After the very successful opening rounds of this year’s ACU British Timecard Enduro Championship taking place in Scotland recently, the series headed to the picturesque market town of Helmsley, North Yorkshire, for last weekend’s Putoline Yorkshire 2 Day Enduro
Clerk of the course John Kerwin had drafted in the experience of Paul Edmondson and his Fast Eddy crew to assist in the design and set up of both the X-Country styled special tests for the event. In addition to this John and his hard working Dirtbike Action club had set up a route that was less technical than previous years and with the recent spell of dry weather and ground conditions bone dry, the event was set up to be another top quality round in this year’s series.
DAY 1 With weather conditions being warm and course conditions dry, it was set up to be another great day of action in all classes. By the end of lap1 it was Brad Freeman (Beta Boano Racing) fresh from his recent Enduro GP of Spain Junior class win setting the pace early on to take a 6 second lead from series leader Danny McCanney (Rockstar Husqvarna), and current GNCC XC3 class leader Jack Edmondson (Coastal Husqvarna) also a further 6 seconds down in 3rd. Freeman was on top form for the remaining laps and although he took a tumble on test 4, he still won 5 out of the 8 special tests during the day to take the overall win by 4 seconds. McCanney winner of test 4 and 8 had to settle for the runner up spot this time, while test 6 winner Jack Edmondson completed the top 3, half a minute down on McCanney. Jamie Lewis, Senior class winner at the recent European Enduro Championship round in Portugal carried on his fine form with a well-deserved 4th overall; with Cornish star Josh Gotts finishing a career best 5th place just 21 seconds behind Lewis. Next up was rising star and current European Under 20 Enduro Championship leader Dan Mundell who was just edged out of 5th by a few hundredths of a second! Scottish ace Frazer Flockhart took 7th closely followed by the hard charging Lee Sealey just 3 seconds splitting these two.
In the hotly contested Expert class it was young Welshman Alex Walton who took the well-deserved win beating round 1 winner Jay Thomas by 6 seconds. Walton another rider putting his recent European Enduro Championship experience to good use, by taking his 1st ever BEC outright win. Another great performance saw Andrew Bisset take 3rd place with the narrowest of margins from Jon Hunt in 4th who was just under 1 second down on Bisset. Bradley King was unlucky not to finish on the podium but after several crashes on the tests had to settle for 5th a further 7 seconds down on Hunt, while Richard Ely completed the top 6.
A much improved performance by Harry Hillier-Rees saw him snatch the Clubman class win from the ever-consistent Allyn Taylor. Hillier-Rees in only his 4th ever enduro finished the day just 1 second ahead of Taylor, with Max Ditchfield in 3rd holding off series leader Fred Adams by 8 seconds in 4th.
In the Ladies class it was the ever improving Rosie Rowett who easily took top honours after her nearest rival Glesni Jones retired early on in the day inuring her knee. This left Chloe Richards to take the runner up spot with only other finisher Abi Childs taking 3rd.
Andrew Edwards is the man to beat in the ultra-competitive Over 40’s class taking yet another win, beating off nearest rival Richard Hay by 17 seconds. Andrew Reeves & Russell Millward were next up taking a well respectable 3 and 4th places.
In the Over 50’s Paul Davies didn’t have it all his own way this time, with man on a mission Mark Houson storming to the class win by 27 seconds over Davies. The battle for 3rd saw Paul Armstrong pip Paul Spurgeon by 30 seconds.
Simon Walker headed the small Sportsman class entry, with Danny Parker 2nd and Ben Leighton 3rd.
DAY 2 Heavy rain during the early hours leading up to the start of day 2 changed the conditions to the surface being very slippy, however this didn’t slow the pace of the top riders in their respective classes. Brad Freeman started where he left off from the previous day and took the win in 5 of the 8 special tests during the day setting him up for maximum points from the weekend. McCanney winning the other 3 special tests had to settle for the runner up spot 8 seconds down on Freeman while third again was E1 class winner Jack Edmondson a further 53 seconds down on McCanney. Jamie Lewis put in another strong performance claiming 4th place just 33 seconds behind Eddy, with 5th placed Josh Gotts a further 17 seconds down. Lee Sealey slowly getting to grips with the bigger bike took 6th; ex motocross star Alex Snow 7th while newly promoted 2016 Expert champ Tom Ellwood had an impressive 8th place.
In the Experts class Brad King (took the class win with a 12 second margin over the in-form Jay Thomas. Jon Hunt improved on his day 1 performance lifting himself to 3rd place just 21 seconds behind Thomas and the experienced Kevin Murray finishing 4th only 4 seconds behind Hunt. Day 1 winner Alex Walton didn’t have such a good day slipping to 5th but still took the E1 class win from Andrew Bisset in 6th.
Spike Gilby was the unlikely winner of the Clubman class with a very well deserved win aboard an old Suzuki beating series regular Adams by 10 seconds. Youngster Max Ditchfield put in another fine display to take home 3rd just beating Day 1 winner Harry Hillier-Rees by 2 seconds. Allyn Taylor, Jordan Wright, Lewis Ranger and Tom James completed the top 8, what a battle this class is turning into!
Rosie Rowett seems to be going from strength to strength with another strong performance to take the Ladies class win which would’ve put her in good placing amongst the clubman class. Runner up was Chloe Richards who kept battling away until the end.
Runner-way Over 40’s leader Andrew Edwards just did enough to beat Andrew Reeves, both riders both winning 3 tests a piece, but with Edwards better margin on test 1 saw him just keep in front by 6 seconds come the end of day. Russell “Rusty” Millward pulled up a place on Sunday finishing 3rd just 14 seconds ahead of Vince Harker in 4th.
Mark Houson took maximum points from his weekends good work with another win in the over 50’s closely followed by Paul “Elvis” Davies. The battle for 3rd place saw Paul Armstrong fend off Darren Osbourne by 15 seconds.
Lastly but not least the top 3 of the Sportsman class were all within 8 seconds of each other, with Paul Baxter leaping ahead of Day 1 winner Simon walker for the win and Archie Flack taking the remaining podium place in 3rd.
The overall view from riders and supporters was this was well organised and enjoyable event, well worthy of its BEC status, roll on next year!
The next round of this series is organised by Hafren Dirt Bike Club and will be held at Llanidloes, Mid-Wales over the weekend of 29th/30th July. Entries will be available soon. For further information on the event checkout the clubs website – http://hafrendbc.co.uk
Report: Gemma James
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DAY 1 [embeddoc url=”https://www.enduro.live/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Dirt-Bike-Action-Results-13.05.17.xls” viewer=”microsoft”]