There’s something really, really cool, but really, really scary about spectating at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough.
Hanging over a fence made from 4x2 timber is all that separates you from touching road racing super-heroes like Guy Martin, Ian Hutchinson, John McGuinness, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Lougher.
You can look straight into their clear visors and see the whites of their eyes as they rush by on 200+bhp superbikes. Sensational.
And this year’s Gold Cup was even better than ever. Not only was the weather perfect on both days, not only had Auto 66 boss Peter Hillby ensured one of the best line-ups in years for the Gold Cup – but thousands upon thousands of fans turned up to create an amazing atmosphere.
Hillaby was beside himself on Sunday, smirking from the huge success of his labours, stressing from trying to cram more and more cars into the hilltop fields.
Catching a word with the veteran race boss was so difficult as he marshalled his troops on the radio.
He reckoned he even had the army on standby with a Bailey Bridge – the plan being to drop it in place over the track so the fans could still park up while racing continued.
He reckoned he ditched the idea when the army said it would take an hour and half to get things in place.
I’m sure he was winding me up (but knowing the resourceful Hillaby he wasn’t) , but the fact was, racing was delayed an hour because the huge number of fans still trying to get into the circuit had to drive on the track to access the overspill car-parking.
Hillaby claimed a 52,000 weekend figure. I wouldn’t dispute it. The crowd was massive and no one went home disappointed.
Everyone’s hero Guy Martin overcame a series of electronics issues to grab his seventh straight Gold Cup victory.
Ian Hutchinson pushed him every inch of the way. Ryan Farquhar gritted his teeth and tried to race with a busted hand.
Ian Lougher added to incredible win tally at the Mount – his 600 win and lap record obviously meaning more the the veteran than anything – at least that’s how it looked when he beat his chest Tarzan-style with joy crossing the line!
William Dunlop showed great race-craft to beat Lougher in three other races.
Michael Pearson upset the superstars with some impressive riding until his big crash in the Gold Cup.
Gary Johnson made an impressive on his own honda he races in National Superstock – that he rescued from a breaker’s yard.
John McGuinness was in the thick of the 250 and 600 action, thoroughly enjoying himself as ever, hanging out in civvies chatting to fans between races. Even Neil Hodgson was there, just because he wanted to be there and enjoy a weekend of racing at a track he once race on.
It all proved that racing on the roads is as ever as popular. And long may it prosper.