Since 2017 this longer distance TT has been run on the K4/25W, but due to long term road works a course change was required. This event was always meant to be a challenge, so what better alternative than to use the 23-mile Hardriders TT course on the A422, out to Ettington and back.
With its – sting in the tail – return climb of the steep Sunrising Hill, this change may have discouraged a few, as a somewhat reduced entry of 30 riders turned out in dry and relatively still conditions. Pacing yourself over this distance is key to a good time and Jon Simpkins (Drag2Zero), the holder of many past course records, put all his experience together to win on the night with a time of 53m.10s. This put him exactly one minute ahead of Ben Heaney (Team Cherwell) on 54m.10s. in second, who in turn was just 3 seconds ahead of Simon Smith (JRC Shutt-Ridley) in third.
However, as the first, first claim member home, fourth placed Simon Bull with a time of 55m. 10s., was the winner of the club’s Friswell Cup.
Winner of the Friswell Cup, Simon Bull, descends Sunrising Hill
Thirteen riders managed to get under the one-hour mark and that included the winner of the women’s category, Naomi de Pennington. She stopped the clock on 58m.50s. to finish 11th overall and set a new outright women’s course record, knocking around 4 minutes off the previous record. Like her husband, Annie Heaney finished in second place on 1h.03m.19s., with Ila Pearson third on 1h.09m.02s.
Top 10 results; 1. Jon Simpkins 53.10, 2. Ben Heaney 54.10, 3. Simon Smith 54.43, 4. Simon Bull 55.10, 5. Mark Ellis 55.21, 6. Ben Scaysbrook 57.03, 7. Richard Baker 57.38, 8. Darren Alexander 57.59, 9. Dan Pebody 58.19, 10. Mark Davis 58.38
Don’t forget, the real Open Hardriders TT takes place on Sunday 27th June, with entries closing on 15th June