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Tandragee 100 The Classic Scene


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A Bit of History

The outright classic lap record was set in 1998 by Bob Jackson on a 500cc Norton, Bob lapped the circuit at over 92 mph in 3 minutes 27 seconds. An incredible speed for a classic on Armagh country roads. This weekend Guy Martin set the fastest lap of the race on a BSA 750 at just over 90 mph when he posted 3 mins 33 seconds for lap 4. 

The Track, The Club, The People

People say the Tandragee 100 is like a mini TT, but its much more than that, its a fantastic circuit in its own right and in most racers opinion is the best national road race in the world. Its 5.3 miles long and has some of the fastest corners anywhere, it has bomb holes and jumps coming at you as fast as you can think, everything road racers and spectators could want. The club itself is run by some of the finest people in racing and the atmosphere is always a bit special. Organisers pay attention to detail and its the small stuff that raises the bar. The classics were treated with great respect this weekend and we were well looked after. Our bikes are air cooled and we are often held for long periods in the holding area before a race starts with our engines running, this can have catastrophic results on the old bikes. But this weekend was different, we were not called to the grid until the course was ready and all non race traffic had left the circuit. We were held for 2 mins tops, then during our warm up lap we where picked up at mile 4 by the travelling marshals who brought us back to the start line well bunched up which helped every one to get in position quickly before the flag dropped. 

Other race organisers should take note as its these details that actually speed up the process and makes for a much more enjoyable day for all involved. So credit must be given when credit is due, thank you to Anne and team from all us classic riders.

The Race

Pole sitter John Leigh Pemberton took up postion at 1.15 pm. He had set the fastest time during Friday practice lapping his Manx Norton in 3 minutes and 42 seconds at just over 86 mph, beside him sat Mark Parrett and Richard Ford, row 2 was filled by Dean Stimpson, Barry Davidson and Keith Clarke. 5 Norton's made up the top 6, the only exception was Barry on the Team Gimbert 350 Honda. Brian Mateer was in an incredible P7 on a Suzuki 250cc with Guy Martin rounding up the top 8 on a 750 BSA rocket 3.

Dean Stimpson made a great start closely followed by Richard Ford and Mark Parrett, Barry kept himself in the mix with Guy Martin coming up fast, At the end of lap one the field was taking shape. It was Dean Stimpson and Guy Martin at the front, Richard Ford, Barry Davidson and John Leigh where still pushing hard but the front two where getting away. Richard hung on for three laps but the pace of Dean and Guy was strong. They swapped position's through out the race and the large crowds in the hedges where loving it. It continued like this for the rest of the race but it was Dean Stimpson who crossed the line first very closely followed by Guy with Richard Ford taking third on the road.


Unlimited cc

1st Guy Martin

2nd Richard Ford

3rd Ian Thompson

500 cc

1st Dean Stimpson

2nd John Leigh Pemberton

3rd Keith Clarke

350 cc

1st Barry Davidson

2nd Tim Stephenson

3rd Mark Johnson

250 cc

1st Brian Mateer

2nd Philip Shaw

3rd Kyle Parkes

Well done all on a cracking weekend, Special mentions go to Brian Mateer who clocked up his tenth road race win on the 250, and to Kyle Parkes, our youngest classic racer still in his teens who earned his first road race podium. To get one is special but to do it at Tandragee is something else. Ride of the day has to go to Dean Stimpson who held off a hard charging Guy Martin to take the win on the road and in his own 500 class.

The next road race for the classics is Kells on June 15th & 16th.

Thanks Paddy Condron for the cracking photo of Dean we used for this piece.