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Eventful finale for the Shropshire speedsters

By James Driver-Fisher | Grassroots | Published:

The final round of the Wirral 100 championship is known as the Anglesey Grand – but it was far from grand for Shropshire's Barry Furber and Chris Lewis.

Furber, 34, from Bishop's Castle, suffered bad luck from the start with mechanical problems and a 90mpgh crash but still managed to claim two superb podiums against the odds.

The meeting, however, was even worse for Shrewsbury's Chris Lewis. The 64-year-old had already decided the final Wirral 100 race of the year would be his swansong.

Waking up in a hospital bed, however, following a bad crash was not how he had planned to bow out.

Yet the late bloomer, who only started racing in his sixties, remained philosophical about his successful racing career, which has seen him claim a club title.

"This was my very last meeting as I had already decided not to carry on racing," he said.

"I did three sessions on the Friday afternoon track day and the bike was going really well.

"Come first race day on Saturday and the bike was not running quite right through qualifying.

"I thought we had fixed it and I went out for the first race.

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"First lap, the bike felt better but not perfect and the next thing I remember is waking up in Bangor Hospital with a broken collarbone and four broken ribs.

"Apparently someone t-boned me at the hairpin. Not the best way to finish my racing career but that's racing.

"I shall go back to being a keen spectator from now on."

Furber decided to enter the meeting as a last hurrah, following another successful road racing campaign competing at the Isle of Man TT, as well marking his debut at the Ulster GP in Northern Ireland, and the Southern 100, also raced in the Isle of Man, in fine style.

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"Unfortunately nothing went to plan," he said. "Bad luck struck first on Saturday with a mechanical failure during the first Powerbike race.

"This led to missing the warm up lap for the 650cc race so I started from the back.

"I quickly moved up from 34th all the way to third, battling with Denver Robb from Ireland but he beat me to second place by a tenth of a second.

"In the next race, I went one better with second place, pushing the leader all the way to the finish line in a great race."

Starting from 29th in the second 1000cc Powerbike race, due to his DNF in the first, Furber pushed hard to work his way through the field and crossed the line 13th.

"Sunday was a complete disaster," he added. "I crashed the 1000cc Kawasaki at 90mph and it was too bad to repair on the day, meaning I had to miss both the main 'Grand Races'.

"I got back out for the last 650cc race where I moved up from 32nd to sixth in four laps until the exhaust manifold snapped, forcing me to retire.

"The winter break will now give me time to rebuild and come back stronger for next season.

"Thanks to everyone for the support this year especially DC Autos, Spaces2be, Chillogic, Morris Lubricants, HF Pugh and Greenhous."

Meanwhile, Paul Myler again swapped his 1000cc superbikes for his 90cc Honda as he returned to Plop Endurance racing.

After forking out a whopping £270 for a new Honda 90 – the bike most of the field rides for the eight-hour endurance challenge, which raise money for charity – they got a good start off the line in Anglesey, north Wales.

Myler, 53, from Telford, was joined by Mark Hill, 36, from Madeley, and Stuart Ashton, 53, from Leegomery, to make up the Bug Splatz team.

"We took brand new wets as it always rains at Ty Croes," said Myler, who has won 12 club racing championships over the last 18 years.

"We started 32nd out of 100 and during the early stages we had made our way into the top 10.

"We suffered a broken exhaust bracket but that was our only mishap although eventually the faster bikes came through."

The event is raced under two classes, up 110cc and then the standard Honda 90, which the Bug Splatz team entered.

"We finished 35th over all and 23rd in class, after completing 156 laps," said Myler.

James Driver-Fisher

By James Driver-Fisher

Motorsport journalist and entertainment and food reviewer for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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