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It was a successful North-West 200 for  Ian Lougher's Team ILR when the event returned after a three year absence due to Covid restrictions. 

In only his second time at the North-West 200, team regular Joe Loughlin was in action on the Team ILR / Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton in the Supertwin races as well as eyeing a good result in the Supersport events on the Team ILR / Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha, two bikes he is very familiar with. 

Joining Loughlin on another Paton was race veteran Michael Rutter 

  

Practice was blighted by bad weather on the North Coast, nevertheless both Rutter and Loughlin ended the first 'twins qualifying in fourth and fifth respectively in a session that was hit by torrential rain as it was about to start meaning a quick dash to change wheels. 


Second qualifying on Thursday saw Joe fourth quickest and Michael back in ninth, and on combined times they would start race one with Loughlin heading the second row of the grid and Rutter on the third row. 


Meanwhile in the Supersport class Joe was giving a good account of himself and he finished 10th fastest in both sessions as well as going quickest through the speed trap on the run to University at 176.7mph in Thursday's second session.


Thursday evening's racing was badly hit by the weather with the race programme being affected, however the Supersport race was run with Joe riding confidently to finish a great 9th in very challenging conditions around the triangle circuit. The Supertwin race unfotunately fell victim to a combination of poor weather and fading light with the organisers slotting the race into Saturday's schedule.  


Thankfully Saturday's weather was a lot better but unfortunately Joe and the team's day got off to a bad start when the Paton developed an oil leak on the warm up lap for the Supertwin race and had to be withdrawn, Michael Rutter went on to finish 9th. 

Loughlin showed real maturity to put this disappointment behind him as he jumped on the team's R6 Yamaha to produce arguably one of his best performances at the NW200 by finishing a fantastic 6th in a highly competitive Supersport race, and on another day he might even have claimed fifth place. 

While all this was going on, team members were working flat out to ready the Paton for the second Supertwin race and with 20 minutes to spare they had worked wonders to bring the bike to the line. 

It was all worth it as Loughlin produced another superb ride to put himself on the podium in a well deserved second place behind Richard Cooper, however an appeal by another rider as to the legality of Cooper's J McC Roofing Kawasaki was later upheld, and as a result Loughlin was promoted to his first ever North-West 200 win. 


Next up it's the Isle of Man TT races which are also making a welcome return this year. 

Loughlin will again ride the Paton and Yamaha, and will be joined by Rutter on a Paton. 

Two other riders will be returning to work with the team, Jim Hind will again be on one of the team's Patons, and Japanese rider Masayuki Yamanaka will ride ER650 and ZX6 Kawasakis.

 

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:

"Well that’s the end of another North West 200, being honest it’s nice to get away and back home for a few days. 

I’ve been either racing or running a team there since 1988, enjoyed 8 wins and many rostrums, but it never gets any easier at the NW, always seems such hard work for the whole team. 

Anyway we had two great riders onboard our Team ILR with Mark Coverdale bikes which made the job much more tolerable and even more so when we came away with a very satisfying win with Joe on the Paton and 6th on the 600, and it was only his second visit to the circuit…this went very much under the radar, for some strange reason…. 

It wasn’t a surprise to me how well Joe did as he’s a rough diamond that oozes talent, so we were so happy for him and his results and progress. 

Michael’s bike seemed to lose its edge over the week so a 9th place finish for him was a little disappointing, so I’m sorry to him for that, but we’ll work on that for the next meeting. 

The team now look forward to moving onto bigger and better things….the TT. 

A big thank you to all our team members and sponsors for all their hard work, especially on Tuesday and Thursday working at the start line in the rain. 

Kanpai. Ian. !!!" 



Lougher Wins At  Armoy
 



Ian Lougher added yet another win to his distinguished racing CV and gave John Chapman a well deserved success when he took the honours in the Senior Classic 1000cc race at the annual Armoy Road Races at the weekend. 

It was a superb ride by Lougher who started the race from second on the grid on the immaculate John Chapman Racing MV Agusta 500 alongside Guy Martin and Barry Davidson. 


By the end of the second lap of the race Martin and Lougher had moved clear with Martin leading by almost three seconds, but a lap later Ian had reduced that gap by half a second and by the end of the next lap it was under two seconds. 

Lougher was now on the move and was slowly but surely eating into Martin's advantage, and on the penultimate sixth lap he set what would be the fastest lap of the race at 86.576mph to move into the lead by 0.144s as they headed on to the last lap. 

Martin was pressing hard but Ian wasn't going to be denied and he rode a cool and calculated final lap to not only defend his lead but extend it to 1.407s and take the chequered flag for a very popular win.


Team ILR owner - manager Ian Lougher

"It was sooooo nice to go racing again, Armoy is a tricky circuit and quite technical and the Paton was not easy to hang on to during the only practice session on Friday. So we made some changes to Joe's and my Paton, which thankfully worked well and the bike was much better behaved over the quite scary jumps on Saturday. 

I think everyone should get another practice session to be able to get their bikes sorted out properly, which then makes it safer for all involved, otherwise you end up with red flag after red flag which is what we saw on Friday. 

Starting in Group 2 on the twin I led the group for the entire race coming home in 7th place which was ok for an 'Old fella'. 

I was so pleased to give John Chapman a good result by winning the classic race, he has spent so much time and effort trying to make the beautiful MV Agusta 500 3 cylinder reliable, and winning the race AND beating Guy who's a great rider on a 750cc bike in the manner that we achieved, it was just the tonic that we needed to put a massive smile on his face."  

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Hind and Lougher in the mix at Spring Cup


It was a successful Spring Cup for Team ILR as the team made the familiar trip to Oliver's Mount for the return of the popular race meeting, with the team's talented Jim Hind again among the winners as he put in performances that belied his young age and Ian Lougher put in some great performances on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale S1-R Paton and was one of the busiest men in the paddock.


On only his third appearance at the circuit Hind won the overall award for the Supersport class and picked up two Supertwins race wins over the weekend.
This along with typically solid performances by renowned Oliver's Mount expert Ian Lougher provided the basis for a great weekend for Team ILR.

It was very slippery during practice on Saturday morning, but the early morning rain had thankfully stopped as the action proper began with Hind in action in the opening Supersport Heat over 5 laps, the race was won by Lee Johnston by 2.34 seconds from Mike Norbury with Jim in a very secure third a further 2.7s back on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale ZX-6. 


The first day also saw two heats for the Supertwins with Jim joined by his mentor Ian Lougher on Team ILR - Mark Coverdale S1-R Patons. 

Jamie Coward took the first race by 8.1 seconds, Lougher meanwhile was riding a great race and he determinedly defended second place for four laps from Adam McLean before just losing out on the last lap. Hind was in action in the second heat and after a great race he took the win from Rob Hodson by the narrowest of margins with just 0.439s between the two at the flag. 

Sunday's opening Supersport race saw Hind once again ride strongly on the 600. 

With Lee Johnston clear at the front Jim slotted himself into 4th behind Dean Harrison and Dominic Herbertson. Harrison crashed out on the third lap as Hind set about closing the gap to second placed Hertbertson and within a lap he was right on his rear wheel as the battle for second began in earnest. Johnston took the win and the end of a frantic battle saw Herbertson just edge second from Hind by 0.06 seconds. 


There was disappointment for Hind in the Feature Spring Cup race as rain before the start gave way to sunshine making tyre choice a lottery, and with Jim out on the warm-up lap on the wrong tyres the team took the sensible and safe decision to withdraw the ZX6 from the race. 


The first of two Supertwins Group A races also ended in disappointment before it began as Hind and Lougher were both retirements after the warm-up lap, but they repaid the team's hard work in an exciting second encounter. From pole Adam McLean grabbed the lead with Mike Norbury, Hind and Lougher pressing hard. 

On the second lap Jim grabbed second from Norbury with Ian close behind and the Welshman soon took third and move clear of Norbury as Hind began his challenge for the race win. 

On the last lap Jim brilliantly made his move at Drury's Hairpin and went on to hold off Ulsterman McLean by 0.447 seconds for another Oliver's Mount win to add to his tally, with Ian bringing the second Paton home in a secure third. 


Hind had another superb ride in the second Supersport Group A race. 

With Dean Harrison dominating at the front, attention turned to the race for second with Jim involved in a great tussle with Herbertson, Norbury and Joey Thompson. It was a terrific race before Hind put time into them all to take second 3.4 seconds behind Harrison and 2.35s clear of third placed Norbury. 

Jim's 20 points was enough to give him the Road Racing News Supersport A title and further cement his fast growing reputation as one of the Oliver's Mount star riders. 


Hard work combined with great teamwork and great performances on the track had paid dividends for Team ILR at the Spring Cup, and the focus for the team now turns to short circuit action with a return to the BSB paddock at Oulton Park at the end of June where Joe Loughlin will ride the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale R6 Yamaha, with team boss Ian Lougher also mentoring James Alderson in the Junior Superstock on his 675 Triumph.

Team ILR owner - manager Ian Lougher:
"Oliver's Mount is always very challenging and this time was no different.
It was soooo nice just to be going racing again, even catching up with everybody from the various teams was a pleasure after such a long time.
The weather was fairly kind to us, only giving us a hard time just before the feature race where we chose wets instead of dry tyres for Jim's ZX6 Kawasaki.
The sun came out so Jim had no choice but to retire to the paddock after the warm up lap.
Jim is a star in the making and we all at Team ILR/Mark Coverdale thoroughly enjoy working with him.
His results get better and better and on only his third visit to the track he claimed the 600 class win overall.
His win in the second twins race was just a measure of his versatility too...mega.
For myself I felt I rode well considering not sitting on a bike for 8 months and was pleased with my results, but it was a shame we both suffered a small mechanical issue in the first twins race which lead to our retirement.
A big thank you to Mark and all our team for working so hard over the weekend, and a massive thanks to the organisers and marshals for putting on a great meeting. "

Jim Hind:
"Another fantastic weekend working with Team ILR once again, it is a faultless operation that they run and I really can't thank Ian and the team enough.
It was just good, a chilled out time, with lots learned and plenty of quick racing done in the process. " 

Lougher raises the bar at Oliver's Mount 


 


Ian Lougher raised the Oliver's Mount circuit all-time winners record to a remarkable 141 wins with victory on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton S1-R in the second Supertwins race, as road racing resumed in challenging conditions at the three-day Barry Sheene Classic meeting. 

The Welshman also registered third and fourth place finishes in the other 'twins races, and this along with some fine rides by young circuit newcomer Jim Hind, capped a satisfying weekend for Lougher's Team ILR. 

Saturday saw two Supertwins races with the first being red-flagged after the opening few laps.

On the shortened restart, it was Jamie Coward who took the honours from Dominic Herbertson with Ian taking the final podium spot in third.

The second race also fell victim to an early red-flag but this time on the re-start it was a determined Lougher who quickly hit the front and, despite a strong challenge from Herbertson and Coward, Ian wasn't to be denied as he rode strongly to take the chequered flag for win number 141!

Day Two saw changeable weather and again two Supertwins and Supersport races for the team. 

In the opening Supertwins race on a wet track Ian uncharacteristically slid off without injury and Race Two saw a great tussle develop between Lougher and his young protege Hind with the only two Paton riders in the race having a great battle for third.

With Coward clear at the front, it was Hind who eventually got clear with two laps to go to claim third less than a second behind Herbertson with Ian settling for fourth. 

Over the course of the weekend Ian was 12th quickest overall with a lap in the Supertwins of 1.54.566 on the Team ILR - Mark Coverdale Paton S1-R.

A great effort by the whole team! 

In closing the thoughts and condolences of everyone at Team ILR are with the family and friends of Jeff Ward. 

Jeff was involved in a non-racing-related medical emergency after the Supertwin qualifying session on Friday afternoon and sadly passed away the following day. 

Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher

"It's fair to say after a lengthy wait to see if the racing would return to Oliver's Mount, that everybody was so pleased to get back in the paddock and out on track. 

I felt quite good from the off on our Team ILR/Mark Coverdale Paton qualifying 3rd. 

I went on to have some decent results over the weekend, but the plus point for me was working with our new team rider Jim Hind. 

The 20 yr old from Lincolnshire was a newcomer to Scarborough but impressed everybody including me with his ability to learn a new circuit in the most difficult of conditions and listen to everyone in his quest to improve his riding. 

He rode our 650 Paton and Kawasaki ZX6, both machines being new to him without breaking a sweat ...mega. 

A big thank-you must go to the Oliver's Mount organisers who have worked so hard to get the racing going again, and a massive thank-you to all our sponsors, especially our main sponsor Mark Coverdale who has given us so much support." 

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Membership is now open for the official Ian Lougher Racing (Team ILR) Supporters Club. 

You can now show your support for your favourite race team by becoming a member, or by becoming a Team Sponsor. 

Membership entitles you to receive discount for our 2020 Track Days in April (4th/5th) and August (1st/2nd) at Pembrey in Wales, where you will be under the guidance of ten times TT winner and widely acknowledged and respected racing legend Ian Lougher. 

You will also receive discount on Team ILR merchandise, as well as receiving an invitation to join our dedicated Supporters Club Facebook page and to our 2020 team party at a special price. 

Membership starts from £120 


Team ILR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES 2020 

Packages available from £600. 
email loughers.sptc@gmail.com






*Track Day Discount is available for Ian Lougher Racing Supporters Club members* 

You can now show your support for your favourite race team by becoming a member of the Official Ian Lougher Racing (Team ILR) Supporters Club or by becoming a Team Sponsor

For further details, email teamilrsupporters@gmail.com 


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