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Aug 31, 2011

Farquhar Wins 500cc Race Wednesday At The Manx Grand Prix

Ryan Farquhar (1) on a 1972 Paton at the Manx GP. Photo by Pacemaker Press International, courtesy of Manx Festival Press Office

Northern Ireland's Ryan Farquhar made a triumphant return to the Manx Grand Prix with victory in the opening race of the day, the 500cc Classic, having missed the 2010 meeting with injury.

Conditions were reported as dry all round the course, apart from damp patches at Stella Maris and on the Ramsey Hairpin exit, for the four lap Okells Brewery 500cc Classic GP Race at the 2011 Manx Grand Prix.

Ryan Farquhar, on his '72 Paton, was the fastest qualifier (107.162/21:07.50) in the class and he was first away from Glencrutchery Road, followed by Chris Palmer on the Matchless and Watty Brown on the '70 Petty Norton. The field featured many names from yesteryear including Royal Enfield's, BSAs Aermacchis and a Velocette alongside a number of Honda's and Norton's.

Farquhar was the first to Glen Helen and had opened up an eleven second lead by Glen Helen from Wattie Brown with Palmer tucked behind in third and Roy Richardson on the '68 Aermacchi Ala D'Oro 476cc a couple of seconds back on Palmer in fourth. Perennial Manx Grand Prix competitor Steve Linsdell on the 1970 Royal Enfield Seeley made up the top five. Linsdell's lap was notable as the first 100mph lap by a British made push rod single machine.

Farquhar had extended his lead to 35 seconds by Ramsey but behind him a close battle was developing for the remaining podium positions. Palmer held second place by just 0.15 seconds from Roy Richardson with Wattie Brown a further second back in fourth.

Farquhar's first lap (21:04.95 107.378mph), quicker than his fastest lap in qualifying, gave him a 40 second lead over Richardson, who had taken second place by the Bungalow.

Farquhar pitted at the end of the first lap but with his machine struggling to fire after a short delay and the three riders behind him all running straight through, Richardson moved into a ten second lead from Palmer with Wattie Brown moving up into third and Farquhar 18 seconds off the lead in fourth.

However, with Richardson reporting a problem with his brakes at Sulby, Farquhar moved through to lead again by Ramsey on the second lap from Palmer and Wattie Brown with Roy Richardson dropping to fourth, forty seconds behind Farquhar. Richardson eventually retired in the pits at the end of the second lap while at the front of the field Farquhar led by 14 seconds from Palmer with Wattie Brown a further 22 seconds back in the final podium position at the end of the second lap.

Farquhar then posted a third lap of 21:20.25 (106.095mph), extending his lead to almost a minute from Chris Palmer with Wattie Brown holding third place. That remained the top three in sight of the chequered flag with Farquhar winning in a race time of 1:26.02.22, outside his 2009 race record, from Palmer (1:27.54.97) but dramatically Mark Herbertson (1:28.36.35) took the final podium position, his first podium in fifteen years, with Wattie Brown reporting problems and forced to push in from Governors, eventually finishing tenth.

In the Formula Classic Race Mark Parrett, the only machine of the four starters to finish, won a war of attrition. Alec Whitwell and Chris McGahan retired at Glen Helen and The Mountain Box respectively on their second laps, while Dave Madsen-Mygdal was black-flagged at Sulby Bridge with oil reported on his back wheel.

Parrett had an eventful race with no back brake from Ballacraine and was also black-flagged in error, for which he later received a time credit.

More, from another press release issued by Manx Festival Press Office:


The second race of the day at the 2011 Manx Grand Prix, the Manx Radio SuperTwin and Lightweight class races got away at 2.15pm, following the earlier delay, and it was double delight for the Isle of Man as local Douglas racers Dave Moffitt and Billy Smith took the top honours.

Local TT racer Conor Cummins, whose father Billy was competing in the Lightweight Race, started the Race. Conditions were dry but Clerk of the Course Phil Taubman warned the riders of the threat of rain during the race. Fastest qualifier in the SuperTwins Phil McGurk had earlier pulled out of the race with a broken Crank sustained in qualifying earlier in the week leaving Dave Moffitt as the fastest qualifier.

And it was Moffitt who was first away on Glencrutchery Road followed by Shaun Anderson and Joe Phillips. Phil Harvey, starting from seventh on the grid on his 250cc Yamaha, had built up a 2 second lead over Moffitt with Phillips narrowly back in third. Joe Phillips moved past Moffitt by Ballaugh and closed the gap to just over a second from Joe Harvey, and made further inroads into Harvey's lead, cutting it to only 0.33 by Ramsey and leading him by almost a second by the Bungalow and almost two seconds by Cronk-Ny-Mona.

Anderson and Moffitt and Harvey went straight through but Joe Phillips elected to refuel at the end of the first lap which left Harvey in the lead after his opening lap of 109.373mph (20:41.88) from Dave Moffitt 109.064 (20:45.40) with Phillips (108.820mph 20:45.40) six seconds back on the leader in third place.

By Glen Helen, with his pit stop, Phillips dropped back to ninth leaving Shaun Anderson to move into the top three. Moffitt posted a second lap of 20.47.39 (108.889mph) to lead on the road and on time with a three second lead over Phil Harvey with Michael Sweeney moving in third.

Moffitt, Harvey, Anderson and Sweeney all pitted at the end of the second lap, and Phil Harvey moved into a six second lead at Glen Helen from Moffitt with Sweeney a further five seconds back in third, Moffitt picking up a time penalty for a speed infringment.

Despite that, Moffitt cut Harvey's lead to less than a second by the Bungalow and had moved eleven seconds in front of the Dorset man by Cronk-Ny-Mona and extended his lead to twelve seconds by the end of lap three, posting 22:03.85 on the third lap with Joe Phillips holding third.

Moffitt extended his lead to sixteen seconds by Ramsey Hairpin with Joe Phillips moving into second place and although Harvey again got ahead of Phillips on time he was passed on the mountain section and eventually had to settle for third in a race time of 1:24.41.84 (106.912mph), behind race winner Moffitt 1:24.16.55 (107.447mph) and Phillips 1:24.39.86 (106.954mph) but with the consolation of a rare podium for a two stroke 250cc machine.

As this was the first time that the SuperTwins have had their own designated race, Dave Moffitt's last lap of 20:39.91 (109.547mph), the fastest lap of the race, becomes the lap record.

In the concurrent Lightweight Race, Ross Johnson was first away. Alistair Haworth on his 400cc Yamaha had moved narrowly into the lead from Billy Smith by Glen Helen, but only by a margin of .06 seconds with Johnson in third a further two seconds back.

Smith moved into the lead at Ballaugh building up a four second lead over Haworth and he had extended this to eleven seconds by Ramsey. His first lap of 21:48.34 (103.817mph) gave him a seventeen second lead over Haworth (22:05.70 102.458mph) with Ross Johnson holding third 22:06.37. Smith maintained his form throughout the race and although Alistair Haworth continued to push Smith retained his top spot eventually winning in a race time of 1:27.13.58 (103.813mph) from Haworth (1:27.41.66-103.259mph) with Johnson third (1:28.07.94-102.745mph).
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