Enduroland Winter Series. Rd.2
Remembrance Day events tend to polarise opinion, whether they should be running or not but when approached in the correct way they can be a fitting tribute of remembrance and show the respect deserved by such a significant day.
Nigel Wheatley ran his annual Enduroland Remembrance Day quarry event at Q1 near Banbury and with Tilde Tighe playing the Last Post on trumpet, Andrew Perring reading the immortal words that accompany the ceremony and all riders and spectators observing a two-minute silence before the start of the race, the event could not have been more poignant.
If the event had run midweek conditions would have been perfect but it didn’t and they weren’t. Heavy rain on Saturday nearly saw the plug pulled but Sunday’s sunshine left the course in pretty good shape even if the car park wasn’t.
The course stretched into the distance, utilising the sides of the quarry with short but steep climbs and descents and huge mounds of crushed rock in the centre and near the start line to make things interesting. It was a technical course with little or no places to rest, constantly twisting and turning with a rock garden at the entrance to the big open quarry section. Straight off the start the course turned to hit the first rock pile and it gave many riders a fast wake-up call and a taste of what was to come.
Following the Remembrance Day tribute racing got underway. Elite class rider Ben Wibberley took the hole-shot but it was MPS Racing’s Sherco mounted Luke Flack who took the lead out in the open quarry and roared onwards despite breaking his gear change off on the second lap. Flack rode almost the whole race in one gear, 19 laps over two hours, but the tight and technical nature of the course didn’t require much more anyway.
Wibberley and Flack tussled for most of the race and Wibberley finished in a solid second spot in the Elite class as Mark Kirby had a great ride to grab third in class although Rob Higgs and Luke Fisher were not too far behind him.
Quad Ace Sheldon Saul made the adjustment to two wheels look very simple as he took the Clubman Plus class win for the second time in the winter series as Rich Heslop took second spot despite having a small crash. Lee Allis-Smith nailed third place overtaking Josh Buckley who had been flying early on in the race and eventually finished in fourth.
A great ride by Chris Hill gave him the Clubman class win with 16 laps to his credit. He was followed home by Rob Simpson in second as Rosie Rowett, the only female rider in the race took third. Rowett was never out of the top three and challenged for the lead at one point, her technical abilities paid off especially on the tricky rocks and mounds.
Vets winner Nev Duke has had some cracking results this season and yet again he took maximum points in the Q1 quarry with 16 laps to his credit. Mick Belcher, with hand-cut tyres prepared the evening before with his wife’s best bread knife, took second. Apparently the bread knife leaves ripples in the tyre that add to the grip! Neil Richardson took third in class. A great club character, Thomas Matyska, hit 15 laps and finished in fourth. Marcus Humphreys, usually a contender in the Vets, suffered from arm pump and despite being out of the running still managed to finish the race.
The Masters class is always a hard-fought affair and this round was no different as Phil Deardon took the win ahead of Darren Hill while Mark Glover rode hard to finish third in a very competitive class.
James Palmer gave a terrific display of Youth riding as he nailed the class win in great style ahead of Enduroland’s own Chris Bailey. James Dover was up against it with two very quick riders ahead of him and took third in class.
The Sportsman class was again very well attended and heading the class to the finish line was Max Wordingham as Darren Carter took second and Wayne Haywood third.
The Youth race ran earlier in the day and a big thanks must go to the many parents who helped young riders around a very tough course for small wheelers.
Archie Date won the BW85cc class from Jaydn Giles and Kai Taboada while Kyle Saunders took the SW85cc win ahead of Max brown.
Louis Adams was top of the 65cc class with Sonny Simpson second and Ryan Stoneley third. The Auto’s had it hardest of all but Harley O’Callaghan took the win over Louis Wallis and Reece Giles.
It was a terrific event and the course turned out to be quite a challenge to many riders but it flowed well once everyone got going and provided some great entertainment for the numerous spectators.
Results Elite • Luke Flack • Ben Wibberley • Mark Kirby
Clubman Plus • Sheldon Seal • Rich Heslop • Lee Allis-Smith
Clubman • Chris Hill • Rob Simpson • Rosie Rowett
Vets • Nev Duke • Mick Belcher • Neil Richardson
Masters • Phil Deardon • Darren Hill • Mark Glover
Sportsman • Max Wordingham • Darren Cartewr • Wayne Haywood
Youth • James Palmer • Chris Bailey • James Dover
BW85cc • Archie date • Jaydn Giles • Kai Taboada
SW85cc • Kyle Saunders • Max Brown
65cc • Louis Adams • Sonny Simpson • Ryan Stoneley
Auto • Harley OCallaghan • Louis Wallis • Reece Giles