We've asked top racing pundits to name their best non-Grand Prix races. And here they are...
1. 1987 BRANDS HATCH, TRANSATLANTIC RACE, KEVIN SCHWANTZ AND WAYNE RAINEY
The Transatlantic Races were an incredible phenomenon, for two decades (running through the '70s and '80s) this UK vs USA team event introduced to British and European fans incredible talents that may not otherwise have been seen outside of the States, including the likes of Cal Rayborn, Kenny Roberts and Freddie Spencer. By the late 1980s though, the races were on their last legs.Their last hurrah came in 1987 when virtual unknowns Kevin Schwantz and Wayne Rainey arrived, tooled up on a Yoshimura GSX-R750 and an American Honda VFR750. Not only did the pair totally shred the competition and the Brands Indy lap record, they did it side-by-side, in a fairing bashing, kickin', punchin' display of furious rivalry that we'd never seen before, nor since. Whether you were stood at Paddock or Clearways, you thought the same thing: 'that's just not possible'. But clearly it was. Jaws hit the floor all around the Kent circuit.The guys were inspired, for the first race at least, by an offer of £100,000 to a rider if he won all the six Transatlantic races. As Schwantz said later, "We agreed as a team, 'let's see who wins the first one, you guys just go scrap, and then before the second race we'll talk about it'. Well, Wayne wouldn't have nothing to do with it, because I won the first one!"Kevin and Wayne would fight on like this for another seven years, but if you were there in 1987 you'd argue that no subsequent race was as tough, or as pure since then. A worthy winner.
Posted: 15/05/2012 at 16:43
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