Revs are up as road racing returns to Scarborough this weekend for the opening Oliver’s Mount meeting of the year.
Some of the biggest names in the sport have confirmed their entries for the Spring Cup National races which, for the first time, will take place over two days on Saturday and Sunday at the Mount.
Guy Martin will be defending his Spring Cup trophy but will have tough competition following several pre-season changes of riders and teams.
Martin, who is also enjoying success with his TV projects, confirmed he will be at Scarborough but it has been agreed an area can be set aside in the paddock for the rider who always proves popular with fans and autograph hunters.
With northern Irish team TAS Racing he will be racing Tyco BMWs for the first time since the team swapped from Suzuki machines.
His main rival in the senior race is set to be Bradford based Dean Harrison and current Cock O’ The North title-holder, who left RC Express at the end of last season to join Mar-train Yamaha.
Ivan Lintin, who cleaned up at the September Gold Cup took Harrison’s ride at RC and will be looking to pick up where he left off having the backing of a bigger outfit.
The meet has also attracted top names from the world of Irish road racing such as Lee Johnston (East Coast Racing) and Seamus Elliott and Gareth Keys, riding for Road Racing Ireland magazine.
There will be some old school faces on the grid such as Ryan Farquhar on a 1000cc Kawasaki for the first time in two years as well as his faithful Super twin.
Ian Lougher is back after a two year absence with a Moto 3 Honda in the lightweights.
Sidecar entries have been boosted thanks to some of the top riders helping recruit more competitors.
It means that for the first time in years there will be heats and an A and a B final and allows for newcomers to test their skills on the challenging 2.43 mile track.
Race organisers, the Auto 66 Club, is hoping for a record crowd at The Mount which has been likened to a ‘miniature TT by the seaside’.
Following Saturday morning practice and qualifying there is racing on Saturday afternoon from 1.30pm onwards with the first legs in junior, supertwin, sidecar, lightweight, classic, senior races plus the heats for the Spring Cup trophy.
Second legs are on Sunday from 11.30am followed by award presentations.
The switch to a two-day meet is to allow competitors to qualify for their TT course licence and makes the weekend more viable for both large race outfits and the independent riders who travel from far and wide race at Scarborough.
The Yorkshire coast’s local riding talent will be well represented over the weekend with several names being among the leading pack.
Driffield’s James Cowton will be taking to the track with his new team, Danny Tomlinson Racing.
The 23 year-old rider was snapped up by DTR after an impressive 2014 which saw him take trophies from the North West, Scarborough and also be crowned the winner of the Duke Road Race rankings.
Pre-season is going well with seven wins from eight starts at Croft a fortnight ago and the Laird of Croft title.
This weekend he will be racing a Superstock 1000cc and 650cc supertwin for DTR plus his own Cowton Racing 600cc Honda.
He told the Scarborough News he is now looking forward to the meeting but had had reservations due to lack of pre-season time on the bike.
He said: “I have not had much time over the winter with shows and it has been too cold and wet to go out but I have been out for the last few weekends which has helped and after Croft it does put you in the right frame of mind.
“As long as it is a good, safe meeting for the first one but you always want to do better than before and hopefully we will come away with some good data and results.
“It will be a good weekend of racing with the people that are going and in all the classes there is a good show.”
Admission to the event is £20 for Saturday and £25 for Sunday, with accompanied under-15s admitted free.