Last Saturday 25th January saw the annual championship awards dinner and dance at the usual popular venue.
The Best Western Bentley Hotel between Newark and Lincoln provided a good setting once again, and excellent refreshments for what turned out to be an really good evening, voted by many as the best yet.
Celebrity guests included multiple TT winner and all-round hero John McGuinness, jovial and regular participant Steve Parrish, and our newly crowned, and now seven-times world sidecar champion Tim Reeves.
A packed room, an three-course meal, great sounding disco music, and a live band – The Bradeney Bunch from Shropshire, all contributed to a fun evening ahead of what is bound to be a fiercely contested 2020 season.
Master of ceremonies Glenn “Chalkie” Walsh opened the proceedings assisted by MC and TV commentator Barry Nutley.
Steve Parrish and John McGuinness then presented the awards to the glowing recipients, and proceeded to have a short interview and chat session. Finally series owner and main sponsor Roger Body rounded of the formalities with an exciting introduction of the new-look FIM World Championship, which he has been working on for many months. His effort and enthusiasm was acknowledged, and a huge round of applause from the room endorsed that.
The awards themselves went to proud recipients, with the Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney scooping not only the third place trophies, but also the gold award for team presence in the paddock under the Barnes Racing Silicone Engineering banner.
Spectators choice award went to the fan’s favourite Chris “The Stalker” Walker, who along with Ashley Hawes had a great season with the TAG Racing/Santander Salt Yamaha.
Passenger of the Year was an extremely plucky Shelley Smithies, who after her big crash at Cadwell Park, bounced back in style with a strong year alongside Martin Kirk for a top ten finish.
For services to the sport, and an outstanding contribution to both the series and the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team, Vicky Rowsell of Somrow Construction Services was acknowledged to great applause as she collected the silver trophy.
Outgoing champions and runners-up Steve Kershaw and Stuart Clark accepted their award in traditional highland dress, and announced the retirement of Stuart, and welcomed his replacement, a young and eager Jason Pitt. The huge main trophy, and the ultimate accolade was collected by the new champions Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson after a stunning year which delivered eleven victories.
All eyes are now on the 2020 season, as Roger Body announced his World Championship plans, with eight rounds scheduled, and only one clash. Many of the top crews from Britain are keen to enter, so this is an exciting development.