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Momentous Maiden Classic TT Success For Brookes In Bennetts Senior Race

Underway 15 minutes behind schedule, due to an earlier oil spillage caused by a spectators machine, the four lap Bennetts Senior Classic TT was led away by ten times TT winner Ian Lougher at 11:45 AM.

At the first timing point, pre race favourite for many Josh Brookes on the Team Winfield Paton, surged into an early race lead, seven seconds clear of Davies Motorsport’s William Dunlop.

From here the former British Superbike Champion, section on section gradually increased his advantage out front, which at the end of lap 1, courtesy of a standing start lap of 111.2 mph, stood at 33 seconds plus over Hebden Bridge’s Jamie Coward who had slotted into second place.

Maria Costello MBE was third 1.575 behind Coward, as William Dunlop dropped back to fourth.

High profile retirements on lap 1 included Michael Rutter sliding off injured at Ballacraine, Dean Harrison encountering problems at Ballagarey and Black Eagle MV Agusta team mate Michael Dunlop retiring at the pits.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Lap 2 would see Brookes stretch his lead out slightly further to almost 40 seconds, whilst tenacious main pursuer Coward had the honour of setting the fastest ever lap by a single cylinder machine, lapping at in excess of 110 mph aboard the Ted Woof backed Craven Manx Norton.

Costello MBE maintained third, but was coming under increasing pressure from 2015 Duke Road Race Rankings champion Dunlop, with just 0.775 covering them at the end of lap 2.

On course for a first Mountain Course success, there was no taking it steady from race leader Brookes within lap 3, as he stretched the race lead to over 46 seconds at the Bungalow.

Making his scheduled pit stop at the end of the penultimate lap, Brookes Team Winfield crew knew they would have to be extremely swift in gasoline alley, knowing Coward who had gone straight through onto his fourth and final lap, would gain a bucket load of time on the Australian.

This would prove the case, with just 0.252! separating the front running protagonists at Glen Helen, but soon Brookes was back in the groove taking significant chunks of time out of Coward at Ballaugh Bridge and Ramsey Hairpin.

From here the third fastest Norton competitor in TT history, kept up a metronomic consistent pace to take the chequered flag to secure his first Classic TT and Mountain Course success.

Photo by Mark Corlett

It’s also Team Winfield’s second successive Senior 500 title, whilst second place finisher Jamie Coward also had more than one reason to be extremely happy, as he clinched a second Classic TT rostrum finish.

William Dunlop held off Maria Costello MBE for the final spot on the podium, whilst fifth placed Davies Motorsport team mate Dominic Herbertson secured a new personal best Mountain Course result.

Concluding the top ten finishers was Bill Swallow, leading Privateer Izzard Racing’s Michael Russell, James Hillier, Egli Vincent mounted Horst Saiger and Chris Swallow.

Additional notable rides included John Leigh Pemberton 15th, newcomer Will Loder 17th, Lee Jennings 18th and leading Triumph runner Jaeson Caunce 23rd.

Bennetts Senior Classic TT Results:

1 Josh Brookes
2 Jamie Coward
3 William Dunlop
4 Maria Costello MBE
5 Dominic Herbertson
6 Bill Swallow
7 Michael Russell
8 James Hillier
9 Horst Saiger
10 Chris Swallow
11 Bob Owen
12 Steve Ferguson
13 Nick Jefferies
14 Dave Madsen Mygdal
15 John Leigh Pemberton
16 Dave Matravers
17 Will Loder
18 Lee Jennings
19 Alan Bud Jackson
20 Arthur Browning
21 Andy Lee
22 Colin Stockdale
23 Jaeson Caunce
24 David Linsdell
25 Ian Bainbridge
26 Jeff Smith
27 Tony Tuttle
28 Rod Graham
29 Grant Sellars
30 Richard Stott
31 Andy Wilson
32 Kevin Miller

Words by Stevie Rial