Previously we looked at some of the two-stroke entries in the Sideburn-sponsored 2018 Vintage class, now I'll turn my attention to the four-strokes.
First, the BIG news. 2015 and 2016 Vintage Champion Guy Sutherland #97 (above) is returning and aiming to regain his crown after taking a year out in 2017. Having passed on his championship-winning, hot and lovely Trackmaster Triumph to our Dutch friend Angelo Van Zele #55 last year, Guy has found another Trackmaster Triumph for this season. Guy is superfast on any machine he rides so he has to be Championship favourite. He won't have it all his own way though. 2017 Champion Gary Birtwistle #11 and his Cheney BSA single will be at some rounds to keep Guy honest.
As well as running his own Hells Race series Angelo will be racing with the DTRA on this fabulous, known race-winner.
2017 Championship runner-up David J Webb #140 is set to ride his Dad's stock A65 BSA Spitfire Hornet road bike again this year. David never finishes a race outside the top 3. That he has binned his rear shocks and rides the heavy, mid '60s bike rigid is all the more impressive. People, this is pretty much a stock road bike that David regularly rides onto the podium.
BSA will also be represented by Peter Jordan # 15 & Jon Dyer#101 who is stepping up to a B44 after a couple of seasons on his trusty sidevalve Triumph. Hopefully Adam Brinkworth #8 will be racing his former US racer 650 twin and John Boddy #57 will return on his gorgeous Gold Star. We need John, his bike and those leathers gracing the track.
Triumph honour will be upheld by Ed Lonergan #151 on his beautiful framer, Rick Bearcroft #39 on his lovely, self-built, show quality racing bike, Tony Challis #123 on his Tribsa, Paul Harrison #4, John Huxley #72, Guy Williams #75 and yours truly #104.
Everyone (except me) has spent the winter fettling their bikes so I've got to hope they haven't made improvements with all their meddling. Norm Joss #94 [above] will be saddling up another of Triumph specialist and DTRA old hand, #99 Peter Wilkinson's bikes. I'm told it's another former racer from the US and pretty special. With luck we'll see Wilky back on track later in the summer riding the same bike whilst Norm gets back on his former ride.
Fast and flamboyant Frenchman Frank Chatokhine #5 on his Metisse framed 500 Triumph [featured in SB18] has entered Rnd 1 on the 7/8 April, hopefully he'll be able to join us for subsequent rounds.
Another Frenchman, Olivier Le Quellec [Sideburn 21 cover star] is going to be racing too. His is the fabulous, Chatokhine built, Aldana replica BSA 650 twin we all drooled over at the DTRA launch party.
The largest capacity machine in the pack has to be #63 Peter Koren's late '60s Sportster. It sounds as lovely as it looks and is helped along by the twin spark conversion that Peter engineered for it. I'm told Peter has been getting in loads of practise over the winter, albeit on something a fraction of the weight of the Harley.
Harley will also be represented at selected rounds by James Smith #143 on his hand shifting WL45 & another Flathead of DTRA stalwart Milo Hiscox #12 who has installed a full race WR motor into his WL frame.
I gather that #93 Martin Huening has entered Round 1 at Kings Lynn so hopefully his ultra rare, Panther framed XR750 will be on track. Marvellous.
We have to be grateful to Martin and the other European riders for making the effort to come to race with us and share track space on their fabulous machines.
Paul Murrell #60 will be flying Indian's colours for another season.
Regrettably I will have missed out some of our gang and I haven't heard about any fresh faces due to swell our ranks this season. We invariably get some wildcards who dip in and out for one or two rounds. If only Anthony Brown #47 could throw his leg over Wilky's superb Triumph framer more often to show us how it should be done.
Please comment if you've any Sideburn Vintage Class news.
See you out there. John H #104