I HAD a great weekend at Croft Autodrome last weekend as a guest of the Wilcock Consulting Racing team, who are based here in Barrow.

Having resigned his rider from last year, the 2017 Senior and Junior Manx GP winner, Manxman Michael Evans, team owner local businessman Graham Wilcock took the opportunity of testing the machines prior to the assault on this year’s TT races.

A couple of minor technical issues during practice were soon rectified by Mike Bibby, from MBR Racing, in time for ‘Mikey’ to take to the track and what a debut it turned out to be.

Despite never having seen the circuit before, he gained two second places early in the programme, then took on all the established stars in the big race of the day, the Ken Redfern Trophy race.

After eight hard laps of racing, Evans crossed the line three seconds ahead of the field to win the coveted Ken Redfern Trophy.

Many of the top names in motorcycling are engraved on the award, which has been going for many many years.

I can recall racing for it myself many years ago, but never got my hands on it.

This weekend the team are at Oulton Park. Lets hope they have even more success there. Well done lads.

* HOT on the heels of the Bootle Scrambles Club's trial, the Barrow & District Motorcycle club held their annual D R Burrows trial last Sunday around the Graythwaite area near Newby Bridge.

A cold but fine day saw riders tackling four laps of courses made up of 10 sections marked out by club stalwart Norman Cooper. Again, riders had a choice of three routes: Hard, green or clubmans.

Walney's Pete Blowers was the man of the day, being the only competitor to complete his course without the loss of any marks. Broughton's James Postlethwaite put up a great performance on a 20-year-old Yamaha to finish runner up to Blowers with the loss of just one mark.

As always, the club would like to thank all the officials, landowners and observers who gave up their time to make the event possible.

The full results are as follows.

Hard: 1. Stephen Dixon (Scorpa, Grasmere) 12; 2. Richard Gaskell (Beta, Keswick) 14; 3. Matthew Alpe (Beta, Clitheroe) 22.

Green: 1. Rob Shuttleworth (Gas Gas, Kendal) 8; 2. Dan Gaskell (Scorpa, Keswick) 11; 3. Tom Hodgson (Beta, Kendal) 12.

Clubmans: 1. Pete Blowers (Scorpa, Walney) 0; 2. James Postlethwaite (Yamaha, Broughton) 1; 3. Richard Taylor (Fantic, Lancs) 1.

* OVER 150 entries have been received for the first hill climb/sprint of the season at Houghton Tower, near Blackburn, on Sunday April 7.

Now in its 48th year, the 1.8-mile uphill climb always produces some intense competition and the slightly bevelled driveway is not ideal, but a challenging course for riders.

As one rider put it to me recently: “It's great fun, but like racing on the side of a barrel!”

If you'd like to see classic ,vintage and modern machines being put through their paces, Hoghton Tower is the place to be. Practice starts at 10am with racing from around Noon and admission is £10.

* DO you fancy giving your machine its first run-out of the summer next week?

The first of the popular bike nights at the Bridge House Tea Rooms in Wray, near Lancaster, is being held on the evening of Thursday, April 4 with a start time of 5.15pm. The postcode is LA2 8QP.

There is always a good turnout at these nights and you could be rubbing shoulders with TT legend John McGuinness, who now lives just a couple of miles down the road.

He's often been known to pop down for a brew and a chat with his many fans.

* Don't forget: If you are interested in joining a group of enthusiasts hoping to set up a local branch of the Vintage Motorcycle club, pop along to the Ulverston Sports & Leisure Centre on Priory Road this Tuesday night at 7.30pm.