GREAT Harwood sidecar racer Dave Holden will soon have another trophy to add to his already vast collection after clinching his 12th Ace of Aintree Sidecar Championship with a round to spare.
The 65-year-old is in an incredible 34th year in the sport and two second-placed finishes at the Merseyside circuit at the weekend were enough for him to seal the title alongside passenger Heath Fairbrother.
He has not yet received the trophy but is already struggling for space in his attic, which he has converted into a room for his many awards. Among his most prized titles is the 1990 British Sidecar Championship.
“I have always collected the trophies but there became so many that I made them all into a bit of a room in my attic,” Holden said.
“I’ve got hundreds of them, British Championships, all sorts.
“I am proud of them because they took some earning.”
Holden’s career was in major doubt in 2009 when he broke his shoulder, hip, four ribs and a small bone in his back as well as puncturing both lungs in a 100mph accident at Aintree.
But he returned to claim the 11th Ace of Aintree title of his career last year and has now followed it up with yet another one – even doing it with one of the five rounds still remaining.
“It’s my 12th title, it’s not bad really!” Holden laughed.
“I won it last year as well and it has been great to win it again after my accident.
“There’s a qualifying race, then the championship race and the trophy race.
“You pick your grid position out of a hat but in the qualifying race at the weekend I spun off when I was leading, so I started 14th.
“The lad at the front was quick and he had gone by the time I got through the field, so I settled for two second places.
“I just had to not break down, I only needed a few points.
“There’s one round left, there are five rounds, and the last round is in September.
“But I’ll take it easy now! There’s no pressure now.”
And Holden is on course to collect another title before the end of the season, with the Wirral 100 Championship within his grasp.
“I’m in the Wirral 100 and the last race of that is in October and again I just need to finish really to win that title,” he said.
“I’ve had a great year, I’ve had 21 wins and four second places in 25 races.
“I usually do all right but this has been a great year.
“I don’t know if anyone has won 12 titles before but I hope I can win more. It all depends on my age and how I feel.
“I am planning to be in the championship again next year.
“And I’d like say thank you to everyone who has helped me.
“There’s THG Motor Bodies in Longridge, Blackburn Van Hire and CMS Motor Repairers.
“There are too many other people to name, but they all know who they are.”