Oliver's Mount, sitting as it does in parkland between the seaside and the North Yorkshire moors that rise away to the West, represents mainland Britain's only remaining pure road race circuit.

Since 1946, people from all over the country have gathered to watch incredible battles, fought on narrow country lanes with all of the jumps, obstacles and lack of run off that you'd expect on such a circuit.

The Jewel in the crown, the Scarborough Gold Cup, has been won by a wide array of world class riders since it's inauguration in 1950. The role call is impressive, Duke, Agostini, Surtees, Read, Cooper, Sheene, Fogarty, just to name a very few. Guy Martin though has won it 7 times, on the trot, for three different manufacturers.

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Between 2003 & 2009, no one else got a look in, until Ian Hutchinson turned up with 5 wins in the 2010 TT in his pocket and finally beat the Lincolnshire ace last year. So, you may well feel that with 'Hutchy' still recovering from the injuries he received shortly afterwards during a Silverstone BSB meeting, that Martin must be clear favourite to regain the 'Steve Henshaw Gold Cup' on his Relentless Suzuki by TAS GSXR750, but far from it.

Head of his main rivals is Ryan Farquhar from Northern Ireland, himself a record holder at the track, an incredible 18 wins in one meeting, the 2009 Barry Sheene Classic Trophy Races. Farquhar has been ripping it up on the roads this year and arrives at the Gold Cup meeting as 2011 Ulster Road Race Champion, fresh from completing a hat trick of wins in Killalane . Then there's John McGuiness, 17 times a TT winner, current Isle of Man lap record holder and former Gold Cup winner in 1999 on an NSR500 Honda.

Throw the Dunlop brothers into the mix. William with a new 2012 race contract with Wilson Craig Honda already sewn up, and Michael who seems to have come of age as a world class superbike rider this year, and wears his Irish Road Racing Superbike Championship and Ulster Grand Prix hat trick very well indeed.

Add also Ian Lougher, the mercurial Welshman, another of Oliver's Mount record holders with an amazing 131 victories to his name, and you can see that Martin has got a very tough job on his hands. If anyone can do it though, Guy Martin is the man.

Keep an eye on Crash's Road Racing section to find out who emerges the victor.

by Graham Edwards