ROAD Racing’s top riders will be descending on Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount on Sunday to battle it out in the Ian Watson Spring Cup Road Races.
Not only will this be the first event of the season at the Mount, but it will also be the first race of the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship, which is a decade old this year.
The Scarborough venue hosts the first of 24 rounds, which also takes in races in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man.
There will be further rounds in Scarborough throughout the year, as the Barry Sheene Classic Road Races, the Cock o’ the North and the Gold Cup International also take place on the Mount.
Current champion Ryan Farquhar - a five time winner of the coveted Geoff Delve Trophy - starts his defence by entering all 12 of the solo races, as he aims to increase his tally of 68 race wins in Scarborough.
Last year’s Delve runner-up William Dunlop begins his 2011 season determined to improve on his 2010 ranking.
Another man aiming to press for glory is Ian Lougher, who has an incredible 128 wins at Scarborough since 1989.
He has won the Duke rankings on three occasions and finished sixth in last year’s event.
Simon Fulton, who won the Senior Manx Grand Prix in 2010, is also set to travel to North Yorkshire for the first race of the season.
This will be Fulton’s debut on the Mount and he will join fellow Manxies Chris Palmer, Andy Cowin and Paul Smith.
Ian Watson Spring Cup Road Races
Sunday April 17
Race 1: 125 Northern L/Weight, 1st leg - 12.30pm
Race 2: Northern F2 Sidecars, 1st leg - 12.45pm
Race 3: Ian Watson Cup, heat 1 - 1.05pm
Race 4: Ian Watson Cup, heat 2 - 1.20pm
Race 5: Northern 250 Jnr/400, 1st leg - 1.35pm
Race 6: Northern 600, 1st leg - 2pm
Race 7: Northern F2 Sidecars, 2nd leg - 2.25pm
Race 8: 650cc M-twin/S-twin, 1st leg - 2.45pm
Race 9: Ian Watson Cup, 1st leg - 3.10pm
Race 10: 125 Northern L/Weight, 2nd leg - 3.35pm
Race 11: Northern 600, 2nd leg - 4pm
Race 12: 650cc M-twins/S-twins - 4.25pm
Race 14: Ian Watson Cup, 2nd leg - 4.50pm
Race 15: Northern 250 Jnr/400, 2nd leg - 5.20pm