A RECORD Bank Holiday crowd from all over Europe saw a day of close and thrilling racing at at the superb Thorpe-St-Peter circuit.
Spectators flocked to Wainfleet and District Sporting Motorcycle Club’s European Solo Final and Lincolnshire Poacher meeting and they were not disappointed.
The weekend should have started on Saturday but with heavy showers all day, and forecast of good weather for Sunday, organizers put it back to 9-30am Sunday morning with the European racing staring at 1-30pm.
Reg Blackbourn Wainfleet club chairman felt the decision was vindicated as the track on Sunday was in perfect condition for racing with riders reaching speeds of well over 100mph.
In the qualifying heats it looked likely that two Britons would be on the podium with David Howe winning all four of his heats and Andrew Appleton three of his putting them both in the A Final.
The final saw Howe make the gate only to be pushed out wide on the first bend whilst Appleton had a bad start and had to work his way through the field to finish third.
Martin Smolinski from Germany took the championship crown with Holland’s Jannick de Jong second.
In the Poacher races there was plenty of high speed action.
Sheffield Speedway star Chris Mills looked as if it was to be his day with last year’s winner Tom Perry also on the pace.
Young Georgie Wood and Paul Cooper finished in that order to go into the Poacher Super Final with the top four from the Euro Final.
Appleton was determined to make up for not winning the Euro Final and made the gate with the new Euro Champion Smolinski trying hard to pass but not succeeding.
Perry finished third, Wood fourth and Mills, who had a bad start, trailing in fifth.
The awesome 1000cc sidecars produced thrilling shoulder to shoulder action as usual. Wainfleet club driver Colin Blackbourn, with passenger Carl Pugh, won the last chance to secure his place in the six man final.
Reigning Masters champion, Keighley’s Rod Winterburn with passenger Liam Brown, and Rob Bradley with passenger Shaun Simpson from Wrangle, all looked to be potential winners as the teams lined up for the final.
Blackbourn was first away from the start only to see three outfits drive through entering the top turn.
Blackbourn tried to respond but found himself being attacked inside and outside by Paul Whitelam with passenger Alan Elliott, and James and Dave Goudge.
At the flag it was Rob Wilson with passenger Terry Saunters taking the win from Bradley/Simpson and Winterburn/Brown third.