2023 Oliver's Mount dates announced: Four major events across coming season

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A bumper season of road racing is set to go ahead at Scarborough in 2023, with four major events announced across the biking season. Racing kicks off at the Oliver’s Mount circuit on April 15-16 with The Bob Smith Spring Cup, before the Cock O’ The North meeting on July 1-2.

Bikes are back again on July 22-23 for the Barry Sheene Classic, with the RST Steve Henshaw Gold Cup pencilled in for September 23-24.

Other events, including a hill climb are still to be confirmed, with advanced tickets available at the Oliver’s Mount website or on 01723 333322. 

Mounting a comeback: Circuit bosses look to the future as racing returns to Scarborough

First published on 22 September 2022 by Dan Sutherland

Adam McClean leads the 2022 Steve Henshaw Gold Cup

Oliver’s Mount chiefs are planning a full season of racing for 2023, after bikes returned to the 2.43-mile Scarborough venue last weekend for the first time since 2021.

England’s only road racing circuit hasn’t run a full calendar of events since 2017 – operating just six of a potential 20 meetings – but venue director, Andy Hayes has big plans.

“My plan for next year is four events,” he told MCN. “There’s 76 years’ worth of legacy here. You just cannot let that go and road racing means so much to so many people.

Olivers Mount records board

“I’m just doing my best to keep this thing going as long as it possibly can and to try and get new generations into it.”

The Mount’s problems began in 2017 when two crashes at the Gold Cup meeting left several spectators seriously injured. Racing then returned in 2019 ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Then, after the Spring Cup races of May 2021, many of the paddock buildings were condemned by the council, forcing further closures. This past weekend’s Steve Henshaw Gold Cup was the first racing event in around 15 months.

“In 2019 we invested heavily in safety updates,” Hayes continued. “We spent around £100,000 to make this place safe again.

Oliver's Mount organiser Andy Hayes

“Covid was still a feature going into 2021 and so when the council surveyor turned up in June and condemned the buildings, we hadn’t even recouped the investment, let alone built up any kind of reserve.”

Despite this hardship, the Oliver’s Mount team were determined to succeed, with Circuit Manager Shaun Dalton, adding: “I can honestly say Andy and I have never given up hope. It looks like a long tunnel with light at the end and it’s gradually getting brighter.

“We’ve trained somewhere in the region of 252 marshals this year,” he added. “They’re buzzing to be back with each other and there were a lot of smiles, hugs and tears on Friday morning.”

Gold Cup winner Adam McClean with Val Henshaw

Having already run a smaller hill climb in late August, the hard work and determination of the team has been felt by the thousands of spectators who visited over the weekend too, including Philip Watts from Crewe, who spoke to MCN at Jefferies Jump.

“At one stage, I thought ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’, but I’m so chuffed they’ve brought it back to life again and next year we should hopefully get back to where it was before.

“Talking to the hotel staff where we are staying, they rely on this,” he added. “They’re glad it’s back.”

These comments were echoed by Ellen Holliday, from Barnsley, who’s been coming to the track with her family since 2014. She said: “When it got stopped, I didn’t think it would come back, but this circuit has been going a long time and it would be a shame for it to stop.”

Davey Todd at Jeffries Jump

But it’s not just the fans that are grateful. Rising road racing star and current British Superstock 1000 championship leader Davey Todd told us: “I’ve got a lot of respect for everyone putting this on because they really have the right idea. They’re trying to look after everyone in the right way and put on a great event, rather than trying to make a couple of quid.”

Organisers will spend the off season continuing to improve the venue, including an estimated £20,000 in electrical works. There is also a long-term ambition to refurbish the control tower.

A unique racing event

Oliver’s Mount is the only true road racing circuit in England. A 2.43-mile course overlooking the Yorkshire coastal town of Scarborough and the first race meeting at the venue took place back in 1946.

Over the course of its 76-year history, the undulating track has welcomed world champions including Barry Sheene, Giacomo Agostini, Carl Fogarty and Jarno Saarinen – as well as the current crop of road racing greats such as John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop, and Dean Harrison.

The biggest of the Mount’s events is the International Gold Cup, with past winners including Sheene, Fogarty, Steve Hislop, Mike Hailwood, and more.

Scarborough Mounts a major comeback! Road racing action returns to Oliver’s Mount

First published on 17 August 2022 by Phil West

Davey Todd in action at Oliver's Mount

England’s only ‘real roads circuit’ has been beset with problems in recent years which meant that only one running of its historic Gold Cup headline event has taken place since 2017.

But now, finally, with most issues resolved, two events have been announced for 2022. The first, a bike hillclimb, takes place this weekend –August 20-21 – while Scarborough’s traditional season headliner, the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup, returns next month for the first time since 2019 running from Friday-Sunday, September 16-18.

The full line-up of riders is yet to be confirmed but many of the world’s top road racers are expected including TT-winner Dean Harrison. Likened to a miniature TT by the seaside, the narrow, 2.43-mile, parkland bike-only track delivers close, thrilling action just yards from spectators.

Event organiser Andy Hayes

The Mount’s problems date back to 2017 when two crashes at the Gold Cup meeting left several spectators seriously injured and brought racing to a halt at the circuit for the first time since the 1940s.

Racing returned in July 2019 after new safety measures were put in place, including the imposition of a 600cc limit on race bikes. But the pandemic wiped out 2020’s calendar while local council inspections following the Spring Cup races in May 2021 concluded that many of the paddock buildings were “structurally unsound and unsafe for public use” resulting in further safety and insurance issues.

Despite the best efforts of Oliver’s Mount Director of Racing Andy Hayes, the remaining events for 2021 were then called off, too. But now, with the buildings finally demolished and other updates implemented, Hayes and his team have announced the hillclimb and Gold Cup is back on.

Entries open for Olivers Mount

Advance tickets are available at a discount from Duke with adult day tickets starting at £15 for Friday rising to £30 for Sunday (or £50 for the whole weekend).

“We’re really confident the Gold Cup’s going to go ahead,” Andy told MCN. “We are still finishing off the final few issues but it’s all on track for the hillclimb this weekend and the Gold Cup in September.”

Gold cup cancelled: Yorkshire circuit struggles with safety concerns over crumbling infrastructure

First published on 24 August 2021 by Stephen Davison

Scarborough Gold Cup road racing

Racing at England’s only road race venue, Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough, has been dealt another blow as the organisers have cancelled September’s Gold Cup meeting.

June’s Barry Sheene festival and last month’s Oliver’s Mount festival had already been called off after inspections carried out by Scarborough Council following the Spring Cup races in May had concluded that many of the paddock buildings at the Yorkshire parkland track were “structurally unsound and unsafe for public use.”

The Gold Cup was rescheduled for September 18-19 and race boss Andy Hayes vowed to run the event “no matter what happens” but safety and insurance issues have now brought the curtain down completely on action at the 2.43-mile circuit for 2021.

“With much regret, we have to admit defeat and cancel the Hill Climb scheduled for September 11-12 and The Michelin Steve Henshaw Gold Cup planned to take place on September 18-19,” the organisers said.

Guy Martin racing at Oliver's Mount

“Much negotiation has taken place with Oliver’s Mount Racing, Scarborough Borough Council and the ACU, the sport’s governing body, but the health and safety issues that remain will not be completed before the events are due to take place.

“Apart from health and safety concerns, insurance implications also need to be taken into consideration pending removal of some of the defective paddock infrastructure.”

About half of all the paddock buildings – including the scrutineering bay and the shower block – have to be knocked down and replaced with temporary structures before new buildings can be erected. Hayes says the cost will run well into six figures and it is unclear who will foot the bill.

Spectators were injured at Olivers Mount in 2017

The Gold Cup’s cancellation is a huge blow for the beleaguered Oliver’s Mount club after four seasons of turmoil. Two crashes at the 2017 Gold Cup meeting left several spectators seriously injured and brought racing to a halt at the circuit for the first time since the 1940s.

Racing returned in July 2019 after new safety measures were put in place, including the imposition of a 600cc limit on race bikes competing there.

But the coronavirus pandemic wiped out action for the whole of the 2020 season and now Hayes and his team have been deprived of income for a second year as they struggle to maintain the impetus of their racing revival.

“We are totally committed to the future of Oliver’s Mount, but we now need to take stock of where this leaves us due to the financial hardship the last two seasons many cancellations have created,” the club statement read.

Racing action from Olivers Mount in 1984

“The venue needs significant investment for events such as the Spring Cup, the Barry Sheene festival and the Gold Cup to take place.

“Further updates will be given throughout the winter period and we look forward to working with our landlord, Scarborough Borough Council, to help us to resolve the issues so we can have a full programme of events for 2022.”

The borough council had vowed to “do all that it can” to carry out the demolition work “without delay so that the circuit can be given a clean bill of health” but many race fans have questioned why the inspection wasn’t carried out during the two years when racing had stopped at Scarborough- and before a new lease was signed.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help raise funds for the Oliver’s Mount organisers by Shop4bikers, a Chesterfield-based business. But this latest setback leaves the organisers – and British road race fans – facing an uncertain future.

Oliver’s Mount 2019: John McGuinness to appear at Barry Sheene Classic

First published on 7 July 2019 by Richard Newland

John McGuinness racing at Oliver's Mount

John McGuinness will ride at Oliver’s Mount as part of the Barry Sheene meeting in July, it has been announced.

The 23-time TT winner is the latest star to be confirmed in a line-up that also includes four-time WSB champion Carl Fogarty.

“I’ve always liked Oliver’s Mount and I’ve still got the 250cc lap record,” said McGuinness. “There is a great atmosphere, and a relaxed paddock. You can pop down the sea front after the racing for an ice-cream and make it a family weekend.”

John took third place in the 250cc class on his debut at Oliver’s Mount in 1996 before setting the lap record on his way to an overall Gold Cup win in 1999. This year he will be parading a range of bikes and will be around the paddock to meet fans.

Advance tickets for the Barry Sheene meeting on 27/28 July are still available from Duke on 01624 640024 or online at  www.dukevideo.com/oliversmount

Oliver’s Mount 2019: Entries now open for Barry Sheene Classic

First published – 02/05/19

Entries open for Olivers Mount

Entries have opened for the 2019 Barry Sheene Classic races, taking place at Oliver’s Mount on 27 and 28 July, with classics, supertwins and even sidecars among the machines eligible to race.

Riders (and passengers) have until Friday 28 June to submit their entries, with organisers treating applications on a first come, first served basis.

Revealed in a statement released earlier today, head of the organisation committee Eddie Roberts said: “We finally took hold of the keys to the track at the weekend and we’re moving in.

“Everything is coming together as planned,” Roberts added. “We’ve been inundated with racers asking about entries, and we are expecting the demand to be high.

“We will also be announcing ‘star’ riders shortly. It’s an exciting time and we really appreciate all the support via our social media channels.”

Those wanting to take part should email the entries secretary, Hayley Colebrook, at 243rra@gmail.com or visit the website now.

Oliver’s Mount 2019 racing classifications:

  • Lightweight Class – Two-stroke race machines up to 250cc (01.01.1973 – 31.12.2004) 
  • Junior Classic – 175cc-350cc two-stroke (pre 31.12.1993) and four-stroke (pre 31.12.1986) 
  • Senior Classic – 350cc-500cc (pre 31.12.1972) 
  • Classic Superbike – 501cc – 1300cc (pre 31.12.1992) 
  • F2 Sidecars – To 2019 ACU regulations (no long outfits or 675cc) 
  • Supertwin – 650cc road-based water-cooled twins to Lightweight TT regulations and stock 650 road-based water-cooled twins
  • Junior Modern 600cc – 600cc four-cylinder four-stroke, 675cc three-cylinder four-stroke

Ticket prices for Oliver’s Mount in 2019

Carl Fogarty leads at Scarborough in 1989

Tickets have gone on sale for the 2019 Olivers Mount road racing meeting.

Advance tickets are available from Duke on 01624 640024 or online here.

As announced in March 2019, the Barry Sheene Classic (July 27-28) and Gold Cup (September 28-29) have been scheduled and two hill climb events are also in the pipeline.

Ticket prices have been confirmed for Oliver’s Mount, after it was announced that road racing would return to the Scraborough circuit in 2019.

Entry to both the Gold Cup and Barry Sheene Classic will be the same price, with on the gate admittance costing £20 on Saturday, £25 on Sunday, or £40 for a full weekend ticket.

Those wishing to camp in either a tent, caravan or motorhome will have to pay a charge of £10 per night on the gate, too.

If you would like to purchase an advanced ticket, then prices are the same as above, however camping is free. What’s more, children under 15 may enter and camp for free.

Paddock passes will be available at £10 each on the gate, however have a limited availability.

The racing comeback at Olivers Mount

Both meetings have been given the go-ahead by the ACU, once again giving the green light to racing on the challenging and undulating 2.43-mile public road race track; something they say could never have been possible without the additional support of the 1946 Marshal Association and Shaun Dalton.

Eddie Roberts, the event’s joint licencee with Mick Grant, has been instrumental in getting Oliver’s Mount back on the racing map, and told MCN: “Behind the scenes there’s been months and months of planning, but finally we can confirm road racing is set to return to Oliver’s Mount.

Oliver's Mount action from 1984

“We are working side-by-side with the ACU and work is already underway to improve the safety of the track for both riders and spectators. We know it’s a huge task to undertake, but we are 100% confident that racing will take place at Oliver’s Mount this year.”

Mick Grant, seven times Isle of Man TT winner and multiple winner at Oliver’s Mount, who has been working with Roberts to bring racing back to Scarborough, added: “I watched my first road race at Oliver’s Mount in short pants back in the early 1950s and it ignited my passion for racing.

“We couldn’t let this historic track crumble into the history books. We need road racing in England, it’s one of the finest tracks in the world; it’s unique. I can’t wait to hear and witness classic and modern bikes race around this demanding track once again.”

Key to Roberts’ and Grant’s success has been convincing the council that racing can safely return to the track, but Scarborough Borough Council leader, Cllr Derek J Bastiman, is confident that the team will deliver what’s needed.

“I am particularly impressed with their proposals for bringing the circuit in line with the stringent safety requirements set out by the ACU,” he said.

The safety updates are in response to two serious incidents at the 2017 Gold Cup, which saw riders and spectators suffer injuries when bikes left the circuit, striking fans.

This led to a comprehensive risk assessment of the Scarborough circuit being carried out, the findings of which led to the ACU requesting a list of additional safety improvements that the event promoters couldn’t deliver in time to save the 2018 fixtures.

This year’s news sees that racing ban overturned and the start of a whole new chapter for the world-famous road circuit.