A last-minute venue change paid dividends for the fourth and final round of Fast Eddy’s Winter Championship on Sunday.
Moving from a saturated Hilton Park to Bicton Farm the event enjoyed almost perfect conditions as the track improved lap after lap for the six moto-duro races throughout the day. A slightly shorter course than usual made for some really close racing as both the open fields and woodland section dried out quickly to provide plenty of grip.
The plan was for two 45 minute youth races, two 50-minute outings for the Novice, Sportsman and Vets B with the same for the Experts, Clubman and Vets A. It worked really well and ran bang on time except for a slight delay waiting for the oversleeping Cookland crew at the start of the day.
The youth riders started proceedings and Adam James was on fire right from the moment the start flag dropped. He never put a wheel wrong at the front of the SW85cc class and thoroughly deserved his victory in both the first and second youth races taking to impressive wins. Cory Cookland was also on form and took two second places, battling hard throughout each race, while Lewis Hurdsman nailed two third places. Jack Sandland collected two first places in the 65cc class ahead of Jonas Brown and as entertaining as the two races were, they were equalled by the varying antics of parents; from the frenetic running around and pointing of Lance Hurdsman to the reserved clap and thumbs up of Kev Sandland, the encouraging ‘Hurry up you bugger’ of Rich Cookland all going on as Sean James sat by his camper enjoying a brew. A rich and varied selection of enthusiastic parenting!
The first adults group was headed by the Vets B riders with David Williams doing the double in fine style, followed in both races by Shaun James with Dave Bixter taking two third places.
Frankie White-Edwards took the first win in the Sportsman class with Archie Collier following him home and Sean Taylor struggling with mechanical difficulties in third spot but the second race saw Collier take the win with Taylor second as White Edwards rode to the finish way down the pack nursing two cracked fingers while Dave Simpkin took third spot.
Dan Leadbetter dominated the Novice ranks in both races as Shaun Cornwall eventually took second spot despite having missed the start of race one and played catch-up to get to third by the end but it was bad luck for Will Farrow as he took second in the opening race only to crash out early on in the second but it was enough for third overall.
The second adult block saw the Experts, Clubman and Vets A enjoy the best of conditions by the end of the day. Dave Cooper nailed the Vets A overall with a second place and a win in the final race with Steve Davis in second. Simon Wright was very unlucky, he won the opening race but was then out of the second and still managed third in class.
The Fast Eddy youngster are coming through the ranks at a rate of knots, suddenly the Clubman and Expert ranks are littered with very fast young riders who have cut their teeth on Fast Eddy events over the years.
In the Clubman class there was a three-way battle in both races as Ryan Phillips, Cole Cookland, James Palmer and Dawson Marriott all pushed each other hard. Palmer took the first win with Cookland second and Marriott third as Phillips had a brief break to repair his bike before returning to the race he had once lead. In the second race it was Cookland who triumphed with Phillips climbing to second spot as Palmer took third. Just two points separated winner Cookland from Palmer in second spot as Dawson Marriott took third.
The Expert class line-up was terrific, again, peppered with fast Fast Eddy ex Youth riders. First race winner Lee Sealey had a great opening race against Jack Edmondson, who unfortunately crashed out in the woodland section but Jack returned the favour in the second race following a frantic first 20 minutes where Sealey pulled a lead until the MX section of the track at which point Jacko was alongside him lap after lap but unable to make the pass. Constant pressure from Jack Eddy saw Sealey eventually make a slight mistake exiting the woods, allowing the 2016 Youth World Champion to take the lead and charge for the finish flag.
Alex Walton was always in the mix and he posted second and third place finishes to take the class’ second place overall. Harry Edmondson was more than pleased with his ride. In the final race of the day he was ahead of brother Jack during the opening lap and another fourth place finish gave him third overall in class. Max Ditchfield was on form as usual and rode hard to take third spot in the opening race although the second race didn’t go quite to plan and he eventually finished fourth overall. Henry Yardley felt the force as he borrowed Fast Eddys 250 2T Husky due to problems with his own machine and soon got to grips with some real power. He did very well considering the last-minute bike change and showed flashes of brilliance throughout the race. All in all it was a great day of close racing and a cracking finish to a great Winter series. Well done to Fast Eddy and his crew.
Report Tim Tighe. Pics: Tilde Tighe & Jack Fleming