– Andrew Dudgeon and James Cowton take SuperTwin (B)
and Lightweight (C) races respectively.
The 2012 Manx Grand Prix Race schedule got underway this evening with the Newcomers races for 600’s, SuperTwins and Lightweight machines, which run concurrently on the Mountain Course.
Kamil Holan became the first rider from the Czech Republic to win a race at the Manx Grand Prix, when he took the honours in the Newcomers A race while local rider Andrew Dudgeon came home first in the SuperTwin (Newcomers B) and Yorkshire’s James Cowton topped the board in the Lightweight (Newcomers C) race.
After a one-hour delay caused by poor visibility on the Mountain section, the riders got away at 6.30pm. Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman also warning of damp patches all round the course.
In the Newcomers A Race Loughborough’s Andrew Soar started with the number 1 plate from Wigan rider Jamie Hodson, son of Jim Hodson, and Shipley’s Adrian Harrison. Sweden’s Bjorn Gunnarsson, who qualified with the third fastest time of the week was fourth away with Northern Ireland’s John Simpson, the pre-race favourite in the Newcomers A race, starting from 7th place on the grid and Kamil Holan from the Czech Republic, the second fastest qualifier, 9th away.
Harrison was the early leader in the A race, a second ahead of Dutch rider Peter Jeijmans at Glen Helen but Dean Roberts moved into the lead at Ballaugh on the first lap. Soar was fastest at the end of the first lap with 105.757 with a four second lead from Holan and Roberts, who was slowing for the pits, in third. Hodson, Harrison and Roberts all chose to pit for refuelling at the end of the first lap in what appeared to be a pre-race strategy with most of the other leading contenders electing to stay out until the second lap.
The race began to unravel at the end of the second lap, with the rest of the field refuelling, and by Glen Helen Holan had established a lead of twenty seconds from Soar with Roberts moving up into third.
That remained the top three at the finish with Holan taking the honours with an overall race time of 1:03.39.57, 13.6 seconds ahead of Soar with Roberts (1.04.38.60) taking the final podium spot.
Splitlath Redmond rider John Simpson’s race came to and end on the third lap when he retired at Laurel Bank, and he also picked up a 30 second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit at the end of lap 2.
In the Newcomers B (SuperTwin) race, local racer Andrew Dudgeon, the fastest qualifier, was first away, followed by Rob Hodson, another rider from the Wigan based family. However, on the opening lap of the race Gary Gittins opened up a short advantage over Colin Stephenson with Dudgeon back in fifth. Dudgeon duly came back and led by the end of the second lap with Gittins holding second and Stephenson third. That remained the top three with Dudgeon taking the race win in a time of 1:06.10.94.
The newcomers C (Lightweight) race ran to the form book with Yorkshire’s James Cowton opening up a lap of over a minute and a half from Bournemouth’s Ben Palmer on the first lap which he extended to over 6 minutes by the end of the race with an overall race time of 1.09.02.40. Belgium’s Renzo Van der Donckt, on a 125cc Honda moved up to second with Ben Palmer completing the podium.
The presentations were carried out by double MGP newcomer winner, and 11 time TT race winner, Phillip McCallen and John Watt, the commercial director of the Steampacket.
Monday’s Racing is scheduled to start at 10.15 with the 350cc/250cc Classic Grand Prix followed by the MGP Junior Race at 13.15.
Pictures: Dave Kneen