75 year-old Davy Wilkinson (737) took second in Class B, here in action with Tony Head (28) and his BSA.
With a record entry, and an enthusiastic crowd of cheering fans, this year’s Thunderfest time trial had all the makings of a truly memorable event.
What makes Thunderfest so special, and so very different from any other form of motorcycle sport, is that the competitor decides how fast he will ride and then aims for that target speed. This gives the unique situation of 50cc machines being able to compete for glory alongside fire breathing 900cc Hondas.
And that was just what happened on the day. Class ”C” winner was Thunderfest expert, and winner last year, Brian Jackson. Riding his immaculate 50cc Honda Brian was only 0.22mph from his declared speed.
Taking home the Class “A” glory was Rick Quinlan who battled his fearsome 900cc Honda round Darley’s 1.5 mile circuit and was just 0.21 mph off his target.
Class “B” was won by Peter Kent, who was super smooth on his 500cc Suzuki two-stroke, missing his declared speed by just 0.95mph.
Not that the post war bikes took all the glory. Dennis Price was smooth on his 350cc cammy Velocette. Dave McCoy was just as spectacular on his Jawa speedway engined Norton. Davy Wilkinson showed that being 75 years young was no bar to taking home a trophy with a fine second place on board his 740 cc Triumph special in class “B”.
The day was summed up by David Clark, who has done so much to popularise Thunderfest amongst lightweight riders.
“It was a great day’s competitive riding without any of the pressures of racing. The weather was beautiful, the paddock atmosphere fantastic and everyone had smiles. I just can’t wait for next year’s event.”