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2016
CRMC Donington Park Classic Festival 5th-7th August 2016

At the midpoint of the year, the CRMC organised its biggest meeting of the year, the Donington Classic Motorcycle Festival, with 3 days of racing action and star gets riding in the feature parades, it attracted huge spectator numbers.  Team Molnar Manx riders for the weekend were George Hogton Rusling, on the Hercberg International supported 500cc Molnar Manx, and Richard Molnar on the 350cc T3 and 500cc Brian Camp Racing Molnar Manx.

Friday Morning was dedicated to qualifying for the weekends races. On lap 3 of 500cc qualifying, Richards bike began to slow. Fortunately, his laptime from his first 2 laps was enough to put him 2nd, with team mate George in 3rd. The problem turned out to be a split valve cap, a problem which has never happened before. This in turn broke the cam Vernier pin. These problems took all day to solve, with Andy Molnar needing to strip the cambox, a part of the engine that most people don’t understand how it works!

In 350cc qualifying, the front row was covered by 0.117 of a second, with Richard sitting right in the middle, 2nd place.

ACU 500 qualifying became a disaster, 2 laps in George’s bike slowed and seized, and Richard, testing out the brand new spare bike, had handling issues, with a front end set up for the Isle of Man, he struggled with patter. Qualifying misery was ended when Richards bike also tightened up. Richard had managed to get 5th, George 7th, but with no 500cc bikes left running for race 1.

Richard opted to take the 350cc Tickle Manx out, to see what he could do! Straight out of the blocks he was holding nothing back, and on the run down Craner Curves he hit the front. However, he had been relegated to 6th at the end of lap 1, the little 350 getting monstered down the straights and up the hills. But Richard hung on to the leader coat tails, and as some of his rivals fell by the wayside, Richard picked up the pieces & 4th place.

This got Richard more than ready for 350cc Race 1, where he took a comfortable overall win, ahead of the Honda twins as well as all the single cylinder “European” class bikes. Unfortunately, rival Mark Cronshaw (Minnovation Seeley 7R) took a big fall during the race, and suffered some serious injuries. Richard and the rest of the team would like to wish Mark the best for a speedy recovery!

Saturday, and after working all night, both riders had a 500cc machine ready for race 1, George was out on the spare bike, and found the same chatter problems that had hampered Richard in qualifying. This made moving through the field difficult, but held on to 6th place. Unfortunately, the engine tightened up again as it crossed the line.

Richard was quick out of the traps, but was really struggling for rear end grip after taking a big gamble on the rear tyre that didn’t pay off. Locked in battle with Gary Thwaites (Shelton Seeley G50) and Harley Rushton (Craven Manx) for 3rd place with Lee Hodge (Minnovation Seeley G50) and Mike Cooper (Craven Manx) out in front and well ahead. On the final lap, Richard managed to push past Harley and into 3rd place. The gods of fortune were obviously on his side, as up ahead, Hodge’s G50 was slowing, and finally cried enough going into the final chicane, allowing Richard to get through and snatch 2nd.

In the only 350cc race of the day, Richard took an early lead, and looked set to hang on to the flag, until a back marker ruined his run into the old hairpin, slowing him on the uphill run to McLeans, allowing Alan Overby (Davies Honda) to sneak through. Richard finished 2nd on the road, 1st in class.

For the second 500cc race of the day, George’s bike was still beyond repair. Richard went out knowing all that was needed was to beat championship leader Lee Hodge. Fortunately, Lee managed to beat himself, losing the front at Coppice corner on lap 2. Richard held a “steady pace”, taking 3rd place, whilst the Craven Manx boys beat themselves up for the lead, with Mike Cooper taking the win from Harley Rushton.

Sunday kicked off with the third 350cc race of the weekend. Richard, furious with losing out the day before, set a red hot pace, lapping 1 second a lap faster than anyone else could manage, allowing him to take a 5 second overall lead.

Big race time, the ACU 500. With prize money and British Championship status, it’s the one everyone wants to win! Richard took the first 2 laps steady, allowing his tyres to get up to decent temperature before pressing on. This allowed Lee Hodge to break away, Molnar in 2nd. When Mike Cooper made his way past Richard, the young lad latched on to the more experienced riders seat unit, following his every line and refusing to get dropped off, and together they started to close in on Lee out in front. Once again, luck wasn’t with Hodge, as he suffered a mechanical failure, dropping him out of the lead, and made it a Molnar vs Craven Manx battle for the win. Richard was on his limit, lapping 1 second per lap faster than last year when he took the win, but it wasn’t enough to close in or pass Cooper. Richard had to settle for second, with Harley Rushton in 3rd.

The final 500cc race of the weekend should have been a walk in the park, Richard’s main championship rival had run out of bikes, he just needed to get a decent finish, but it wasn’t to be. Richard took a big tumble going through Starkeys/Schwantz curve.

Uninjured, Richard got straight back out on the 350cc machine for the last race of the day. Once again, Molnar seemed to have the race in the bag, until a huge slide at coppice on lap 4, costing him a second and allowing Alan Overby to close in. The final 2 laps were a real battle, Richard able to carry the corner speed, Alan with the power. At the final chicane on the last lap, Richard stuffed it up the inside on the brakes, and blocked the Honda rider off on the exit, allowing Molnar to take another overall 350cc win.

In the Lansdowne, Molnar Manx mounted Chris Firmin was in flying form, as ever! Taking a win, two 2nd’s and a 3rd, battling 4 ways, with Dean Stimpson (Izzard Racing Norton), Glen English (Works Norton) and Mike Russell (Richard Adams Norton) in every single race. Crucially, Firmin finished ahead of his championship rival Mike Russell in every race. All of this allows Chris to take a 6 point lead in the Lansdowne championship, ahead of the final round of the year at Brands Hatch in October.

Team Molnar Manx’s next outing will be at CRMC Snetterton, 27th & 28th August, hopefully with a full fleet of bikes out and back at the front!
Thank you to our Team Sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Hercberg International, Morris Lubricants and Powertech for their continued support. Also, thank you to Pete Morris at PJM Photography for supplying the action shots in this article, go to http://www.pjm-photography.co.uk/index.html to see more of his work!

CRMC
Anglesey 8th-10th July 2016

Round 4, and the Team returns to the most scenic circuit on the calendar, Anglesey. Right on the edge of Anglesey, with a view looking onto Snowdonia National Park, known for its changes in elevation and incredible views. George Hogton Rusling and Richard Molnar with a 500cc Molnar Manx each, and Richard mounted on the little 350cc Manx T3.

Friday afternoon was set out for testing, however not a lot of it was done. Georges bike picking up a nasty sounding noise after a heat cycle, found to be a broken vernier pin in the cambox, and repaired overnight, and Richard, riding on one of the the 4V Molnar Manx’s for the day, suffering a split carb rubber in session 1, and then the throttle slide locating pin breaking and jamming the throttle open in session 2, it wasn’t going well! Although the final session went really well, getting several very fast laps in, and settling back into the circuit.

Saturday was due to be wet and windy, and that it certainly was! 50mph winds, and horizontal, torrential rain, racing was halted for the day after just 3 races.

Sunday the wind blew a little less, and the rain had gone! Allowing the club to organise a 3 race per class schedule for the day, whereas usually there would be only 2 races per class in a day. This put the club really up against it, and they did very well to fit everything in!

The little 350’s out first, and Richard set off with his usual manor, getting out in front on lap 1 and trying to set the pace. Into the wind, the bike wouldn’t rev out, Richard buried himself behind the screen to try and reduce the resistance but it wasn’t making a big difference. On lap 3 Alan Oversby (Davies Honda) squeezed past to take the lead on the road, Molnar tried to get back past every which way, but the power of the Honda was difficult to match. Richard settled for 2nd overall, 1st in class.

500cc Race 1, and again Richard hit the front on Lap 1, with George getting a pretty bad start and getting run out wide at turn 1 having to fight through the pack, but pushed through to 4th, with Molnar, Lee Hodge & Mark Cronshaw (both Minnovation Seeley G50) in a breakaway trio already a way up the road. Molnar controlled the pace, up until the end of lap 4, when Cronshaw made a lunge at the treacherous corkscrew. With everything decked out and sparks flying, Mark’s G50 pivoted on the lowest point, lifting  the back wheel clean off the floor and sending him into a giant highside, throwing the Minnovation rider 6ft in the air, right in front of Richard. As bike and rider landed in a heap, Molnar took invasive action to avoid them both, allowing Lee Hodge to squeeze through and take the lead. This also promoted George to 3rd. Richard struggled to get his rhythm back on the final lap and couldn’t close in on leader Hodge, settling for 2nd, with George in behind.

350cc Race 2 was almost a complete re-run of race 1, with Oversby and Molnar swapping for the lead every single lap, Molnar taking the outside line through every corner, only to lose out on the straight. A fantastic spectacle as always though.

In the second on the 500cc races, George managed to get away better, chasing the same leading trio as race 1, but struggling with rear end chatter, and after 3 laps felt it best to back off a little, with his feature race on the TZ350 coming up next. Richard went for the same tactic of getting out in front and trying to break away, but on lap 3 Hodge made his move, and Molnar had no comeback, struggling with grip on the edge of the tyre, not allowing him to get on the power when he wanted. Cronshaw was chasing in 3rd, until another mistake at the corkscrew on the final lap sent him down again, once more promoting George onto the final step of the podium, Molnar 2nd and Hodge taking another win. Laptimes were amazingly fast, given that winds had now picked up to 40mph, everyone was a second a lap quicker than the previous year, when conditions were perfect.

For the 350cc final race, Richard decided even more speed on lap 1 was the way forward, but the rapid Honda of Oversby still made its way past into the wind down the back straight. Molnar refused to give up though, riding around the outside at every corner, only to be passed on the next straight. Not even able to close up in the slipstream, the power disadvantage was just too much to overcome, and Molnar missed out on the overall win. However, 3 wins in the European class allows him to extend his championship lead.

George had taken a tumble in the feature ACU 350cc Post Classic race on his TZ, and decided to call it a day, sitting out the final 500cc race. Molnar wasn’t keen on conditions either, the wind had really picked up, making it close to unsafe to ride. Still determined, he allowed Lee Hodge to set the pace, Richard following right in his wheel tracks, weighing up a couple of moves, but still struggling for grip on the edge of the tyre, meaning he couldn’t put the power down when he wanted. On the last lap he started to make a move on the banked turn 2, but a huge slide when he started to lay down the power caused Richard to re-consider and settle for 2nd, but still a result, promoting Richard to 2nd in the championship fight.
Another good weekends racing for the Team, both riders on the podium in all races they competed in, there’s little room for improvement. Next outing is Donington Park, where both riders will be looking to take one last step onto the top of the podium! Make sure you look at the Team Molnar Manx section of our website, as well as Richard Molnar’s YouTube and Facebook pages for more updates!

Thank you to our Team Sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Hercberg International, Morris Lubricants and Powertech for their continued support. Also, thank you to Pete Morris at PJM Photography for supplying all the pictures in this article, go to http://www.pjm-photography.co.uk/index.html to see more of his work!

CRMC
Cadwell Park 3rd – 5th June 2016

Round 3 of the CRMC Championships, at Lincolnshire’s famous Cadwell Park. Infamous for its “Mountain” section. With George Hogton Rusling away with ICGP the focus was on Team Molnar Manx Young Gun Richard Molnar, at what just happens to be his favourite track, with the 3 day event due to be sun soaked for its entirety. Richard was out on his championship winning bikes, Brian Camp’s 500cc Molnar Manx “Maximus”, and the Tickle framed 350cc machine.

Richard was on it straight out of the trap, taking an overall win in the 350cc class, with a 2 second advantage, despite being down on power on the Honda twins, he used the superior handling of the T3 to his advantage.

The first 500cc race got underway in a similar fashion, with Richard firing into the lead off the line, but was relegated to 3rd by Mike Cooper (Craven Manx) and Lee Hodge (Minnovation Seeley G50) on lap 2. Hanging onto their coat tails, but not quite able to match the pace of the leaders, Richard had settled for 3rd. But with 2 laps to go Lee lost the front at the tricky, off camber Barn corner sending him down and out, promoting Molnar to 2nd.

Day 2, and the weather had become very “Lincolnshirish”, with thick mist all around the track, making the track damp. Visibility was no more than 100 meters, and it made riding very difficult. Richard was steady away, letting others set the pace and focusing on taking the singles class win. Whilst others around him hit the floor all over, Richard kept his cool and took 2nd on the road, dominating once again the single cylinder class.

Second race of the day, and the second time out on the bigger bikes this weekend, Richard was full of confidence, with the track now dry, he pushed hard from the off, battling with Mike Cooper all race long, with Lee Hodge right behind, nothing between any of them, until Richard made the same mistake Lee had in race 1, losing the front at barn and sending Molnar out of the race. Championship leader Hodge suffered a mechanical failure the following lap, allowing Cooper to take an easy win.

350cc Race 3 was a repeat of race 1, with Molnar storming into the lead on lap 1, allowing him to take the outright win again, although suffering rear end chatter.

The third 500cc race of the weekend Richard used to get confidence back after the earlier fall, and checking everything was working as it should before the feature race the following day. After taking the initial lead, Molnar dropped behind Lee Hodge and Mike Cooper, settling for the final step on the podium, and picking up what he could from his more experienced competitors.

When the sun broke on Sunday morning Richard was right back on it, putting the big bike 2nd on the grid in qualifying for the feature race, the ACU 500.

Before that though, there was a 350cc race to have a go at. With set up changes made, the bike was a different animal, allowing him to lap nearly 2 seconds faster than the previous day, taking another outright win.

Big race time, and Richard was visibly pumped, hopping from foot to foot, he knew he had a shot at the win. He got a rocket ship start, and heading over the mountain on lap 1 he had a 2 second lead over Mike Cooper. Lee Hodge suffered mechanical failure, it seemed to be Richards golden opportunity to take 25 points and the championship lead, but it wasn’t to be. The petrol tank strap broke coming into the hairpin, and the tank fell off the bike. The distraction allowed Cooper to catch and pass Molnar. Richard managed to get the tank secured between his knees and set off in persuit of the Craven mounted rider, but the harder Richard tired, the more the tank would move about, having to take some corners with one hand holding it in place. His initial advantage was eaten away, and by the end of the race he was down in 5th, dripping in petrol, exhausted and disappointed. Mike Cooper took the win, 2nd Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Egli Vincent), 3rd Mark Cronshaw (Minnovation Seeley G50) and 4th Olie Linsdell (Flitwick Racing Royal Enfield).

For the final 500cc race of the weekend, Richard gave it his all, determined to show he could have pushed for the win in the earlier feature race, scrapping all race long with Mike Cooper and Lee Hodge. On the second to last lap, Cooper made a mistake whilst getting past a back marker, allowing Molnar and Hodge to lunge past. Lee took the lead and put in an incredible final lap, the fastest of the weekend. Richard tried to hang on, but couldn’t manage it, and settled for 2nd. Go onboard with Richard at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udo6X83dFWs
Richard now has a huge lead in the 350cc European championship, unbeaten all year, as well as sitting 3rd in both 500cc championships, its looking good for the young rider. Next outing will be Round 4 at Anglesey, with George back on his bike too!

Thank you to our Team Sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Morris Lubricants and Powertech for their continued support. Also, thank you to Pete Morris at PJM Photography for supplying all the pictures in this article, go to http://www.pjm-photography.co.uk/index.html to see more of his work!

CRMC
Croft May 6th-8th 2016

For the first time since 2007 the CRMC returned to the incredible Croft circuit. Riders for the weekend were George Hogton Rusling, on the Hercberg International 500cc Molnar Manx, and Richard Molnar, on the Brian Camp Racing 500cc Manx, newly re-built after the blow up just 2 weeks ago, and the Tickle framed 350cc special.

Having never seen the track before, Richard enlisted the help of a close friend and former North East champion to show him the way around. George too hadn’t seen the track for several years, so it was a steep learning curve for both riders. But Friday’s testing went reasonably well, with both riders right on the pace from the outset, with Richard riding the spare bike whilst Andy ran in the “new from the head joint down engine” in Richards’s bike.

Saturday mornings first race was for the 500’s, and this time George had his start well sorted, and hit the front from the off, and set the pace all race long, right up until the last lap, with Mike Cooper (Craven Manx) and Lee Hodge (Minnovation Seeley G50) right on his tail. Richard was off the back of the group in 4th, struggling to get straight onto race pace on the new circuit, but getting quicker lap by lap as confidence grew. On the last lap Cooper and Hodge pushed past George, and Richard a few corners later, and that’s how the race finished, with the top 4 covered by 1 second.

The first 350cc race was a lonely ride for Richard, taking 2nd overall behind Alan Oversby (Davies Honda) unable to match the outright speed and initial punch of the Honda. But 1st single cylinder home is what the points count for!

500cc race 2 was a role reversal for the Team mates, Molnar taking the initial lead, on lap 1 ahead of Mike Cooper and Lee Hodge, and George in hot pursuit. Richard looked on for the win until the primary drive belt broke, cruelly putting him out of the race a robbing him of the win. George kept plugging away despite the demise of his team mate, holding on to 3rd, the top 3 once again covered by less than a second.

In the second of the 350cc races, Richard pushed even harder to beat the 350 Honda of Oversby, but was still getting dropped off until the Davies bike started to suffer a problem on the final lap, allowing Molnar to close right up, but not quite enough to take the overall win. But again a win in class was enough.

Qualifying for the feature race, the ACU500 was eventful, after Olie Linsdell (Royal Enfield) fell off in front of George on the outlap. Doing his best not to run him over, George followed Olie and the bike to the barrier where the Manx stalled, and he was unable to get it re-started. Richard had managed to get out at the front and avoid the shenanigans going on, and had a clear track and a bee in his bonnet after the earlier breakdown and being robbed of his first 500cc win of the year. He managed to qualify 2nd. Not bad for someone who is usually 3 seconds off his race pace in practice and qualifying!

Sunday’s racing didn’t get going until 12, and it was a scorching day, everyone switching to the harder tyres. This created a queue at the tyre fitters, meaning the team didn’t get their wheels back until 45 minutes before they hit the track. (It usually takes that long to get the things in, no quick release things here!). Somehow the bikes were turned around and ready to go for the first race of the day.

Both Team riders got away well, but it wasn’t to be for George, who picked up a puncture on lap 2 taking him out of 2nd place. Richard was tentative on the first couple of laps, getting heat into the harder rubber, but then very quickly carved through the field, and hit the front at half race distance and never looked back, taking a 6 second win, the largest winning margin so far this year! More than making up for the blow up 2 weeks ago surely??

Big race time, and an interesting statistic. 10 people on the grid have won an ACU race on the bikes they are riding, 10 people with the potential to win! Both riders got a good start, Richard taking an early lead, setting the pace, with George in 7th, until lap 2 when another primary belt broke. Richard battled with Mike Cooper for the lead, until a mistake from Molnar on lap 3 caused him to overshoot. After turning the bike around and a bit of motocross, Richard was down in 9th, 10 seconds off the podium positions. Only the ride of his life could put him back in contention, and that’s exactly what was delivered, carving through the field, taking lumps out of everyone’s lap times. On the run to the final few corners he managed to make the move for 3rd, an excellent result! Go onboard for the whole race here, it’s certainly one to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ikozE9kOg

For the final 350cc race, Richard was absolutely exhausted, having put everything into holding onto the 500 and push through the pack, but still managed to take the class win, 4th on the road, concluding a good weekend for the Team, with both riders now showing race winning ability.

Next up for the Team is Cadwell Park, for round 3 with the CRMC. Thank you to our Team Sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Hercberg International, Morris Lubricants and Powertech for their continued support. Also, thank you to Pete Morris at PJM Photography for supplying all the pictures in this article, go to http://www.pjm-photography.co.uk/index.html to see more of his work!

 

BHR
Mallory Park 9th-10th April 2016

The Team made its yearly trip to BHR Mallory Park, with the Father & Son duo of Andy and Richard Molnar having a go. Both of them with a 350 and 500 each, it should have been a dream weekend, after taking a 1-2 in the first race on each bike it was certainly shaping up that way.

Soon after the lunch break the rain started to come down in bucketful’s, Andy decided not to take the 500 out given the conditions, Richard thought he would brave it, but only for a lap. The track was coated in oil, and grip levels were close to none existent. Whilst others dropped around him, Richard “tootled” back to the pits, nearly dropping the bike at every moment. With so many fallers racing was cut short, and several races held over to the next day.

Sunday, and with the track now dry Richard was determined to push on and break a 1 minute lap. First race was on the 350cc Machines, Richard raking an 18 second win, with Andy in 3rd, winner of the pre ‘62 class.

500cc Race 3, another win for young Molnar, with his old man in 2nd. Watch the onboard video at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihIpuvGbl3A
With a similar story in 350cc race 3, although laptimes were down a long way after a faller at edwinas chicane lead to a pool of oil, despite riders protests to stop the race no red flag appeared making just getting to the end of the race difficult. But both the Molnar boys managed it, Richard taking the win with Andy 2nd, winning the pre 1962 class.

The final 500cc came around all too soon, with Richard still shy of breaking the 1 minute lap, he was determined not to let up this time, no matter how big the advantage over 2nd got. However, he was suffering with clutch slip right from the off, and problems changing gear. Not giving up, he put in a faster laptime than any other 500 had all weekend. Andy had to drop off the back of his youngster after a broken rear brake cable hampered his progress. The win was far from in the bag for Richard though, as he exited the 100mph Gerards corner, the 10 year old conrod broke, locking the rear wheel and throwing him into a huge highside, breaking the clutch lever in an attempt to cut the drive. Andy went on to win whilst Richard dusted himself off.
With seemingly minimal injuries, Richard got back out in the last 350cc race, but there was absolutely no chance of him backing off, going out with a vengeance and going faster than he had all weekend on the T3, taking a 19 second win from Andy. Go onboard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urmJ8gZAwTA

The injuries soon started to show through, and Richard was unable to move off the bike and had to be lifted off and helped out of his leathers. One of the impacts with the kerb had split his knee slider, and his body was black and blue for weeks, but nothing major! They make ‘em hard up North!
A quote from Andy Molnar post engine strip: “This is a 10 year old conrod which has failed, it is a fatigue failure after 10 years at 10,000rpm. In those 10 years our conrod’s have been updated to eliminate the possibility of this happening again, and we have phased out this design of ‘rod. It certainly poses no cause for concern for customers.”

Apart from that, the fastest Father-Son duo had a very successful weekend, winning every race they completed. Next up is Croft, round 2 of the CRMC Championships.

Thanks to our sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Morris Lubricants and Powertech. Be sure to keep your eye on the Team Molnar Manx News pages, and Richard Molnar’s Youtube channel for updates and information.

 

CRMC
Pembrey 25th-27th March 2016

And so, the 2016 season begins, with double champion Richard Molnar on his familiar B Camp Racing Molnar Manx, and the Tickle 350, joined by 2015 “King of the Classics” George Hogton Rusling, riding the Hercberg International supported 95 bore Molnar Manx. With the season opener at Pembrey, a true test of a machine, known for its bumpy surface. If you can get a bike to work well here, it’ll work anywhere!

Friday was for testing, with the sun beating down, getting both riders bike into the grove, and George familiarised with his 500cc Manx Norton, whilst Richard gave all his bikes a quick spin.

Saturday however, and the weather had turned, gone was the beautiful sun, replaced with pouring rain, gusting wind, near monsoon conditions, with spray making visibility incredibly low.

Race 1, Richard out on the 350, after a good start battled up to 2nd overall, before suffering a few moments. Richard decided to back off a little and settle for 4th overall, 1st in class

500cc race 1, and the rain had got worse! George struggled to get the big single off the line, ending lap 1 down in 11th place, but battled through and built up confidence as the race went on, to get up to 7th. Richard got his usual flying start, but not wanting to risk going down, he waited for one of the more experienced riders to come past and set the pace for a few laps. Latching onto the back of Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Egli Vincent), Richard finished 5th. 350cc race 2 and the rain had finally stopped bucketing down, just giving Richard a little more confidence, allowing him to push on to 2nd overall, just behind Alan Oversby (Davies Honda), another win in the single cylinder class.

500cc race 2, the track was finally starting to dry a little. George again struggled to get the bike off the line, but hung onto the back of the leading group, finishing in 7th again. Alan Oversby (Davies Honda 500/4) and Mark Cronshaw (Minnovation Seeley G50) were both masters of the conditions, allowing them to get away. A massive battle for the last step on the podium broke out between Lee Hodge (Minnovation Seeley G50), Alex Sinclair, Jamie Coward (Craven Manx) and Richard Molnar. Starting the final lap, Richard pulled out of the double sleepstream from Sinclair and Hodge, but misjudging the braking into the tight turn 1, hitting the floor hard.

Sunday came around, and thankfully the rain had finished falling! However the track was still soaked through from rain in the night. Richard was out first on the T3, and he wasn’t hanging around, taking the overall win by over 6 seconds ahead of the Honda’s.

For the first 500cc race of the day, there was a dry line, and both the Molnar Manx boys were uncertain of grip levels, more focused on the ACU 500 feature race. With Richard taking 5th, and George hot on his heels in 6th.

Feature race time, the track finally bone dry, no excuses anymore. George and Richard both got away well, and put in a cracking first lap. Richard hit the front after a bit of fairing rubbing with Mark Cronshaw at the 130mph “Woodlands” kink. George followed him through the next lap, making it a Molnar Manx 1 & 2. On lap 3 George was relegated to 4th by Hodge and Cronshaw, whilst Molnar held off the field, but was unable to break away. However on laps 5 & 6 Molnar made a mistake, after suffering brake fade (or was it brain fade?) dropping him down to 6th, whilst Jamie Coward made his way past George on lap 6. Now with a lot of ground to make up, Richard kept pushing, and squeezed past Alan Oversby to get up to 5th, with George a long way up the road in 4th, and that’s the way they finished.

In the final 350cc race, Richard was locked in a race long battle with Olie Linsdell (Flitwick Racing Honda) for 2nd overall. Molnar came out on top, taking the win in the European class.

500cc’s out in the last race of the day. George had another poor start, back in 7th at the end of lap 1, but digging deep he kept pushing on, battling through to 5th, just on the tail of Alan Oversby. Richard was pushing on, trying to make amends for the mistake made in the ACU500 race, chasing down Lee Hodge, but little did Richard know Olie Linsdell was right behind, riding the rapid 500cc Paton Twin. At the last corner on the last lap, Olie made a dive for the inside, but Richard shut the door, neither rider wanting to give in. Paint and rubber swapped, but Molnar couldn’t hold off the power of the Italian machine down the straight, losing out by 0.015 of a second.

Overall not a bad weekend for the team, both riders getting settled in, but there’s always room for improvement! Next time out for the team is BHR Mallory Park.

Thank you to our sponsors, Avon Tyres, Brian Camp Racing, Hercberg International, Morris Lubricants and Powertech. Also, thank you to Pete Morris at PJM Photography for supplying all the pictures in this article, go to http://www.pjm-photography.co.uk/index.html to see more of his work.
2015
CRMC
Snetterton 2nd-4th October 2015

The final round of the 2015 for Team Molnar Manx, at the Classic Race of The Year meeting, with both CRMC and Lansdowne races, it was Richard Molnar (Tickle Frame 350cc, Brian Camp Racing 500cc and 610cc Special running in the Formula 750cc Class) and Chris Firmin (86 Bore running in the Lansdowne, now running with Wattie Browns 86 bore "Stage 2" engine from the Isle of Man).

With practice all day Friday for CRMC riders, Richard, was keen to learn the circuit, but after just two laps on the 350cc T3 he suffered with major brake fade, and had to lay the bike down on the grass. But the bike was soon straightened out, and Richard was able to get out on Brian Camp's 500cc 95 bore Molnar Manx "Maximus", with Richard chasing both the 500cc GP club championship, and the ACU 500 championship on Maximus he was keen not to put too many miles on the bike. He spent the afternoon riding the 610cc missile, which impressed everyone watching with its speed.

Saturday morning, and Chris Firmin was out first for Lansdowne qualifying, however a broken tank strap getting stuck in the carburettor on lap 3 of qualifying meant he had to come in early. Although, despite having never seen the track before he managed to qualify 4th.

Chris was first race of the weekend, and knew a series of good results could give him 2nd in the Lansdowne British Championship. He certainly kicked off well, taking 2nd place, close behind already crowned championship winner Mike "Spike" Edwards (Ripley Land G50), whilst Chris's rivals for the championship position Alex Sinclair (Fox Classic Racing G50) and Michael Russell (Richard Adams Norton) failed to finish.

Out Next was Richard Molnar, in consecutive races, firstly on the 610cc and then the 350cc T3. After a good start from 16th on the grid, Richard was up to 3rd, chasing Rob Whittey (Smith Racing CR750 Honda), but Richard hit gearbox trouble with the big 610 and settled for 3rd. On the 350cc Richard had a much easier job, taking an easy win in the singles class, spending the race battling with Alan Oversby and Harley Rushton (Both Honda's), all 3 of them waving at each other down the long Snetterton straights, a real long time on the little 40bhp bikes!

After a short break, Richard was straight back out, this time on the 500, knowing he had to finish in front of title rival Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Egli Vincent). The race went well, Richard finishing 2nd, with Alex 4th, making the two equal on points for the final points race of the year.

Saturday afternoon, Chris out first again, with the pressure slightly lower after the morning, but he knew he still had to push on. It turned into an intense 3 way scrap between Chris, Michael Russell and Spike Edwards. At the last corner, last lap, Chris went for a dive up the inside of Russell, and was leading heading up the start finish straight, but the move had compromised his drive and Russell managed to pull back past just before the line, leaving Chris 3rd. As long as that was the finishing position in the double points final race on Sunday, Chris would retain 2nd in the championship.

Richard up next on the 610 and 350cc machines, both following the same script. Richard finished 3rd on the 610, struggling with patter and gearbox troubles, the latter caused by the gear lever being in the wrong place. The 350cc race was another easy win in the singles class, making it a 100% record on the little bike.

The final 500cc points race up next, with Sundays "Race of the Year" not counting towards championship position. All Richard had to do was finish ahead of Alex Sinclair, and after a steady start, staying out of trouble with the leaders, Richard was holding 3rd, and getting various waving arms on the pit wall (No pit-boards allowed in classic racing), thinking they meant speed up, after a blistering lap, going as fast as the man in 1st, Richard came round to realise the signals meant slow down (easy to confuse, honest…!), as Alex had suffered mechanical problems and pulled out. It was a lap to relax, just stay on the bike and finish. With a tear in his eye he achieved a childhood dream and won the 500cc Grand Prix Championship. But still had his eyes set on the ACU 500 championship, the final race for which was held on Sunday.

Sunday, and a perfect sunny day, just right for racing! Chris was up first for his final race of the year in the Lansdowne class. Making a great getaway, but not quite able to match the pace of leaders Mike Russell and Spike Edwards, he knew that 3rd would be good enough for 2nd in the championship, no matter what happened in front of him. But he was being pushed all the way by Keith Clarke. Chris just managed to hold on to 3rd, whilst Russell did all he could, taking the win. But 2nd place in 2015 was Mr Firmin's, certainly the underdog for the whole year, doing all but the last round on a 20 year old engine, it was the Team's first year running on 19 inch tyres, coming into the year with no set up info, and for 3 of the 7 rounds the bike had been run by an 18 year old apprentice working out of the back of a van.  Suffering only 1 mechanical all year was better than all our competitors. However, fantastic riding all year from Chris Firmin was what made all the difference.

Richard up next, Formula 750cc race of the year on the little 610cc first. After a fantastic start he was chasing the leader George Hogton-Rusling (Hertzberg International 750cc Triumph Trident), but on lap 2 Richard could see he was gaining, as the triple expired, Richard took the lead on the little single, and began pulling away from the pack. The massive torque from the motor was causing it to "spend more time with the front wheel in the air than on the floor". Richard went on to take the win after 7 long laps of the 3 mile circuit.

350cc Race of the Year, and keen to take the win to re-claim his trophy from the previous year, and complete a perfect year on the little bike. Despite taking to the grass on lap 1, out-braking himself into the final corner, he managed to get back on track win the singles class, making it a perfect year the T3.

Next up, the ACU 500 race, Richard needed to win the race, and have championship leader Lee Hodge (Minnovation G50) finish 4th or lower. It turned into the battle of the year, a real paint-swapping scrap between the top 5 riders, with any one of them able to take the win. Richard got a good start, leading coming out of turn 2, but was being hounded by Alan Oversby (Davies Honda 500/4), Lee Hodge, Harley Rushton (Craven Manx) and Olie Linsdell (Seeley Royal Enfield). Richard held the advantage over the line almost every lap, but every lap struggled with attacks from the faster Honda of Oversby, which would pass on both of Snetterton's long straights, leaving Richard with all the work to do in the corners. On lap 5 Alan made his usual pass down the start/finish straight, and Richard didn't manage to get past before the tight turn 2, and when he came to get out of the corner found a bike Honda stopped on the apex, not letting him get on the power. This allowed Hodge through and Richard had more to do than ever. Pushing his way past the Minnovation Seeley G50 of Lee Hodge at the end of the back straight, and then catching Oversby's Honda through the fast Bombhole and Corum bends, leaving him right in the slipstream up the start straight, finally pulling out and hitting the breaks a second later than Alan Overby, and taking the outside line. Richard never looked back, with two laps to go he tried to break the pack, letting them fight between themselves. Richard finally took the win, with Harley Rushton 2nd and Lee Hodge 3rd, unfortunately meaning Richard had to settle for 2nd in the championship.

Chris Firmin was also out with them all, riding Andy Clews 95 bore Manx, and was just off the back of the leading group, finishing the race in 6th place.

Last race of the day was the 500cc Race of the Year, but despite a good start Richard couldn't match the leaders pace, suffering with a couple of little problems, one of which being exhaustion after battling flu for the past 2 weeks, a weekends racing had left him struggling to push on, but he still picked up 4th place.
A fantastic year for Team Molnar Manx, Two championship wins, Two 2nd places in British Championships, and a total of 2 mechanical failures from 116 race starts on short circuits. Now to focus on 2016, which will see some changes. With Andy Clews taking over the running of the Lansdowne Championship bikes, with full Team support, and Chris Firmin and Sam Clews as Team riders, whilst Andy and Richard Molnar will focus on the CRMC championships, hoping to go one better than 2015 and win all 3 CRMC classic championships.

Aintree 19th September 2015

Just for a bit of fun, Team Molnar Manx's top engine man Colin Dally offered Richard Molnar a ride on his 500cc 90bore Molnar Manx for the finally round of the Aintree Motorcycle Club Championship, Always happy to have a ride at the local circuit, Richard took up the offer and took with him the little T3 for an extra ride.

After getting practice out of the way, learning the super-fast Aintree track, Richard lined up on the grid for the first 500cc race, only a qualifier for the afternoons final. Having only ever ridden the ultra-short stroke or 4 valve variants, Richard wasn't sure what to expect. But the 90 bore was perfect, its masses of torque a power curve that holds up all the way to the 8,200rpm rev limit made it a dream to ride, allowing Richard to take the 500cc win, 2nd overall behind the 930cc Triumph of Stephen Atkin. Onboard video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70scIm66IdU

350cc race 1 was a similar story, with the out of the corner punch of the 350cc Honda's, causing a problem on lap 1, but as soon as they got on the back straight, the 15 year old T3's engine came into its stride and passed the Honda's of Steve Ferguson and Stephen Atkin. Not looking back after that, Richard went on to take the win. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2fOue9kalA for the onboard video.

500cc final time, and after another cracking start Richard had a good lead in the 500cc class, with Steve Ferguson chasing him on the Greenall Racing 500/4 Honda. But Richard on the old Manx was able to hold on to the win, despite the clutch coming out of adjustment with 3 laps to go. Onboard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2fOue9kalA , unfortunately the camera only started recording after turn 2 on lap 1, and then mid-way through the race the microphone broke.

The final 350cc race was another easy cruise to the win, a mixture of perfect handling, great top end power and a tiny lightweight rider made the T3 impossible to catch around the quick circuit.

4 wins for young Molnar at a circuit he has usually struggled with. Setting him up perfectly for the final meeting of the year at Snetterton with the CRMC, 2nd-4th October, where all of the championships will be decided.

CRMC
Lydden Hill 5th - 6th September 2015

No rest for the wicked, as the team head straight off to Lydden Hill in Kent for the penultimate round of the CRMC championships, just 3 days after returning from the Isle of Man. Richard Molnar now chasing both 350cc and 500cc championships. Riding the 350cc T3 Molnar Manx, and the Brian Camp 500cc 95 bore Manx.

Having never seen the circuit before, Richard took it steady in practice and quickly got to grips with the 1 mile circuit. First out on the 350, and Richard held on to the European class lead, following the Honda's around whilst trying to learn the lines for the big bike.

500cc race 1, and again steady away, battling with Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Egli Vincent) for most of the race for the final step on the podium, coming out on top after a last lap move.

Now feeling confident with the track, Richard was able to push to his limit. First of all on the 350, chasing Simon Walsh (Honda) for the overall win all race long, coming from 5 seconds back with 3 laps left to take the win, despite suffering a fuel tank leak, and with it wrapping up the 350cc European Championship. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIZr_od_2_Q for the on-board video. 

Back out on the big bike for the final race of the day, and after a good start Richard was fighting for the lead with Chris Camps (Mark Hansford Seeley G50). Chris has recently made the switch from modern Formula 400 bikes to the classics, and is quickly becoming a contender in the 500cc class. After battling and swapping paint every lap Richard finally took the win, with Chris 0.3 seconds behind.

Sunday, and another sunny day in the South of England. 350cc race first, and this time it was a much easier job, Richard leading from start to finish, although still suffering a fuel tank leak, found to be a crack all the way around the filler cap neck. With no need to compete in the final race Richard parked the T3 for the day and focused on the big bike.

500cc race 1 was a similar story, taking an easy win from Chris Camps, Alex Sinclair 3rd, allowing Richard to close in on the championship lead.

The afternoon began with the Charlie Sanby Trophie, held every year at Lydden, for both Classic and Post Classic machinces, unlimited capacity, Richard put in an entry just for an extra ride. Lining up on the grid on one of the oldest bikes on the grid, up against mostly TZ350 Yamahas. But after a good start he was up with the leaders, finding the 4 stroke torque helping him up the hills and out of the slow corners, but getting monstered on every straight. After a red flag and sitting on the grid for a few moments, Richard arrived at turn 1 with a very "grabby" front brake, a common problem with drums if you allow them to cool, so had to wait a lap for everything to get back up to temperature. But still managed to battle his way up to 4th place. Onboard video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rteEffLNQU

Final race of the day on the 500, and after another flying start Richard managed to hold on to the lead from start to finish, closing the championship up to 8 points between him and Championship leader Alex Sinclair with two races to go. It's going to be close.

Next racing trip is to Aintree, on the 19th September, and then on to Snetterton 300 for the final CRMC meeting of the year.

Isle of Man Classic TT Diary

Here is a brief diary of our trip to the Classic TT, the main event of our year. Seen from Team Molnar Manx mechanic Richard Molnar. Taking with us 3 4 Valve 500cc Manx's (Riders Michael Dunlop, Dan Cooper, and Danny Webb), 2 350cc Manx's (Dan Cooper and Danny Webb) and a standard 500cc 86 bore Manx (Rider Wattie Brown).

Thursday 20th August
All loaded up, a motorhome, a trailer and two vans filled to their roofs, and still with things to bring. Arrived on the Island to the typical wet fog. Oh how we have missed this place….! But what a professional job the organisers have done once again, the place looks amazing. Get our garage set up with lights, bikes in, and an early start, work starts in the morning!

Friday 21st August
Straight into work at 9AM, whilst the bikes are in roughly one piece they are a long way off race ready, it's been a big stretch to get them all here, and Danny Webb's 500 isn't here yet. We drop the boss Andy Molnar off at the airport, he's heading back home to get everything finished off there. Prepping bikes for this place is damn hard work, anything that can break, fall off or come loose, will do! Bring on the lock wire!

Saturday 22nd August
The bikes are ready, but the weather…. Not so much! It's pouring down, so we just keep working away, triple checking everything, and wait for the announcement that tonight's practice is cancelled. Sure enough not long after lunch time its official. Finally we can relax.

NO 8

Sunday 23rd August
A day to relax! Well, until the boss comes back with another van full to the roof of engines, spares, and buried somewhere in there is a bike! As soon as its all emptied we set to work getting it ready for practice tomorrow.

Monday 24th August
Finally, we have practice! After the big bikes were red flagged we finally got a lap in, and with no problems at all we are feeling very good. Michael has managed to get a lap in over 100mph, whilst Dan and Danny were asked to go steady and just run their engines in for this lap.

Tuesday 25th August
Not again! More rain!! No practice again tonight so a quite relaxed day, no need to rush. But there is still plenty to do, after every practice we check the bikes all over, get them cleaned off (a massive job after a lap around here), check that nothing has managed to work loose, and make set up changes.

Wednesday 26th August
Its looking a good day, we are through scrutineering, ready to go out, but then there is a big crash in the earlier session for the big bikes. Another practice night lost.

Thursday 27th August
Finally, we are going to get out and play again! Danny took his 500 out for his first proper lap on a classic, 101mph out of the blocks isn't bad. "Its like a noisy, heavy 125"! Next out are the 350's, Dan Cooper and Danny Webb both going out, Danny posting a 96.791MPH lap. Dan Cooper had fuel starvation problems, turning out to be a blocked main jet.

Nn 8

Friday 28th August
Only the 500's are allowed out tonight. We've put the race engine in Michaels bike, and told him to give it a steady lap to run in, whilst Dan and Danny were given strict instructions "ride it like you stole it". Dan lapping at 106.3, Danny at 105.6. Now the work really starts, and so do the nerves! Time to get Dan's 350 ready for practice tomorrow morning, and get the 500's ready for the race.

Saturday 29th August
500cc race day, it's manic, we have been up for most of the night, and back up again at first light this morning. We send Dan out for his lap on the 350 first, and whilst he was out we continue to work. It's none stop. Checking atmospherics every 10 minutes, take a note, see which way it's going, make sure we have the right jet in the bike. It's something tiny but the jetting on these bikes can make 2hp difference, and we need everything we can get. All the bikes through scrutineering, now there's nothing more we can do. After what feels like hours we go into the holding area and start warming the bikes up. Push them up the ramp and onto the main road. The noise is amazing, the floor is rumbling under our feet. All our riders get away well and things are looking good. Michael is obviously riding the wheels off his bike, sitting in 4th place, Dan Cooper 5th and Danny Webb 6th. Unfortunately Dan's petrol tank split half way through lap 2. Michael was flying though, and after Ian Lougher was penalised for speeding in pitlane Michael was up to 3rd, with Danny Webb 5th at the end of lap 2, and the MV's of Dean Harrison and Lee Johnston were in the pits. Michael was leading at Glen Helen, but it didn't last for long, as the unbelievable speed of Harrison on the MV overhauled him. A podium was still possible. 2 out of the top 5 were not going to finish, we just had to hope it wasn't our 2! On to lap 3 and Michael was still holding on to 3rd, but we had problems, Danny pulled in, saying the bike wouldn't rev. The issue was a tiny piece of swarf blocking the main jet, the filter had come off one of the petrol taps allowing it through. Michael was our only hope, but we could see he was slowing. He finally stopped at the end of the maintain mile, run out of fuel, with a huge split in the petrol tank. We were gutted, but we had achieved a lot, we went down Sulby faster than ever before. And the 4 Valve G50, run by Brian Richards, and ridden by Ivan Lintin has finished, 8th place, with Wattie Brown on the standard 86 bore 9th.

Sunday 30th August
A bit disappointed after yesterday we had to set about prepping the 350's for tomorrow's race, whilst everyone else is out at Jurby having fun! But the forecast for the race is good, so hopefully we will have better luck then.

Monday 31st August
Not another disaster! We have the weather, the bikes are ready, but there's a technical fault with the marshals radios. After that was sorted the race had been shortened to 3 laps. This was a problem for us, because now the multi cylinder bikes didn't need to re-fuel, which was our best chance of making up our relative lack of power. But after a lap it was obvious this race was becoming a war of attrition, with almost all of our competitors breaking down. One of the broken bikes was one of our own, with Danny Webb's bike breaking a wire leading to the ignition coil, and after twisting the two ends back together, and getting back underway, the tank then let go at the beginning of lap 2. But the "Classic Convert" Dan Cooper was flying, lapping at nearly 102mph, a new record for 350cc Manx's, leading at the end of lap 2 and pulling away. But on the run to Ballacrane it went wrong, the bike making a big bang and coming to a stop. Gutted doesn't come close to explaining how we felt.

No 5

A bit of a disappointing Classic TT for the Team, but we will be back and better next time around, with our recent improvements to the 4 Valve 500cc engine obviously being steps in the right direction.

Thank you to the Team of Mechanics, Ron Hart, Jack Stezaker. And to Cherry Hart for looking after us!

CRMC/Lansdowne
Donington Park 7th-9th August

Round 5 of the CRMC Championships, and the highly publicised 3 Day Donington Classic Festival, with a long list of racing superstars, both past and present out on track, as well top quality classic racing action. Team Molnar Manx riders for the Meeting where Chris Firmin, riding in the Lansdowne Championship on 001, and Richard Molnar on Brian Camp's 500cc Molnar Manx, and the Tickle framed 350cc Molnar Manx.

With perfect weather for the whole weekend, crowd levels where huge, however the weekend started with a disaster. Whilst Richard was out in the 350cc qualifying the petrol tank strap broke going through turn 1, causing the tank to drop, bringing Richard off with it, fortunately with no injuries, however caused damage to the gearbox which could not be repaired until Sunday.

Friday Race 1 was for Chris Firmin, who rode the wheels off old faithful to chase Mike "Spike" Edwards all race long finishing the race close behind him in 2nd place. Richard Molnar up next on the 500, and having not seen the track since 2012, followed the leading group to finished 5th.

Saturday and Chris was out first again, this time out everyone had upped the pace. Lacking power on the 20 year old motor, Chris struggled all race long, but managed to hold on to 4th place again, after a race long battle with Alex Sinclair and Duncan Fitchett.

Richard up next, and had obviously got to grips with the circuit quickly, battling his way up to first before struggling with tyre degradation and dropping back to 3rd. To go on board with Richard for the race head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZuqZnC904M

Final race of the day was for Chris Firmin, but after 2 laps he knew he was having problems, the back of the bike constantly sliding. Chris had to back right off to make it to the end of the race, ending up 5th. Fresh rubber on both bikes and ready for Sunday.

Sunday, and Richard Molnar out first, qualifying for the main event, the ACU Classic 500, however, after 5 laps disaster struck, with the bike picking up huge vibration and engine noise. Unable to fix the problem, found later to be a broken tooth on the bottom bevel gear, the Team decided to skip the first 500cc Race and hope the bike would last the ACU500 race.

What a race it turned into, after a bad start Richard was up to 2nd at the end of lap 1, and after a mistake from Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Vincent), Richard took the lead, and held on to It until the end. What went on right behind his back wheel had the crowd on their feet. Sinclair's motor blew at the end of the start/finish straight, making him unable to stop for redgate corner, causing him to go down and bringing championship leader Lee Hodge down with him. Richard went on to take his first ever ACU 500 win.

Chris

Molnar Manx

Chris's final race of the weekend up next, but after a bad start the leaders managed to get away, and Chris could only hold on to 6th place.

With new gearbox parts now available the T3 was re-assembled and out for the final 350cc race of the weekend. Having missed all the races so far that weekend, Richard had to start from the back of the grid (33rd), but after a flying start, and setting the 2nd fastest 350cc lap of the weekend, Richard managed to pull his way up to 1st single, 3rd overall. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQAgN-Swg_E to go onboard.

With the 500cc bike parked for the weekend, Richard decided to take the T3 out in the final 500cc race, just to get points. After starting from 35th on the grid, Richard was amazed to find out he had managed to finish 3rd. Onboard video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJZJHRIf9M

Next up for Team Molnar Manx is the Isle of Man Classic TT. Hopefully the team can continue its short circuit success there.

 

Cadwell Park International Classic,
Lansdowne/IHRO 25th/26th July 2015

Round 5 of the Lansdowne Classic Championship was held at the newly founded Cadwell Park International Classic festival. Conceived after the massive success of the 80th Anniversary celebration in 2015, MSV organised a huge festival to celebrate one of the greatest circuits in the UK, inviting the greatest racers around, both from the past and present, and inviting the best "Stand alone" classic classes to join them for a weekend of racing. Chris Firmin, now becoming a serious competitor for the Lansdowne Classic title, was Team rider for the weekend, on old 001, with Richard Molnar borrowing Andy Clews' beautiful, un-fared 95bore Molnar Manx for use in the IHRO races and the "King of Cadwell" race. 

After a very wet practice and a damp qualifying, Chris had put the standard bike 5th on the grid, whilst Richard had qualified 3rd in the IHRO, after running out of fuel having completed only 4 laps! "They tend to go better when you put go juice in!"

Race 1 was for the Lansdowne, with the track dried up nicely Chris was able to push right to the limit battling for 2nd place with Michael Russel and Duncan Fitchett, the scrap went on for the full the full 8 laps, with the riders touching elbows at every opportunity. Chris finished up in 3rd, just behind Russell, with Mike "Spike" Edwards taking the win.

IHRO race 1 was a similar battle, this time between Alex Sinclair on the Fox Racing Egli Vincent and Richard Molnar. Unfortunately, Richards lack of a fairing meant he was massively compromised down the straights, watching the Vincent pull away at every opportunity. But with 3 laps to go Richard could see the Egli was slowing, and began to push harder, closing right in on Alex, but there just wasn't the time to make a move, Molnar having to settle for 2nd.

Lansdowne race 2 was almost a repeat of race 1, with the order of the top 3 remaining the same, however it was a more lonely race for Chris, with Duncan Fitchett having to pull out with a cracked frame.

Sunday, and the boss, Andy Molnar had come to visit, bringing with him an unsilenced exhaust system to help Richard gain the horses that the lack of a fairing steals. Out first for the King of Cadwell qualifying Richard was immediately on flying form, with the bike obviously quicker, keeping up with the Triumph triples in a straight line, managing to qualify 2nd, just 0.2 behind George Hogton-Rusling.

Before his shot at being crowned "King of Cadwell", Richard had IHRO race 2 to think about. After a flying start Richard had a clear lead and looked certain of taking victory, but on lap 3 heading into the bottom of the mountain he lost the front, holding the bike up on his knee and elbow he managed to save it. The bike would not hold a line afterwards, a little confused Richard pulled in, to find his front tyre punctured. Without time to get it repaired before the King of Cadwell the bike had to be parked, probably fortunate, as the rain fell in buckets during the race!

Lansdowne race 3 also did not go to plan, after a good start Chris was up with the leaders again, but on lap 2 the bike began to slow. The cause was the oil filter gauze, attached to the oil union at the tank, had broken up having been on there for 20 years, and pieces of this had blocked the oil pump, causing the bike to seize. Chris's first mechanical of the year!

A disappointing end to an otherwise successful weekend for Team Molnar Manx, next outing for the Team is in 2 weeks' time at CRMC Donington Park.

CRMC
Brands Hatch 4th-5th July 2015

Now at the half way point in the 2015 season, a downsized Team Molnar Manx arrived at Brands Hatch, with team boss Andy Molnar needing to focus on the Classic TT effort, it was left down to rider Richard Molnar, Sponsor Brian Camp and Mechanic Ash Firmin to hold up the team, with Richard running the B Camp Racing 500cc Molnar Manx, and the 350cc Molnar Manx T3.

Race 1 out on the 500, and having only had one race at brands hatch before Richard wasn't expecting much, however at the end of lap 1 he found himself chasing Lee Hodge on the Minnovation Seeley G50 for the lead. Hodge gradually edging out a lead, with Molnar 2nd, and Alex Sinclair on the Fox Racing Egli Vincent.

350cc Race 1 was a clear run for Richard, beating not only all of the Single cylinder machines, but taking the overall victory ahead of the 350cc Twins. Both 500cc and 350cc Race 2 followed the same pattern as their respective previous running's.

Sunday morning and the weather had made a turn for the worst, torrential rain causing flooding on the track and delayed the start of racing. Out first on the 500cc, Richard wasn't feeling massively confident, having only done one race on this bike in the wet, but knew a good result was vital to keep any hopes of the championship alive. After a good start Richard was sitting in 2nd place, but a mistake at turn 3 caused the back of the bike to slide a long way out of line, looking almost certain to crash, Richard took a last ditch stab at the back brake, and somehow managed to pull the back of the bike into line. After a quick grass-tracking exercise, he re-joined dead last. Not to be deterred, Molnar continued pushing on through the pouring rain, passing as many of the spray covered bikes as possible,  not knowing what position he was in he continued to push to his limit, the bike spinning up even on the straights. Taking the chequered flag  Richard was certain he had managed to make it up to the mid field, but was amazed to learn he had in fact finished 3rd, beaten only by Alex Sinclair and Lee Hodge.

For 350cc Race 1 the track was beginning to dry out, but with damp patches all around he was cautious all the way, but again managed to take the overall win, chased hard all the way by fast novice Ian Wilkinson. For the final races of the day the sun was out and the track was dried. 500cc race 2 turned into the battle of the weekend, with Molnar and Hodge swapping places for the lead nearly every lap. Lining up a last corner move Richard thought he had this one in the bag, but a yellow flag meant he had to try a run to the line, but just didn't quite make it, losing by 0.049 of a second to Lee Hodge. Head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x7_RuojAus to go onboard with Richard.

350cc race 2 was a much easier race, as Richard remained unchallenged all race long, becoming the first person since 2008 to win 8 350cc races in a row outright on a single cylinder machine. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrZFfXOJtrs to go on board.

Next up for the team is The Cadwell Park International Classic, July 25th-26th.

 

NG Road Racing/Lansdowne
Castle Combe June 27th/28th 2015

With prep for the Isle of Man Classic TT at its peak, it was the task of Team Molnar Manx's youngest member to become Team manager for the weekend, at the 4th round of the Lansdowne Classic Series, this time at the high speed Castle Combe circuit. As well as riding his old mans 76 bore 350cc Molnar Manx, Richards main aim was to keep the bike of Chris Firmin in top shape for the weekend as he chases championship glory.

Another circuit that Chris hadn't raced at for nearly 10 years, and on an under powered bike, we knew we would be up against it from the off. But despite that, Chris managed 5th place in race 1, right behind superstar James Haydon, with Richard Molnar 10th overall and first 350cc, 2 seconds under the 350 lap record.  

Sunday started off a little damp, but Chris wasn't slowed at all, and scrapped with the leading bunch, the top 5 all setting laptimes within 0.4 of a second of each other, a race long battle tested the skill (and bravery, given the conditions) of all the riders. Chris finished in 4th place, only 0.2 seconds off the podium. Richard again took the 350cc class win.

By the final race of the weekend the track had dried out, and Chris was in maximum attack mode, having not had a podium in 4 races. Right from the off he was on it, chasing championship leader Mike "Spike" Edwards (Ripley Land G50) all the way to the flag. Not quite able to match the extra power of the Matchless Chris had to settle for 2nd. Richard took the glory on the 350cc, going a second a lap faster than the previous day.

Not a bad weekend for the Team, Chris Firmin is now in a close 3rd place in the British Championship, and looking dangerous! Next round for the flying fireman is at Cadwell Park International Classic, 25th-26th July.

CRMC
Anglesey Coastal 5th-7th June 2015

Round 3 of the CRMC championships, and to the most picturesque circuit in the UK, possibly in the world, Anglesey, right on the welsh coast, this constantly undulating makes for great racing. Richard Molnar took front and centre as team rider for the weekend, on the Brian Camp Racing 500cc Molnar Manx, and the Tickle framed 350cc Molnar Manx, having never seen the circuit before it was certain to be a steep learning curve. Running in 3rd in the ACU 500cc Championship, as well as chasing podium positions in the 350cc and 500cc championships.

After trying to learn the circuit over Fridays practice, Richard rolled up on to the grid for 350cc race 1 still not quite certain which way he was meant to go, but still managed to pull the win out of the bag, not only beating every single, but all the more modern Honda twins. 500cc race 1 didn't go quite as smoothly, after a good start he suffered major front brake fade and had to pull out.

350cc race 2 followed the same script as race 1, with Richard taking the overall win. 500cc race 2 was more successful, after starting from row 3 on the grid, he pushed his way all the way up to 3rd by the end of lap 1, but the leaders had already broken away. Richard held on to the last step on the podium for the rest of the race.

Sunday, 350cc race 3 followed what seemed to be becoming the usual story, with Richard taking the overall win. 500cc race 3 turned into the fairytale story, with Richard managing to take the lead on lap 1 and held on to it until the end despite coming under pressure from Gary Thwaites (Shelton G50).

On to the feature race for the weekend, the ACU500cc British Championship, and having won the earlier race Richard was feeling pretty confident, however it was over before it began, having fitted a harder rear tyre he took a tumble on the warm up lap trying to get heat into the rubber.

The final two races were again a repeat of the mornings performance, with Richard taking the win in both 500cc and 350cc events.

Now leading the 350cc club championship, 3rd in the 500cc championship, but down in 6th after his fall in the ACU 500 British championship, attention now turned to Lansdowne Castle Combe (27th/28th June) and then on to CRMC Brands Hatch (4th/5th July).

Head to YouTube to see full on board videos:

BMCRC/Lansdowne
Oulton Park 29th-30th May 2015

Round 3 of the Lansdowne Classic Series was held at the popular Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park, with Chris Firmin on old 001 fighting for podium position in the championship.Andy Molnar also had a run out on his standard 350cc Molnar Manx.

With noise restrictions very tight at the circuit, racing can only take place on the Saturday, leaving time for only a 2 race per class meeting. Having not seen Oulton for nearly 14 years, Chris struggled initially to get on the pace, but as soon as the flag dropped for race 1, he was on it, and fighting with the leaders. Struggling also with being down on power on his 20 year old bike, Chris battled with the best and held onto 5th place. Andy Molnar took the win in the 350cc Class, leaving his rivals long behind.

Race 2 was a similar affair, with the pace at the front red hot right from the start. Mike "Spike" Edwards pulled out a good lead on the Ripley Land Matchless G50, leaving Chris, Duncan Fitchett (GB Access), Alex Sinclair (GB Access) and Glen English to fight for the podium slots. All riders lapped to within 0.3 of a second of each other, making for a spectacular race, with Chris finishing 4th. Andy Molnar Once again took victory in the 350cc class.

Chris is now holding 4th in the Lansdowne British Championship and has confirmed his position as a serious title contender. Next time out will be at Castle Combe 27th/28th June, where he will hope to pull himself further up the order.

Classic Racing Motorcycle Club
Cadwell Park 2nd-4th May 2015

Team Molnar Manx arrived at the toughest track on the calendar for the second round of the CRMC championships, Cadwell Park. With constant changes in elevation, fast sweeping bends, long straights and tight hairpins, Cadwell is considered the most intense circuit in the UK. Riders for the weekend were Chris Firmin, running in the Lansdowne Class on bike number 001, Andy Molnar in the 350cc class and Richard Molnar in the 500cc Grand Prix and ACU 500cc Classic British Championship.

With the racing being spread over 3 days rather than the usual two, the extra time meant more track time for all the riders. Chris qualified the 19 year old 001 bike 5th on the grid in changing conditions. Andy and Richard Molnar both had races on Saturday afternoon. Andy Molnar took 3rd in the 350cc European on his standard 350cc Molnar Manx, whilst Richard went from 17th on the grid to finish 8th in the first of the long weekends 500cc Grand prix races, in a damp race which saw several fallers.

Saturday night and Sunday morning saw torrential rain, causing the track to flood, postponing racing until 10.30 when the swimming pool on park straight subsided into a small pond! Chris Firmin was first out on the standard 86 bore Manx, the first Manx engine ever built by Andy Molnar and his team. Chris certainly did the old bike justice, finshing 3rd, after a titanic race long battle with Duncan Fitchett. Andy took 2nd place finish in a rain soaked 3 lap race in the 350cc European that saw 2 red flag incidents. Richard Molnar was out next in the ACU 500cc British Championship, with only 5 points separating the top 5 in the standings, everyone was up for it, with half of the track dry, and half of it wet, Richard got a flying start, and led for the first lap, however struggled on the wet parts of the track, and settling for a 5th place finish, putting him now 3rd in the championship.

Chris was the next man out in the team, but gearbox problems meant every time he wanted to shift, it took 3 attempts, causing Chris to settle for a 6th place finish. Richard Molnar was next out in the

team, and after struggling off the line, going from first gear to 4th, he battled on to finish the race in 6th place.  Andy took 3rd in the second 350cc race of the day, after the race started dry, and ended in hail storm, rain, and lightening!

Monday and the weather had taken another change, this time for the better, with the sun beating down, temperatures hit 20oC. Richard Molnar was the first out, and after a shaky start, again suffering gear shift issues off the line, he battled to 5th place,  after a real fairing bashing battle with on track rival, and rising star Harley Rushton on one of the Craven Manx's. After working all night the team had Chris Firmin's gearbox sorted, which meant he could get back on form, and battled elbow to elbow for 3rd place, amazing considering the age of his machine. Andy Molnar took 3rd place in the final 350cc race of the weekend, struggling to pass the much more powerful, but worse handling Honda twins. In the final 500cc Grand Prix race Richard had his gearbox sorted and got just the start he needed, leading into the first corner, and battling all race long with the best in the business, Mike Cooper (Craven Manx), Mark Cronshaw (Minnovation Seeley G50) and Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Godet Egli Vincent), finishing the race in 3rd place behind Mike Cooper and Alex Sinclair. Chris Firmin had the last race of the day, out with the Lansdowne, and after battling for the full 6 laps with Alex Sinclair and Duncan Fitchett (both on GB Access Norton 30M). Chris came out on top, finishing 3rd behind Mike "Spike" Edwards (Ripley Land G50) and Mike Russell.

 

With all riders now holding top 4 positions in their respective championships, eyes turn to oulton park on the 29th-30th May for the Lansodowne classic series, and Anglsey 5th-7th June for the CRMC, where our modern day gladiators can show their strength in the next races

British Historic Racing
Mallory Park 11th-12th April

Mallory Park, and Team Molnar Manx's second meeting of the year, riding with British Historic Racing. Riders for the weekend were Richard and Andy Molnar. Richard riding the Brian Camp Racing 500cc 95 bore  Molnar Manx and Team Molnar Manx Tickle framed 350cc Manx, whilst Andy stuck to standard 86 bore 500cc and his trusty 76 bore 350cc Molnar Manx's.

After a damp first practice, things were looking promising with Richard the fastest man out there. First race on the 500's, and the race was going to plan, Richard took a great lead, until with 3 laps to go the tank strap broke. Refusing to give in he soldiered on, holding the petrol tank on with his knees, but being caught and passed by Dave Matravers (Molnar/Round Oak Services Seeley G50) on the last lap and ending the race an extremely close 2nd. Andy finished the race 7th overall, but 1st in his class, for pre 1962 machines.

Race 2 on the 350cc Machines was a Molnar whitewash, with Richard taking a clear win, with Andy in 2nd place. This set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Richard stamped his authority on the 500 class in the 2nd 500cc race, with Andy again a class winner. The last race of the day was again on the 350's, and after taking the lead into the first corner, Richard was again un-matched on the T3, and whilst he tried, Andy had to settle for 3rd place (but first pre 1963),  with Dave Matravers on his Seeley 7R in 2nd.

On Sunday the wind had picked up massively, approaching speeds of 35mph, a headwind down the start finish straight, but a tailwind down the back straight. Richard knew he could play it to his advantage, setting the bikes up perfectly to suit the conditions, and set the lap record for both classes in his sights. Unfortunately, a huge crash in the first race of the day saw an air ambulance need to be called in, and racing halted until after lunch.  It was decided that each class would have one long race rather than two shorter races.

First race, and out on the 500's. Richard got a blinding start and left the pack far behind on lap 1, making his intentions clear, squeezing everything from his Molnar Manx, winning the race by nearly 9 seconds, lapping at 1.01.0, missing out on the lap record by 0.08 of a second. Andy struggled with gearbox issues, and retired on lap 5 of the race. Second race, and the 350's, Richards last chance to put his stamp on the record books. Hot out of the blocks again, from pole position, he never looked back, taking the win by over 10 seconds, and in the process smashing the 350cc lap record, putting in a lap time of 1.02.11.  Andy really struggled with the wind down the start finish straight on his standard 350cc Molnar Manx with no fairing. He battled on though and finished the race in 3rd.

A great weekend for Team Molnar Manx, leaving Mallory Park leading both pre 1972 and 62 350cc and 500cc championships, next up for the Team is Cadwell Park with the CRMC 2nd-4th May.

Team Molnar Manx would like to wish all their best to John Coopey, after his crash on Sunday. We hope you have a swift and full recovery.

Classic Racing Motorcycle Club
Pembrey 3rd-5th April 2015

After the long winter months, spent in our garage tinkering and experimenting, Team Molnar Manx made the long journey to South Wales, and the Pembrey circuit, for the first meeting of the 2015 season. Riders for the weekend were the returning Chris Firmin, riding in the Lansdowne Series on the absolutely original "001", the first Manx Norton built by Team Molnar Manx 20 years ago.

Also riding was Richard and Andy Molnar. Richard on the Brian Camp Racing supported 95 bore Molnar Manx, racing in the grand prix 500 and ACU 500 championship, as well as riding the Team Molnar Manx Tickle framed 350, whilst Andy campaigned his standard 350 Manx in both the Lansdowne and 350 European class.

Team Molnar Manx's Isle of Man star Dan Cooper also had an outing in the Friday test day on his new and improved 4 Valve Molnar Manx, just as a bit of practice before the 2015 Classic TT.

Friday Morning turned out to be a very wet one, with the team riders deciding to wait until the track was dry(ish) after dinner. Dan Cooper was immediately in-tune with his bike, lapping at a speed close to the lap record, despite a damp track and drizzle still falling, showing excellent promise for the Isle of Man.

Saturday turned out to be a much better day, glorious sunshine, temperatures close to 20oC, perfect racing weather. First race for the Lansdowne turned into a great 6 way battle for the lead, with Chris Firmin finishing 5th, and Andy Molnar the 1st 350cc home.

In the first 350cc race, Richard Molnar took a clear, unchallenged win, with Andy Molnar 3rd, however, in the first Grand Prix 500cc race Richard had to retire on the line, suffering clutch trouble on the warm up lap. Chris Firmin, also entered in the first of the GP500 races finished an excellent 8th, in a race that could have seen anyone in the top 10 on the podium.

Saturday afternoon did not go quite so smoothly. In the second of the days Lansdowne races Andy Molnar was involved in a collision when another rider stopped mid corner on the first lap. Andy had nowhere to go but into the back of the fellow rider, and suffered shoulder damage. Chris Firmin however, went on to finish in 2nd place, beaten only by Glen English.

In the second 350cc race Richard Molnar was again unchallenged for the lead. In the final race of the day for Team Molnar Manx, the 500GP, Richard, having not completed a lap in the first race, had to start the race at the back (40th) on the grid. "I needed a pair of binoculars to see the start flag" he claimed after the race, but still managed to battle his way up to 9th place.

Sunday was another sunny day, and despite his injuries Andy Molnar had decided to ride again, but only in 350cc European, saying that running a 350 in the Lansdowne class, now dominated by 500cc machines, was dangerous.

However, first up was Chris Firmin in the Lansdowne race, which turned into a 3 was battle royal between himself, Glen English on the Works Norton, and 2014 champion Mike "Spike" Edwards on the Ripley Land G50. The battle was incredibly intense all race long, and ended up with Chris 3rd, Mike 2nd and Glen 1st, with nothing between them. Go on board with Mike Edwards and see Chris Firmin #65 chasing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBrFzUeAGsk

In the first 350cc race Richard was again 1st, untouched by 2nd place man Clive Ling on the Dunnell Norton. Andy Molnar, despite his injuries finished a strong 3rd, but decided that was enough for the day, and did not compete in the final 350cc race.

First 500cc race was a steady one for Richard, scrubbing in new tyres and checking the set-up of the bike before the main event of the weekend. Richard finished the race 8th with the bike now ready for the title race, the ACU 500cc championship.

After lunch, it was straight out and with the pressure on, Richard got a great start, sat in 5th into the first corner, elbow to elbow with the best riders in classic racing, however, an accident at the first corner led to the race being stopped on lap one. After bikes and riders had been swept up, the race was on again, and after another great start Richard was with the leaders, however suffered brake fade on lap 2 and 3, and lost the tow from the leading group, but managed to finish the race in 5th place, but with 1st and 2nd place riders Alan Oversby and Olie Linsdell using disc brakes and therefor only scoring half points, Richard now sits in 3rd place in the national championship.

Chris was the next man out, in his last outing of the weekend, and wanting to make it count. However, lady luck wasn't on his side, and on the warm up lap Chris took a fall avoiding a rider stopping in the middle of the track, unfortunately bringing his race to an end.

Richard went on to win the final 350cc race, and in the final 500cc race of the day finished in 5th place, after a race long battle with Alex Sinclair (Fox Racing Egli Vincent) and Harley Rushton (Craven Manx).

Next outing for Team Molnar Manx is British Historic Racing at Mallory Park, 11th-12th April.

 

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