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History made at the George Brown memorial Sprint

Organised by NSA and Straightliners at Lancaster raceway East Kirkby after Saturdays rain Sunday dawned bright and sunny. To get the 2 most iconic sprint bikes to a meeting, Nero and Super Nero George Brown's famous Vincent engined sprinters, was down to a great deal of effort from some very dedicated people. The bikes, which are kept at The National Motorcycle Museum, were not only here for all to see and admire but also for the first time ever ridden side by side down the 1/4 mile by Georges son Tony, on Super Nero and Chris Illman on Nero. They were then ridden back down track for the obligatory photo shoot. Incidentally it was the highly experienced Chris,s first time on Nero, the normally aspirated bike, and he recorded for prosperity a 13.27sec run at 101mph Tony a more sedate 17.91sec at 46mph being kind to Super Nero, the supercharged version. 

George Brown and brother Cliff built record breaking Nero and Super Nero based on Vincent bikes. Photo Dunk Rose.


Chris also had a run on another of the bikes ridden by George, namely the Bayley / Cole Douglas 500cc still owned by the Bayley family, which over the years was ridden by a host of famous riders. Thanks go to the Bayley family for allowing the Douglas to appear. 

In this age of sanitised turbo sprint/drag bikes it was nice to see there are people out there who have the skill and knowledge to run the single and twin engined supercharged bikes. We must hope that they write down and pass on these skills to the next generation so these historically important creations may continue to be ridden at these type of events. 

There were 11 supercharged old school sprinters running including the BSA 250CC C15 of Phil Hazelwood, Dave Brown's Weslake 500cc single, John Hobbs on his Olympus 500cc Triumph twin recreation,Colin Fallows Weslake 650cc twin, originally running 2 superchargers,now running just a single, Colin also running Black Cat 650cc Triumph with reversed cylinder head, Dave Clee 875cc Triumph Puma twin, Ray Law Triumph Double, with double Triumph 500cc twins and 2 superchargers, Colin Fallows Super Cyclops, twin 500CC Norton Dominator with single supercharger, Kevin Fields Icarus, two 500cc Triumphs with twin superchargers, Terry Homan with the wonderfully different Dragwaye ,1300cc air cooled VW and supercharger and last but by no means least John Hobbs magnificent Hobbit, 1700cc of double 850cc Weslake engines with twin superchargers. All the above were run down the strip putting down some very decent times and speeds. 

The most spectacular being John on the Hobbit who had not gone easy on the nitro mix. The ground shook, the noise assaulted your eardrums and the nitro mix made your eyes run, all but with that wonderful smell of brutal power being released. 

John didn't disappoint running a 9.91sec at 140mph ,only eclipsed to fastest time of the day by one of the aforementioned sanitised turbo bikes, by 0.5sec.
Sadly on John's 2nd run the Hobbit emitted a puff of smoke at the 1/8th and the engine died the rear engine output shaft having broken. Thankfully John knows a "man that can" in the guise of Graham Sykes, of Syko 3 wheeler fame, who's vast engineering skills will be utilized. 

Another twin engined bike, Pete Williams Two Faced was on static display along with a host of other sprint bikes. 

Written by Paul Cumpstone

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