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Photo Credit - Dirk Wharton

The "Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup" road races are set to be the highlight of this years fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the Auto 66 Club. Coincidentally, it is seventy years since the first race meeting was held at the legendary 2.43 mile "Oliver's Mount" public road circuit in Scarborough - to mark the occasion, a bumper entry of solos and sidecars has been received, and will do battle over the weekend of the 24th and 25th September.

Heading up the sidecars are Southern 100 sidecar champions, Tim Reeves and Patrick Farrance. The former World Champions and regular TT podium finishers need no introduction, having dominated proceedings at the 2015 Gold Cup, with four wins from four starts, and will clearly start as favourites this weekend. Patrick has been competing this season in the F.S.R.A. British Championship scene with one of the hottest prospects in the sport - Lee Crawford. However, this weekend the pair will be doing battle on circuit, as Crawford teams up with his regular Scarborough "ballast" Sam Christie aboard the "Team A.R.C." L.C.R. Suzuki. Crawford and Christie, in only their second season of competing at Oliver's Mount already have several fastest laps to their credit, and have not finished off the podium at the circuit in 2016. However, with Crawford having suffered a crash only a fortnight ago at Cadwell Park, this comeback meeting may prove somewhat low-key.

Steve and Matty Ramsden have been enjoying a phenomenal season, and find themselves leading the "Super 2 Sidecar Masters" championship, and will be looking to consolodate this over the weekend. With four wins already this year, including a clean sweep at the "Barry Sheene Classic", the Ramsdens must be considered as the strongest contenders to take the challenge to Reeves on their L.C.R. Honda. Also L.C.R. mounted, but with Suzuki power, Dave Wallis and Tony Belsey cannot be ruled out, with Dave and former passenger Harry Payne showing strongly at the "Cock O'The North" meeting, where they were the winners of the inaugural "Robin Daykin Memorial Trophy". Dave has competed at Scarborough on three wheels for a quarter of a century, and certainly knows his way around better than most!

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Photo Credit - Dirk Wharton

Looking to spring a surprise will be returnees John and Jake Lowther, on yet another L.C.R. Honda; as will Scarborough regular Greg Lambert, who now has Julie Canipa firmly established in the chair alongside him on their G.L.R. Honda. Rod Bellas and Glenn Dawson (B.L.R. Honda) and Tony Thirkell, with a yet to be announced passenger (M.R.E. Honda) will once again be taking their places on the grid, and are rarely outwith the top six. Eddy Wright and Kieran Clark are entered (600 Shelbourne Honda) - Eddy having been a regular winner at Oliver's Mount in the 80's and 90's, and they will be looking to replicate their form which they have been enjoying in recent years on the classic racing scene.

Circuit debuts will be made by Paul Riley and Shaun Parker (M.R.E. Suzuki) - who have been contesting the F.S.R.A. F2 Cup Championship this season, and Andy Wilby, who has the experienced Karl Schofield alongside him (Shelbourne Honda). Both teams will be looking to quickly get to grips with the circuit. Completing the line up are: Doug Chandler and Paul Lowther (B.L.R. Honda); Wayne Lockey and Mark Sayers (Ireson Honda); Jim Noble and Shaun Chandler (M.R.E. Suzuki); and Gerry Flynn and Dave Clark (Flynn Suzuki). With fifteen outfits vying for supremacy, qualifying and the three races over the weekend are sure to be hotly contested.

The solo entry is equally packed with quality and quantity, as is the seventieth anniversary parade - which will feature not only the stars of today, but also the likes of Giacomo Agostini, Jim Redman, Phil Read and Mick Grant to name just four. Also parading will be Dave Lillie and Carl Bell, as a tribute to, and aboard the outfit belonging to the late Ian Bell, who won his final races at the circuit at the Spring Cup this season.

Practice begins on both days at 09.00, with racing commencing at 14.00 (Saturday) and 10.35 (Sunday). Advance tickets have all been sold, but tickets may be purchased on the gate each day.

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Photo Credit - Dirk Wharton

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