Blue skies, drying roads greeted competitors ahead of this morning’s Manx GP Supporters Club Lightweight race, as Victor Lopez Santos as on Wednesday had the honour of been the first down Glencrutchery Road.
Unfortunately for number 1 plate holder Lopez Santos, his race quickly came to a close at Quarter Bridge.
Jumping into the race lead at Glen Helen on lap 1 was James Chawke, who held a narrow 1.198 advantage over fellow countryman Dave Butler, whilst under 3 and a half seconds covered the top five with third, fourth, fifth positions been held by Gary Vines, David Lumsden and Andy Farrell.
Onto Ballaugh Bridge and Junior race victor Chawke, looking in fine fettle aboard the Mark Coverdale Paton, upped his advantage out front to nigh on four seconds, as Butler, Vines remained in second and third.
Photo by Nick Wheeler
It was soon all change though at Ramsey Hairpin as Fingal Motor Club backed Butler moved into the race lead, heading two stroke stalwart Vines by just 0.192 of a second.
Previous race leader Chawke dropped back to fifth having been black flagged at Sulby Bridge, but by the Bungalow was accredited with the time he lost, which placed him back in the lead by five seconds in front of Vines, now nearly two seconds clear of Butler.
Come the conclusion of lap 1, Chawke held an 8.458 advantage over Vines, Farrell moved into third as race leader at Ramsey Hairpin Butler who went onto make an early pit stop, was down to fourth.
Lap two saw S1-R Paton mounted Chawke continue to set a relentless, rapid pace, moving 9.1 seconds clear at Glen Helen then by Ramsey Hairpin 14 seconds clear.
Entering the pits at the end of lap 2 just over 15 seconds in front of Wobbly Bob Racing backed Vines, it was confirmed that Chawke had broke Rob Hodson’s previous class lap record of 114.550 mph, lapping at 114.993 mph.
9.1 Behind the pace setters in third place was Wednesday race victor Farrell, as Lumsden, Butler and Gareth Evans rounded out the top six.
Outside of race leader Chawke, lap three provided the making’s of a tight battle for second, with Butler after his early pit stop into second just 1.57 in front of Farrell who after a productive pit stop, had overhauled Vines on the timing screens.
Out front though, Chawke was just increasing, increasing and increasing his lead, moving over 50 seconds in front at the completion of lap three. Farrell occupied second, Vines held third as Butler dropped back to fourth.
Drama a plenty struck on the fourth and final lap, as dominant race leader Chawke retired at Ballagarey Bridge.
Photo by Mark Corlett
This left new race leader Farrell, Vines and Butler left to battle it out for class honours, with just over 3.6 seconds covering the top three at Glen Helen.
Wednesday race winner Farrell began to take a slight grip on the race at Ballaugh Bridge, holding a plus four second advantage over Vines.
From here Farrell just had enough speed to hold off the persistent challenge of Vines, to clinch a second successive Lightweight Manx GP title, finishing victorious by just 6.3 seconds.
Wrapping up the rostrum finishers was Dave Butler, who became the latest Irish racer this week to enjoy a trip to the world famous Manx GP podium.
Martin Bullock Manxsport’s David Lumsden was fourth, Newcomers B victor Michael Rees impressed in finishing fifth as last years Newcomers A winner Brad Vicars concluded the top six finishers.
Finalising the first ten finishers in another drama filled, captivating, compelling Manx GP race were James Hind, Dave Quine, Jamie Edwards and Richard Stubbs.
Race results are as follows:
1 Andy Farrell
2 Gary Vines
3 Dave Butler
4 David Lumsden
5 Michael Rees
6 Brad Vicars
7 James Hind
8 Dave Quine
9 Jamie Edwards
10 Richard Stubbs
11 Steven Horne
12 Rodger Wibberley
13 Paul Wardell
14 Leon Murphy
15 Renzo Van Der Donckt
16 Jack Fowler
17 Daniel Fernandez
18 Ray Maloney
19 Veronika Hankocyova
20 Ali Foster
21 Brian Appleton
22 Daniel Capper
23 Keith Clarke
24 John Bain
25 Barry Sheehan
26 Paul Williams
27 Richard Saville
Words by Stevie Rial