Croft Autumn Classic Bike Weekend – Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October 2022
The Classic Racing Motorcycle Club make their annual visit to Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire next weekend (1 October & 2nd 2022) with a unique calendar of races, parades and demonstrations of magnificent single-seaters and sidecars that recreate a weekend from the golden age of motor racing from the 1960s to the 1980s.
There will be a wide variety of machines in action from the 1960s and 1970s including iconic UK machines such as Manx Nortons, Matchless G50, BSA Goldstars, AJS 7R, Greeves, Weslakes, Triumph Tridents and BSA Rocket 3.
Among the European manufacturers, there will be examples of the brands Bultaco, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Benelli and BMW alongside the first Japanese motorcycles from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. From the 1980s there would be icons such as P&M Kawasakis, Suzuki GSXRs, Yamaha TZs, Ducati V twins, Honda VFRs and Yamaha FZ750s.
Add to that a diverse array of beautifully curated sidecar outfits powered by engines from BMW, Hillman Imp, Yamaha, BSA, Triumph and Norton and there are all the ingredients to make this a great weekend of classic racing. .
Under the paddock marquee there will be an impressive display of over 50 historic Grand Prix and race bikes, many of which will take to the track on Sunday afternoon to be put through their paces. Among them on track were weekend special guests Charlie Williams and Alex George, who between them won an incredible 11 Isle of Man TT races.
Three of Barry Sheene’s early 1980s Akai-sponsored Yamahas were recently brought in from Australia and restored to full working order, ready for Croft’s Fall Classic Bike Weekend. Be sure to check out the two-time world champion’s pair of TZ750s and a TZ500.
There are over 20 races each day and Sunday’s schedule includes the final rounds of the ACU National Championships. These two races have attracted a superb high quality field which has all the ingredients to provide spectacular races for the title contenders.
Early entries to the meeting include Isle of Man Classic TT winner Dominic Herbertson, Manx GP winner Alan Oversby, two-time British champion Joe Barton, Classic Racer of the Year Ant Hart, ACU Classic champion Rich Molnar and Mark Cronshaw who currently leads this year’s ACU Championship. .
No CRMC race meeting would be complete without sidecars, where there are two races each day with over 20 outfits gathered to battle it out around Yorkshire’s premier racing circuit.
Practice begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday followed by races from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Racing resumes at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and includes the mid-afternoon presentation of the Grand Prix bikes. Adult entry costs £15 in advance or £17 at the door, accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free. For more information, please visit www.croftcircuit.co.uk or call 01325 721815.
Footnote – Special Guest Information:
Like many racers living close to the Isle of Man ferry in Liverpool, Charlie, from Chester, was drawn to ‘The Island’ and its TT races where he achieved notable success. Since his first visit in 1971 when he was on the podium of the 250 Production race, the successes have not stopped succeeding. Over the next fourteen years, Charlie started 52 races, winning eight and standing on the podium twelve times. Only a dozen riders in the history of the TT, which now spans 115 years, have won more TTs than Charlie. After a 30 year hiatus, Charlie returned to the Isle of Man to compete one last time in the 2014 Classic TT where he finished in a creditable 9th place in a 1962 Manx Norton. After his competitive career ended, Charlie became a radio presenter and commentator for Manx Radio at the TT races which he worked for for many years.
Hailing from Glasgow, Alex shot to fame when he won the 1969 Lightweight Manx Grand Prix, which he followed with a stellar career in both TT and Grand Prix circuits when he raced in the Championships of the world. He was tenth in the 500cc class in 1973 but his best year was in 1975 when he finished seventh in the 500cc World Championship with three podiums. He also raced in the F750 World Championship and won three TT races of which his first was in the 1975 production race when he rode the legendary Triumph, Slippery Sam. But perhaps his greatest victory was in the 1979 Classic TT when he beat Mike Hailwood by just 3.4 seconds after six hard-fought laps. His career effectively ended with an accident at the 1982 TT, although he returned to race the 1992 Grand Prix Senior Classic Manx where he finished a creditable 11th in a 500 Manx Norton.
Photos (courtesy Tony Todd/Phil Wain). Classic racing action will be the order of the day at Croft and some of Barry Sheene’s bikes will be on display.