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31st March 2008

2008 Festival of 1000 Bikes Update
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The VMCC have arranged all manner of entertainment for their Festival of 1000 Bikes, and RealClassic readers are invited to join the throng. Display your bike in the RC area and you can save £22 and enjoy the whole weekend for FREE...

The Festival of 1000 Bikes takes place on Saturday and Sunday 12th and 13th July 2008, at Mallory Park race circuit. One of the highlights of the weekend is the chance to ride your own classic bike around the track, and there are a few places left on some track sessions.

You can ride your own solo, outfit or three-wheeler and will be grouped with similar motorcycles; road machine sessions are on Saturday 12th while race bikes take to the track on the Sunday. Prices start from £29 for the first track session (then £18 each for further sessions), and these tickets also allow two adults admission to the whole event for both days. Track sessions always sell out long before the event so don’t hang about if you’d like to ride. The VMCC always like to see sidecars and veteran/vintage machines enter and encourage owners to enter if they own an ‘older’ machine or an outfit of any age or type. Download an entry form at www.vmcc.net or call 01283 540557.

the Laverda Owners Club about to take to the track en masse Track sessions are all colour-coded for ease of recognition. This is the orange group.

However, the Festival is about much more than just the track sessions, with a full schedule of classic motorcycling events and attractions arranged throughout the weekend to keep you busy if you opt not to take to the track. The VMCC are keen to see the circuit full of interesting motorcycles, and have kindly offered RC readers FREE passes to the event if you bring along a classic to display. The pass will give you free admission to the Festival (but NOT a track ticket; you need to see the details above and apply pronto for one of those), and here’s a taster of what you’ll be able to enjoy…

You don't need one of these to take part Laverda V6 Endurance Racer at the 2007 Festival of 1000 Bikes

This year sees a big expansion of the evening entertainment provided over the course of the weekend in the VMCC’s Big Top marquee with its own bar area serving refreshments. On the Friday and Saturday evenings there will be live rock ‘n’ roll bands offering entertainment until late, and on Saturday evening only there will be a ‘Stars on Stage’ feature with interviews with some of the past masters who will be riding on track on Sunday 13th. These include Giacomo Agostini, John Cooper, Mick Grant and Phil Read.

Then from 9am on both Saturday and Sunday, the Avenue of Club, trade stands and autojumble will open for business. If you’ve ever wanted more information about a particular marque or model then this is the ideal chance to meet the owners themselves; as well as the well-known marque organisations the festival also hosts clubs like the AMC Hybrids Association, the Excelsior Talisman Enthusiasts, the New Imperial owners, the Rudge Enthusiasts, the Gold Star owners, the CB1100R owners and many more. You can visit and view these 40-plus club displays and spend some shekels in the jumble, while seeking out the ‘DemonDrome’ Wall of Death which you’ll find near the road paddock on the outside of the circuit.

You don't need one of these to take part... Titch Allen visits the VMCC stand at last year's Festival

For off-road enthusiasts, the Taverners’ Section of the VMCC have designed a tricky pre-65 trial and have gone out of their way to encourage even earlier, pre-57 big Brit thumpers to join the muddy fun. 50 or so competitors are expected to take part in the off-road trial each day – should make for some entertaining viewing! If you prefer grass-tracking then there are two demonstrations, organised by the Grass Track and Speedway Section of the VMCC, which will take place on the Sunday. We’re promised some ‘spectacular grass action’ on a brand new course situated at the end of the Avenue of Clubs.

You don't need one of these to take part... Spring, Trial, Sprint

Don’t expect to do much talking at around 1.30pm on the Sunday, because that’s when the historic sprint demo will roar into action. The Sprint Section of the VMCC will be revving into the redline and beyond on the Start/Finish straight of the track, and once the din has died down you’ll be able to see the sprint bikes parked up in a dedicated Sprint Section display marquee, located within the race bike paddock.

Also forming a must-see display will be the Past Masters’ machines, which are expected to include Agostini’s MV500, Phil Read’s Paton 500 and the incredible Tul-aris GP Bike ridden by Mick Grant, plus various works machines supplied by the National Motorcycle Museum. These will all be housed in the Past Masters section of the static display area within the race paddock from around 10.30am on the Sunday.

You don't need one of these to take part... Mick Grant (in white shirt) is not a man to be easily impressed

Then the Past Masters and machines take to the track in a spine tingling display of sights and sounds. This will include a reprise of the epic 1971 race of the year battle between 10-time TT winner Agostini and John Cooper, with Mooneyes riding the BSA Rocket 3 on which he beat Ago all those years ago. They’ll be joined by 70s superstar and multiple World Champion Phil Read on the awesome Paton 500, plus a plethora of other famous riders on exotic machines.

The weekend will wind up with the final award ceremony at 4pm, with trophies for the bikes in the track sessions: Best Pre-War Machine and Best Post-War Machine, and for the Best Club Stand.

You don't need one of these to take part... This 1926 Ivy won the prize for best Pre-War bike in 2007

If you want to make a full weekend of it then camping facilities will be available at £10 per pitch for the entire weekend, Friday to Sunday inclusive (no need to prebook). Petrol will be available to track participants from the race paddock at times announced in the event programme and, should you have trouble getting your old bike going, then Hawksley Engineering will offer a Starter Service in the paddock on the Sunday.

Laverda stuff on eBay.co.uk
(There wasn't much for '26 Ivys)

All this certainly sounds like a weekend you wouldn’t want to miss. Spectator tickets cost £10 for the Saturday and £14 for Sunday, or £22 for a weekend ticket. But – and here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for – if you display your classic bike on either day as part of the RealClassic Club array, then we can send you a FREE pass for admission to the event.

To claim your FREE pass, just send an SAE to Fest1000 Tickets, RCHQ, PO Box 66, Bude EX23 9ZX.

Make a note on the back of the envelope to tell us which day you can attend (or both), and which bike you expect to bring (if it changes at the last minute no one is going to tell you off. Promise!). We’ll send out passes to arrive with you by the end of June – if the offer is over-subscribed then TP will make a random selection from all the entries. Then all you have to do is turn up at the appropriate time, find the RealClassic area, park your bike next to other RC readers, and have a truly great weekend.

Final reminder: the free pass offer is ONLY for spectator tickets. If you want to ride on track the see www.vmcc.net to download an entry form, and don’t take too long about it…


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