Oliver’s Mount dates for 2016

2016 will see the 70th year of racing at Oliver’s Mount and the dates for the four road race and three hill climb have been released

The Spring Cup Bob Smith Trophy Road Races: 16th/17th April
The Cock O’The North Continental Road Races: 18th/19th June
The Barry Sheene Road Races: 23rd/24th July
The Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup: 24th/25th September

Festival of Speed Hill Climb – 1st/2nd May
National Speed Hill Climb – 21st August
Northern Championships Final – 9th October

The other great news is that the organisers have been granted an extra days racing so all 4 of the road racing events next year will now be full weekends :)

For more information and tickets head over to Oliver’s Mount Racing

Oliver’s Mount Steve Henshaw Gold Cup 2015 Part 2

The day started with a definite sense of Deja Vu, as Sunday morning brought glorious sunshine again just like at the Spring Cup weekend. After the rain, thunder and hail of yesterday which eventually gave way to some fine dry weather today was looking so much better for racing.

As it was a lovely morning after breakfast I headed down to the North Bay before heading up to the mount. At the North Bay is a sculpture by artist Ray Lonsdale. “Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers”  is based on the former miner who was one of the first Allied soldiers to enter the Belsen concentration camp on its liberation in World War II.

Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers, is based on the former miner who was one of the first Allied soldiers to enter the Belsen concentration camp on its liberation in World War II. by artist Ray Lonsdale

Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers by artist Ray Lonsdale


Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers by artist Ray Lonsdale

After getting a photo of the impressive statue I headed up to the Mount for the second day of racing, being a bit creaky I decided not to head down the “Stairs of Doom” to the paddock area as I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back up afterwards. The sun was a welcome visitor over the biker village and the crowds started to arrive.


Sunday morning sunshine over the biker village

As the sun got higher in the sky it burnt off what remained of the cloud to give a glorious day on the mount. I decided to get a place by the fence at Grants to watch the action and get a few photos (must get a camping chair for next time)

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Ambulance and marshals on standby at Grants on a fabulous morning on the Mount

Below are a selection of photos from the days practice and races taken at Grants.


#36 Jamie Coward


#42 Jack Hunter on the Kawasaki 650 ER6


#6 William Dunlop


#50 Sam Johnson


#52 James Cowton


#44 Michael Russell on the Honda Fireblade


#3 Michael Dunlop on the BMW 1000 RR


#83 Jason Byard’s Suzuki GSXR


#4 John McGuinness aboard the Honda


#7 Dean Harrison on the Yamaha


#71 Davy Morgan


One of the French riders #39 Pierre Reynaud on the Aprilia Tuono RR


#4 John McGuinness


#2 Ian Lougher on the 250 Honda NSF


#85 Dave Clarke on the Kawasaki ZXR


#73 Justin Waring


#6 William Dunlop on the Honda RS125


Tim Reeves and Greg Cluze


#2 Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson


#11 Jim Noble and Shaun Chandler


#2 Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson


#36 Jamie Coward


#77 Ryan Farquhar on the stunning Team York Suzuki F1


#47 John Dieterman


#67 Richard Blunt


#98 Paul Owen


Marshals give #58 Lee Eastell and Stuart Lacey a hand


#83 Jason Byard


#3 Michael Dunlop on the BMW 1000 RR


#9 Dan Hegarty with #7 Dean Harrison closing in


#10 Mick Goodings


#44 Michael Russell


#49 Nuno Caetano


#3 Michael Dunlop

So another great weekend up at Scarborough and Oliver’s Mount, really do love the place even after only 2 visits, and from what I’ve been reading post race weekend the visitor numbers are up and some good news about racing at the mount in 2016.

If you’re into road racing, or bikes its a great weekend, booking in advance gets you paddock access where you can meet all the riders and get to see behind the scenes and bask in the great atmosphere in there, everyone is down to earth and enjoy a chat with fans.

For a round up from Sunday, head over to the Oliver’s Mount Racing page.

You can find the results for practice and the races for both days on the Auto66 Gold Cup results page

Oliver’s Mount Steve Henshaw Gold Cup 2015 Part 1

September arrived and with it something I’ve been looking forward to for months. Another trip to Scarborough and Oliver’s Mount for one of the final road racing events of the year, the 2015 Steve Henshaw Gold Cup. Once again I pre ordered a 2 day pass, which allows access to the paddock where you get to see the wonderful beating heart of road racing. My ticket arrived just over a week ahead of the event, and as always if you pop your name on the back they’ll return it after the event after it has been swapped for a wristband when you enter the paddock.

Gold Cup 2015 tickets

Gold Cup 2015 tickets


I arrived early in Scarborough to a lovely sunrise, and a really promising day looking very likely.

The sun rises over Scarborough, taken from Oliver's mount

The sun rises over Scarborough, taken from Oliver’s mount

The blue skies start to leak through

The blue skies start to leak through

The weather didn’t disappoint, By mid morning lovely blue skies and warm sunshine accompanied the wonderfully warm folks of Scarborough.  So a trip along the front, to get a few photo’s and enjoy the vitamin D on my creaky old bones.

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Fanatastic Friday morning at Scarborough’s North Bay, looking towards the castle.

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Scarborough’s North Bay on a wonderful September morning.


Looking towards the harbour and castle at the South Bay


Some fantastic buildings along the front at the South Bay looking towards the harbour and castle.


Scarbados? :)


One of the many cliff railways in Scarborough still in action.


Once again, I’d booked into the Airedale Guest House for my stay, after such an enjoyable time here in April for the Spring Cup I just had to return for the wonderful service and that amazing full English breakfast each morning. I checked in early afternoon to drop my bags and a short nap to recover from the early start.

Back out again to enjoy the rest of the sunshine, as the afternoon wore on and time to grab a few pictures as the sun began to sink and the prospect of a nice sunset.


The former Toll House


The harbour all quiet as the sun goes down after a stunning day


A silent fun fair, just needs a disgruntled local donning a scary costume to frighten the visitors ;)

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The sun sets over the harbour (LG G3)


Saturday arrives and predictably after yesterday glorious sunshine, its raining.  So after the wonderful breakfast its off to Oliver’s Mount for the first day.

Gold Cup 2015 Programme

Gold Cup 2015 Programme

The rider line up for this years event is stunning, with many of the top road riders here for the weekend and despite the rain the atmosphere in the biker village and around the circuit was good. I headed from the Biker Village down the “Stairs of Doom” as I’ve christened them. With the RA they’re a nightmare to navigate ohh for a cable car! ;)

Grabbed a few photo’s on the way down, it was great to be able to actually catch the action this time with the new camera instead of the shutter lag which had resulted in some fab shots of a rear wheel and a nice tree back in April.


The sidecars leaving the grid during practice.


Action at the Mere Hairpin


#31 Bradley Vicars #13 Lee Johnston and #71 Davy Morgan at Mere Hairpin.

Once again the atmosphere in the paddock is fantastic, a real energy to the place not often found elsewhere, as adjustments are made, and the public, riders and crew chat and everyone is so approachable.


Some changes going on with William Dunlop’s bike


The stunning Team York Suzuki F1 of Ryan Farquhar


John McGuinness’s Honda


#1 Ivan Lintin has a good look over #36 Jamie Coward’s Aprilia on the grid.


#4 John McGuinness takes his place on the grid


#49 Nuno Caetano watches #13 Lee Johnston line up on the grid.


#13 Lee Johnston


#55 Daryl Campling


Riders held before heading up to the grid. #85 Dave Clarke, #30 Wayne Martin #68 Alister Chadwick


#119 Ian Stanford with his two machines, was kind enough to display some Bike Experience leaflets

I’ve always had amazing respect for anyone who races motorcycles, especially on the roads and with that in mind I try to be careful when I ask for pictures of riders. If a rider is working on their bike, just about to go out on track or has just returned I leave it until later, and don’t forget a please and thank you always helps too! But sorry to Lee for interrupting his sandwich! :)

Lee Johnston

Lee Johnston

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William Dunlop


Michael Dunlop


Bruce Anstey

I was also lucky enough to get one of my books signed thanks must go to TT Legend John McGuinness :D

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2015-09-13 07.47.57

As the afternoon wore on the weather was really changeable, with it looking like it was brightening up only for a thunderstorm to unload a hailstorm on to everyone. The conifers by the grid became a place to shelter with people leaning back into them as it hammered down.   Oliver’s Mount Closer to the Hedge!


Oliver’s Mount Closer to the Hedge


Next race is not in your programmes it’s the Jetski race

One of the advantages at Oliver’s Mount is the track seems to dry quite quickly (apart from under the trees of course) this can lead to problems as the afternoon wore on and drier weather meant that wet tyres were ending up like this on the drying track.


well that’s FUBAR :)


Michael Dunlop washes his bike down after the hailstorm


Michael Dunlop washes his bike down after the hailstorm

Despite the highly changeable weather and flooded sections of track the sun came out to give a great end to a full day of racing. For a round up from Saturday, head over to the Oliver’s Mount Racing page.

You can find the results for practice and the races for both days on the Auto66 Gold Cup results page

Oliver’s Mount Spring Cup 2015

Well the weekend for the Spring Cup has gone, and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it! This was to be my first visit to Scarborough and to the Oliver’s Mount circuit for some road racing. I’d booked the tickets and accommodation during early March and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Spring Cup Ticket

Spring Cup Ticket

As Friday morning arrived it was such a lovely start to the day I decided I’d get a train 2 hours earlier than I’d planned, so I could have some extra time in Scarborough. I headed into Brum and caught the 09.03 train to York, unfortunately it was comprised of a voyager, and while I may have rose tinted specs, I think they’re worse to travel in than the almost 40 year old Inter City 125 trains (HST) they replaced. Not only do they have half the number of coaches, but there’s nowhere to store any reasonable sized luggage and the constant noise from the under floor engine makes travelling on a HST a luxury in comparison. As I was sat in a coach without a toilet, I don’t know if they’ve finally cured that sewage smell often associated with the voyagers. Heading up through Derby, Chesterfield, then up to Leeds and finally over to York and a change of trains, a connection of 10 mins onto the Transpennine Express service to Scarborough. With the great weather, and the kids being off school the 3 car unit was full and standing leaving York, fortunately the journey isn’t too long. On arrival at Scarborough, the sun was shining, it was a little windy but a lovely day for sure. As I was earlier than planned I decided to head down to the front before heading over to guest house.

Turned out nice!

Turned out nice!

After some vitamin D and some chips on the front I headed over to the guest house I’d be staying at for the next few days. The Airedale Guest house is located in an attractive square, with a large garden area in the middle of the row of houses either side. I headed over and was greeted by the owner and two small dogs wagging their tails and demanding some fuss. A really nice welcome. I was shown to my single room, and found it just right, even more amazing for the price of the 3 night stay. The bed was comfy with crisp clean linen, tea/coffee making facilities a TV and a sink for a wash. The bathroom and toilet were separate for the single room, but you do have exclusive use of it. I popped out to some nearby pubs on the evening, a really nice friendly atmosphere in both of them before heading back to the guest house. Saturday Morning came, and with sun streaming through the windows I had a few cups of tea (as I’m powered by it) before heading down to breakfast. The owner was there along with some other guests, a cheery good morning, then a full English breakfast, a great start to the day and considering the room price fantastic value for money too. As the other guests headed off I finished my breakfast and was chatting with the owner for a while, again have to say how homely it is and a really nice atmosphere. After breakfast I got my things together and headed in towards town, got some cash, and eneded up back by the railway station, from there I got a taxi up to the bikers Village at the top of the circuit. The taxi driver was a really friendly chap, who gave me his card, (and became my Scarborough chauffeur for the next few days) Though it was quite windy, I had been warned in advance to bring a clothing option for very type of weather, and when in the sunshine it was quite warm. I headed through the gate and picked up a programme before heading into the bikers village.

Spring Cup programme

Spring Cup programme

Biker Village

Biker Village

The biker village was comprised of food and drink stalls, Clinton Enterprises, with clothing, stalls with bike parts and a few charity stands. Prices were reasonable and a good variety of food on offer too.  One of the stalls was for the Joey Dunlop Foundation whose aim has always been to create specialist accommodation that will open up the Isle of Man to visitors with disability. They were selling raffle tickets for £1 each for a chance of winning a Valvoline Honda 600 Bruce Anstey replica (pic below), A cracking prize, and even if I don’t win its money going to a damn good cause so a few pounds spent on tickets.

Bruce Anstey 600 replica

Bruce Anstey 600 replica

Quinphonic Festival

This Sunday sees a gig practically on my doorstep, while some will be at church,  or stuffing their faces with chocolate eggs I’ll be catching 5 symphonic rock/metal bands at the Quinphonic Festival. The Easter treat is being held at The Roadhouse, here in Brum a great live music venue and so close to home too.

The week prior to the festival started with some sad news, Divided We Fall have decided to call it a day quoting differences in the band and would no longer be appearing. I first got to hear them in action at last years Dames of Darkness festival over at the Robin 2, I really enjoyed their set (as did most of the crowd) and chatted with them afterwards and bought their album Dreamcrusher which has been one of my go to albums over the last year. It is always sad to hear of a band splitting up, but with the talent in the band I’m sure they’ll all go on to continue to make great music in the future. The organisers did a great job finding a replacement at such short notice and Control The Storm have been announced in the line up.

The line up for the fest has bands from all over Europe including Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK and the running order has now been confirmed as follows.

3:30pm – 4:30pm Control The Storm

5:00pm – 6:00pm Rose Avalon Official Music

6:30pm – 7:30pm Rainover

8:00pm – 9:00pm Temperance

9:30pm – 10:40pm Seventh Sin

Really looking forward to the fest, as I love live music. if you think you’d like to pop along you can get tickets from The Roadhouse Quinphonic Festival page

Spring Cup ticket is here

My advance ticket for the Spring Cup arrived this morning, really looking forward to it. I’ve wanted to see road racing for so long but various things has conspired against me over the years <gives evil glare at Arthur> I’d love to get over to the TT or the Irish races sometime, but this seemed like an ideal introduction and with access to the paddock too, I can feel its going to be a fab weekend! :)

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Oliver’s Mount Spring Cup

So the weather this last week which has gone from warm and blue skies to howling winds with an unwell looking old lady flying through the air on her bicycle while chasing after a small dog I’ll be packing things to cover me from frozen arctic to post bank holiday heatwave and hoping its the latter.

Oliver’s Mount here I come..

Despite loving my bikes and bike sport I’ve never managed to get to any road races, various things have conspired against me over the years and after the cancellation of something planned at the end of February yesterday I decided to change that.

So I’ll be heading up to Scarborough next month for the Spring Cup, now a 2 day event at the famous Oliver’s Mount road circuit. I managed to get a great deal on my hotel stay thanks to LateRooms which I’ve booked from Friday to Monday, so I don’t have to travel home by train on a Sunday (always a nightmare)  also noticed that advance ticket holders also get access to the paddock area, which will be a great experience and might allow me to get some pics. Really looking forward to my weekend there, and hoping the sunshine that we’ve got here today makes an appearance that weekend too.

Now wonder if I’ll still fit in some of my biking T-shirts..