Friday, 26 August 2016

NSA at Weston Zoyland, May 2016

National Sprint Association meetings at Weston Zoyland are becoming my favourite events to attend as they combine the atmosphere that comes with a sprint event, with the social and accessible elements that come with low key events such as this.

Suzuki GT250 X7

(ink sketch with gouache)

Bought in 1990 for £90 this Suzuki GT250 X7 was run as a road racer and then began sprinting in 1997. At that time it was still fairly original and over time the machine has been slowly tweaked and altered to become more competitive within the sport of sprinting. The day before I visited Weston Zoyland Tonmy had achieved a course record for it's class of 10.79 seconds for the quarter mile and hitting 119mph.

John Young’s Tri-JAP special

(ink sketch)

I was thrilled to be asked to sketch this great vintage class sprinter. Using a combination of a 1936 Triumph Tiger 70 frame and a 500cc JAP engine, this is one of two JAP engined sprinters built by John E. Young. As John was riding his other sprinter on the day, I had the luxury of sketching this one uninterrupted.

On returning from one of his runs, I asked John how he did…
 “12.63 seconds at 106.4mph” he answered modestly. That’s quick indeed!  
John started sprinting about 16 years ago. Before that, he started riding grass track at Burton, Somerset and also rode successfully on a trials sidecar outfit and competed at expert level on a 500cc Cheney BSA. 

This particular machine has been out to Bonneville twice, once in 2014 and then again in 2015, but with the issues with flooding and then over harvesting, the bike hasn’t run on the famous salt flats yet. I hope this bike and John do make it out to the salt flats within the next few years, so he can achieve one of his life goals, though in the meantime he seems happy sprinting here in the UK.

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