MOTOR SPORT: VETERAN Great Sutton sidecar ace Bill Currie is celebrating after being awarded a bronze replica trophy at the Isle of Man TT.
Although closely guarded about how old he is, Bill, who first competed on the testing Manx road circuit five decades ago in 1969, overcame competitors less than half his age to secure a top-10 finish in last week's Hilton Hotel & Casino Sidecar TT.
Bill was riding alongside passenger Kerry Williams of Melton Mowbray for the first time on his 600 Windle Yamaha, and clocked times of 1:06:22.10 and 1:04:13.66 to finish 10th in both the A and B races.
He said: 'In my first-ever visit to the TT, I achieved my best finish of third, collected a silver replica and had other top-10 finishes until 1975 when I packed in. I returned again eight
I've taken part in, which is an achievement in itself. Each year that I've come back, I've gradually been getting faster, but so has everyone else.
'There are so many bumps on the road course, it really is a testing circuit and like I say, the sport has changed quite a bit with the bikes getting faster and tyres getting wider.
'I pay for everything myself and, really, it's just like pouring money down the drain. But I'd still be taking part even if I was finishing 25th or 50th as I love it.'
Bill's B-race finish was achieved with an average speed of 105.739mph while he clocked 102.34mph in the A race, climbing his way up from 18th position at the end of the first of three laps of the 37.75-mile circuit as the roads dried up.
Bill has been searching for a regular partner after a crash at Croft a month after last year's TT, with the pair going their separate ways. Although he rode alongside Williams, whom he met on the Isle of Man at this year's event, he expects to be with Phil Bridge from Shipston-on-Stour for the 2005 British Championship rounds.
Little Neston's Alan Founds was also taking part in the Sidecar TT for the first time as a passenger alongside Kidderminster's Bruce Moore, a veteran of 12 appearances on the island.
But the pair, representing Team Founds, failed to finish.