Round four at Donington Park
The Lansdowne Classic Series takes classic motorcycle racing to Donington Park on the 3rd-4th August. The annual classic racing event always produces large grids of thoroughbred machinery including the Norton Manx, Matchess G50 and 7R plus a wealth of other marques such as Velocette, Rudge and Aermacchi.
Look out for the red plated bikes, these machines can be pre-1954 pure race machines or road-based racers from pre-1955. The BSA Gold Star of Fernando Mendes is a new addition to the Lansdowne, you may have watched the colourful South African on World of Sport back in the 1990s when he contended the ultra-competitive 125 British Championship.
Each meeting in 2019 will be hailed as a ‘Trophy’ meeting where we remember the careers of notable riders and fellow Lansdowners. Round Four is titled The Charlie Williams Trophy.
In Charlie Williams’ own words
I am honoured to have an event named after me and not only will I be at the Donington Park round of this year’s Lansdowne Race Series, it is my intention to compete on Mike Farrall’s Manx Norton whilst there!
I ﬁrst rode a Manx Norton at the Goodwood Revival in 2011 teamed with its owner and my former Endurance racing partner, Stan Woods. Back then, we had a combined age of 127! Despite this, we did well ﬁnishing 6th overall.
Stan suggested that I might like to ride in the next round of the Lansdowne Series which was to be held at Silverstone a couple of weeks after Goodwood.
I suppose I showed some interest but pointed out to him that I didn’t own a Manx or any other eligible classic bike for that matter. Just at that point Patrick Walker passed by. “You’ll lend Charlie a bike for Silverstone won’t you Patrick?” asked Stan.
With little hesitation, Patrick agreed and that’s how I was introduced to the Lansdowne Club. Although I didn’t think much of the super short track that we used at Silverstone that day, it wasn’t the fantastic full GP circuit I so fondly remembered, but despite that, I enjoyed myself immensely.
Fast forward to 2014 and after several outings on Patrick’s “Works Norton” in various Lansdowne races I was persuaded to ride in the Senior Classic TT. Thirty years had elapsed since my last TT race in 1984.
Since then I have ridden in a few Lansdowne events and particularly the Donington Park one as it’s a good chance for me to get a run out prior to The Goodwood Revival in September.
I enjoy the friendliness and camaraderie of the Lansdowne events, it reminds me very much of my early club racing days. Having said that, the racing can be very competitive, especially at the sharp end !
Please come and visit us in the paddock, you will ﬁnd us a very friendly bunch so pop in for a cup of tea and a slice of Lansdowne-made cake !