This year’s Bikers Classics confirmed the event as the most star studded in the classic motorcycling calendar. The iconic Spa Francorchamps paddock was packed solid with motorcycling superstars ranging from 15 times World Champion, Giacomo Agostini, to New Zealand ace Hugh Anderson, who took four World Championships for Suzuki in the lightweight classes. Hugh was making a rare visit to Europe and wanted to be re-united with the Spa track which had given him so much success.
Californian World Champion, Steve Baker, kept the American flag flying whilst re-living the great Yamaha battles of the past with Christian Sarron and Eric Saul.
But this year, it was the sidecars who were the stars. From 1950’s Norton “sitter” outfits all the way to the LCR “worm” ridden by the world’s most successful sidecar driver, Steve Webster, the sidecars dominated the three days of track action. Steve had an incredible 62 wins, 37 second places and 27 third places as well as 82 pole positions – and showed that he had lost none of his flair – even in the pouring rain which came down hard during Saturday’s high speed track demonstrations.
Just as welcome was 83-year-old English sidecar veteran Stan Dibden who was swapping stories with the great sidecar crews from the Golden Age of GP racing including Max Deubel, Rolf Steinhausen, and Ralf Engelhardt – as well as the legendary tuner Dieter Busch.
Steve Webster, the world’s most successful sidecar racer, jumped back in to the drivers seat for a few more rides around the track.
But for many the highlight of the weekend was hearing the motorcycling music which always sets hearts racing: the flat, determined and relentless drone of a BMW flat twin racing engine working at its limit as the sidecars slid through the 4.35 miles of one the world’s greatest racing circuits.
Thanks to Norfolk Line (www.norfolkline.com) for our punctual, and very friendly, crossing from Dover to Dunkerque.