21 April 2012
Report: the late John Whiting
Twenty riders contested the first round of the Euro-Vets at Coventry on a very heavy track testament to the heavy rain in the preceding days.
Fifteen over 50/60 riders contested the first match of what will be a long series, certainly in terms of miles. Homester Joe McLaughlin took race 1 from Woodruff and Hemming and really good to see Chic Mackie back on a bike after his recent illness. Meeting favourite Mick Skinner took race 2 from Timms and Dyson and Dennis Hubble won the next race from Stevens Burgess and Smith.
Race 4 saw Mick Aris leading home Rothwell and Whiting. Skinner Hubble took goods wins from difficult grids, as it became apparent those who had been racing and those who hadn't. Paul Timms lead home Phil Hemming with Mick Skinner making it three wins beating returnee Mike Burgess. Kev Greaves took the tenth from Whiting and Smith. Three races in and Skinner/Hubble were unbeaten with Timms Burgess and Aris all close behind.
Race 13 was lucky for Mick Aris and Burgess won a tough encounter with Timms in the fourteenth. Steve Woodruff took his first victory in the fifteenth, and race sixteen brought the clash of Skinner /Hubble, Mick quickly away from the start and leading to the line. Timms took the seventeenth to ensure a place in the A final from Joe McLaughlin who faded a bit after a bright start. Hubble and Skinner both won their final rides with Burgess taking a good 4 points in the twentieth and Mick Aris gaining a good second place.
In the first final of the over 60s Mick Aris (25) made good use of his grid 1 to lead home the consistent Les Stevens (23) and Fred Rothwell (22), Whiting (21,) missing the gate and Chic Mackie scoring 20. The over 50 B-final saw Mick Aris take the points from Stevens and Woodruff with Phil Hemming disappointed to be excluded at the start. In the A-final Mick Skinner led from grid 1 with Hubble close behind and Timms Burgess having their own battle, after three laps Dennis managed to just find the gap and squeezed through on the inside, with Paul Timms taking a good third.
Dennis Hubble 25, Mick Skinner 23, Paul Timms 22, Mike Burgess 21, Mick Aris 20, Steve Woodruff 18, Les Stevens 17, Phil Hemming 16, Joe McLaughlin 12, Paul Dyson 12, Kev Greaves 9, Kev Smith 9, Fred Rothwell 11, John Whiting 8, Chic Mackie 6.
Thriteen riders contested the 40s, with everyone keen to beat the rain, the cold, the wind and the track still heavy.
Mark Griffith set out his stall with a gate to line win from Dave Meanly and Woodruff, Hubble got a good gate from four to beat Aris Rothwell and Dyson, with home rider Dave Frith having a comfortable win in the third. Paul Gibbs took the honours from Stevie Mullinder and Whiting.
The next four races saw Griffith Hubble and Frith remain unbeaten with Mullinder a point behind and Aris and Meanley on six. Race 9 Dyson beating Whiting in the Bury match-race, race 10 was rerun after Greaves was pushed over the inside, Griffiths winning from Greaves and Mullinder. Clash of the unbeaten riders saw Frith win from Hubble then Meanley and Gibbs won their next races as the racing hotted up.
Race 14 and a great gate saw mark round Dennis to remain unbeaten. Woodruff beat Aris and Stevens, Dave Frith taking the sixteenth for his fourth win. With places in the finals to ain for Griffith, Frith had 16 with Hubble Gibbs Meanley all very much in contention. Race 17 and Hubble won from team-mate Stevens with Mullinder third. Griffith remained unbeaten leading home frith and Whiting. Kev Greaves sealed a good afternoon with a win in the nineteenth, Gibbs beating Meanley in the twentieth in an important race.
In the B-Final Dave Meanley took a gate to line win from Greaves Stevens and Mullinder. The A-Final saw Mark Griffith jet away from one whilst Hubble and Frith had a real battle for second, Hubble again taking the points from Frith and Gibbs who locked up on lap 2.
Mark Griffith 25, Dennis Hubble 23, Dave Frith 22, Paul Gibbs 21, Dave Meanley 20, Kev Greaves 18, Les Stevens 17, Steve Mullinder 16, Steve Woodruff 12, Mick Aris 12, Paul Dyson 10, Fred Rothwell 10, John Whiting 9.
21 April 2012