“The National Hare Scrambles 2017 Round 1 took place last weekend at Baden Hall in Staffordshire. The new Enduro series created and promoted by WOR Events kicked off in style with a superb turn out of riders and racers all keen to get their year started and with a superb 5 miles per lap track and the quality of the organisation from Steve Ireland and his Trusted staff once again measuring up, it was a brilliant event to kick start this championship. The rain kept away and a very windy overnight period left the track in simply perfect condition, tacky and grippy with lots of different woodland and field sections to keep the riders entertained.
The fastest man on the day was Derek Bawn, winning the Expert class, He led from start to finish and put in an exemplary performance of speed, consistency and classy riding on his Husqvarna 300 2t. Derek took a 3 minute and 20 second advantage after the 2.5hr race from Runner Up, Matt Silvester (Husqvarna) whom in turn put 5 minutes between himself and 3rd placed rider, Nathan Rogers (KTM). All 3 riders completing 13 laps each. The Expert Vet class has certainly upped its game for 2017 with some new additions, and Steve Pattison (KTM) and Roy Prescott (Honda) matched the Experts pace with 13 laps each. The spoils of victory in class going to Pattison by a comfortable 3 minutes placing him a superb 3rd overall in the race. Following Prescott’s big 450 home in third spot was Simon Wright with a solid ride on his KTM to take the final podium spot.
Rob Cooke is a class act and has been around the WOR Events for many years, returning to racing Rob(KTM) blasted his way to a fine Clubman win and a very impressive 5th overall on the day. Smooth, fast and agile the Oswestry based rider really did put in a good shift. Just 21 seconds adrift was Paul Engerlen(KTM), another WOR stalwart that is super consistent. Keeping it real close at the sharp end in class was Lee Thomas (Beta) whom was only 22 seconds off Engerlen at the end of the 2.5 hrs with 13 laps being the target achieved from the podium riders.
Chris Berry was the man to beat in the Clubman Vets and it was really good to see Martin Walker back in the saddle at WOR and taking the Runners place. Walker only just squeezed that though as he pipped 3rd placed Stacey Greensall by just 1 second after the fast paced 2.5hrs. 12 Laps each was the target hit by the top Clubman Vets.
The 2-hour segment of the event had Colin Griffiths starting the year as he left off last year, As the man to beat in the very strong and competitive Over 50 group. Challenged early on by the hard charging Stephen Parry, the Long-legged Griffiths took control after a couple of laps and went on to pull a 1 lap advantage, on paper at least, to the rest of his peers. Parry took a well-earned Silver and will be there or thereabouts in this year’s championship. Colin Jones took a well-earned 3rd place and he too will be around to challenge for top honours in the Over 50’s this year, that’s for sure.
Connor Bollsover was in superb form in the Sportsman class and won that along with the 2hr race. Bollsover shook of the challenge of Runner Up, Liam Bellfield and 3rd placed Ben Martindale to win the group by 3 minutes. Belfield and Martindale seem to be facing a year like last year again, evenly matched on ability and pace, the two riders battled the Novice class last year and now are doing it again, tooth and nail in the higher Sportsman category. All 3 riders did 10 laps each.
Sportsman Vets is always hotly contested and Mark Plain made his intentions for the year clear as he swept to a 58 second win margin from Runner Up, Kieran Jordan. 3rd place belonged to Andrew Heywood with a cracking ride. 9 laps was the credit for the top 6 riders in that class.
Jamie Williams was the rider to beat in the Youth class and was on top form taking the win and the Rider of the day award by nearly 4 minutes from Runner Up, Sion Hughes with both riders on 9 laps. Haydn Tyrer fully deserving his trophy in 3rd spot with 8 laps.
The Novice group was huge and was duly topped by Phil Foster with young Max Eilledge as the Runner Up. Arwel Thomas also did well to get the 3rd spot on the podium by matching the top two riders 9 laps each.
The Event was a resounding success with Hundreds of riders having enjoyed the weekend, The NHS series looks in great shape as it progresses to the second round which is the 23rd April at the WOR clubs always popular, classic Hare Scrambles venue , Maeshafn in Mold. WOR would like to thank all of the staff, helpers, medics, caterers, land owners and sponsors but as always the riders for coming out in their droves and supporting the event.”
Report : Keith Williams