By James Lloyd
In just over a fortnight’s time Aberdare Park will spring into life as the 2016 instalment of the motorcycling weekend kicks into action.
TT heroes John McGuinness and Peter Hickman are amongst the big names set to attend the event in South Wales with the former due to take part in the racing.
Local racer Matthew Rees will be joined by fellow TT regular Dan Cooper at the races with veteran Welshman Paul Owen also confirmed for the weekend.
Australian star David Johnson has recently signed up and will entertain the fans with a number of parade laps around the 0.9 mile course on board his record-breaking TT Norton.
Johnson, who has lapped the Isle of Man Mountain course at 131mph, said: “I’ve heard a lot about the Aberdare races and I’m looking forward to getting down there and watching. It’s also going to be great to get a couple of parade laps in, I can’t wait”.
Aberdare has been staging road races since 1950 and has attracted many big names around the motorsport world across its 66 year history including: John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Carl Fogarty and Phil Read to name a few.
Chairman of the Aberdare races club, Derek Smith, is excited for the racing to get underway. “This years’ event will be special with a star-studded line-up which hasn’t been seen for a number of years”. He added: “We have lots of TT and Manx Grand Prix riders attending who can be added to a list of past greats”.
Aberdare’s own, Matthew Rees says he’s ready for his home event after a solid year on the roads. “I’m really looking forward to it”, the 32 year old said. “It’s my local event as my home is only half a mile down the road. It’s my fourth year here so I’m hoping for a couple of podiums”.
Rees, who is sponsored by Phil Morris Racing, a key player in the running of the event, added, “It’s a real good fast circuit and quite technical and physically demanding because the racing is non-stop, as soon as one race finishes the next one is on, so that’s what road-racing is all about”.
The weekend will feature 46 races around the Cynon Valley track including the prestigious Welsh Open which was won by Dan Cooper last year.