Dean Harrison_Carole Nash_Classic Senior podium_2023


Dean Harrison won the Carole Nash Classic Senior MGP Race at the centenary Manx Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, the Bradford rider setting a new lap record on Ted Woof’s Craven Manx Norton to win by a commanding 52.5 seconds.

The battle for second went all the way to the end though with John McGuinness (Winfield Paton) coming home ahead of one-time leader Mike Browne (Peter Grantham Lodge Norton) with Shaun Anderson (Peter Beugger Paton) just missing out.

Slightly delayed after overnight rain to a 2.15pm start, it was McGuinness who led through Glen Helen on the opening lap, his advantage over Harrison two seconds. Browne slotted into third, just 0.8 seconds behind Harrison, with Anderson only a further 0.7s adrift. Adam McLean (Flitwick Motorcycles Royal Enfield) and James Hillier (C-S-C/IMS Yamaha) completed the top six.

Harrison recorded the fastest ever lap on a single-cylinder classic machine at 111.395mph

McGuinness still led at Ballaugh but by Ramsey, Browne had moved into the lead albeit by only 0.8 seconds. Harrison was now third, 2.7 seconds behind McGuinness, with Anderson continuing in fourth but now 4.2 seconds behind. McLean and Hillier continued in fifth and sixth, but Michael Sweeney and Andy Hornby were out having retired at Ballaugh and Gorse Lea respectively.

An opening lap of 110.035mph gave Browne a 4.6 seconds advantage over Harrison with McGuinness now in third and a further 4.98 seconds behind. McGuinness also had to make his compulsory pit stop on his twin cylinder Paton whilst the single cylinder Nortons went straight through.

Anderson (108.507mph) completed the opening lap in fourth before making his pit stop with McLean (106.942mph) and Hillier (103.986mph) in fifth and sixth. Michael Russell (Izzard Racing Norton), Rob Hodson (Ruthless Racing Honda), Hefyn Owen (Owen Racing Seeley) and Will Loder (MRE Seeley) rounded out the top ten.

Through Glen Helen for the second time and Harrison had overhauled Browne, the gap between the two just under a second, with McGuinness’s stop meaning he’d dropped some 26 seconds behind. Anderson had closed to within seven seconds of McGuinness with McLean keeping in touch in fifth, but Russell had now overtaken Hillier for sixth.

The gap at the head of field was just seven tenths of a second at Ballaugh, but Harrison had extended the difference to 1.68 seconds as they rounded Ramsey Hairpin for the second time. Further back, McGuinness’ third place was coming under threat from Anderson with the Northern Irishman just 3.32 seconds behind.

A second lap of 111.395mph by Harrison saw him record the fastest ever lap by a 500cc single cylinder classic machine and it gave him a more comfortable lead over Browne of 11.1seconds. McGuinness was still in third, but Anderson had brought the gap down further to 1.6 seconds whilst McLean was keeping himself well in contention after a strong lap of 109.584mph.

At Glen Helen on the final lap, Browne appeared to be running into trouble as he’d slipped some 28 seconds behind and Anderson was now only 0.4 seconds behind McGuinness with the battle for the final podium spot very much on. Indeed, Anderson had taken over third by the time they jumped Ballaugh Bridge for the final time.

Leading on the road, Harrison continued to press on as he looked to better his previous lap, but he eased off as he descended the Mountain for the final time to eventually win by 52 seconds. The battle for second kept changing through all the sectors and it was McGuinness who came through for the runners-up spot, 4.3 seconds ahead of Browne with Anderson 4.5s adrift in fourth.

McLean, having his first race around the Mountain Course since 2018, had a strong ride into fifth ahead of Russell with Hillier, Hodson, Loder and veteran David Madsen-Mygdal completing the top ten.