Get revved up for motorbike mayhem in Lancashire
Competitors and spectators alike are revving with delight as a popular motorcycle speed hill event returns, full throttle, for the sixth time to the sweeping grounds of Leighton Hall at Carnforth on Sunday, September 26.
After 2020’s hiatus, fans were gearing up in readiness for 2021 when news broke that organiser Ian Sherrard, lynchpin of such events for many years, was retiring for health reasons.
Luckily, Marshals North West secretary Michael Clear, who was Ian’s right-hand man for many seasons, has volunteered to take over the reins- or rather, handlebars.
One of the most popular and competitively contested events in the off-road motorcycle calendar, the track follows 268m of undulating uphill, including a spectator-thrilling 60-degree bend just 50 metres from the start line, a tricky challenge for racers accelerating up to 100 miles an hour.
Self-described “new kid on the block”, Michael actually brings many years’ experience to the job! This not for profit organisation is run and managed by volunteers and raises money through events like this for the North West Air Ambulance and the North West Blood Bikes (among others).
Visitors can expect to enjoy a full day of action, including around 150 competitive sprints, plus practice runs and races. The event is open to all bikes including modern, classic, vintage, retro, 3-wheelers, super bikes- even mopeds, if you’re feeling really lucky!
The invitation to ‘race what you bring, as long as it’s got an MOT!’ can see keen bikers bringing some weird and wonderful machines, especially with reduced fees for multiple entries. This category offers great close-up amateur photo opportunities- although with winning times coming in just under 10 seconds, it pays to be quick on the shutter!
There’s plenty for the whole family at the event, as tickets include admission to Leighton Hall’s acres of parkland, stunning gardens, and of course, welcome tea rooms. While petrol-heads and restorers peruse the automobilia for sale, children can let off steam racing around the play areas, Woodland Walk and Tree Face Trail.
The event opens at 9.30am, with practise runs in the morning before racing starts at 1pm. Advance tickets can be purchased online, £10 for adults including a programme of events, and free for under 16 year s accompanied by a paying adult.