THIS weekend sees competitors on two, three and four wheels, as well as up in the sky, converge on Croft Circuit for the traditional Battle of Britain race meeting organised once again under the expertise of Darlington & District Motor Club.

Having originally been staged at the North Yorkshire venue when it opened its doors as Croft Autodrome back in 1964, and in deference to Croft’s aerodrome roots and its role as the most northerly Bomber Base in the UK during the Second World War, under the command of the Royal Canadian Air Force, for many years, the traditional August Bank Holiday highlight, was the Battle of Britain race meeting which regularly drew crowds of up to 30,000 who were wowed by the on-track action and captivating aerial displays from the spectacular Red Arrows and a thunderous Lancaster Bomber.

The event raised substantial funds for charity and local heroes always featured prominently, including motorcycling ace Ken Redfern, car racing front-runners Andy Barton and Ron Harper and sidecar stars Matt Hobson and Colin Appleyard. What’s more, the meeting became so well established on the annual motor sport calendar that by the 1970s it was attracting sponsorship from global oil giant Texaco and drivers of the calibre of legendary world champions James Hunt and Barry Sheene as well as multiple grand prix-winner Patrick Tambay to perform demonstration runs and present trophies

Included in the action this weekend is the Petro-Canada Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli which kicks off the action tomorrow morning and sees Richmond father and son, Mark and Jake McAleer, do battle alongside Yarm’s Hugo Holmes. Mark leads class one having taken five wins so far this season whilst Jake is second in class two. The first of four solo motorcycle races organised by the Auto 66 Club span either side of the lunch break before the ever-popular DDMC-organised Northern Sports & Saloon Car Championship races takes to the track.

Split into two grids with over 50 cars entered this weekend, including the usual diverse and eclectic mix of machinery, the series is currently led by Darlington driver Mark Leybourne in his Westfield ahead of Scott Hubel from Leeds in his mighty Peugeot 205 T16R. Also in action will be former champions including Mike Cutt (BMW), Kirk Armitage (BMW) Simon Baker (Fiesta) and current champion Martin Whitehouse (BMW). Simon Baker was the first winner of the Grinton Picnic Trophy for the Northern Saloon & Sports Car Championship 20 years ago and this weekend sees him back in action after almost a full season repairing his car from an accident at the first round at Oulton Park.

Tomorrow will also see the popular Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire in the skies above, weather permitting around 1.25pm, whilst Sunday sees Tom Cassels’ aerobatic display around 1.00pm with track action getting underway at 12.00 noon with qualifying for the Battle of Britain Trophy races before a packed afternoon of action.

Adult admission is £14 each day with accompanied children aged 15 and under admitted free. There is free car parking and paddock access throughout the weekend and for further information, please visit or

REDCAR SG Petch Bears took on top of the league Sheffield Tigers last Thursday evening and suffered a narrow defeat. Without top rider Jonas B Andersen who was back in Denmark riding for his other club, the Bears lost the first two heats before Ellis Perks got the gate and lead throughout with team mate Jason Garrity second to give the home side a 5-1.

The scoreline was all square at the halfway point with points being shared in the next couple of heats also meaning the Bears were really taking it to the league leaders when Ben Barker scored his only win of the meeting in heat ten give the Bears a slender two-point lead. The Tigers hit back and with three heats remaining, the teams couldn’t be separated but the Tigers managed to edge it in the end with a 5-1 in the final heat to make the final scoreline Bears 41-49 Tigers. There was more disappointment for the Bears when they went down 48-42 away to the Workington Comets last Saturday, compounded by an injury to Jason Garrity which ruled him out of the meeting.

STOCKTON’S Daley Mathison continued his excellent form this season with a superb performance at last weekend’s Ulster Grand Prix. Aboard the Eddie Stobart-backed BMW, Mathison finished tenth in both the Superstock and Superbike races around the 7.4-mile Dundrod circuit where average speeds nudge 135mph.

Saltburn rider Davey Todd brought his Longshot Kawasaki home in 17th place in the opening Supersport race but retired from the second one whilst fellow Teessider Dave Woolams scored a best result of 17th in the Lightweight race aboard his 400cc Kawasaki.