'Nifty' footwork does trick for Manley team
The now-annual Nifty 50 Endurance race ran successfully in Mondello Park recently in dreadful conditions and the ninth running of the event shows how popular it has become, with the maximum 50 teams of four riders entered.
Sign-on and scrutiny of these aged machines went suspiciously well, with the MCUI Technical team finding little or no flaws in the standard and modified machines, ensuring a potential on-time start.
The marshals and medics (both groups having agreed to volunteer free of charge for the day) gazed skyward and must have wondered what they'd done to deserve the deluge that began to fall just before the start.
The well-marshalled Le Mans start provided the typical grins and sneers from the scores of spectators that had braced the elements. The deep breaths as turn 1 beckoned turned to sighs of 'How did they manage that!' as road racer James Kelly from Ed Manley's team took off in the hunt for glory. The UK teams that travelled didn't do so in vain as they soon built up a commanding 1, 2, and 3 in the modified 90cc category.
The field began to spread out between the 90cc stock, modified and 50\80cc classes, but even with the inclement rain all of the teams continued to circulate and apart from the top corner claiming a few slides, most were able to continue or rejoin.
One hour drifted into two as rider changes and fuel stops were combined in an attempt to save time. One complete team gave the weather the V-sign as they decided to all stop for a burger at the same time, which provided for much laughter at the time. The timing TV on the pit lane steadily drew attention as the race progressed, where strategies and dastardly deeds to the competition were discussed (and possibly acted on!).
Finally, at 2.30 a decision was made that the ambulance had to cross the track, and rather than risk further injury the chequered flag was deployed. Battle over, the procession of tired bikes and damp riders filtered back into the paddock to see who had won what.
The warm bar at Mondello called for a well-earned toast to the now-hardened veterans of the legendary two-wheeled race that is the 'Nifty-50' and nine more teams entered the history books of first, second and third in their respective class.
Another successful event over, more bets settled, bragging rights secured for another year - time for home. The race will continue in 2018 and notifications on how to enter will be posted shortly.
90cc mod: 1st Driving Miss Daisy, 2nd Dad's Army, 3rd ABR Moto (all UK teams)
90cc std: 1st Manly Racing (Ed Manly\Cody Nally\James Kelly and Eoghan Delaney), 2nd Slutty Clowns\Knee Down racing, 3rd Ye lad racing
50-80cc: 1st Team Cider (Brian Coomey, Stephen Tobin, Teddy Murphy and Aine O'Donoghue), 2nd Epic failure, 3rd Townmates