Nick Jefferies:Competition CV
Nick’s career actually started in 1964 at the age of 12, when he passengered his father, Allan Jefferies in a “Veterans’s” Reunion Trial near Otley, in the old West Riding of Yorkshire. His father was riding the same 596cc Scott (with added sidecar) that he had ridden in the 1932 Scott Trial, becoming the last man to win the Scott on a Scott!
It wasn’t until just short of his 16th birthday that Nick began his Competitive career in his own right. Riding an ex factory Triumph Cub, Nick finished 3rd Novice in a Spen valley Club trial on April 7th 1968.
From that point on he never looked back, and soon gained Expert status in a county where top trials riders were round every corner. It was a terrific breeding ground for developing new talent, with the likes of Arthur, Sid and Martin Lampkin,, Malcolm Rathmell, Rob Edwards, Dave Thorpe, Bill and Mick Wilkinson, Rob and Norman Shepherd, Peter Gaunt,Jack Galloway, Brian Hutchinson, John Metcalfe, and John Hemingway all capable of winning national events, and frequently turning out locally to demonstrate their skills.
Nick first competed in the famous Scott Trial in 1970, but he had to wait until 1972 before he gained his first “Scott spoon”, and he went on to win a further 12 spoons, only failing to finish once.
By 1973 Nick was attracting works rides, with Dalesman the first factory to gain his services. A short spell developing the Jefferies Honda with Peter Gaunt saw success in the Manx 2 Day Trial, finishing 3rd behind Martin Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell, and followed that up by leading the Scottish Six Days Trial early in 1974.
A broken leg sustained in a trials accident temporarily halted his career, and it was during the enforced lay off that Nick turned his attention to road racing.
Purchasing a Yamaha TD2B early in 1974, Nick began his quest to qualify to race in the Isle of Man, with numerous outings at Cadwell, Carnaby, Elvington, Silloth, Oulton Park, and Mallory Park. In addition to racing and trialling, Nick was called up by the British ISDT Enduro team to ride as reserve in the ISDT in Italy riding a works Jawa. After winning Gold Medals in the Welsh Three Day Trial, and in Czechoslovakia, the European Two Day Championship, Nick’s ISDT career fizzled out after only gaining a Silver medal in Italy.
Meanwhile, Nick’s trials riding had attracted the attention of the Yamaha team, and he was drafted in to ride alongside Mick Andrews in the 1975 Scottish Six Days Trial. For the second year running Nick led the event, but the gallant effort ended in machine failure on the fourth day.
May 1975 saw Nick arrive in the Isle of Man to ride alongside Guy Martin’s father , Ian, in the 10 lap Production TT on a Norton Commando. Despite Ian’s practice crash which saw him sidelined, Nick finished 45th with Dick Pipes as co-rider. The event was to give Nick the real Isle of Man racing bug, as you will read later
The successful trials career had caught the attention of Honda, and Sammy Miller signed Nick up to lead the new Honda Trials team riding the exotic RTL 306 factory bikes in World Championships and all the major British events. Nick gained Honda’s first ever World Championship points with 6th place in the 1976 British World Round. Numerous top places followed including National wins at the Manx 2 Day Trial, and the White Rose.
However despite promising Honda that he had finished racing, Nick sneaked off to race in the Manx Grand Prix each year, and after finishing 3rd in the 1977 Senior Manx Grand Prix (on a Yamaha), Honda’s patience had been tested to the limit, and Nick was dismissed!
Over the next few years, Nick rode for CCM, developing both 4 stroke and 2stroke engines, Bultaco, and Montesa. He managed to race every year at the Manx Grand Prix every year until he finally won the Senior event in 1983.
From this point racing was Nick’s passion, and he began a TT career, (which had faltered nine years earlier) in 1984 gaining top ten places, and showing real consistency. By 1987 Nick attracted the interest of Honda once more, and after two top six places in 1987, he rode alongside Joey Dunlop, Steve Hislop, Brian Morrison, and Roger Burnett in 1988 on the new RC30, finishing a fantastic runner up place to Joey in the Formula One race. Later in the year Nick managed to win the Superstock Ulster Grand Prix again on an RC30.
Signing for Loctite Yamaha, Nick broke the Production TT lap record in 1989, and finished 2nd and 3rd in the Senior and Formula One races. 1990 Nick was runner up to Carl Fogarty in the Formula One TT, before crashing in the Senior sustaining serious ankle injuries. He returned at the end of the season to win the prestigious Gold Cup at Scarborough. Another serious ankle injury ruined the 1991 season, but he was fourth in every TT in 1992 lapping at over 120mph in the Senior and F1TTs.
Finally in 1993 Nick was able climb the top step beating Phillip McCallen in the Formula One race. It had taken a long time!
Further rostrum places followed, bringing a total of 18, (and counting)
In 2003 Nick agreed a deal with Phil Morris of Road Race Legends to ride Phil’s exotic race bikes in various Parade events around the UK. Nick had one last ride in an unsuccessful attempt at the Classic Manx Grand Prix, before calling it a day, and concentrated on business interests, and riding for Phil, and happy relationship which continues to this day.
However, Nick was lured out of retirement upon the re-styling of the Classic event in the Isle of Man, and has ridden successfully for three years there. In 2015 Nick led his class in the Senior Classic TT before retiring with 12 miles to go. In the Supertwins Manx Grand Prix (Nick’s 92nd Island race) Nick finished 3rd, on a machine entered by Phil Morris, FORTY YEARS after his first ride on the Island, and over FIFTY years since that first event with his father.
Nick, now in his 64th year, is looking forward to further rides with the Phil Morris stable, in 2016, and will be competing on other circuits around the UK, and hopefully will be back on his beloved Isle of Man in late August.