Bradford rider Dean Harrison has hailed the return of road-racing at Oliver’s Mount as “brilliant” news for Yorkshire and predicted a bumper crowd for this weekend’s Barry Sheene Classic.
The 2019 Isle of Man Senior TT champion will be one of a host of star names, including 23-times TT winner John McGuinness and fellow TT winner Lee Johnston, returning to Scarborough for a packed schedule of 21 races tomorrow and Sunday.
Four times World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty will also be on hand to lead the parade.
Racing at Scarborough’s famous 2.4-mile track was suspended in 2017 after 12 people were injured in two separate crashes. But, thanks to the efforts of organisers the TwoFourThree Road Racing Association, who have invested more than £100,000 in safety improvements for the public, riders and marshals, the historic track is back in business.
“It’s brilliant, to be honest,” said Harrison on the return of England’s only road race.
“I love the place and can’t wait to get back to my local track. There have been quite a few tickets sold so there will be a decent crowd and we’ll have some good racing. I’ve been there before when there’s been 40,000 spectators and I think the maximum they’ve ever had was 56,000. World champions race there, GP champions race there, the actual history behind the place is massive, to be honest. So it’s good for racing in general and it’s good for Scarborough.”
Harrison has fond memories of Oliver’s Mount, a venue which helped to spark his lifelong love affair with road-racing. “I took part in my first-ever road race at Oliver’s Mount and I’ve been going back there ever since,” he added.
“It’s quite a tight track, and it’s two-and-a-half miles round, so it’s a really good place to race. I love testing the bike there.
“I used to go as a lad with my dad, even my grandad raced at Oliver’s. It was always a family outing with fish and chips on the seafront after the racing.”
Harrison made his Oliver’s Mount debut in 2009, picked up his first win the same year and still holds the outright Superbike, Supersport and Classic Superbike lap records at the North Yorkshire venue.
He will be competing on his Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki ZXR-750, which he raced to victory at the Classic TT last year and Harrison comes into the weekend in good form, having completed a clean sweep of victories at the Southern 100, not forgetting of course, his epic Senior TT triumph at the Isle of Man TT last month.
“I won six out of six races at the Southern 100 earlier this month, that was really good,” he said.
“The weather was good, the racing was close, and it was a good week.”
He continued: “When I won the main race at the Isle of Man TT, I couldn’t believe it, to be honest. I’ve tried for so long to win it, and when you try, try and try again and then finally achieve what you want to achieve, it’s quite surreal. It was brilliant, so that put the icing on the cake.”
Racing at Oliver’s Mount is due to start at 9am tomorrow and tickets cost £20 for Saturday, £25 for Sunday with a weekend ticket costing £40. There is free entry for under-16s.