Report: Keith Williams
” The riders in the 4th Round of the Putoline Hare Scrambles had to put up with mud and rain in biblical proportions last Sunday at WOR’s fantastic venue that is Manor Park Nr Welshpool. The track was a 5 mile per lap feast of off road but once those rains had their say it became a 5 mile beast of a track instead. The Riders safety briefing explained just how slippery the hard pack track had become and braking was going to be a tough job. The riders got on with the job in hand fantastically as they tackled the terrain and all it could throw at them for the 2 hour race duration.
One Rider that certainly found his mojo on the day and excelled himself was CF Racing Kawasaki rider, Steve Hughes. Hughes put months of bad luck and disappointment behind him as he led from start to finish in his best race performance to date. Hughes pushed the KX250f through the mud and gloop like a seasoned Pro and his super consistent lap times showed he was literally the man to beat in the Expert class. Hughes eventually taking the win from runner up, Roger Holland by just over 2 minutes. Holland on his KTM is no slouch and he was coping really well with the mud too as he managed to pull 3 minutes advantage over third placed man, Ross Davies (Husky 250). All three riders finishing on 10 laps each.
Top Expert Veteran was Chris Wagstaff (Yamaha) but he only just sneaked it this time, David Haith (KTM) was out in front for the entire race until a wipe out on the penultimate lap allowed the always hard charging Waggy to push through and indeed get through for a 10th lap. Haith finished on 9 laps with Yamaha mounted Paul Mcsorley fully deserving his podium plaudits in 3rd place also on 9 laps.
Ryan Shacklady was on a mission, It was the likeable Wirral Youngsters 18th Birthday and he wanted a win, and win is exactly what he did with a superb ride on his KTM to secure the Clubman win and a fantastic 4th place overall matching the 10 laps of the top riders. Runner Up in class was the ever improving Josh Haith (Husky) the only other rider in the race to complete the magic 10 laps target. Matt Clark was back at a WOR event for the first time in a while and he showed how he is another always improving rider with a fine 3rd place and podium visit.
John Jones topped the Clubman Vets class aboard his Husky 350 as he showed once again when the going gets tough, the Jones gets going as he was pushed hard all race by Gary Morley with both riders completing 9 laps and a 20 second advantage going to Jones. 3rd Place went to Stacey Greensall with a very plucky ride to grind out some very important championship points with his 8 lap total.
Matt Verrin on his Freestyle Husky 300 loves the mud and wet conditions and after rubbing his hands together gleefully pre race he then showed why by leading the Sportsman class from start to finish and cemented it with a near 5 minute advantage over Runner Up, Declan Richards. Richards on his Husky 125 was also having a fine race and he pulled a 3 minute advantage over Ben Hurley in 3rd spot. Hurley is another ex trials rider that is starting to shine at the WOR Hare Scrambles. All 3 riders on the podium completing 9 laps each.
Lee Sephton (Sherco) was the top man in the Sportsman Vets with Henry Markey taking a very well earned runners up spot. The numbers on the day had Markey as the winner but a recheck fixed the error but not all lost as Markey aboard his KTM still stayed on the podium. Both riders on 7 laps each with 3rd placed Bryn Price on 6 laps and going well in the testing conditions.
In the always competitive Over 50s group it was that man Colin Griffiths (KTM 300) that was back on top form and looking very skillfull in the gloop as he secured a 9 lap score with a 7 minute advantage over Runner Up Colin Jones (YAM 250). Jones matched the 9 laps of Griffiths with the final podium place going to Duncan Humphrey on his new 2017 Husky tx300 on 8 laps. Young Robert Francom continued his current run of great form with a win in the Youth class, Rob finishing just over a minute ahead of 2nd placed Sion Hughes. Both riders on 8 laps and riding very well in the challenging conditions. Third spot went to the always consistent and committed Haydn Tyrer.
Rounding out the classes was the Novice group with Ben Martindale again taking a comfortable class win from Steve Farthing and Dan Johnson in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
All riders deserving a big pat on the back for finishing this one.
The race even in such adverse conditions went superbly and is a testament to the hugely experienced WOR team for delivering such a quality event in the most mud and rain that Welshpool could throw at them.
As always WOR would like to send a massive thankyou to the landowners, staff , medics, caterers, photographers and Sponsors and most importantly the riders for supporting the events and making them happen.
The next Round of the Putoline Hare Scrambles moves over to a brand new venue in Settle, Yorkshire on July 10th …Details on WOR’s next event this coming weekend 18/19th June at Maeshafn in Mold for a Saturday RED funday and Sunday’s Michelin XCE rd 3 are available at on this page.