Road Racing News

Road Racing’s Great Races – 2018 Junior Classic TT

The 2018 Junior Classic TT had it all, drama, close fought action, evoking memories of top calibre 350 World Championship competition during the 50’s and 60’s plus an extremely popular first time Mountain Course winner.

Michael Rutter, current Junior Classic TT Champion Jamie Coward, the Davies Motorsport trio of Dominic Herbertson, Lee Johnston and Alan Oversby were all in the mix for podium finishes.

Back in August of 2018, my report on the Locate.im title sponsored race reads as follows:

n a class largely dominated by various incarnations of 350cc Honda’s, it was no surprise to see the famous Japanese marque enjoying more success today in the reduced in distance, three lap Locate.im Junior Classic TT.

Starting over five hours behind schedule, due to niggling, inconsistent weather venturing upon the Mountain Course, early race leader at Glen Helen on lap 1 was reigning class champion Michael Rutter holding a minor 0.457 advantage over Jamie Coward, who in turn was only 3.27 ahead of Dominic Herbertson.

By Ballaugh Bridge, Ripley Land Racing’s Rutter had an extended race lead of nigh on 1.2 seconds, which extended to 4.2 seconds at Ramsey Hairpin and then 6.987 at the Bungalow.

Come the conclusion of lap 1, the six times TT winners lead stood at plus 9.6 seconds over Davies Motorsport’s Herbertson who had overhauled Craven Honda mounted Coward over the mountain.

Onto lap 2 and 1998 Junior TT victor Rutter 9.3 seconds clear at Glen Helen, looked to be on course for a third Junior Classic TT triumph.

Nearest pursuer Herbertson though, was quietly chipping away at his lead and by Ramsey Hairpin reduced Rutter’s advantage to only five seconds.

Quite incredibly come Cronk Ny Mona, the hugely popular Herbertson had taken the race lead, moving four seconds clear of Rutter.

By the completion of lap 2, he held a race lead of 14.366 over newly second placed Jamie Coward, promoted into second following a flat tyre hampering Rutter’s challenge.

With Rutter forced to retire via the flat tyre issue at the pits, this left the Davies Motorsport trio of Alan Oversby and Lee Johnston left to duke it out for the final spot on the rostrum.

The third and final lap saw Hebden Bridge’s Coward tenaciously chip away at Herbertson’s lead. Although Herbertson’s advantage shrunk to under ten seconds at the Bungalow, come Cronk Ny Mona it was back up to the plus 10 seconds mark.

From here the lumberjack by trade kept his cool to ultimately cross the chequered flag, to become for the first time a Classic TT winner.

Registering a best lap from the race of 104.082 mph, you could sense in the winners enclosure how much it meant to one of pure road racing’s great characters.

Race runner up Coward philosophical in defeat, was pleased to bank another event rostrum finish, whilst Lee Johnston held off the attentions of Davies Motorsport team mate Alan Oversby to bank a third successive podium placing.

Fifth behind the Davies Motorsport duo was Dan Cooper, whilst Adam McLean, Peter Boast, Davey Todd, Dave Madsen Mygdal and Greenall Racing’s Steve Ferguson all enjoyed excellent rides in finalising the first ten finishers.

Words by Stevie Rial

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