Nearing it’s 70th anniversary, the Aberdare Park Road Races held in South Wales has over the years attracted many of the world’s best road racers, taking on the challenge of the event’s 0.9 mile long circuit.
At a glance just some of the famous names to have competed at Aberdare include Mike Hailwood, Bob McIntyre, Ian Lougher, Jason Griffiths, Chris Palmer, Phil Read and Carl Fogarty.
In recent times the dominant force at Wales only real roads venue has been Dan Cooper. Welsh Open winner in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, the former TT Privateers champion mix of relentless consistent lap times, exemplary race craft, spot on race tactics has proven too strong for his fellow competitors.
Although now retired from International Road Racing, there’s still a strong possibility that Cooper will return this week to Aberdare, to target an unprecedented sixth Welsh Open title.
Photo by Steve Snelling
Trickbits Racing once again a strong rider line up for their latest Welsh roads venture, which is led by former Welsh Open winner John Simpson and road racing returnee Joe Thompson.
Fifth in last year’s Bennetts Lightweight TT, York’s Thompson is anticipated to pilot this weekend Triumph powered Moto 2 machinery, whilst team mate, 2012 Senior Manx GP victor Simpson will be SVR Suzuki Super Twin mounted.
Paul Jinks Trickbits squad at Aberdare in total will have a five rider strong presence, with Max Dixon, William Holland, Greg Madero all set to compete under the esteemed outfit’s banner.
Joining the Trickbits team on the entry list is a host of leading Welsh roads talents, which include Rhys Hardisty, Matt Rees and Michael Rees.
Renowned event specialist Jay Bellers Smith, Justin Collins and Lightweight 400 class winner at Cookstown and Tandragee, Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams.
Additional confirmed entrants include Mick Goodings, Arthur Browning, Paul Gartland, Simon Harris and meeting newcomer, 2009 TT Zero winner Rob Barber.
Alongside the Supersport/Superstock 600’s, various Super Twin machines added classes of machinery represented this weekend include 400’s, 125’s, 250’s, 50cc, 80cc steeds and a variety of classic machines.
Competition begins on Saturday morning, with the practice/qualifying sessions, prior to the start of the lengthy 30 plus race schedule.
Words by Stevie Rial