Cock O’ The North of racing in England ...

16 September 2012......  Possible Picture Post......
 Motor cycle road races speed off the start line for the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup race, the feature race of the year at Oliver's Mount circuit, Scarborough. Nicknamed the mini TT, the town first held a motorcycle race in 1946 on the twisty hill, and continues to hold motorcycle races today, and also hosts car rally and car hill-climb events.  Racing legends such as  Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Bob McIntyre, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, Giacomo Agostini, Mick Grant, Barry Sheene,  Wayne Gardner, Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty, Takazumi Katayama. Guy Martin and John McGuinness have all plyed their trade on the Mount. Nikon D3s 80-200mm lens, 500th @ f8, 400ISO
16 September 2012...... Possible Picture Post...... Motor cycle road races speed off the start line for the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup race, the feature race of the year at Oliver's Mount circuit, Scarborough. Nicknamed the mini TT, the town first held a motorcycle race in 1946 on the twisty hill, and continues to hold motorcycle races today, and also hosts car rally and car hill-climb events. Racing legends such as Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Bob McIntyre, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, Giacomo Agostini, Mick Grant, Barry Sheene, Wayne Gardner, Joey Dunlop and Carl Fogarty, Takazumi Katayama. Guy Martin and John McGuinness have all plyed their trade on the Mount. Nikon D3s 80-200mm lens, 500th @ f8, 400ISO
0
Have your say

Revs are up this weekend for the 70th year running at England’s only real road racing circuit. And it is right here on our doorstep.

While crowds flock excitedly as usual to Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount for the thrills – and even the spills – of the new season, kicking off this weekend with the Spring Cup, there is much more being celebrated behind the scenes,

0338115q; in news
Peter Hillaby

0338115q; in news Peter Hillaby

2016 sees the 70th anniversary of motor-racing at Oliver’s Mount and also 50 years since the Auto 66 Club was formed – both of which have become steeped in local history and also the development of motorbike racing in this country.

While the original plan was to create a circuit for both cars and motorbikes, it is the latter that is more synonymous with the 2.43-mile circuit nowadays.

And a flick through past programmes and entry lists reads like a who’s who in the motorcycling hall of fame.

From Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Bob McIntyre and Mike Hailwood in the very early days, fans of another era will also remember Mick Grant, Steve Hislop, Joey and Robert Dunlop, and former world champions in their respective classes, a certain Barry Sheene and Carl Fogarty.

From ITV Sport

HUNT AND SHEENE: WHEN PLAYBOYS RULED THE WORLD
Monday 15th November on ITV1

They were the sports stars who defined an era: the daredevil bravery they employed on the track taking them to the very top of world motorsport, and their hell-raising antics keeping them on the front and back pages of the worlds press.  

ITV Sports new documentary looking at the lives of 1970s motorsport legends, James Hunt and Barry Sheene. When Playboys Ruled the World examines the close relationship between the two British world champions who, despite their different disciplines and backgrounds, became like brothers. 

When Playboys Ruled the World contrasts public and media attitudes towards the private lives of Hunt and Sheene in comparison to the heavily scrutinised lifestyles of todays multi-million pound sports stars.


Archive Picture shows: BARRY SHEEN in
1977

� ITV

For further information please contact 
Peter Gray 0207 157 3046 peter.gray@itv.com 

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be repro

From ITV Sport HUNT AND SHEENE: WHEN PLAYBOYS RULED THE WORLD Monday 15th November on ITV1 They were the sports stars who defined an era: the daredevil bravery they employed on the track taking them to the very top of world motorsport, and their hell-raising antics keeping them on the front and back pages of the worlds press. ITV Sports new documentary looking at the lives of 1970s motorsport legends, James Hunt and Barry Sheene. When Playboys Ruled the World examines the close relationship between the two British world champions who, despite their different disciplines and backgrounds, became like brothers. When Playboys Ruled the World contrasts public and media attitudes towards the private lives of Hunt and Sheene in comparison to the heavily scrutinised lifestyles of todays multi-million pound sports stars. Archive Picture shows: BARRY SHEEN in 1977 � ITV For further information please contact Peter Gray 0207 157 3046 peter.gray@itv.com This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be repro

Not forgetting some of the best riders from the continent such as Jarno Saarinen, who even in passive conversation now instils a sharp intake of breath as his eccentric riding style is recalled, and, of course, Giacomo Agostini.

These days Guy Martin, the second generation of Dunlop brothers William and Michael, and Ryan Farquhar always prove crowd pullers.

And there is a new line-up emerging also fighting for their place on the podium and essentially the history books – the likes of Ivan Lintin, James Cowton and Dean Harrison.

Each one will admit they used to peer through the fences because they weren’t old enough to see over them and that while all race overseas for the ‘big’ ones, the North West 200, the TT and the Ulster – they all have a sentimental 
affection for the Scarborough circuit.

agostini

agostini

Ian Lougher has taken the top step on the podium an incredible 132 times between his first race win at the 1989 Gold Cup on a 125cc and the 2013 Gold Cup.

He told the Gazette: “1985 was the first time I came to Oliver’s Mount, I was British Champion at the time and I enjoyed it but I was scared of it.

“There was no Farm Bends at the time and it took me a couple of years to get my head around it but there are some good memories and I have enjoyed going there.”

In a recent interview, reigning Cock O’ The North Champion, Dean Harrison, now with the Silicone Engineering team, said: “When I first watched Guy Martin I didn’t even race a motorbike. I used to stand at the fence at the hairpin in Scarborough. I couldn’t even see over it, I had to look through it.

“I was watching Ian Lougher, Dave Jefferies, Ivan Lintin...I remember all of that.”

It is this kind of recollection that prompts the man behind Oliver’s Mount and the Auto 66 Club to say, and justifiably so, that both organisations have had a massive influence on the careers of many a racer.

Peter Hillaby founded the Auto 66 Club on behalf of a group of lads that were into cars and bikes and had nowhere locally to ride other than Hull or Driffield.

Within three years the club had over 1,000 members and now hosts the four race meetings at Scarborough as well as rounds at Cadwell Park.

He said: “With us running club meetings at Cadwell that has got more locals interested. We are short of venues and because of that we have brought on a lot of future world champions and TT winners through the club.”

When asked what memory stands out over the years, Peter says: “In 1996, it had not happened anywhere before. We flew Agostini in by helicopter. When it arrived you could hear a pin drop and the banking was loaded but then there was just big applause.”

Despite being steeped in history, legacy and enough stories and anecdotes to fill a fair few history books, the future of Oliver’s Mount and road racing in Scarborough is moving with the times.

Step in Scott Beaumont, Peter’s nephew and world champion mountain bike racer who is driving social media and high profile sponsorship.

He said: “I have got my own racing which is not motorbikes but the thrill of speed and danger was instilled in me from a young age.

“But road racers – what they do is phenomenal, it is a jaw-dropping sport.

“The history of Oliver’s Mount is something incredible and to say we are England’s only road racing circuit is something we are extremely proud of.

“For our anniversary we have all the top riders coming to the four events this year and it is a very exciting time.”