Motorcycle team wins top memorial trophy
A Worksop-based motorcycle racing team is celebrating after receiving a prestigious trophy from the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club (CMRC).
The Micky Gray Goldstar Trophy was presented to Bill ‘Spen’ Spencer and his wife, Sue, who run Spencer Racing, at the CRMC’s annual presentation evening in Daventry.
It was awarded in recognition of the couple’s services to motorcycle racing, in particular their support for Goldstar racing.
The trophy is in memory of Micky, a former Isle of Man TT sidecar passenger and, in his latter years, assistant in the commentator’s box before he died five years ago.
He was a lifelong enthusiast of the BSA Goldstar (Goldie) motorcycle and was a popular member of the GSOC (Goldstar Owners Club).
When he died the GSOC made an adornment for his coffin of an iconic Goldstar silencer mounted on a plinth. Subsequently, the club and Micky’s family and friends decided that it should be presented annually to someone in the CRMC who has supported Goldstar racing.
Graham Lawlor, who commentates at race meetings, and official photographer Russ Lee, both friends of Micky, chose the trophy winner.
Graham said: “Bill (Spen, as he is universally known) and Sue have been hugely generous sponsors of many riders and events over the years.
“In 2016 they sponsored the 500 Goldstar Championship and also provided a beautiful titanium exhaust system as a draw prize for one lucky rider. In view of this, both Russ and I thought that Spencer Racing were worthy winners of this year’s Micky Gray Trophy.”
Bill said they were “greatly humbled and absolutely honoured” to receive the award.
“As well as supplying racing bikes to numerous riders over the years, we put prize money in to a few classes within the CRMC,” he said.
“We did this anonymously — we like to do things ‘low key’ — but at Lydden a couple of years ago, at a trophy presentation, it was let slip where the money had come from. Once it was in the open, we decided to ‘openly’ give prize money to the Classic Ultralightweight class, the 50cc class, the 125 Post Classics and the Gold Star 500 class.
“I’m useless with money and leave it to my wife, Sue, who decided to put £1,000 prizemoney into the Goldstars in 2016 and is doing the same again for 2017. My old mate Rob Gourlay was a 500 Goldie racer when he died after a drink-driver knocked him off his Triumph in Worksop, so we always had a link to them.”
Bill said the racing team organised a draw at the last meeting at Silverstone, in October, for a bespoke titanium exhaust system made by NRP Exhausts, and would be providing 12 bikes next season for riders, both on UK tracks and a couple for the Isle of Man.
He said: “I knew Micky Gray so it’s an absolute honour to have been given the trophy. The last time Sue and I saw him was at Cadwell Park, when my mate, Joey, had just reversed his VW van into Micky’s new car in the paddock!”
Spencer Racing, based on the outskirts of Worksop, has numerous bikes that take part in the BHR Championship rounds (British Historic Racing) as well as the CRMC Championships (Classic Racing Motorcycle Club).
It is run by Bill and Sue, who were married in 2009 four months after meeting up again after losing touch for 20 years.
Bill formed the team around 2001 and found success as his friend, Terry ‘Brock’ Brocklehurst, rode Bill’s 1966 Suzuki race bike to a championship victory.
In total, Terry claimed nine championship titles with the CRMC.
James Ford heads the team’s riders and rode an ex-Ray Stringer Wickes/MEDD Racing Kawasaki World Superbike machine under the Spencer Racing banner at the Manx Grand Prix this year.
At the Pre TT Southern 100 road races on the Billown circuit on the island in May, James recorded the fastest lap on the team’s Yamaha 600 – the oldest bike in the race.
Other riders are ‘Swervin’ Ervin Wallace; Steve Panter; Martin ‘Digga’ Dyke; and Brocklehurst.