Finally A Classic TT Champion – Coward Scoops Junior Race Victory

Finally A Classic TT Champion – Coward Scoops Junior Race Victory

Delayed by over 3 and a half hours, due to a pesky bout of mist on Manx shores, the Junior Classic TT, reduced in distance to just three laps finally got underway at 2:00 PM.

Fastest to Glen Helen on lap 1 was eight times International Road Race winner Lee Johnston, who held a five second advantage over Hebden Bridge’s Jamie Coward, with reigning class champion Dominic Herbertson, Ripley Land Racing’s Michael Rutter also keeping close pursuit.

Johnston extended his advantage over Coward at Ballaugh Bridge to six seconds, which then doubled in size at the Bungalow to 12 seconds.

Come the completion of lap 1 Johnston’s race lead was reduced slightly to just over nine seconds. Davies Motorsport team mate Herbertson maintained third, Rutter remained fourth as Derek Sheils and Hefyn Owen finalised the top six.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Lap two began with Johnston at Glen Helen squeezing out a further plus 0.7 on Coward, with 9.884 seconds now separating them.

Photo by Mark Corlett

2018 TT Privateers Champion Coward though, soon started to eat into the deficit to Johnston, pulling back on the run to Ramsey Hairpin over three seconds.

It looked like we was all in for a close fought, exciting finish in the battle to become 2019 Junior Classic TT Champion but then drama struck with Johnston retiring out of contention at the Gooseneck.

Johnston’s demise allowed Coward to open by the end of lap 2, an advantage of over 27 seconds over new nearest pursuer, 2018 race victor Herbertson.

From here Coward maintained a strong, accomplished pace to finally join the Classic TT winners circle which makes him officially the most successful racer in Classic TT history, having taken his event podium finishes tally today to seven.

Showcasing in Parc Ferme just how much it meant Junior Classic TT victory meant, the Ted Woof/Craven Classic Racing supported racer was more than a touch emotional when speaking about his first Classic TT/Mountain Course affiliated race success.

“It’s Just amazing, just a childhood dream to come here and win.”

Behind Coward, the captivating last lap battle for second place was won in dramatic style by Michael Rutter, who placed second just 0.351 ahead of Dominic Herbertson.

Derek Sheils (Greenall Racing) edged out Hefyn Owen for a fine fourth place finish, whilst sixth place was acquired by Sidecar TT legend Dan Sayle.

Rounding out the first ten finishers were Alex Sinclair, Chris Hughes Racing’s Richard Wilson, 2015 Super Twins Manx GP winner Rob Hodson and opening Super Twins race victor at last month’s FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix, Paul Jordan.

Others to acquire notable results included Dean Osborne 11th, Goathland Garage Classics Honda mounted Tom Weeden 13th, Mark Purslow 14th, Ewan Hamilton 15th and Chris Moore 17th.

Photo by Mark Corlett

In total 38 racers completed the three lap race, whilst notable retirements alongside aforementioned previous race leader Johnston included Steadplan Primus Racing’s Ben Rea, Dave Moffitt, Michael Sweeney, Maria Costello MBE, Alan Oversby and Gary Vines. Junior Classic TT race result, is as follows:

1 Jamie Coward
2 Michael Rutter
3 Dominic Herbertson
4 Derek Sheils
5 Hefyn Owen
6 Dan Sayle
7 Alex Sinclair
8 Richard Wilson
9 Rob Hodson
10 Paul Jordan
11 Dean Osborne
12 Dave Madsen Mygdal
13 Tom Weeden
14 Mark Purslow
15 Ewan Hamilton
16 Will Loder
17 Chris Moore
18 Dave Matravers
19 Alec Whitwell
20 Richard Lambourne
21 Jeff Smith
22 Karl Fox
23 Jack Hunter
24 Tony Tuttle
25 Simon Collins
26 Colin Stockdale
27 Lee Jennings
28 Terence Sansom
29 Paul Williams
30 Russell Roebury
31 Gary Freeman
32 David Glover
33 Grant Sellars
34 Keith Dixon
35 Justin Roebury
36 Gary Hutton
37 Jason Lamb
38 Roy Phipps

Words by Stevie Rial

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