I was trying to catch Whit (James Whitham) into the harpin, that was a laugh.”

Whitham added: “That was mega. I’ve loved it. I can’t praise Eddie and Mick enough.

“I was coming here as a kid and I thought we’d never ride here again.

“I was actually getting a little emotional. It’s great to see the track back to its glory.”

Saturday afternoon’s racing got off to a flyer, with Lee Johnston taking a win in the 600 class, over Mick Norbury who set the fastest lap of the race with Brad Vicars third.

Johnston had to play second fiddle to good friend Dean Harrison, who took the win on the Classic Superbike class.

Rhys Hardisty took the Lightweight win and Joey Thompson was on top in the Supertwin class.

In the sidecars Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie took the win, followed by John Lowther and Tom Christie and Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle in third.

On Classic machinery Peter Boast took the Senior Win over Julian Tillostson and Brian Alexander.

From 7am on Sunday with the promise of good weather the crowds started to flock in.

The track had dried out and conditions were near perfect.

Harrison started from where he left off, taking wins in both Classic Superbikes races with David Bell getting the better of Johnston in the final.

Johnston took the race win in both Supersport races, with Norbury in second, but this time Thompson taking third in the final.

Thompson also took the Supertwins win on the Kramer.

The sidecar race was declared a result.

Thanks to new safety measures, both walked away unscathed, and Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie were declared the overall winner, and took the Robin Daykin Trophy.

Local rider Justin Waring enjoyed a great weekend on his return to racing action as he qualified in second.

He came in fourth spot in the first race and then fifth in the second race.

Waring said: “Thanks to John Chapman, Wilf Noble, John Noble, Dave Leadley, Brian Scott, Brian Waring and Gaz Miller and all who helped out for a great return to racing at Oliver’s Mount.”

Whitby rider Kristian Didelot came in fourth place in the Classic Superbike on Saturday and then again on Sunday, but he fell off in the last race at Drury’s Hairpin.

Didelot said: “Thanks to sponsors Mike at MMS Bikes, Turvey Tattoos and John Warrington Motorcycles.”