The first weekend in July holds many special memories for MX fans, as it was traditionally the 500 GP at Farleigh Castle, so it is fitting that the annual Wulfsport King of the Castle meeting is held on the same date.
By all accounts this was the 20th edition of the event which was started by Phil Steadman back in 2000 and the Cumbria Twinshock Club put on an amazing weekend of fun, frolics and racing for the near 400 rider entry, which included entries from as far afield as Canada and France.
There were two days of frantic racing in the sweltering heat, and the club worked wonders to keep the dust at bay with the water bowsers, although it did get a bit bad towards the end of day one, due to there being 22 races per day.
The results are below, and it is always difficult to single out any particular class as being the best, but the Experts and 125 races, kept the large crowd of spectators glued to the rails, trying to get a good vantage point.
The Experts had four different winners, with Lee Holland leading all four at some point, but only winning the first one. The other Experts winners were Kristian Marshall, Wayne Butt and Terry House, and these four riders produced some of the best racing ever seen at the castle, with Butt taking the crown by two points from House, and a further two points from Holland. Michael Smith ended up fourth and Marshall took fifth.
The Partridge Ventilation Pre-83 125 class also had some cracking duels between George Gough and Anthony Twidle, which had the crowd on the edge of their seats, with each rider taking two wins, but a DNF for Twidle meant that Gough took home the silverware in first, from Stuart Spalding and Kevin Jewell.
Jason Morris rode a masterclass in Clubman 1 with all three wins, with his nearest challengers Sam Morcom in second from Jody Barnes and Luke Dewey.
Dan Roberts had two wins in the Clubman 2 class but a DNF meant that Mark Lapham won the overall from Lee Sawatzki.
Andy Hinchliffe had a ball in the classic class on the little Honda Elsinore as he took all four wins. Phil Nicholls had four seconds, and Leigh Owen took third.
The Over 60 class were racing for the superb Stuart Miller Memorial Trophy that was donated by Linda Miller, and there was an extra bonus as friends of Stuart clubbed together to provide some generous prize money for the riders, with any surplus from other donations going to Cancer Research. The first winner of the trophy was a delighted Norman Emery who won two races, from Wayne Le Marquand who also won two races. Pat Rowe took third from Tom Lowe and Andy Long.
Jim Shand rolled back the years in the 250 class, taking the overall with three wins from four. Harvey Cashmore took second just in front of Kyle Godbear.
It was great to see Dave Watson back at Farleigh, which brought back many memories of his 1980 exploits in the MXdN, and he didn’t disappoint us, as he took three wins from four in the Over 50 A class, with just a loose petrol pipe stopping his clean sweep to take the class win.
Canadian Sandy Louitt loves the castle, and came second, and won race three over the weekend, just in front of Alan Bott and Peter Williamson.
The Over 50 B class saw Steve Folland win all four races from Mike Davies, Richard Howting and Greg Pascoe.
Andy Hinchliffe made it a double win with the 125 Twinshock class overall, but only just as John Davis was only two points shy at the end. Jason Slater had a good day taking third.
A full line-up of four-stroke riders took to the line and Joel Hughes reigned supreme as he rode smoothly to all four wins from Wayne Le Marquand and Marcus Feltham.
The Over 40s was won by Ben Braddick who had a race win in his tally, from Matt Holcombe and Andy Liddington.
There was some really close battles in the West Mids Evo races, and in the 500 class it was Jordan Davis who took all four class wins from Jonathan Tapp and Sam Pocock.
The Four Stroke star was Matt Hitchman, and the 250 races were dominated by Dean Warren. In the 125s it was Rob Mead who took the overall honours.
All in all it was a superb weekend and all the riders went home happy with plenty of good memories.
2019 King of the Castle Farleigh Castle Results
Clubman 2: 1 Mark Lapham, 2 Lee Sawatzki, 3 Dan Roberts, 4 Adam Purdham, 5 Steve Titcombe, 6 Dave Lightbown.
Classics: 1 Andy Hinchliffe, 2 Phil Nicholls, 3 Leigh Owen, 4 Stephane Tirot, 5 Tony Verbeeten, 6 Matty Taylor.
Stuart Miller Memorial Over 60s Twin-shock: 1 Norman Emery, 2 Wayne Le Marquand, 3 Pat Rowe, 4 Tom Lowe, 5 Andy Long, 6 Alan Hambridge.
Clubman Twin-shock 1: 1 Jason Morris, 2 Sam Morcom, 3 Jody Barnes, 4 Luke Dewey, 5 Jason Buffery, 6 Thomas Sorrell.
Over 50s Twin-shock B: 1 Steve Folland, 2 Mike Davies, 3 Richard Howting, 4 Greg Pascoe, 5 Dom Durkan, 6 Gav Cole.
Expert Twin-shock: 1 Wayne Butt, 2 Terry House, 3 Lee Holland, 4 Michael Smith, 5 Kristian Marshall, 6 Luke Hill.
250 Twin-shock: 1 Jim Shand, Harvey Cashmore, 3 Kyle Godbear, 4 Dave Gane, 5 Todd Liell, 6 Steve Cadd.
Four Strokes: 1 Joel Hughes, 2 Wayne Le Marquand, 3 Marcus Feltham, 4 Paul Webb, 5 Matt Thomas, 6 Chris Woodward.
125 Twin-shocks: 1 Andy Hinchliffe, 2 John Davis, 3 Jason Slater, 4 Stuart Jackson, 5 James French, 6 John Kennon.
Pre-83 125: 1 George Gough, 2 Stuart Spalding, 3 Kevin Jewell, 4 Jordan Hands, 5 Mike Wheeler, 6 Paul Baldwin.
Over 50s Twin-shock A: 1 Dave Watson, 2 Sandy Louitt, 3 Alan Bott, 4 Peter Williamson, 5 Paul White, 6 Ivor Gilford.
Over 40s Twin-shock: 1 Ben Braddick, 2 Matt Holcombe, 3 Andy Liddington, 4 Chris Taylor, 5 Richard Benham, 6 Paul Groom.
WME Pre-85 Four Strokes: 1 Matt Hitchman, 2 Neil Williams, 3 Mitch Griffin.
WME Pre-85 500: 1 Jordan Davis, 2 Jonathan Tapp, 3 Sam Pocock, 4 Scott Reed, 5 Nick Selwyn, 6 Scott Wilkinson.
WME Pre-85 250: 1 Dean Warren, 2 Sam Russell, 3 Seb Dexter, 4 Jim Shand, Kevin Butcher, 6 Jordan Watts.
WME Pre-85 125: 1 Rob Mead, 2 Jake Chamberlain, 3 Ben Masters, 4 Dave Russell, 5 Jacob Griffiths, 6 Zac Hackett.
Words: Geoff Shuttleworth