This for me is what it is all about, racing is an important part of the TGA story, all the people who have been involved with TGA are racers, some more successful than others it must be said!.
I love racing, OK I am too old and too fat to be very successful nowadays, but what the hell!. I have been racing since 1985, all the time on Classic machines. Prior to that I competed in club trials and was also heavily involved in road race marshalling. I have had a number of wins at CRMC events on my 450 Ducati Silver Shotgun which I self tuned to be quite a successful machine, for two seasons it was the machine to beat in the CRMC production 500cc class, this bike gave me many wins and a great deal of fun. I sold it on to a man in Japan who has since raced it with much success and pleasure. I was delighted to see it still being raced when I visited Tsukuba race track for the Grand Slam meeting in 1993.
I have also raced an SFC 750 Laverda and it was on this bike in 1985 that I had my sole National race win, at Scarborough. (Believed to be the only National race win on a standard SFC, what a claim to fame!) This win secured a ride on Ian Telfer's Manx Norton for the Manx Grand Prix the following year. A G50 Metisse and my current ex works F750 Ducati followed, and it is the Ducati that I have raced until this time with less success as my girth increased. A 500cc class win at Tsukuba in Japan at the Grand Slam meeting in 1995 on Mitsuhide An's Fred Walmsley tuned Seeley G50 (supplied by TGA) against a really rather mediocre field has been my best current International result.
Since I was lucky enough to acquire my ex works F750 Ducati I have raced it all over Europe, personal highlights being a 90MPH lap at the Ulster Grand Prix and being the highest placed Ducati to finish in the Monza 100 Miglia trophy race in partnership with Graham Hurst in race run in appalling conditions, it rained the entire duration of the race, the sun only breaking through as the chequered flag dropped.
I have sponsored riders on the bike on occasions when I have been unable to ride it myself, and each time it has performed well, far better than with me riding it! With Wayne Mitchell finishing second to Dave Pither at the IHRO F750 race at Croix en Ternois after having to slow when leading due to a leaking gearbox seal. Wayne also qualified the bike in Pole Position for the IHRO race at Chimay. Also at Chimay, Steve Carthy was second on the bike in the long distance Classic race in 1999. This proves that with a good rider, the bike is still competitive in current Classic Racing, all I need to do is to loose a few stones and a lot of years and it might even be me winning on it. (In my Dreams!)
I also sponsored the late Rob Holden in a small way on his Supermono when he won the singles TT and was proud to be a part of his pit crew the year before when he was second. Rob's death in the Isle of Man TT was a great loss to all of those who knew him, and also to motorcycling in general, Rob was a great ambassador for the sport and a true enthusiast, being as much at home on a classic bike as on a modern one. I have not been to the TT since that time, as somehow the place has lost its appeal.
I have also assisted Sports Motorcycles and their riders around Europe in a transport / gofer capacity and have spent a lot of time in a similar capacity with Alan Cathcart during his Ducati outings around the world, both have provided me with much enjoyment and fun over the years.
1998 saw me part sponsor Frenchman Bruno Leroy. The highlights of a very successful year for Bruno being; winning the 350cc Classic Manx Grand Prix on Dick Linton's Aermacchi and winning the IHRO 500cc Historic Dutch TT on Andy Molnar's Manx Norton. I am pleased to have been instrumental in providing Bruno with the opportunity to show off his true abilities by connecting him with these and other sponsors who have been looking for a good rider.