Wimborne Whoppa 9-9-12

The experienced Wimborne MCC had provided a wonderful looking circuit at the famous Uddens venue for the 2012 Wimborne Whoppa. With big meetings slowly disappearing, it was great to see a famous alliterative name back for 2012. The circuit had been moved from previous years up into the corner of the field. This gave the top bend plenty of camber. There was a sizeable ‘jump’ halfway down the finishing straight which would give the riders something to think about. The dip in the middle of the straight was usually where the entrance to the sidecar first bend is.

The meeting began with a parade from the Lefthand Sidecars and a minutes silence as a mark of respect of a fallen fellow Lefthand crew. Sadly, Lefthand passenger Charlotte Tag lost her life at the Brighton Speed Trials and driver Roger Hollingshead was left seriously injured. The minutes silence was observed impeccably.

Racing got underway with a 1000cc Sidecar Bahnrekord. The Bahnrekord is always a nice way to start a meeting. All four of the crews involved looked fast, but Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh looked super fast and duly won the event.

Bahnrekord: 1st. Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh (19.50), 2nd. Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott (19.88), 3rd. John Hiscock/Carl Bell (20.00), 4th. Ryan Partridge/Gary Shearer (20.07)

Race 1 (250cc Solos): 1st. James Shanes, 2nd. Mark Collins, 3rd. Michael Randall, 4th. Jon Shanes, 5th. Mark Anderson. Time: 1.13.74

James Shanes unsurprisingly leapt out of the gate and was gone within a few yards! He was simply in a class of his own. The race for second however was not nearly as clear. Michael Randall, who could be perhaps competing in his final meeting, made a good start and tried to ride the wide line on the banking in the first bend but couldn’t quite make it stick, letting Mark Collins get away into second. Jon Shanes had made a good start and followed Shanes Jnr into the bend, but dropped back from here. Graham Tizzard’s day got off to a bad start when his Kawasaki stopped on the first bend.

Race 2 (350cc Solos): 1st. Nathan Irwin, 2nd. Barry Powell, 3rd. Chris Mackett, 4th. Ed Bales, 5th. Steve Pearce, 6th. Simon Phillips. Time: 1.16.99

A tapes to flag victory for Nathan Irwin. It was great to see him back racing after a nasty accident at Collier Street in 2011. He was kept honest by Barry Powell, who was never more than four bike lengths adrift. A great tussle at the back between Steve Pearce and Simon Phillips culminated in a mad dash to the line, with Pearce just getting the nod.

Race A tapes to flag victory for Nathan Irwin. It was great to see him back racing after a nasty accident at Collier Street in 2011. He was kept honest by Barry Powell, who was never more than four bike lengths adrift. A great tussle at the back between Steve Pearce and Simon Phillips culminated in a mad dash to the line, with Pearce just getting the nod.

Race 3 (500cc Solos): 1st. Danny Warwick, 2nd. Charlie Saunders, 3rd. Tim Nobes, 4th. Lee Smart, 5th. James Theobald, 6th. Mike McLusky, 7th. Lee Cutler, 8th. Eric Pike, 9th. James Peters, 10th. Mike Vernham. Time: 1.11.85

A fantastic start by Danny Warwick gave him the edge from the start. He had to hold off an early challenge from Charlie Saunders but he dealt with him in the first lap. A disastrous start by Tim Nobes left him with work to do. He managed to get up to 4th on the third lap and then hunted down Lee Smart. He finally caught him on the top of the banking on the last bend. He came right around the speedway star, taking him before the chequered flag.

Race 4 (500cc Solos): 1st. Jason Prynne, 2nd. Carl Warwick, 3rd. Charley Powell, 4th. Jason Newitt, 5th. Warren Atkinson, 6th. Gordan Walker. Time: 1.15.84

A good day for the Warwick brothers looked to be on the cards as older brother Carl led from the tapes in this heat. Cornishman Jason Prynne put the dampners on the Warwick whitewash however as he rounded Warwick on the banking. Jody Hodgson threw a chain going down the back straight whilst holding a good position and at the back Warren Atkinson and Gordan Walker tussled fiercely, Walker suffering from a very loose silencer! Jason Prynne lost his steel shoe on Lap 3 and had to leg trail his way to his first win of the day.

Race 5 (500cc Sidecars): 1st. Mike Read/Mark Hopkins, 2nd. Tony Cook/AN Other, 3rd. Martin Boyd/Kai Noble        Time: 1.19.26

An incident in practice and a non starter meant a depleted field would compete for the Whoppa 500cc Sidecar honours. Mike Read/Mark Hopkins were a long way clear immediately. Tony Cook, who had also pulled out in practice, seemed to have more problems leaving the line but he got the machinery to behave itself again, and caught Martin Boyd/Kai Noble relatively easily. Cook’s passenger was never established at the event so apologies for no name. It could have been John Cook, but it was never announced.

Race 6 (1000cc LH Sidecar): 1st. Charlie Ridley/Steve Bowles, 2nd. Andy Pack/Michael Chittenden, 3rd. Billy Penfold/Gary Potter, 4th. Mike Downs/Steve Standing. Time: 1.25.59

The programmed races were changed for the Lefthanders due to several non starters. And sadly, Eirwin/Alex Balman suffered a nasty spill in practice and took no part in the meeting. Andy Pack/Michael Chittenden, who are having their best season to date, got away early in the race but were passed coming off of the first bend banking by Charlie Ridley/Steve Bowles. Ridley/Bowles then gained a good gap between themselves and Pack/Chittended and that’s how it remained. Billy Penfold/Gary Potter, whilst holding a comfortable third, seemed to slow dramatically, only to get going again as Mike Downs/Steve Standing approached. The final piece of drama was with Steve Bowles, who took the ‘jump’ awkwardly and somehow managed to remain aboard the 130 machine.

Race 7 (1000cc RH Sidecars): 1st. Steve Smith/Dan Crawford, 2nd. Pete Lloyd/Darryl Whetstone, 3rd. Phil Syms/Sam Foley. Time: 1.25.13

A good race was witnessed between Smith/Crawford and Lloyd/Whetstone. Both drivers, having competed in many Whoppa’s in the past (albeit with one less wheel for Lloyd), were hotly contesting this heat, with Lloyd/Whetstone trying to make a cut back work exiting the pit bend. Smith, the wily campaigner, had it covered and left no space for Lloyd to sneak through.  A small line up in this race did not detract the action.

Race 8 (1000cc RH Sidecars): 1st. Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh, 2nd. Simon Heal/Terry Madley, 3rd. Mike Elliott/Nathan Sharpe. Time: 1.24.15

Another depleted field proved uneventful this time with Blackbourn/Pugh well clear of Heal/Madley, who were equally as clear of Elliott and Sharpe, Sharpe having his first ride on a 1000cc Sidecar. It was a real shame that so many crews were non starters.

Race 9 (1000cc RH Sidecars) 1st. Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott, 2nd. Will Offen/Nicky Owen, 3rd. John Hiscock/Carl Bell, 4th. Ryan Partridge/Gary Shearer, 5th. Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler. Time: 1.23.98

An action packed beginning of this race for John Hiscock/Carl Bell first saw them connect with Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler on leaving the line and then appearing to make contact with Ryan Partridge/Gary Shearer going down the back straight, getting themselves into third. From then on, it was spread out. Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler never recovered from the early contact, cruising round after two laps. Another good race early on.

Race 10 (250cc Solos): 1st. James Shanes, 2nd. Collins, 3rd. Randall, 4th. Jon Shanes, 5th. Anderson. Time: 1.14.56

James Shanes was once again gone after the first few yards and Michael Randall once again tried to use the banking to his advantage, only to once again lose out to Mark Collins. Graham Tizzard once again packed up, this time managing a lap before the machine grinded to a halt.

Race 11 (350cc Solos): 1st. Powell, 2nd. Irwin, 3rd. Mackett, 4th. Bales, 5th. Pearce. Time: 1.16.52

A cracking race in Race 11 saw first heat winner Nathan Irwin make a poor start and find himself in 4th. Last first time out Simon Phillips made a super start and lead into the first bend but it was Barry Powell who was first out of the banking, followed by Chris Mackett, who was riding the unfamiliar number 12. Simon Phillips found himself under pressure from Ed Bales soon enough and Bales rode round Phillips going into Lap 3. Sadly, Phillips’ good start ended in tears as he packed up before the end of the race. Nathan Irwin had to ride hard to catch veteran Chris Mackett. He got onto Mackett’s back wheel on the last bend and was able to beat him to the line.

Race 12 (500cc Solos): 1st. Nobes, 2nd. Saunders, 3rd. Carl Warwick, 4th. Newitt, 5th. Hodgson, 6th. Peters, 7th. Atkinson, 8th. Walker. Time: 1.07.54

This time Tim Nobes made no mistake. He rocketed out of the gate and never looked like being caught after a close first turn. Exiting the banking, Nobes, Saunders and Warwick were three abreast, but once The Cotswold Express had broken away, he was flying. A great race then ensued for 4th, with James Peters trying to ride around Jason Newitt, but Newitt always had enough to fend off Peters and Jody Hodgson who was also in close contention. Atkinson and Walker again battled for the minor placings. Tim Nobes race time was the fastest of the day.

Race 13 (500cc Solos): 1st. Danny Warwick, 2nd. Prynne, 3rd. Smart, 4th. Theobald, 5th. Powell, 6th. Cutler, 7th. McLusky, 8th. Pike, 9th. Vernham. Time: 1.08.89

All the action happened early on in this heat. Danny Warwick made a good start but had to push Jason Prynne wide and get up the inside of the Cornishman to get in front. Mike McLusky made a great start but went very wide on the first bend, throwing it all away.

Race 14 (500cc Sidecars): 1st. Read/Hopkins, 2nd. Cook/Other, 3rd. Boyd/Noble. Time: 1.21.01

Tony Cook got away fine this time, but had no answer for the speed of Read/Hopkins. The race proved fairly uneventful with Cook and Boyd crawling by the time the last lap came.

Race 15 (1000cc LH Sidecars): 1st. Ridley/Bowles, 2nd. Pack/Chittenden, 3rd. Downs/Standing Time: 1.26.41

Billy Penfold/Gary Potter failed to appear for the second heat of the Lefthand Sidecar, making the field even more depleted. Sadly, the action reflected the lack of riders with all three vastly spread throughout the race.

Race 16 (1000cc RH Sidecars): 1st. Smith/Crawford, 2nd. Hiscock/Bell, 2nd. Partridge/Shearer. Time: 1.26.61

The first running of this eventful race saw Partridge/Grant break the tapes. In the rerun, it was Steve Smith/Dan Crawford who made a flying start but were slow into the first turn. Partridge/Grant looked like he might get up the inside of Smith but instead was overtaken by Hiscock/Bell on the entry to the pit bend. Partridge, however, fought back, trying to find a way past. On the last bend, he entered wide, pulling himself tight on the exit and drawing up the inside of Hiscock. As they crossed the line, they looked together and the line judges agreed. A dead heat was declared and points were to be shared. An excellent win for Smith made it two out of two.

Race 17 (1000cc RH Sidecars) 1st. Whitelam/Elliott, 2nd. Blackbourn/Pugh, 3rd. Offen/Owen. Time: 1. 22.26

If recent form was to be believed, this race involved the two main protagonists in the Big Chairs. But it was Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliot who would draw first blood, being allowed to establish a lead whilst Blackbourn/Pugh had to force their way past the fast starting Will Offen/Nicky Owen.

Race 18 (1000cc RH Sidecars): 1st. Lloyd/Whetstone, 2nd. Heal/Madley, 3rd. Elliott/Sharpe, 4th. Mogg/Cutler, 5th. Syms/Foley. Time: 1.25.58

This proved to be a straight forward win for Peter Lloyd/Darryl Whetstone, who won by a considerable margin. The race for 3rd was where the action occurred and Mogg/Cutler tried everything to pass Elliott/Sharpe to no avail.

Race 19 (250cc Solos): 1st. James Shanes, 2nd. Collins, 3rd. Randall, 4th. Jon Shanes, 5th. Anderson, 6th. Tizzard         Time: 1. 14.52

James Shanes was once again absolutely gone. But a close first bend between Randall, Collins and fast starting Jon Shanes proved entertaining with Collins and Randall leaving Shanes Snr to fight it out with Graham Tizzard. It gave Shanes a chance to show off his years of experience, pulling out all sorts of track craft to hold Tizzard at bay. He forced him wide once too often, leaving him vulnerable to attack from Martin Anderson, who duly obliged. All of the races events gave us a spectacular finish where Randall and Collins crossed the line virtually together, and a bikes length behind Anderson and Tizzard also crossed the line in close proximity. James Shanes of course could enjoy all of this as he was so far in front, he had time to both win Dad’s race and then watch it as well!

Race 20 (350cc Solos) 1st. Irwin, 2nd. Powell, 3rd. Mackett, 4th. Phillips, 5th. Pearce. Time: 1.17.30

Nathan Irwin and Barry Powell once again traded blows as Irwin made sure he came out of the banking in front this time. He leapt up the inside of fast gating Ed Bales going into the first turn, and Powell never had an answer. Ed Bales slotted into a comfortable 3rd place but sadly suffered mechanical failure on exiting the pit bend, gifting a third place to Chris Mackett. Barry Powell kept Nathan Irwin alert but could never get on terms with him.

Race 21 (500cc Solos) 1st. Saunders, 2nd. Smart, 3rd. Cutler, 4th. Newitt, 5th. Carl Warwick, 6th. Atkinson, 7th. Peters, 8th. Walker. Time: 1.11.23

A flying start by Charlie Saunders was taken advantage of as he lead from start to finish to take his first win of the day. Carl Warwick gated with Saunders but was forced wide by Lee Smart. Later on, Lee Cutler also found a way up the inside of Warwick, relegating him further back.

Race 22 (500cc Solos) 1st. Nobes, 2nd. Warwick, 3rd. Prynne, 4th. Theobald, 5th. McLusky, 6th. Hodgson, 7th. Pike, 8th. Vernham. Time: 1.09.48

Danny Warwick simply had no answer to Tim Nobes who looked simply superb here. Mike McLusky, using his trade mark wide line, made James Theobald work very hard for his fourth place here.

Race 23 (500cc Sidecars) 1st. Read/Hopkins, 2nd. Boyd/Noble, 3rd. Cook/Other. Time: 1.19.01

Again, Cook struggled away from the line and Mike Read/Mark Hopkins left the others in their wake. After his poor start, Cook got past Boyd fairly easily, only to run wide and slow on the last lap, giving Boyd a second place.

Race 24 (1000cc LH Sidecars) 1st. Ridley/Bowles, 2nd. Downs/Standing, 3rd. Pack/Chittenden. Time: 1.30.49

After looking like another straightforward race, Pack/Chittenden slowed with problems on lap 2, looking at the front of the machine. This gifted a second place to Mike Downs/Steve Standing. All three crews were cruising at the end of the race.

Race 25 (1000cc RH Sidecars) 1st. Hiscock/Bell, 2nd. Heal/Madley, 3rd. Elliott/Sharpe. Time: 1.29.11

John Hiscock/Carl Bell made a perfect start but was forced to defend hard as Simon Heal/Terry Madley tried everything to find a gap past Hiscock. On the final lap, Heal/Madley were flagged down having broken their chair wheel. Some fantastic marshalling ensured that Heal/Madley slowed quickly, stopping any chance of a catastrophe. Heal looked quick here but the vast experienced of John Hiscock meant that he was able to stay in front.

Race 26 (1000cc RH Sidecars) 1st. Whitelam/Elliott, 2nd. Smith/Crawford, 3rd. Offen/Owen, 4th. Mogg/Cutler.          Time: 1.23.92

On the initial jump Smith gated with Whitelam, but on the gear change, the cross plane R1 had plenty of power to pull clear  of Smith. Will Offen/Nicky Owen were able to keep Smith working hard to maintain his second place but found no way past the veteran.

Race 27 (1000cc RH Sidecars) 1st. Blackbourn/Pugh, 2nd. Lloyd/Whetstone, 3rd. Partridge/Shearer, 4th. Syms/Foley. Time: 1.23.67

This race proved processional after the first bend with Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh looking very fast. Ryan Partridge outgated Peter Lloyd but left him an enormous hole to fill on the first bend. Blackbourn/Pugh held a lovely, fast line around the bends.

Race 28 (250cc Solos) 1st. James Shanes, 2nd. Randall, 3rd. Collins, 4th. Jon Shanes, 5th. Anderson Time: 1.15.01

A first bend incident saw Graham Tizzard’s miserable day continue as he got hooked up on the back of Mark Collins, dumping himself unceremoniously onto the floor. In the rerun, it was inevitably James Shanes who won the race by a country mile. However, the racing for second was once again close, this time with Michael Randall winning a chase to the line ahead of Mark Collins. And Jon Shanes and Mark Anderson once again battled for the last places for four laps.

Race 29 (350cc Solos) 1st. Powell, 2nd. Irwin, 3rd. Bales, 4th. Mackett, 5th. Phillips, 6th. Pearce. Time: 1.15.86

Barry Powell and Nathan Irwin raced side by side for the first lap before Powell was able to break away after forcing Powell wide on the pit bend. Ed  Bales was put under pressure for his third place but was able to fend off Chris Mackett. The heat win by Powell meant that he and Nathan Irwin were tied on points. But it was Powell who took the Whoppa 350cc solos title due to a faster race win in this final race.

Race 30 (1000cc LH Sidecars) 1st. Ridley/Bowles, 2nd. Pack/Chittenden, 3rd. Downs/Standing. Time: 1.25.24

Another straightforward race saw Charlie Ridley/Steve Bowles once again win the race and the meeting.

Race 31 (500cc Sidecars) 1st. Read/Hopkins, 2nd. Cook/ Other, 3rd. Boyd/Noble. Time: 1.19.13

Mike Read and Mark Hopkins on home turf looked untouchable all day. They took their fourth win. After the meeting, son Wayne did some practice laps. Perhaps if Wayne had ridden, Mike might not have had it all so easy? Martin Boyd/Kai Noble finished their days racing, albeit in plumes of ominous looking smoke.

Race 32 (500cc Solo B Final) 1st. Theobald, 2nd. McLusky, 3rd. Hodgson, 4th. Atkinson, 5th. Peters, 6th. Walker.            Time: 1.17.06

Perhaps the best race so far was seen as the riders scrapped over the all important first place. It was Charley Powell who held a slender lead early on but he was being attacked from all angles. Mike McLusky and James Theobald pushed Powell in all manner of ways but it was Powell’s machinery which submitted first. He pulled off the circuit trapping McLusky on the outside of him, ruining the Scot’s final. This gifted the win to James Theobald, although Lee Cutler was breathing down his neck on the final lap. A great race.

Race 33 (1000cc Sidecar B Final) 1st. Offen/Owen, 2nd. Partridge/Shearer, 3rd. Heal/Madley, 4th. Elliot/Sharpe, 5th. Syms/Foley. Time: 1.25.05

A great ride from Offen/Owen saw them stamp their authority on this race from the off. Everyone behind them was equally spread out with Syms/Foley looking most likely to make any moves late on in the race as they drew in close on Elliott/Sharpe. Good to see Simon Heal/Terry Madley back out after chair wheel damage in their final heat.

Race 34 (500cc Solo Final) 1st. Tim Nobes, 2nd. Charlie Saunders, 3rd. Danny Warwick, 4th. Lee Smart, 5th. Jason Prynne, 6th. James Theobald. Time: 1.09.19

The Whoppa 2012 Final required a rerun after Jason Newitt looped his machine on the line. He got up after getting his wind back but as the rest of the field returned to the pits, it was noticed that disaster had befallen Carl Warwick in the first bend. He had come off his machine and therefore was excluded as he was not under power when the race was halted. Carl Warwick returned to the pits aboard his machine, but would play no part in the final rerun. It was Saunders, Danny Warwick and Nobes who were all locked in battle when the red flags went out.

In the rerun, Tim Nobes was nowhere. He had made a dreadful start, giving Warwick and Saunders plenty of breathing space. Saunders was away with Warwick doing what he could to stay with the Wiltshire rider. But Nobes was shifting and he managed to get himself alongside and past Danny Warwick heading into the final stages of the race. Saunders, seemingly clear, entered the banking for the final time with Nobes tracking him. But the never-say-die attitude of Nobes saw him get up the inside of Saunders and get a wheel in front right on the line. A tremendous finish to a fantastic race and a well deserved win for Tim Nobes.

Race 35 (1000cc RH Sidecar Final) 1st. Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh, 2nd. Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott, 3rd. Will Offen/Nicky Owen, 4th. Peter Lloyd/Darryl Whetstone, 5th. Steve Smith/Dan Crawford, 6th. John Hiscock/Carl Bell.

Time: 1. 23.84

Any hopes of a local victory were dashed off the line as John Hiscock/Carl Bell were forced right by other crews and hit the bend at the back. It was Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh who had made the holeshot, leaving Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott to do the chasing. Whitelam/Elliott definitely looked quicker, drawing close to the back of Blackbourn on every lap entering the pit bend. Smith and Lloyd scrapped over 4th place keenly with Peter Lloyd eventually coming out on top. But it was Colin Blackbourn and Carl Pugh who held an immaculate line to hold of Whitelam/Elliott and add a Whoppa title to his Poacher title won a few weeks ago. A fantastic ride from B Final winners Will Offen/Nicky Owen to take the final rostrum spot; probably Will’s best result to date.

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