First Round has FINALLY arrived!
After being postponed last month due to extreme weather conditions, the first round of dirtbike-traxs’ championship is among us! At the brilliant venue of cowm quarry in Rochdale, this one is guaranteed to be a fantastic race. With the venue being suitable for all abilities, with added in extreme routes for those who dare attempt them.
The track is an unused quarry. Mix of endurance routes, a man made motox track, and many hills up and down. There is a rocky road for the extreme riders and many steep down hills. The track we aim to set out, we hope will be approximately 15 minute loop. With pits at the end of the lap to refuel and have a drink before setting out on the challenge once again.
Camping is available from Saturday. There are onsite toilet facilities, and the grounds are just a short drive from the local high street.
Please book in via our website: www.dirtbike-traxs.com , or give us a ring on 07914777534.
We would also like to mention for those who do not ring and book their place, will be charged an extra £5. So we recommend you to take the 5 minute time it takes to ring up and book your place.
We hope to see you all there, for what we can proudly say it will be another amazing event!
The first of Dirtbike-Traxs' winter events went down a storm at the popular Butts Quarry in Ashover, Derbyshire. The team put in a lot of effort making some significant changes to the track, with some brand new twists and turns which caught out some of the regulars to Butts on the first lap. With a 2 ½ hour race on the cards, the riders were in for a right treat, even the sun made an appearance for the duration of the race.
A good turnout of local Expert riders put on a great show for the spectators, MPS rider, Jack Rowland was out to make it two wins in two weeks after winning the Holland memorial race last weekend at Butts. The in-form Tom Healey was the bookies favourite again but out to spoil Toms reign at the top was DBTs very own Danny Morse and he showed that he was up for the challenge after leading the pack in through lap scoring after lap 1. Hot on his tracks was Tom, closely followed by Jack and by lap 5 Tom got past Danny while Jack suffered a worst fate as his clutch gave up the ghost, forcing him to retire early. From that point, with a confident, mature ride, Tom steadily stretched his lead and when the flag finally came down Tom was over 5 minutes ahead of Danny, both having completed 20 laps. Declan Heliwell took third place after a great performance notching up 19 laps.
Joining the Experts on the front row was the over 40s class and totally stealing the show was Justin Carter with a massive 19 laps, 5 clear laps ahead of second placed Mark Horrobin and third placed Sean O'Brien.
In the Clubman class, Jordan Botchett took time off from event organising and enjoyed a thoroughly deserved ride after a break from competitive riding of over 6 months. There was no sign that the break had affected his ability as he led his class from the first lap closely followed for the duration of the race by Mark Marshall. Mark took the lead for a lap as Jordan pitted for fuel, but Jordan soon gained the lead again and finished with top spot after completing 18 laps. Disaster struck Mark on the final lap as his bike ran out of fuel, which let in Ryan Patrick to claim second and Sam O'Brian took third both with 17 laps.
The largest class of the day was the Sportsman class and Andy Pulfrey
dominated the race from the very beginning, after the 2 ½ hours he had a 14
minute lead over his nearest rival finishing with a respectable 17 laps. It
was a close run match between second and third, John Malone eventually took
the honours with less than 30 seconds on third place Alan Smith, both having
completed 16 laps. A mention has to go to the two ladies of the group, Jade
Gordon and Tara Johnson who both showed the fellas how to tackle the tyres and
logs on the hard section. The pair relentlessly muscled their bikes over the
sections each lap and thoroughly deserve a pat on the back for effort, well
Finally Matthew Wegan took the honours in the Hobby class with 14 laps, followed by Carl Twigg in second with 13 laps and Simon Moreton in third with 12 laps
A massive thanks to big Stu and his gang for the great track set up and the marshals for ensuring the whole day ran smoothly and without a single incident. The next event is the traditional Dirtbike-Traxs Xmas blow out at Butts on Tuesday the 27th December, all details will be on the website at www.dirtbike-traxs.com . Registrations are now available for 2012 so pre-book your number for the whole year at all DBT events, the registration also includes an IOPD Licence and all for just £20.
OH WHAT A NIGHT!
Dirtbike Traxs and Tgor went back to Dewsbury Rams last weekend for the Annual Presentation night, and what a night it was. The room was packed with 200 people and partying went on till 1 am. The riders were presented with trophies and prizes to celebrate the great riding through the championship kindly sponsored by PUTOLINE and EUROTEK. We would like to thank all the riders and their families for the continued support and also for the great comments we received throughout the evening. Congratulations to all the trophy winners and bring on 2012.
The threat of severe winter weather conditions, the weekend prior to Dirtbike-traxs' final Ironman/Team event at the awesome Cowm Quarry venue in Rochdale, obviously put off a good few riders from booking in prior to the race. With a very limited number of riders booked in, Dirtbike-Traxs stuck to their commitment and went ahead against all the odds.
Cowm Quarry was the setting for WOR Events Tough One this year, and what a venue it is, the choices course wise is limitless and with the assistance of John, the owner, the DBT team spent all Friday and Saturday planning and setting up a course that was challenging, but ridable for all abilities.
Sunday morning turned out to be a fantastic autumn morning, perfect riding conditions. With the fine weather came those riders who were undecided and all arrived with big smiles on their faces, some even travelling from as far as south Wales to get their teeth into probably one of the best venues around, as quoted by many of the riders after the race.
The race kicked off at 12 noon with the usual Le-Mans style run to the bikes, giving the watching supporters a great spectacle as the stream of riders mounted their steeds and shot off down the start straight, the wave being the Ironmen followed by the first riders of the two man teams. With a lap time of around 11 minutes for the fast boys, it was local lad Damian Butler leading the Expert Ironman pack for the first few laps, as Eurotek's Tom Healey made hard work of the long rocky road hard route challenge on the first few laps. Once Tom got into his rhythm he began to chip away at Damo's lead and finally passed the Lancashire lad. 4 hours is a long ride for a solo rider and Damo was pushing Tom hard, making him work for that 1st place trophy. The race was a test of stamina both physically and mentally around the varied rocky terrain, with a good sample of open flowing tracks and moorland, small motocross/supercross style track mid way through the course, Tom really dug deep into his reserves to cross the line as the overall winner after completing 22 crowd pleasing laps. The only other person on 22 laps was 2nd placed Damian Bulter, with just 3 minutes separating the pair. James Dent was in for a shout, challenging the top two for a good majority of the race, but the pace was just too much, he held on to 3rd place, a lap down on Tom and Damo.
In the Clubman Ironman class DBT regular and Championship winner, Dean Johnson was on a mission, after blowing his bike up at Western the previous week. When disaster struck on lap 9, puncturing his rear tyre, everyone thought it was all over, as Michael Kay moved on up to first. However, a quick wheel change saw him back on the bike within minutes and back challenging, but the time he lost was just too much. Both Michael and Dean finished with a whopping 19 laps a piece, Andrew Sykes claimed the 3rd place with 18 laps.
In the Sportsman Ironman the true hero was another local lad, Jack Chapman, who was the rider to enter on a trials bike. This was a real ironman accomplishment, notching up the fastest lap of his class with a 12 minute lap. Even after throwing his chain on the log section just before lap scoring, everyone was cheering as he pushed his bike through lap scoring and into the work area to sort it. Luckily he was straight back out to finish the marathon with a Cowm Quarry camouflaged muddy face in 3rd with 17 laps. The 1st place went to Joe Webster with 19 laps and only 2 minutes behind in second again with 19 laps was John Bolton.
The Expert Team class win was claimed by Biff Smith & J Aldritt who fought off the challenges of DBT regular Dave Dudley & Colin Blunt, both teams completed 20 laps each, with 10 minutes separating the two teams at the end. In 3rd place was Jason Crossland & Dez Cowley who finished a lap down on the front two.
The Clubman Team class was a real battle between the first 4 teams who all completed 20 laps, any one of which could have done well in Expert team class. Ben Howard & Matt Waggit, only 55 seconds behind was Daz Skillen & Harry Eccles, with the Young guns Ryan Ireland & Lee Sealey finishing 3rd 2 ½ minutes later.
Finally the Sportsman Team was won by the father son team of Callum & Davey Morewood who had a great battle with Alex & Matthew Waggett who finished just over 2 minutes behind after their 19 lap stint. In 3rd place was Mr Cowm Quarry himself, John Whittle, with last minute race team member Joseph Sanderson, who caused a bit of concern on his first lap when John nearly considered sending out a search party for his missing partner, however he did eventually return to complete 17 laps. A mentioned to another father son team is deserved after travelling all the way from South Wales, retired Army rider Pete Burke & his son Liam who was thrown in at the deep end for his first ever event, the pair completed 16 laps, only just missing out on a trophy, but said "Well worth the trip up North, we will be back for another awesome event, thanks to everyone for the warm welcome a great Northern hospitality"
Prior to the main race was a Youth 1 ½ hour race to give the boys and girls a chance to ride a modified shortened version of a kiddies tough one. Nieve Holmes stole the show on her new Moto Connections sponsored Honda with 12 laps under her belt, Ross Johns was very close to claiming the top spot but had to settle for 2nd, Luke Owen held onto 3rd with 11 laps. The Burke family from Wales entered their youngest son also for his first ever race and the young lad really didn't want to stop riding at the end.
Everyone had a fantastic time and cant wait for the next DBT event at Cowm Quarry next year when it will be included in the Summer Championship rounds. A massive thanks to John at Cowm Leisure for all his support and efforts to make this event the success it eventually was, also the DBT stalwarts who work selfishly all week, you know who you are, thanks guy and girls!
Dirtbike-Traxs had all on finding an alternative venue for the advertised Bolton by Bowland for round 8 of the Northern Counties Hare & Hounds Championship as the Lancashire track was totally waterlogged. With an unbelievable amount of rain falling in Lancashire during the final weeks of summer, nobody would believe that 130 miles south at Ashby Motorpark, the ground would be bone dry. Keith the owner of Ashby Motorpark, gave the team the go-ahead to run at this brilliant track, which has a bit of everything, awesome mx track, testing woods sections and for the more experienced riders a fantastic extreme section of tyres, pipes and rocks.
Leicestershire had seen very little rain over the previous weeks, so it was with a little surprise that when Saturday morning arrived so did the rain. Luckily it lasted less than an hour and by the time the quad race got underway the track was in perfect condition again.
With a relatively small turn out for the quad race those that decided to make the journey south were in for a right treat. Scott Woodhead was eager to make amends for his disastrous run here back in April when he ran out of fuel on the last lap. Andy Annall (right) was out to give Scott a run for his money by making the jump up to the Expert class. It was newcomer Shaun Murphy who lead the pack for the first few laps, but it wasn't long before Scott found his way to the front and that's where he stayed for the rest of the race, Shaun held on to second while Andy got his first trophy of the season with third place. DBT regular Matt Ambler was unstoppable in the Clubman class leading the class from start to finish, Paul Robinson took second, obviously saving himself for the Great North run the following day. Gary Hodgson finished the class off in third. In the Sportsman/4x4 class David Plant took the first place trophy with Katie Hodgson not far behind in second and another DBT regular Shaun Wealleans claiming the third place trophy.
The team had just got the track set up for the Youth & Ladies race Saturday evening when the heavens really opened up with a torrential downpour lasting a good couple of hours; all fingers were crossed for a fine start to Sunday. All prayers were answered as Sunday arrived with lovely clear blue skies for the start of the Youth & Ladies race at 10:30.
After a quick photo shoot of all the young riders with birthday boy Reece Pickersgill taking centre stage, the first race of the morning got underway with Jamie Dilworth leading the Senior Bs around the first corner, hot on his heels was championship leader Dan Bewlay who took less than a lap to catch Jamie and pass him to lead the class for the rest of the race. Will Trigg put in some consistently quick laps to put himself in a great position to challenge for a podium finish and by lap 8 he had the second place securely under his belt. Another consistent ride from Nathan Ball gave him the edge over his good friend Jamie to claim third place.
In the Ladies class, Nieve Holmes was on a mission to maintain her winning ways on her Moto Connections supported Honda after the disappointments of Butts last month and with a flying start it was going to be a challenge for anyone to catch her. Disaster nearly struck midway through the race when her bike started to play up, but she managed to overcome the problem and lead the class in with 10 laps to take a well deserved win. Anita Gordon put in another steady ride to claim second place and Ellie Cooke took third place.
Wrapping up the mornings festivities was the Junior class with championship leader Reece Pickersgill dressed up in his Sunday best to celebrate his birthday and his day was topped off with another resounding win for the rising star. Peter Sharples showed some steady riding to claim second place and Ethan Jones beat Bradley Gordon to the post to claim third place.
With the forecast rain still holding off, the Adult race got underway at 1 o'clock sharp after a few alterations to extend the length of the track and include the extreme section for those daring enough to try. A good line up of Experts and Over 40s on the front line gave the spectators a fantastic sight as they screamed up the start straight and into the sharp right hand corner. Andy Hackett lost control of his Speedwell Motorcycles machine and narrowly avoided disaster as the rest of the pack dodged past him sprawled on the deck. Eurotek KTM rider Tom Healey was again the one to beat and the way he handled his 350 KTM around the first few corners it was going to be a big ask for anyone to catch him. DBT rider Danny Morse was out on a borrowed Honda 250CRF and he was pushing it to the limit to get close to Tom, the pair raced through lap scoring and pleased the crowds by easily clearing the double jump. Danny seemed to have the edge around the MX section, but Tom opened up his lead over the extreme section and through the woods. By the time Tom came in to pit Danny was right on his tail and briefly took the lead until disaster struck when his engine seized on lap 8. With the remainder of the pack a lap down, Tom was free to enjoy the ride and celebrate another emphatic win. The battle was now on for second place with DBT regular Ryan Patrick pushing new comer James Reeves hard, as the race came to a close only 10 seconds separated the duo with James eventually taking second leaving Ryan having to settle for third.
In the Over 40s class another new comer, Jason Crossland, stole the
limelight with a 2 lap lead over his nearest rival, Paul Hamilton who took
second after another impressive ride for the old boy. David Heap (left) took third,
claiming his first trophy of the season on his new KTM 150.
The Clubman Open class was won by Matt Ward, a clear lap separated him from championship leader Dean Johnson. Joe Wheeler put in a solid performance to take third place.
Sportsman E1 championship leader, Kris Weston was made to work for his win by another new comer Ben Murphy, both notched up 16 laps, a lap up on third place James Heaney, who celebrated a podium finish on his new bike.
The battle of the day had to go to Andy Johnson and Matt North, who fought for the top spot throughout the race. The lead changed as each rider pitted, but in the closing laps it looked like Matt was going to come out on top until Andy get the better of him on the last lap to claim the top spot, 40 seconds in front. Matthew Howgarth completed the podium line up in third.
Isaac Archer Took top spot in the Senior A class, his nearest rival Ryan Gee, was a lap behind in second place with DBT rider Jade Gordon putting in another solid round to get her on the podium again in third.
Finally the Hobby class was won by Steve Johnson, ahead of Rob Howgarth in second and Rob Wilson in third.
A big thanks to Keith at Ashby Motorpark for giving the DBT crew a chance to run at this great venue again and at such short notice and to Putoline Oils and Eurotek KTM for their continued support in the championship. The final round of the Northern Counties Hare & Hounds Champs is at Driffield on Sunday 2nd October see the True Grit website for details for bookings, as Dirtbike Traxs cannot take bookings for this event. Dirtbike-Traxs will also be running the 3rd Ironman/Team event on Sunday 22nd October, venue TBC, Details
DBT Champs Round 7
After the last two consecutive rounds of mud and slop for the Dirtbike-Taxs crew, the sun was out all weekend in sunny Derbyshire for round 7 of the Putoline and Eurotek KTM sponsored Northern Counties Hare & Hounds championship. The Dirtbike-Traxs team put a lot of effort into making the track a bit better and a bit different the previous week, a full day with a digger ironed out some of the rough spots and a couple of variations to the route made for a fantastic weekend of XC racing. With not a drop of rain on the area for at least a week, the ground was hard and dust was going to be a major factor for the riders and the organiser.
As usual the weekend kicked off with a practice session on Saturday which attracted some of the local riders, along with Nigel the landowner who dusted off his old Husser for a few laps to show the locals he can still keep up with the best of them. Following the practice was the quad race which kicked off at 2:30 pm with only a small number of riders turning out to give Butts Quarry a try, but the ones that did were in for a real workout.
Scott Woodhead fresh from his success in the British rounds leads the way as the only Expert rider, but the riders in the Clubman class followed his lead and put in some impressive times. Matt Ambler took the honours for the Clubman after being pushed hard by Paul Robinson for most of the race until he sheared his gear select shaft and limped round the last two laps in first gear eventually finishing in third place. Paul Ransom, the local Sheffield hero, improved on his previous podium finish by claiming the second place spot after an exhausting 2 hour battle. In the Sportsman/4x4 class, David Plant took the win from Tim Clarke in second with Chris Callow in third place.
The team woke Sunday morning to another gorgeous sunny morning, the few light showers through Saturday night had done very little to dampen down the dust from the previous days racing. With the promise of a fine weather race for a change, the eager young riders lined up for a later than usual start of 10:00 pm. Dan Bewlay was back in action for TGOR but Nathan Ball on his brand new KTM was out to give him a run for his money. For the first couple of laps Nathan matched Danny's pace and had the championship leader in his sights, but the pace was just a bit too much for him as Danny pulled away and increased his lead, eventually taking the win with minutes to spare. Nathan had to settle for second with Jamie Dilworth in third.
In the ladies class Nieve Holmes was the clear leader for the majority of the race, flying round the track on her Moto Connections supported Honda as if she was on rails. Nieve had the race in the bag until disaster struck in the closing laps when her chain snapped and with no way of getting it back to finish she unfortunately had to DNF. A gutting end to what was definitely the ride of the season for her. With Nieve out of the race Ellie Cooke took the lead and fought off the challenges of Anita Gordon to claim her first win of the championship. Anita came in second place ahead of Tara Johnson in third. Finally the young junior's class was won by the current championship leader Reece Pickersgill, who has proven to be unbeatable the season with some very impressive riding for someone so young. Ethan Jones took second place after some serious pressure from Peter Sharples who eventually finished third with less than a minute separating the pair.
After a thrilling morning race the course was set out for the adults' race, with the famous tyres and log section back in play for all those who fancied a harder challenge, with the option of an easier, but longer route for everyone else. All eyes were on Tom Healey on his Eurotek sponsored KTM, who is the man in form at the moment after some great wins in this championship and other local events. Someone out to spoil Toms run of wins was Dirtbike-Traxs own rider, Danny Morse, who has shown some impressive riding recently but failed to get on the podium. The regulars fighting for championship points were also out in force, Alex Owen, Andy Hackett and now Jack Colley moving up to Expert class.
The Expert and Over 40 riders blasted into the first corner as the starter's horn signalled the start of the race and Tom Healey set his stall out early, leading the pack around for the first lap, closely followed by Liam Eddleston. Danny Morse had a nightmare start being left on the line trying to kick his bike in a cloud of dust. But as the dust settled Danny got going and by the time he came round to lap scoring for the first lap he was into 5th position, but struggling over the logs and tyres. There was no stopping Healey though, he was really pushing the Eurotek KTM to the limit on every lap. By lap 3 Liam was feeling the heat from Danny, who had made his way through the pack to third and only a few seconds behind was Alex and Jack, this was turning out to be a real corker of a race. With the front two now well out in front, the real battle was for third and with Liam dropping back, the main contenders were Alex and Jack. Unfortunately Jack took a nasty spill around lap 10 and carried on with a sore shoulder until he was forced to retire 3 laps later. Alex was also in for a bout of bad luck as he burnt his clutch out, but managed to complete the race without a clutch. The double disasters let in Andy Hackett who had fought his way steadily up the pack almost un-noticed and now had to hold off the challenges of James Reeve to seal his podium finish. At the close of the race nobody could touch the front two, Tom Healey in first and Danny Morse in second, both on 21 laps. Andy Hackett claimed the third spot with 20 laps.
The good turnout of Over 40 riders showed some of the younger riders a thing or two about riding techniques. Justin Carter came away with the overall win with 20 laps, with Speedwell motorcycles' Paul Hamilton putting in another solid performance to claim second with 19 laps and Ashley Jones took third also on 19 laps.
Clubman E1 was won by Adam Mulholland, who completed his last lap with the rear tyre hanging off the rim, which was some achievement, especially over the rocky climb in the last wood section. Second was Andrew Sykes, with Ben Handley in third.
In the Clubman Open class, Anthony Tempest took the honours, Joe Wheeler held on to second place with his close rival, Ian Heyworth taking third.
Another resounding win for Kris Weston in the Sportsman E1 class saw him finish 2 laps up on second placed Liam Radcliffe with Will Livesey taking third.
The Sportsman Open Class was won by Martin Kohv with 19 laps, Joe Webster claimed second and Andy Johnson taking third.
Lee Sealey added another win to his collection in the Senior A class, Ryan Gee took second With Gina Bewlay taking third through a technical error on Jade Gordon's' part, who would have took third if she didn't swap bikes half way through the race.
Another good turnout of new comers to the sport in the Hobby class thoroughly enjoyed their day out in the better riding conditions. Stephen Johnson was first, with Anthony Myers in second and Paul Sharples in third.
We would like to thank all the marshalls who helped us this weekend especially Stuart Gordon who always works tirelessly at our events
Fingers are crossed for some more fine weather for the penultimate round of the Championship over the weekend of 17th/18th September at the fantastic venue in /Bolton by Bowland where work is starting on the track next week. See www.dirtbike-traxs.com for details.
Battling at Bolton by Bowland
Are we really in the middle of Summer? With the recent record breaking heat waves and hose pipe bans, who would have expected torrential down pours in the middle of July. The Dirtbike-Traxs team began the track setup at the fantastic Bolton by Bowland venue in Lancashire mid week with lovely blue skies and with a track plan that would see a totally different ride from past season, round 6 of the Putoline & Eurotek KTM sponsored Hare & Hounds Championship weekend was going to be a real corker.
However, as with all good plans they never survive first contact with the enemy and on this occasion the enemy was the weather. Friday night came and along with it came the rain, the Saturday morning track inspection was done early and the decision to cut out some of the steeper hill climbs was a no brainer, with the quad race scheduled for 2:30pm everyone had a close eye on the deteriorating conditions.
As 2:30 approached there was a break in the clouds and the sun decided to make its one and only appearance for the weekend and decided to stay for the duration of the race. Unfortunately the damage had been done and the order of the day was mud, mud and more mud. The quads set off leaving a huge shower of the stuff raining down as they screamed around the sweeping start corner. By the time they cleared the first field no one could tell who was who as each and everyone was covered head to toe. As the race progressed the marshals worked tirelessly to maintain the track, however, they were fighting a losing battle and by the half way stage, the track was down in so many places the decision was made to halt the race for 30 minutes to get the track back in place.
With some slight adjustments to the track and stake and tape back in place, the race got underway again. In the Expert class, John Chew was the man leading the way and finally notched up 6 laps, a lap ahead of the rest of the pack. Alec Ainsworth took second from Peter Heap in third, both on 5 laps. Scott Woodhead's first race ended in disaster as his quad gave up the ghost after 2 laps. Matt Ambler took the win in the Clubman class with 5 laps, with Gary Hodgson in second and Sam Hargreaves in third, the pair both completing 4 laps. The Sportsman/4x4 class was won by Ian Best, Shaun Element took second and Phil Thompson took third all completing 5 laps.
With the quad race over the race started for the DBT team to get the track ready for the Youth/Ladies race scheduled for 9:30am the next morning. Along with co-operation from the landowner the track was totally revamped for the kids and all but one hill was taken out and the deeper bogs bypassed. The team retired late Saturday night praying for a dry night.
There was very little rain over night but by 6:00am the heavens opened up and there was little sign of let up. The weather was not going to put off these little warriors and with one of the best turn outs of the season , this was going to be a great race. The Senior B's were first off to tackle the testing conditions and the battle started straight from the off, with the lead changing all the way up the start straight. Nathan Ball had it at one stage only to be taken by Brandon Sharples and then Jamie Dilworth powered through the mud picking a great line past everyone. The first rider to come into lap scoring was little Brandon Sharples with a massive lead, almost 2 minutes ahead of Nathan Ball, Ross Johns and Robbie Wallace. There was no catching Brandon as he stretched his lead by more than a minute every lap and finally came in as the overall winner with a massive 11 laps under his belt, he is definitely going to be one to watch out for in the future. The battle for second was more of a close race, Ross Johns struggled round one lap with loose handle bars before reaching the pits to get them tightened and Nathan Ball struggled round with a broken gear lever and had to complete the last two laps in second gear. Robbie Wallace put in a solid performance and was rewarded with the second place trophy followed by Dan Lappin both notching up 9 gruelling laps.
The experience of Anita Gordon showed through as she dominated the Ladies class coming through lap scoring every time with a smile on her face. She fought her way through 9 gruelling laps and tons of mud to claim the first place trophy. Moto Connections supported rider Nieve Holmes fought off the challenges of Tara Johnson to claim second spot, both putting in 8 laps. Nieve really relished the tricky conditions, her previous trails experience paid dividends in these tricky conditions. The Juniors were the real heroes of the hour, each and every one of them showed grit and determination to stick it out. Championship leader, Reece Pickersgill lead from the off and with an incredible 7 laps took away the first place trophy. Ethan Jones took second place with 6 laps and Bradley Gordon brought in trophy number two for the Gordon family with 5 laps.
As the rain decided to subside for a while the team got back into action setting up for the adults race, with a few more minor adjustments from the planned route. At 12:30pm sharp the starters flag came down to set the first wave of intrepid riders off. First man screaming out of the start corner and up the straight past the refuel area was Tom Healey on his Eurotek KTM, Tom really is at home in the mud and slop as he showed in the previous round at Gisburn. He flew through the deep bogs effortlessly, leaving the rest standing gob smacked at how easy he made it look. Two other Expert riders equally at home in these conditions was Andy Hackett and Alex Owen both determined to keep Tom in their sights. With Tom increasing his lead gradually as the race progressed the main battle was for second, with Alex in front during the early stages, Andy eventually got the upper hand and pushed on to extend his lead.
Again the marshals worked their socks off to keep the race going, re-taping and eventually re-routing some of the trickier sections and the two hour mark approached, the conditions deteriorated that much there was no option but to cut the race short on safety grounds. With many riders breathing a sigh of relief after slogging round this popular track, Tom Healey came through lap scoring to take the overall win in the Expert class still looking fresh and ready to tackle another 2 hours. Andy Hackett held on to his second place with Alex Owen in third, all three top riders completed 9 solid laps of what was undoubtedly the toughest rounds of the Putoline and Eurotek sponsored Hare & Hounds Champs this season.
Ashley Jones took a clear lead in the Over 40s class to win by 11 minutes with 8 laps under his belt ahead of Phil Rogerson in second also on 8 laps and Chris Ball in third with 7 laps.
Harrison Bell took some persuading from his dad to brave the wet conditions and glad he took his dads advice when he romped to a resounding win in the ClubmanE1 class, 2 clear laps ahead of second placed James Allinson and third placed Daryl Gee.
Matt Ward held off the challenges of DBT regular Dean Johnson to claim the win in the Clubman Open class, eventually finishing a lap up on Dean with 9 laps. Joe Wheeler took third place, 2 minutes behind Dean.
Another resounding win for Kris Weston will see him stepping up to the
Clubman class next season as he goes from strength to strength winning his
class by two clear laps. In second was Richard Bentham with Chris Mason taking
his first trophy of the championship in third.
Lee Sealey increased his championship lead with his fourth win of the championship ahead of Isaac Archer in second and Dirtbike-Traxs very own Jade Gordon taking third, moving her up into the top three of the championship standings.
Finally there was a few turned out in the Hobby class and for some it was a true baptism of fire for their first race. William Charnock took the top spot with John Massey in second and Mark Willis in third.
This truly was a test of stamina and will power for the riders and especially for the unsung heroes behind the scenes, without their help this event would never get off the ground. A big thank you to you all and also to Ann the land owner for allowing this event to go ahead. The next round of the championship takes place at Butts quarry in Derbyshire over the weekend 6th/7th August, see www.dirtbike-traxs.com of phone 07914777534 for details.
A brand new venue and a change in the weather made for a fantastic, challenging event for all the Dirtbike-traxs regulars, from juniors to experts. The beautiful Ribble Valley country side near Gisburn was the setting for Round 5 of the Northern Counties Hare & Hound Championship, kindly sponsored by Putoline Oils & Eurotek KTM. With a strong line up in all classes, all eyes were on Eurotek's supported rider, Tom Healey, who was keen to top off his pre-Erzberg training with a win.
A lot of hard graft had gone in to designing and laying out a track to test all abilities, with 100 acres of virgin undulating farm land to play with this was going to be a corker of a venue. Unfortunately the weather made the going tougher than anyone could imagine. The forecast was for heavy rain Friday, showers Saturday and clear for Sunday, as usual the weather man got it completely wrong. Not a drop of rain fell on Friday, but the early hours and night time of Saturday and most of the day on Sunday saw some of the heaviest rain in the area for months.
The weekend's program kicked off Saturday afternoon with a 2 hour quad race and with a larger than average turn-out, the quads were eager to get first dibs at the new course. It wasn't long before the track became a combination of muddy off camber corners and bottomless boggy sections.
In the Expert class Andy Warren stormed off to a great start until just over the half way mark his throttle grip was slipping badly which let in John Chew closely followed by Peter Heap. John held off the challenges of 2nd placed Peter and 3rd placed Davey Nixon to claim the win after a gruelling 2 hour slog, all three clocked up 15 laps.
The Clubman class saw the return of Paul Ransom seeking to grab his first trophy of the championship. Matt Ambler was keen to get some championship points under his belt in the absence of championship leader Paul Robinson. Matt got the win he totally deserved with 15 laps under his belt and Gary Hodgeson took 2nd with 13 laps and Paul Ranson finally got his trophy with the 3rd place spot.
Finally the Sportsman/4x4 class Matthew Law took the win with 15 laps from Philip Thompson in 2nd with less than a second separating him and 3rd place Tim Clark both with 14 laps.
The quad race had really took its toll on the track lay-out, with stakes and tape down everywhere, the race was on to get it back into shape for the Youth & Ladies race early Sunday morning. One benefit was the majority of the standing water had been dispersed and most of the track was in good order.
Much to everyone's disappointment the heavens really opened up Saturday
night and totally drenched the course and to add insult to injury, there was
no let up for the start. So before the first race could get underway the team
pulled out all the stops, taking out all the areas where the little machines
would struggle, which turned out to be most of the steeper hill sections and
all of the areas that had now turned into major bogs.
Finally the Ladies class was dominated by the experienced Anita Gordon.
Ellie Cooke lead them in after the first lap but Anita soon settled into her
rhythm and lead for the rest of the race, notching up 9 laps. Ellie held on to
2nd and Kate Smith beat Nieve Holmes to the line for 3rd.
The team was back in action to get the full course open and ready for the 12:30 start for the Adult race. Back in play was the huge bog sections and now very slippy off cambers and uphill ascents. A huge number turned out to see what this new venue had to offer and for the first time this year the entry was closed due to the amount of interest. As the flag dropped to set off the Expert and Over 40 row, it was Tom Healey on his 350 KTM who was first out of the blocks and into the first corner, with Erzberg less than a week away this was going to be his final outing before tackling the ultimate in extreme endures. The other riders watched in awe as Tom cruised past them through the wheel deep bogs, setting some blistering lap times.
By lap 2 some alterations to the track had to be made as a good percentage of riders were unable to cope with the deteriorating conditions as the rain continued to fall. MPS Husqvana rider Joe Deakin who was back after a long layoff due to illness seemed back on form until getting his bike entangled in rope as was TGOR's Scott Altass until he dropped his bike in the water and flooded the engine. Mean while Tom was absolutely flying with new comer James Dent doing his utmost to close the gap as his nearest contender for the top spot. Tom was a class above and never missed a beat throughout the whole race, coming in a clear lap ahead of James in 2nd by the end of the gruelling, energy sapping ride. DBT regular Alex Owen managed to hold on to 3rd from Liam Eddleston.
In the Over 40's class, Ashley Jones came out the overall winner with 18 laps, a lap ahead of local boys, Chris Ball and John Lofthouse who took 2nd and 3rd respectively both with 17 laps.
The Clubman E1 class had DBT's Jack Colley leading the race coming up to the 2 hour point, having overtaken some of the Expert riders in the process only to be scuppered by gearbox failure. Ryan Ireland took the win from Ben Handley, with Jordan Jones in 3rd.
It was a close race in the Clubman Open class as Daniel Haswell held off the challenges of Joe Wheeler coming in a mere 30 seconds ahead with Dean Johnson a further 40 seconds behind Joe in 3rd.
Kris Weston was the clear winner of the Sportsman E1 class 2 laps ahead on 17 laps. James Heaney kept up his championship challenges with 2nd, with another championship challenger, Ryan Bullman taking 3rd.
The Sportsman Open class was won by Andy Johnson who fought through the slop to get a lap ahead of 2nd placed Neil Sharp and 3rd placed Dan Hunter.
Finally Senior A's championship leader Lee Sealey showed he can compete with the best of the adults with a fine display of riding ability to notch up 16 laps and take the win ahead of another young up and coming star, Isaac Archer who also managed 16 laps. Dan Clark battled on to claim 3rd.
All in all the weekend was a resounding success, with some awesome riding in the trickiest of conditions. The weekend would not have been as good if it was not for the hard work and true dedication of all the guys and gals who give up their time to make these events happen. Also a massive thanks to all the marshals who spent the entire day pulling bikes out of the mire.
The next event on the Dirtbike-Traxs calendar is Round 6 of the Northern Counties Championship which is at the very popular Bolton by Bowland venue in Lancashire. This will undoubtedly be another sell out so early entry is recommended, visit www.dirtbike-traxs.com or ring 07914777534 for details.
What a difference the sunshine makes, the turn out for Dirtbike-Traxs'
first Ironman XC event of 2011 was a corker. With everyone in the mood for a
fantastic weekend of XC thrills and spills the conditions were perfect.
A lot of hard work and thought had gone into the preparation of the course for Dirtbike-Traxs' first of three visits to Bolton by Bowland this year. The course layout used some of the old track most riders had been used to, but also some extra sections were added, with a couple of harder routes thrown in to challenge the more experienced riders. As usual there was always the easier, longer route for the sportsman riders and the tired Clubman riders as the day went on.
The racing kicked off at 12 noon with the Youth and Ladies keen to get off and running. All eyes were on TGORs Danny Bewlay as he blasted round the first corner trailing Nathan Ball and then as he flew past him up the first straight and on to the course proper, cheered on by his team mate Danny Culkin. As Danny has showed in previous races, he is hard to catch once he is out there in front. Ross Johns was hot on his heels for the first few laps as was Jamie Dilworth, but the gap was getting ever greater. As the teams carried out their rider change over the order was Bewlay/Culkin, Johns/Athersmith,
Dilworth/Ball. With Danny Culkin now taking up the charge for the leading duo, the battle for second was well under way and it wasn't long before Nathan Ball took Charlie Athersmith and attempted to catch the leaders. With the race coming to a close Johns/Athersmith had relinquished third to Will Trigg and Harry Driver-Smith and this was how it remained until the flag dropped at the end of the race.
In the Ladies race the combination of Gina Bewlay and Nieve Holmes proved unstoppable notching up 21 laps and taking the win from Megan Wilson and Emma Ball with 20 with Katie Smith and Ellie Cooke coming third with 19 laps.
The Juniors were absolutely thrilled to be included in the fun team event and Dawson Marriott and partner Reece Pickersgill racked up a gob smacking 17 laps to take the win from Jones and Lei with 14 laps and the brother and sister duo of Bradley and Bethany Gordon taking third with 12 laps.
With the kids now relaxing in the sunshine it was time for the quad race and what a turn out it was, the line was packed with eager riders chomping at the bit.
First off the line for the Expert class and blasting off up the long start straight, was Andy Warren, after being off the quad for some months this was going to be a real test of his stamina to maintain the lead for 2 hours. All was going so well until the final half hour when fatigue started to set in and he came off for a much needed break. This let in John Chew to take up the lead, which he maintained to the end. Also passing Andy to claim second and third respectively was David Nixon and Matt Alberti.
In the Clubman class Scott Woodhead set off like a bat out of hell and as he came through lap scoring for his first lap he was pushing Andy Warren after overtaking the whole of the Expert class. No other rider could touch Scott and he held out to take a resounding win. Matt Ambler and Steve Johnson battled it out for the second place spot and it was Matt who edged into the lead to take second by a mere 8 seconds.
The Sportsman/4x4 class saw 2 4x4s riders take the top two spots, Andrew Kelly took top spot and Tim Clarke held on for second with 38 seconds separating them. Ian Best came in third place; all three had 9 hard laps under their belts.
With Saturday's festivities at an end, the team were in action straight away to extend the course for the much awaited main race the next day.
As the dawn broke Sunday morning, the sun was shining and with a light breeze stirring the conditions were near to perfect. As the morning progressed the riders started to flood in and as was the case in last year's Ironman here, the number of riders wanting to enter on the day was causing a back log at signing on. It was inevitable with the size of the queue, still waiting to sign on at 10:00 am, the decision to delay the planned 10:30 am start by 30 minutes was made.
The prospect of battling it out over this popular venue for 5 hours brought out some of the top class riders in the area, Eurotek's Paul Bolton and Ride off Road's Andy Noakley teamed up to contest the Expert team class, as did Lincoln Brewster and Gary Daniels, Biff Smith and Martin Sandiford, and Grant Hackett with Andy Cripps. In the Expert Ironman, Harry Hillas was the in-form rider, with a series of wins under his belts recently, DBT regular, Alex Owen was back on his bike after a couple of months off, As 11:00 am approached and the riders brief completed, the riders were lined up 30 metres behind their machines ready for the starters horn to blow, signalling the start of the dash down the slight incline and on to their waiting steeds.
First off as the sound of the horn blew across the start line was the Expert and Over 40 riders. As the dust cleared and all the line were racing up the start straight a lonely figure was left on the line desperately trying to get his bike started. To everyone's amazement it was Paul Bolton having trouble with his KTM, eventually it fired into life as the rest of the pack were making their way back down the next field, a clear 30 seconds ahead. As the riders could be seen coming round to complete their first lap, Bolts had cleared the pack and had seven riders in front of him as he came through the gate, only three of those were in his class, Team Sandiford/Smith, Brewster/Daniels, and Hackett/Cripps. In the Expert Ironman class, Damion Butler was storming ahead after lap 1, with Alex Owen and Harry Hillas not far behind. It didn't take Harry long to get into the swing of things and set very quick lap times to establish a lead and when Damion had a bit of a disaster on lap 3 it let in the two DBT regulars Alex Owen and Liam Eddleston. Liam's time in the front runners was cut short by a very innocuous off which resulted in him hurting himself bad enough to end his race. There was no catching Harry, who continued his winning ways with an outstanding 26 laps, while Damion bagged the second place trophy also with 26 laps and Alex Owen showed his well on his way to recovery with a well deserved third, a lap behind the front two.
Mean while the Expert teams were battling hard and as they changed riders Martin Sandiford handed over to his partner Biff Smith who had the daunting task of holding off the likes of Brewster/Daniels, Cripps/Hackett and Bolton/Noakley. Andy Noakley had a spill mid way through the race which set the pair back slightly, but the best was yet to come as Paul Bolton got the reigns for the closing laps and got his second wind to go like a man possessed on his Eurotek KTM. With three laps to go, only Lincoln Brewster stood in his way and the gap was closing lap by lap. The inevitable happen with just over ten minutes of the race left, Paul passed Lincoln and held on to take the win, Brewster/Daniels took second and Sandiford/Smith claimed the third place spot, all three teams completed an awe-inspiring 28 laps.
The Over 40's classes saw some very impressive riding from the seasoned veterans, in the Ironman class, Lee Smith took the win ahead of DBT regular and Putoline and Eurotek Championship leader, Chris Cooper, both on 24 laps. Mark Horrobin took third place with 16 laps. The Teams had clear winners by a huge 3 laps, the Kiaran Hankin & Andrew Reeves combination blew the remainder out of the water with 27 laps. In second place was Simon Bastow/John Lofthouse with John Hedley/Mick Robson in third both on 24 laps.
In Clubman the Ironman win was taken by a young up and coming star, Luke Flack who dazzled the crowds with some very impressive riding for someone of his age. The youngster managed 24 laps a lap ahead of Dirtbike-Traxs supported rider, Jack Colley, who showed patience and stamina to pick his way through for a well deserved second. In third was Mark Austin, also with 23 laps. For the Teams, TGOR's Martyn Field blasted off the line and was heading for the hole shot, but nerves got the better of him as he backed off the throttle to let the younger riders battle it out. It was a very close match between Adam Mulholland/Danny Morse and Jane Daniels/Matty Bell, Morse took the lead in the early stages, but lost crucial minutes after falling in the rocky sections. He managed to pull it back with the help of his team mate and pulled off a great win from Daniels and Bell who were only 12 seconds behind at the end of the race. In third and only a further 2 minutes behind was Andy Cooper and Jim Buchanan; all three teams completed 25 laps.
One lap separated first and second in the Sportsman Ironman category, Joe Webster took the win with 23 laps ahead of Shane Marriott with 22 laps and in third was another Dirtbike-Traxs rider, Matty North who finished with 21 laps. In the teams, Alex Clegg and Arthur Wilkinson pipped the young guns, Isaac Archer and Ryan Ireland to the post by 30 seconds to claim first, while Richard Bentham and Stuart Thompson took third a lap down on first and second.
Finally the two Senior A teams had their own little battle, Jake Barnard and Jade Gordon came out winners with 21 laps ahead of brothers Ben and Sam Mitton with 19 laps.
Overall it was a fantastic weekend for riders and spectators alike, the weekend would not have been possible without the help of all the marshals who worked tirelessly to make the races run smoothly and all the great help and support from everyone in the build up to it, especially Lee for the hard work with the course layout. We would also like to say a big thank you to Anne and Pete at Rayhead Farm for continuing to let use this fabulous venue.
Round 4 is run by TGOR at Driffield over the Bank Holiday weekend 29/29th May at the very popular venue Driffield, followed by Round 5 at a new venue in Gisburn over the weekend 18/19th June.
A new venue for Dirtbike-Traxs and another fantastic weekend of XC racing, brought out some of the top riders in the region for round 3 of the Putoline and Eurotek sponsored Northern Counties H & H Championships.
With a change of venue being forced on the club less than two weeks before the race, the opportunity to run at Ashby Moto Park materialised and thanks to Keith the owner, the venue was in tip top condition. The track was an excellent mix of fast sweeping MX track, the mulch base of the track provided some excellent riding conditions, combined with some slick wood sections, which were to become very slippery as the rain started to fall in the last 10 minutes of the race.
The weekend started on Saturday afternoon with the Quad race. The track was ideal for quad riders, wide sweeping bends, with lots of passing places.
In the Clubman class, Matthew Ambler returned to claim a well earned win, a lap clear of second placed Paul Robinson, with Gary Hodgson in third.
The Sportsman/4x4 class saw Dave Thornton dominating the race until a broken drive belt saw him retired early after only 4 laps in. This mishap let in Clyde Thompson on his 4x4 beast to claim the win with a massive 16 laps, two laps ahead of Katie Hodgson in second. Shaun Wealleans took third only a minute behind Katie. Scott Woodhead was in with a shout even though he struggled around for the majority of the race with his bike spluttering with fuel problems; it eventually gave up the ghost with 6 minutes left on the clock. All the riders commented on what an awesome track Ashby is and can't wait to return later in the year.
The Expert starting line up in the main race on Sunday was full of quality riders, from the seasoned experts, KTM's Ady Smith, and Speedwell Motorcycles' Andy Hackett, along with the new up and coming stars like Jason Davies on his new KTM, Tom Healey from Eurotek and TGOR's Scott Altass, even the old sweat, Steve Ireland took a break from organising next week's WOR spectacular, the Hawkstone for Heroes, to get some well earned bike time.
From the moment the starter's horn blew, the spectators were dazzled by some fantastic riding and all eyes were on the New Zealander, Jason Davies as he rocketed into the first corner, blasted over the first jump and out of sight through the woods. Hot on his heels was the young duo, Tom Healey and Scott Altass. It only took Ady Smith a lap to get into his rythmn and work his way through the pack to push Jason hard, the pair were setting some blistering lap times. At the end of the first hours racing, there was only a few seconds separating Jason and Ady, with Tom closing the gap to challenge for a top three slot.
Jason and Ady swapped places a couple of time as the race reached the halfway point, with Tom, showing he has really bonded with his KTM 350, firmly in third spot. The best was yet to come as Ady began to tire in the final stages and allowed Tom to close the gap, whilst Jason stretched his lead. Fortunately for Ady, he found his second wind as Tom was breathing down his neck and made a last ditch effort to get past Jason. With only 10 minutes to go the heavens opened up and drenched the track, which totally changed the riding conditions and turned some areas of the track into a skid pan. The change added at least 30 seconds on to the top boys lap times and as the race came to a close after a gruelling two and a half hours, it was Jason who crossed the line first with Ady only 25 seconds behind while Tom Healey held onto the third placed spot. The top three all completing 22 laps, at least a lap up on the rest of the pack. Steve Ireland was going well on his 490 Husaberg to say he hadn't rode a bike in anger for a while, unfortunately a loose seat forced him into early retirement in the later stages of race.
In the Sportsman E1 class it was the same old faces challenging for top spot, Luke Gorse, Jack Colley and Eddie Field. It was almost a rerun of the previous race, with Luke leading the pack for the majority of the race. Unfortunately, with only one lap left, Luke came a cropper as he attempted to get past one of the slower riders as the track conditions changed. Luke's spill allowed Eddie to take the lead and claim the first spot, Luke managed to get himself back in the saddle for second place and Dirtbike-Traxs' rider Jack Colley held on for third, all three completing 19 laps.
The Clubman Open class also had the top three finish with 19 laps under their belts. Lee Hattersley came over the line first, three minutes ahead of second placed Richard Graham, with Dirtbike-Traxs regular, Dean Johnson 30 seconds behind in third.
In the largest over 40's class for a while, new comer Jason Hope lead the pack and came in the clear winner with a remarkable 20 laps, a lap ahead of second placed Ashley Jones and championship leader Chris Cooper in third.
Another new comer, Kris Weston, claimed the top spot in the Sportsman E1 class with 19 laps and 7 minutes clear of his nearest rival Andy Pulfrey who also notched up 19 laps. In third place was Julian Holmes to increase his championship lead.
For the second time in a row the Sportsman Open class was full well in advance of race day. The top two riders also racked up 19 laps, Martin Kohv eventually came out on top 4 minutes ahead of second placed Ricky Franklin. In third was Tom Leonard who managed to hold off the late challenges of Matt North.
Jack Staines was on home soil in the Senior A class and showed that he is really making a fantastic come back after a dreadful race accident 18 months ago. Jack lead the pack from the off, but a mishap half way through the race let in Ben Beadle and Lee Sealey. Ben came in the overall winner with 19 laps, Lee held on to second place with Jack in third.
The Hobby class had some new faces, Shaun O'Brian took the win with Rob Wilson in second and Richard Hayes in third.
The Youth/Ladies race started the day in glorious sunshine and first off the line was the Senior B's with the same track layout as the adult race. TGOR's Dan Bewlay set the track alight again with a great start and with lap times the majority of adults would be proud of. Doltan Shannon also put in some fantastic laps to give Dan a run for his money. Dan managed to keep his lead to claim his second consecutive podium win, 2 minutes ahead of Doltan, the pair completing 12 laps. William Trigg took third on his new bike, a fantastic result for the Trigg family after having all their bikes stolen two weeks previous.
Nieve Holmes put in a solid performance to claim the win in the Ladies class a lap ahead of Ellie Cooke in second and Anita Gordon in third.
The youngest members of the club also had a ball around the full track where Dawson Marriott saw off the challenges of Reece Pickersgill to grab the winning trophy, TGOR's very own Leanne Field was surprised to find out she had the third place trophy. Well done to all the young riders for completing this tiring event.
A fantastic day was had by all, which is testament to the hard work Keith has invested in the track and the hard work the Dirtbike-Traxs team have put in to make the event the success it was. A big thanks to all the helpers and marshals that made the weekend run smoothly and safely with another clean sheet accident wise.
The next event for Dirtbike-Traxs is the long awaited Ironman Series over the Bank Holiday weekend of 30 April, with a return to the very popular Bolton by Boland. This event was a sell out last year so get your entries in early by visiting www.dirtbike-traxs.com or ring 07914 777534.
It was a fantastic day on Dirtbike-Traxs return to the popular Ellington Banks, Ripon for Round 2 of the Putoline & Eurotek-KTM sponsored Northern Counties Hare & Hound Championship. The team made the most of the beautiful sunshine in the build up to the event and designed a great, fast flowing track to test the stamina of all abilities around the MoD driver training area. Although the area was the driest anyone could ever remember, there was still some fairly deep standing water to contend with and a certain boggy section that that was catching out the odd tired rider, providing some spectacular entertainment to the masses of spectators.
The good weather prior to the event and the promise of a fine weekend certainly brought out the riders and spectators, and with a full Sportsman Open class yet again, the line up was packed with eager competitors itching to get going for the main adult race.
Hot off the line and leading the Expert and Over 40's class into the first tight right hand corner was Richard Dakin with two DBT regulars, Liam Eddleston and Andy Hackett hot on his heels. Through lap scoring after the first lap Dave Dudley, fresh from his escapades at the Tough One last weekend, had joined the challenge on his Gas Gas, passing Andy and pushing the leading pair hard. Andy didn't let the main challengers out of his sight for long, having only returned from holiday that night, soon shock off his jet lag and upped his pace and was soon setting so blistering lap times. Towards the final stages of the race, Liam was Andy's main challenge and he was matching him lap for lap time wise, but couldn't quite find the reserves to make any head way. As the race came to a close, it was Andy Hackett who crossed the line first with 19 laps, 2 minutes ahead of Liam Eddleston in second, also with 19 laps. Richard Dakin held on for the third place spot again on 19 laps.
In the Over 40's class DBT regular, Chris Cooper was on a mission to get his championship challenge underway; Ashley Jones was out to spoil his glory by setting great early lap times. The lead chopped and changed throughout the race, but Chris managed to pull a lead towards the end and maintain it, crossing the line almost 2 minutes ahead of Ashley, both completing 18 laps. In third place another DBT stalwart, Paul Hamilton showed his pre-season training has started to pay off after notching up 17 laps.
With the front row away, the Clubman E1 class was off and running, with Luke Gorse flying round the track on his brand new KTM 250f. Luke led the way for the majority of the race and had built up an impressive lead. Towards the end though, he started to tire and this let in Dirtbike-Traxs rider Jack Colley who managed to keep hold of the lead to claim the first place spot from Luke. Both riders notched up 18 laps. In third was James Allinson on 17 laps.
In the Clubman Open class, there were three riders who managed 18 laps; the clear winner was Dave Williams, over 6 minutes ahead of Lee Stansfield, with another second place championship trophy. In third was Dean Johnson, a mere 15 seconds behind Lee.
The Sportsman E1 class was won by Julian Holmes with fantastic result on his return to the sport after completing 17 laps. Ryan Bulman was a very close 2nd, only 48 seconds behind with 17 laps and James Heaney in third also on 17 laps.
The massive Sportsman Open entry was a spectacle to watch, especially on the first lap through the bog section, with bikes coming stuck all over the place. But once the riders spread out and got going it was Karl Smith who persevered to claim top spot with 17 laps. Tom Leanord held Andy Johnson off for 2nd place, both also on 17 laps.
In the newly named Hobby class there was only 3 finishers, Paul Sharples was first over the line with 13 laps, Robert Quarmby was 2nd with 12 laps and Darren Hope-Dilly was 3rd with 11 laps.
Finally in the Senior A class Lee Sealey maintained his 100% championship record with a very impressive win, with the young rider giving the Sportsman riders a run for their money with 17 laps. Isaac Archer took the 2nd place spot from Dirtbike-Traxs girly rider Jade Gordon, who had a fantastic race to claim third, both riders finished with 16 laps.
The morning Youth and Ladies race kicked off at 9am, with TGOR rider Dan Bewlay blasting off the line and setting some pretty amazing lap times. No one could catch the young rider who came over the line with 10 laps under his belt. In 2nd was Jamie Dilworth also on 10 laps with Robbie Wallace in 3rd on 9 laps.
In the Ladies class surprised Angela Walters strolled up for the winner's trophy after completing 10 laps, a great result at her first DBT event. In 2nd was another star in the making, Nieve Holmes following her father's winning ways in the Sportsman class, in 3rd was Ellie Cooke also on 9 laps.
To complete the festivities was the Quad race, as the only 1 Clubman rider Paul Robinson took home the 1st place trophy. The Sportsman/4x4 class was dominated by Dave Thornton on his huge 4x4 beast, how Dave managed to wrestle his machine around the track for 11 laps was a sight to be seen. In 2nd place was Ian Best with 10 laps and Scott Woodhead took 3rd also with 10 laps.
The next round sees the team going to Ashby Motopark on the 2/3 April or round 3 of the championship. This is going to be a fantastic venue and a great weekend of XC racing, to book in see www.dirtbike-traxs.com or call Louise on 07914777534.
With a last minute change to the venue after concerns from the local council about noise, the final round of the Dirtbike-Traxs Winter Series took place this Sunday at Butts Quarry in some seriously boggy conditions.
With all the preparations underway to run the final round at a new venue in Oldham it was very disappointing to have to find a venue at such short notice. The only option open was a return to Butts Quarry and other than cancelling the race altogether the decision was made to pull out all the stops and go for it. So with only two days to get the track prepared the team were faced with a huge task to get a more free flowing course in the worst conditions we've seen at Butts.
It was always going to be a gamble returning to this popular venue for
the third time running and the threat of heavy rain for the duration of
the adult race, a low entry was always on the cards, but those that did
turn out were in for a hard tough battle. The Youth and Ladies were the
first to get their teeth into mud and slop, luckily the rain had held off
and there was a real possibility that it was going to be rain free for the
In the Junior class two young stars showed real determination and guts to stick it out for 90 minutes on their little 65's. Lee Western took the first place spot with 5 laps under his belt and Reece Pickersgill was in second with 4 laps.
The final class of the morning race was the Ladies race and Anita Gordon was determined to consolidate her series lead. After the first lap the ladies came round through lap scoring without any real trouble, except for the missing front mud guard on Anita's bike. Anita gritted her teeth and maintained her lead for the whole 90 minutes, claiming 1st with 6 laps. Kate Smith shook her head and mumbled under her breath every time she passed lap scoring but kept going to claim second spot with 5 laps. In third place was Dirtbike-Traxs newcomer, Nieve Holmes, who was keen to give H & H a bash after a very successful trails season. Nieve thoroughly enjoyed the day and did really well to tough it out and get the third place with 4 laps.
With the morning activities out of the way, it was all hands to the pumps to get the extra bits of the track in place ready for the adults. A new technical wooded section was added along with the regular tyres and logs section.
As if the ground conditions were not tough enough, the rain started to drizzle just in time for the start of the adults' race. First off the line and into the sweeping right hander for the Experts was Andy Noakley, closely followed by Liam Eddleston, making his move up to the Expert class. After lap 1, Alex Owen had eased his way past Andy and Liam and was on the charge to establish his lead. Andy and Liam were not going to let Alex off without a battle and with less than 20 seconds separating the three, this was going to be a great race. As the race progressed, Andy was a class act to watch as he glided smoothly through the ruts and bogs, picking his way around the back markers, to take the lead, which he maintained for the remainder of the race and finished 1st with 16 laps. The real battle was between the two mates Liam and Alex, it was Alex who managed to pull away in the latter stages and finish in second with 15 laps, just over 8 minutes ahead of Liam, also on 15 laps. Local lad Steve Newbold found the conditions a bit too tough and was found taking a breather on many occasions before retiring at the 2 hour mark.
Hot off the line in the Clubman class on his new Gas Gas, was "Team Dangerous" Daz Skillin closely followed by Lee Stansfield. Daz's race was unfortunately cut short after shearing his foot peg on lap 6. Nobody could catch Lee as he worked hard to increase his lead. At the end of the race, Lee clocked up another win, finishing with 16 laps, a lap ahead of nearest rival Stuart Waterhouse in second and Matthew Ward in third with 14 laps.
In the Over 40s class Howard Blundell was on for a series win if he could stay the course. David King was Howard's main rival and the pair stretched out a massive lead from the rest of the group. By the time the two and a half hours were up Howard and David had clocked up 14 laps, with Howard taking the win by nearly 5 minutes. In third place on his first race for while was Paul Hamilton who managed to notch up 12 gruelling laps.
The Sportsman E1 class turned out to be a race of attrition with only three finishers. Ryan Bullman was the clear winner with 10 laps, it would have been a different story if Andy Pulfrey had not been forced to retire due to a snapped chain with 12 minutes remaining and already 11 laps under his belt. After a half time pep talk from her race veteran father, Jade Gordon showed some true fighting spirit to take second place with 8 laps and Jake Barnard stuck with it and toughed it out for 5 laps to take third. Julian Holmes, back after a 5 year break, came off exhausted with a minute of the race left after completing 9 laps, one more lap was just too much for the him this time.
Finally in the Sportsman Open class clear series leader, Dan Hunter was determined not to let series rival Jay McGarry steal the show on his brand new KTM 350 XCF. Things went from bad to worse for Dan as the bike failed to start on the line and then half way through the race he dropped the bike smashing the clutch casing. With Dan out of action, Joe Webster lead the class and held his lead throughout, finishing with 14 laps. In second place was Matthew North, also sporting a new bike, who had another blinding race, finishing also on 14 laps. In third place and back early from his winter hibernation was Karl Chadwick with 13 laps. Jay found the slog too exhausting on the old frame but managed a respectable 10 laps. Results
A big congratulations is thoroughly deserved to everyone who turned up and showed their support, the smile on the faces at the end of the race makes all the hard work and effort before and after the race worth it. Thanks again to all the guys and girls behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make these events the success they are.
The New Putoline and Eurotek sponsored Northern Counties H & H Championship kicks off on the 27th Feb at Driffield. See the True Grit Off Road website for entry details.
Young Guns Triumph at Butts Quarry - Results
Well, after what seems like an age of no races due to the snow and freezing conditions, it was good to finally get out and get things back on track with the Dirtbike-Traxs rescheduled Christmas Cracker event at Butts Quarry in Derbyshire.
It was quite obvious that the riders who regularly turn out at the Dirtbike-Traxs event, were also itching to get back out on their bikes, with a full entry list, which included an all star Expert line up of some of the top riders in the North. This really had all the ingredients for a cracker of an event, one that the riders and spectators would all enjoy.
The weather had been relatively kind prior to the event, but the track was still very sticky and muddy in most places, but with the forecast of slight rain coming in for the adult race, this was going to be one hard slog.
The Youth and Ladies race got the weekend proceedings underway and the young stars of the future were keen to get going in what was for most, their first race of 2011.
In the Senior B class the Dirtbike-Traxs regulars of Doltan Shannon, Ben Turner, Jamie Dilworth and Ross Johns were in the thick of things battling for the top spot, along with a couple of new faces Shaun Lightbody, Ronnie hill and Connor Meakin. Ben Turner, stepping up to the Senior B class after his 2010 championship win, lead for a good portion of the race, but it was Doltan who came strong in the closing third of the race to claim the first place trophy with an impressive 9 laps. Ben had to settle for second place also with 9 laps and Jamie came in third with 8 laps.
If there was an award for determination and perseverance it would go to all 4 Junior riders who did extremely well to stick out and all finish the 90 minute race. Charlie Athersmith (right)was the eventual winner with a staggering 7 laps under his belt, followed by Lee Western on 6 laps and Dawson Marriott with 5 laps.
In the Ladies class Anita Gordon (left) was in a tough battle with Tara Johnson for the top spot. Anita clinched it with just over a minute lead, both managed to notch up 8 laps. Third place went to Katie Smith who did very well to finish the race in what was her third ever race.
After a short break to alter the track for the adult race, which included a tyre and log section, the much anticipated main race was ready to get underway.
On the front row was the Expert line up, which was headed up by Ride Off Road's Wayne Braybrook on his first competitive ride for a few months, keen to get some bike time before tackling next week's extreme event, he also brought along Scott Austin. Mick Seward had a full MPS Racing Husqvarna team of Jack Rowland, Joe Deakin, Rob Johnson and Jason Davis, still suffering from jetlag after his recent arrival from New Zealand. Eurotek KTM rider Tom Healey and Gav Houson from Craigs motorcycles along with Lee Sampson on his Gas Gas, all looking to get in on the action.
As the starter's horn blew at dead on 12 noon, Tom Healey was first off the line and into the first corner. As the Expert pack battled round the first lap it was Tom who appeared first out of the woods section and into lap scoring very closely followed by Wayne. Wayne was a pleasure to watch as he appeared to effortlessly glide of the tyres and logs and picked his way smoothly through the slower riders. Jason Davis quickly settled in to a rhythm, after riding in temperatures of 30 degrees only a few days earlier, he was doing well and pushing the front two hard. Tiredness started to get the better of him and after a few offs and some very near misses, Jason decided to call it a day.
After a couple of laps in, Wayne's experience showed as he managed to pass young Tom and create an impressive lead. Unfortunately disaster struck on the 8th lap seeing Wayne (right) out of the race when he got cross rutted, momentarily lost control and hit a tree hard with his shoulder. This let the door open for Tom to take the lead, which he held for the remainder of the race. It was not going to be an easy win for him though as Gav Houson got the bit between his teeth and revelled in the sloppy, greasy conditions. Another pair that were going well in the hard going was Scott Austin and Lee Sampson, with the MPS Racing Duo, Jack Rowland and Joe Deakin not far behind.
Gav eventually finished n second place a mere 2 minutes behind Tom who had an exceptional race to hold on to his lead, both accumulated 19 laps in the 2 ½ hours. Third place went to Ride Off Road's Scott Austin with 18 laps. It was a great spectacle to watch and a fantastic experience for the other riders, to be able to follow these top riders around, even if it was only for a second or two. We wish Wayne a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on the bike soon.
the Over 40s class it was another Houson taking his share of the glory,
Gav's father Mark, who lead from the off and totally dominated the race,
finishing with 16 laps, 3 laps ahead of his nearest rivals, Dirtbike-Traxs
regulars Chris Cooper in second and Howard Blundell in third.
There was a new kid on the block in the Sportsman E1 class, Lee Sealey, at the age of 14 is going to be one to watch in the future. The conditions suited Lee down to the ground as he quickly settled into his rythmn and proved unstoppable, finishing 8 minutes ahead of his nearest rival Matt North and a lap up on third placed Justin Sizer.
Finally in the Sportsman Open class the honours went to Andy Johnson who finished a lap up on second placed, Dirtbike-Traxs regular, Dan Hunter, who is one of the favourites in this year's championship.
Thanks to everyone who helped out this weekend and made it a fantastic days racing, your efforts are very much appreciated, the events would not be what they are without your involvement.
Report by Pete Botchett Photos by Chris Hudson and Roger Prestcote.
Registrations are still available for the 2011 Putoline and Eurotek KTM sponsored Northern Counties Hare & Hounds Championship, check out the new Dirtbike-Traxs website for details and details of future events at www.dirtbike-traxs.com or ring Louise on 07914777534.
All the planning was thrown into disarray when the Dirtbike-Traxs team
rolled into the Fatcat Motoparc on Thursday morning. The whole track was
covered in 8 inches of snow and with the threat of more to come; the event
was in serious danger of being cancelled. After a quick recce around the
track on the quad and a chat with Fatcat owner Martin Craven, the decision
was made to crack on with the track preparations and see what the next few
days would be like.
All the planning was thrown into disarray when the Dirtbike-Traxs team rolled into the Fatcat Motoparc on Thursday morning. The whole track was covered in 8 inches of snow and with the threat of more to come; the event was in serious danger of being cancelled. After a quick recce around the track on the quad and a chat with Fatcat owner Martin Craven, the decision was made to crack on with the track preparations and see what the next few days would be like.
By Saturday morning the track was marked out and after a few laps with the quad, it was all set, the car park had also been bulldozed clear so the event was looking promising. Saturday afternoon was significantly warmer and with rain coming down for the best part of the afternoon, everyone had their fingers crossed for a mild night.
Race day arrived with lovely clear blue skies, but unfortunately the temperature had dropped to minus 10 during the night which left parts of the track frozen. Luckily the majority of the track was still covered with snow and the ground underneath had held up well to the frost. After thorough track inspection and some major track alterations, the decision was taken to go ahead with the kids race at 9:00 am.
With the sun blaring down the 13 brave lads lined up in the snow
covered start line, all eager to get off and running, even Dawson Marriott
and Jacob Miles on their 65s were up for the challenge. The race got
underway with the Supermini class and it was DBT regular Luke Owen cutting
his way through the thick snow to get the hole shot on his Suzuki RM85.
The rest of the packs were hot on his heels and by the end of the first
gruelling lap the two Keogan brothers, Jake and Thomas, Joe Write, Doltan
Shannon and James Miles were setting the pace. A minute after the
Supermini start, the two 65s were set on their way. Dawson Marriott got
off to the better start and battled his way into the first stages of the
course and being fairly new to the sport, Jacob Miles found it a lot
tougher to get going. It was always going to be a big uphill struggle for
the pair and after both eventually making it around the course under
constant supervision, they both decided one lap was enough.
All these future stars deserve a massive applause for tackling these trickiest of conditions and keeping up their enthusiasm for the whole 90 minutes.
The Adult race was due to start at 11:00am so with only 30 minutes to open up over another half of the course the men behind the scenes worked tirelessly to get it ready. With riders still signing on and the last of the youth riders coming off the track at 10:50am the main race was delayed by 30 minutes and due to the threat of plummeting temperatures in the afternoon a decision was also made to cut the race down to 3 hours from the advertised 4 hours, which was a relief to a large majority of riders. The main race had some top names lined up to tackle the extreme conditions. Eurotek's Paul Bolton came from one extreme to another after his exploits in the 2010 Roof of Africa to team up with another Eurotek rider, Tom Healey in the Expert team class. Mick Seward put in an MPS Racing team to challenge for the Expert team title; Jack Rowland and Joe Deakin, whilst in the Expert Ironmen class, on form Harry Hillas was going to be the one to beat and DBT regular Alex Owen was there to give him a run for his money.
As is custom at all Dirtbike Traxs Ironmen events the start was a LeMans style 25 metre run to the waiting machines through the 8 inches of snow. So at 11:30am the starter's horn blew to send the first line of valiant riders, comprising of the Expert, Clubman and Over 40 Ironmen on their way. The spectators were treated to a fantastic spectacle of 40 riders making a mad dash to their machines then a flurry of white cloud as the bikes snaked down to the first corner. Two minutes later, just as the snow had settled, it was the turn of the Sportsman and Youth Open Ironmen and by the time the team riders set off, a further two minutes after, there was a clear line down the start straight.
Straight from the off, Harry Hillas was off like a rocket and for the first two hours constantly put in sub 10 minute laps. He was an inspiration for any young riders watching, making light of the more difficult sections where a lot of riders were struggling. For the last hour his pace dropped off slightly, but not enough to let in second place challenger David Myers who finished just over two minutes behind with third place going to Damon Butler. All three notched an incredible 18 laps.
In the Clubman Ironman class it was a similar situation with Luke Copestake leading the class from the moment he entered the first corner, finally finishing with 17 laps under his belt. The battle between second and third was a much closer competition. Eventually it was Fatcat regular Gareth Lodge who grabbed the second place spot 26 seconds ahead of Rob McCloud, both completing 16 laps. Reece Morewood was going well and looking at a podium finish until a frozen carb forced him into early retirement.
Over 40s Ironman winner was Chris Cooper with 17 laps, two laps ahead of second placed Richard Cutts. Shaun Woffindon finished third with 14 laps.
The Sportsman Iron man class was the largest of the groups and it was Shane Marriott who fought his way through the pack to notch up 16 laps to claim the first place spot. In second was Mark Mathison with 15 laps, also on 15 laps was third placed Adam Zoellner. The only ladies who turn out to brave the conditions was mother and daughter team, Anita and Jade Gordon, who put in a great effort to rack up 11 laps.
Finally in the Youth Open Ironman, there was only one finisher, Robbie
White and he managed 11 laps in the 3hours.
The Clubman team class saw Declan Helliwell and Reece Emson snatch first place by a mere 1 second from the clutches of Phil Handcock and James Craft. After spending the majority of the race in second place, the young guns comprising TGORs rising star Scott Altass and the Dirtbike Traxs Putoline championship regular Luke Gorse finished in third 27 seconds later. All three teams clocked up 17 laps.
The Sportsman team class was won by Ryan Burton and Carlton Husband with 18 laps, which pretty impressive for sportsman riders. In second with 17 laps was Stuart Waterhouse and Vinnie Mullan and also on 17 laps in third place was Gary Morley and Paul Sykes.
Finally there was only one Youth Open Team, Robert Davidson and Ben Halfpenny and if they were old enough to go into the Clubman class would have won the class with an impressive 17 laps.
The feedback from all the riders has been very positive, the decision to run was definitely the right one, there will be some very sore and stiff riders recovering from a real gruelling ride. Results
Thanks to everyone who spent the last few days in the freezing conditions to make this event happen and ensuring it ran as smooth as it did without any injuries.
The next Dirtbike-Traxs event is the Chrismas Cracker on the 27th December at Butts Quarry in Derbyshire. For more details see www.dirtbike-traxs.com or call 07914 777534.
2011 Registrations are now available to ride with Dirtbike Traxs and TGOR. Cost just £25 which includes an IOPD Licence and registration to the 2011 Putoline and Eurotek sponsored championship. Please ring Louise on 07914 777534 for more details.
Dirtbike-Traxs returned to Butts Quarry in Ashover Derbyshire for round 1 of the Pro-Clean sponsored Winter Series.
The team spent the previous week altering the course, to ensure the riders had a fresh new track layout to the normal run of the mill Butts ride. Also included were a couple of tyre sections, with the odd log and rocks thrown in for good measures. All made for some fantastic viewing for the mass of spectators who turned out to see the action.
Throughout the few days building up to the event, the weather had been very kind, with some fantastic sunny spells, which ensured the track was in tip top condition. Come race day, the travelling crowds were met with thick fog on the way into the venue, but miraculously the quarry itself was totally clear of the thick stuff, which allowed the team to stick to the advertised start times, with the Youth classes leading the way at 09:30 am sharp.
Hot off the line for the Senior Bs was DBT regular Billy Steinman, earning him a slice of the hole-shot prize fund, kindly donated by Nigel the land owner. Hot on his heels around the first lap was Daniel Boan and Jack Fewings. By lap 3 the positioned had changed and it was George Price who settled into a rhythm, consistently clocking in sub 9 minute laps. There was no catching George and by the end of the race he had notched up 11 laps, which was a full lap ahead of second placed rider Daniel Boan and third place Doltan Shannon.
In the Junior class it was Tommy Grimmer who landed the hole-shot and also came in with a convincing win, with a whopping 8 laps. Second place went to Reece Pickersgill with 6 laps and third place went to Oliver Dougherty with 5 laps.
With the Youth race complete without any incidents, it was the turn of the adult riders to get to grips around the re-designed course and the crowds were waiting in anticipation to see how the riders would fair tackling the new extreme route, with an advertised time saving of 30 seconds, it tempted the vast majority to try it at least once.
The Experts were set off first and it was Eurotek rider Tom Healey, fresh from his top ten finish at Weston who led the way through the first corner. Harry Hillas was also on a mission today and it took him less than a lap to pass Tom and establish himself as the race leader. For the next few laps the pair battled hard and clocked in some awesome sub 8 minute laps. Harry's technique over the technical sections was a pleasure to watch and it was here that Tom was to lose precious time after coming a cropper over the tricky tyres. Harry proved uncatchable and thoroughly deserved his race win, finishing a lap up on Tom in second place. Summer series winner David Wilson was challenging for the third place spot and his pit crew thought it was all over when he came flying past with a flat rear tyre and with about 20 minutes left nobody would have had money on him finishing. Not even the extreme section could phase him though, as he skipped over the large tyres as if nothing was wrong to claim the third place. A few of the local boys turned out in the Expert class, the Holland brothers, Lee and Tom who finished a credible 4th and 5th respectively and Steve Newbold had a run out in the Expert class on Paul Packham's old XR and finished 6th with a bone crunching 16 laps on the old battle horse.
In the over 40s class the battle for 1st and 2nd was a fantastic tussle between two regulars, Mick Rayson and Howard Blundell. At the end of the 2 and half hours there was a mere 11 seconds separating the pair, but it was Mick who managed to gain the edge after a gruelling 17 laps and claim the first spot, along with the hole-shot prize, leaving Howard to settle for second. In third place was Paul Westgarth also on 17 laps.
The race of the day had to be in the Clubman class. A total of seven riders fought hard for the three podium spots and there was only 4 minutes separating them at the end of the race, all seven coming in with 17 laps under their belts. Lee Stansfield lead the charge claiming the hole-shot, but it was DBT new comer, Sam Alderman who crossed the finish line in first, 47 seconds ahead of another DBT first timer, Aaron Edwards. In third was Chris Coolson, who narrowly pipped Rob Pearce to the post after some terrific riding around the various sections.
With a large Sportsman entry, the decision was made to split the group into the normal E1 and Open class and it was the E1 class that was the next to please the crowds with some very brave attempts over the tyres. As the time went on and exhaustion began to set in there seemed to be a regular supply of entertainment as riders continually battered their front wheels against the tyres and logs and found themselves staring up at the skies. DBT regular Jay McGarry provided a few minutes of giggles as he persistently hammered away at one of the logs for what seemed like an age before a marshal put an end to his misery and helped him over.
In the Sportsman E1 class the ever improving Mike Gilby proved he is definitely one to watch for the future as the step up to the Sportsman class saw him steam to an emphatic victory with 17 laps, a full lap ahead of second place rival Andy Pulfrey. In third place was another improving DBT regular Matthew North.
The Sportsman Open class top three was dominated by three new comers to the DBT scene and the clear winner was Martin Kohv with 17 laps. In second place was Luke Thomas on 16 laps and Andrew Page clinched the third place spot.
A fantastic day was had by all, with not one injury in sight and the smiles on the faces of every rider made all the hard work by the regular helpers worthwhile. A massive thanks to everyone involved.
Details of the next round of the Winter series will posted on the Dirtbike-Traxs website very soon and for all those riders who have trophies to collect from the Putoline Summer Series, the presentation night is on Saturday 20th November at Dewsbury Rams Rugby Club, which is going to be a fab night for all details again on the website.
Report by Pete Botchett & Picture by Sonya Bewlay
The opportunity for riders to put their minds and bodies through a gruelling 5hrs of full on riding around the ever popular Dirtbike-Traxs' Bolton by Bowland course brought out a vast number of riders willing to rise to the challenge.
A lot of effort had gone into making the track better and more challenging and the work certainly proved to be a good move from the flood of last minute entries and the number of positive comments about the track being in mint condition.
After a night of heavy rain the riders awoke to a blustery cloudy morning, perfect conditions after the longest dry spell Bolton by Bowland had seen in decades. The incredible amount of late entries saw the signing on girls working hard to get everyone through for the planned 10 o'clock start time. With 10 o'clock looming and the queue of riders still waiting to sign on still stretching halfway back to the paddock area, the organiser made the decision to delay the start by half an hour, which brought a huge sigh of relief to the girls and the riders still waiting to get their bikes down to the start line.
As 10:30 came around the eager Iron man challengers were all posed 50 metres back from the bike waiting for Sophie to turn the start board to GO to set the challenge underway. The signal was given by the organiser Pete Botchett and the board was turned setting off the solo Iron men off on the mad dash down to their waiting bikes. Expert rider Lee Sampson was the 1st man hot off the line, into the sweeping right hand and flying up the fast up-hill straight past the cheering spectators. Lee slipped straight into a rhythm, setting a mind boggling pace. A minute later the signal was given for the Iron man team riders to follow the solo's in the downhill dash with number 274 (Billy Aldred/Paul Bradley) 1st off the line. With all riders safely away, the crowds waited eagerly to see who would be the first through lap scoring, with nearly a minute on his nearest rival Lee Smith and Liam Eddleston. Lee Sampson kept up his blistering pace and at the halfway point he had opened up a comfortable lead. The staggering pace was maintained for another couple of laps when he reluctantly retired leaving the door open for Dirtbike-Traxs regular Alex Owen to take up the lead with a two minute gap on second place Lee Smith. The battle was on with Lee Smith pushing hard to eat into Alex's lead but it was Alex who came in through the gate in first place to claim the overall Iron man title completing 26 laps with Lee Smith in second place and another DBT regular Liam Eddleston in third, also on 26 laps.
In the Clubman solos' Joe Harker set the pace and maintained a steady lead for the duration from his nearest rival Tom Beebe. Although Tom made a valiant effort to claw back some of the time, but it was too big an ask and Joe came in some 7 minutes ahead of Tom both on 23 laps with Phil Dodsworth in third on 20 laps.
The Over 40 class was a dead heat with one finisher,
Chris Ball, who managed to notch up 23 laps, well done mate!
It was in the Iron man team classes where the majority of the race action was seen and where tactics played a huge part. The expert class was not short of drama, Josh Bendall had to do half a lap with a snapped gear lever before handing over to Luke Flack while the lever was replaced, the young pair had to settle for third. The Tom Healey/Scott Austin team ended up in second after dealing with a collapsed back wheel in the closing minutes of the race, just as they were breathing down the necks of Andy Cripps/Grant Hackett who finished up eventual winners with 29 laps.
The Clubman team was dominated by Scott Altass/Luke Gorse who led from the off and the young up and coming stars proved too good for the rest of the pack finishing ahead of nearest rivals Steve Watson/Andrew Hornshaw, who pushed the pair hard in the closing stages, closing the gap to just over 2 minutes at the end, both managed a massive 27 laps. Lee Depledge/Anthony Cooper came in third after a tight contest with Dean Johnson/David Dudley.
The experienced Over 40's team class was a closer fought battle John Lofthouse/Fran Derossa took the top spot with 25 laps, ahead of second placed John Headley/Bill Heyton and third placed, Putoline championship leader Howard Blundell and partner Stuart Goodhall all on 24 laps. Russell Gray and Russ Townson were in the running until the bike blew a hole in the engine forcing them to retire on lap 15.
Finally the Sportsman team saw another team consisting of Putoline championship leader, Richard Bentham with his side kick Stuart Thompson in the mix of things until Stuart sheared the crank on his bike leave Richard to blast out for a full 2 ½ hours on his own, they eventually had to settle for fourth place. Greg Shepherd out on his first ever Hare & Hounds was doing well until his throttle stuck open causing him to crash out early on in the race, leaving team mate Steve Black on his own for a large portion of the race. The eventual winning position went to Paul Pickup/Lewis Hamilton followed closely 2 minutes later by Daz Skillin/Harry Geeles and only 40 seconds behind was Peter Carr/Anthony Pye. All three teams managed to complete 25 laps.
The event was a resounding success which goes down to the tremendous hard work and effort put in by all the helpers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and marshals who make this event run smoothly, DBT and TGOR would like to give everyone of you a huge thank you for helping out. Also huge thank you goes out to all those riders who turned up and waited so patiently in the cold wind to sign on. Don't forget the second Iron man challenge at Butts Quarry on Sunday 28th August and the next round of the National Putoline Championships at Gisburn over the weekend 24th/25th July.