Not as fast as we hoped

Sorry for the slow report. We were a day late because of weather and had to pack up and get to the ferry in the afternoon. Arrival in UK after midnight rather disrupts things!

The race day weather was fine and we had a noon start scheduled. This turned into a 12:10 start after delays getting marshals. Monday was a bank holiday and a lot of marshals had to leave the Island to go back to work.

Everything was perfect, and according to plan with the bike prepped and ready to race on Saturday afternoon, so we were optimistic of a good finish.

The 350cc “Junior TT” race has become one for modified Honda K4 350cc twins. The singles are disappearing from the grids as the Honda have taken over.

What was a real blow to us was the race was shortened to 3 laps, and this really destroyed any chance of a podium for a single, which can go the race without a fuel stop.

Our race battle was really with Fred Walmsley’s AJS 7R which was ridden by NZ based Chris Swallow, who was starting one place ahead of us as number 7.

The first lap was good with Cam just over half a second ahead of Chris but on lap 2 the bike developed a misfire and lost a 1000 revs. As he came past the pits I could hear it drop the occasional shot.


At the finish, Chris Swallow was 7th and the first Single Cylinder home and  we were 12th, second single home.

After doing 8 laps without any real problems and always being ahead of Chris in practice, it was both a mystery and a disappointment for this to show up during the race.

The bike finished the race in perfect condition with no oil in the bottles and no leaks, and did everything well bar the performance loss.

Cameron Donald was obviously disappointed but he, as always put 100% into his riding and even when the bike was slow, he never gave up. I appologised to him for not getting it right but he would have none of it, saying we could not have done more.

Peter Bloore, the owner of the bike was pleased we got a finish and is keen to find out what caused our misfire. My suspicions are we may have a condenser problem, but we could also have been a jetting problem, as it is a nightmare, plug reading after the return to the pits as you have come from the highest altitude. We have no one to compare notes with on jetting as we have a different (Amal GP) card to almost everyone else. After 8 laps trouble free I think electrical is more likely.

Ask any of the 53 starters and the 46 finishers and they will all have similar stories. Fred Walmsley, who’s bikes have won more races than most has brought his Seeley G50 Matchless (that Cam rode the first year, against Bruce Anstey) here 5 times without a finish!

Bruce Anstey rode the V4 Yamaha to second place in the Classic Superbike TT with a new record lap of 127.496mph!

Cameron did a lot of media stuff this week so we should see him on the Classic TT report due to show on TV4 tonight. With a bit of luck we should see it in NZ too.

We had a great time on the Isle of Man and were looked after by our hosts Gary and Helen Allen who have become real friends and treat us like family. All the organisers were really good to us too.

Our little team of Peter Bloore and his son James were helped by Ian Wardrop from Scotland who knows a thing or two about Nortons. Debbie and here friend from schooldays were always on hand to help too, so it all worked really well.

Off to Goodwood next!

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