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To the Winner the Prizes

Pete ‘PK’ Davies with the trappings of success, including his Alfa GTV. Tyres were a big deal in the Avon series but, rather embarrassingly, races were often won on ‘other brands’. One of the most memorable things about the races was PK’s entertainingly lurid riding style which had endeared him to race fans throughout the UK. Davies recalls his time aboard the Slater Jotas: “In 1976 we competed in two championships, the Avon and the Motorcycle Mechanics. We were on the Dunlop racing tyre whichdid not handle too well on the straight but was excellent on the corners and really allowed us to get the power on early. During the ’76 season we took lap records at pretty much every circuit in England. Going from memory it was Brands Hatch long circuit, Brands short circuit, Snetterton, Mallory Park (where I remember an epic battle with the Norton), Cadwell Park long circuit, Cadwell short circuit, and I think, Aintree . I suspect there were more but it’s years ago! The lap records illustrate the team’s total domination of production racing in the second half of that decade. What great times they were ! What a grand sport we were involved in !” The Jota soon amassed an impressive competition record including winning the coveted Avon production Series title in its debut year. The following year (1977) Jotas had a successful showing in the first ever Formula 1 TT. In atrocious weather Mick Hunt brought home the first Jota in sixth place. Four other Jotas had entered the race and all finished in respectable positions (John Kirkby came ninth). If they had registered for a team prize Slater’s would have won the manufacturer’s class. Elsewhere in Europe the Jota was beginning to make its mark; Lennart Backstrom took the Swedish Superbike title in 1978 and Davies took the Avon Production Championship for the second time. Jotas were now a regular sight on the UK short circuits and Phil Todd recalls upwards of a dozen bikes competing regularly in national and club events. Full story in Benzina 3


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