CRMC – Pembrey: MArch 26 – 27, 2016

The CRMC kicked off its season in South West Wales, where competitors and marshals had to endure strong winds and driving rain on Saturday, but got their reward on Sunday with near-perfect spring conditions. Graham Lawlor and Russ Lee took the long trip down the M4 to bring us all the action.

It’s a Lansdowne traffic jam at Hatchets Hairpin as the Manx Nortons of Glen English (25), Mike Russell (68) and Phill Sharp (50) battle it out with Alex Sinclair (42) on the Ripley Land G50 that Spike Edwards rode to last year’s championship.
Mike Bevan (39) was impressive on Ken Platt’s DCM Honda XL single in the air-cooled 500s, as was Gary May (131) on the rapid Seeley Suzuki twin.
Steph Waddelow (34, Honda RS 125) became the first female to win a solo CRMC race with a Sunday double in the 125 PC event. Alan Major (58, RS125) had narrowly won both Saturday’s races but ended up in hospital with a suspected broken ankle after crashing the next day.
In recent seasons we’ve got used to seeing Rob Wittey on the Smith Honda CR 750 but this weekend he was blasting around on this Eddie Lawson-style Kawasaki 1170.
A typical scene from Saturday’s rain-lashed proceedings as Rider of the Meeting, John Warwick (58, FZ 600) holds off Kevin Wholey (1, FZ 600) and the rest of the big Junior Production field. Warwick and Wholey went on to win two legs each.
An epic battle between Jamie Coward (36, Craven Manx), Lee Hodge (14, Minnovation G50) and his new team-mate, Mark Cronshaw (8) saw Coward edge out 2015 champion Hodge by just 0.24 seconds in this year’s opening round of the Minnovation/ACU Classic 500 UK championship.
Welsh duo Mike Cookson/Alun Thomas drove their BMW 750 to victory in all four legs of the Period 1 sidecars.
Pete Weston, flat out on the gorgeous Trentside Seeley Norton, which was awarded race bike of the meeting at Saturday’s prize-giving.
It may look like a bit like a police identity parade but it’s actually the Minnovation/ACU Classic UK 500 podium featuring runner-up Lee Hodge (left) and third-place man Mark Cronshaw flanking winner Jamie Coward.

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