Evans set for racing debut at Oliver's Mount

Oliver's Mount beckons for James Evans who has signed up for England's only road race for the first time.

The Shrewsbury star has already enjoyed success in road racing, at the Aberdare Park Road Races, in Wales, and has always run well on the circuits with the NG Road Racing championships.

But the 37-year-old, who runs his own Pro Bike Repairs business, admits racing around the 2.43-mile Scarborough track will be one to tick off the bucket list.

"I've watched as a spectator a few times, so I pretty much know where the track goes, and it looks a bit like Aberdare," said Evans.

"It's one of the races I've always wanted to tick off the bucket list and it went really well last year, the way it was run – and there were quite a few newcomers taking part.

"I thought I'd try it, especially as I was going to go and watch again anyway. For a few more quid I realised I could actually enter the races, so I went for it.

"There aren't many road races in mainland UK and it was nice they managed to get some fans at the meetings too."

Evans is also fully focussed on racing in the NG championships, which take place on some of the UK's most famous tracks, although due to changes to in the calendar he will be forced to either return to Aberdare – where he has picked up two podiums in the past – or stick with NG and try to secure a top five championship finish, due to a clash of dates.

"The only downside for me, personally, is the fact Oulton Park has been moved on the NG calendar because that's obviously the most local to us and where we can bring the most friends, but due to a clash with the main British Superbike championships the date has been moved," he said.

"It means I now have to choose between racing at Oulton or missing the round and returning to Aberdare, which is pretty annoying.

"I've had some good success in Wales, finishing third in the Park Challenge and Welsh Open classes, which also coincided with Aberdare's 70th anniversary. Road racing legend Ian Lougher also presented me with my trophy.

"But I'm really looking forward to Scarborough and I'll be riding for all the road and circuit competitions under my own PBR Racing banner again."

Evans was also forced to wait until the opening club championship race weekend to throw his leg over a bike in anger again, for the first time since September, due to all the restrictions, but said he was pleased with how round one of the NG series, on board his trusted Yamaha R6 in the 600 Class.

"I started 12th on the grid after qualifying and then went on to finish 11th, followed by two ninths" he said.

"I improved my lap times in every race, which was encouraging, and then did a PB on my final lap. I wasn't too far off the leaders either.

"I hadn't ridden since September last year, when the lockdowns returned again.

"We then had a track day set for March 24, which was cancelled and then when they did return everywhere was fully booked.

"It meant I knew I'd have to wait for the test day before the opening race before getting back out on the bike again.

"But I was pleased with how it all went and I was only one second off the top four – and my lap times were very consistent.

"It's all well and good putting in fast laps but you need them all to be quick, and I seemed to be getting faster and faster.

"There were some names I didn't recognise at Brands Hatch so I wouldn't be surprised if they were just using round to get in some track time, so it will be interesting to see who's racing at Donington Park next weekend. My aim is to finish in the top five again.

"NG has also brought in Castle Coombe and Cadwell Park, where I got third in the wet last time out, to the race calendar.

"But after Donington Park it will be Oliver's Mount, where I will be racing for the first time.

"It's taken me a little while to get back into it but you don't forget how to ride a motorbike and racing at Brands Hatch really gave me my confidence back.

"It helped being a dry track and so hopefully it will be the same for Donington and Oliver's Mount."

Evans heads to Donington Park, with the NG Road Racing championship, May 14-16, before racing in the Spring Cup, at Oliver's Mount, May 22-23.

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