Ditchy Dominates Deuxhill. Rock Oil XC Championship

Fast Eddy Racing’s first visit to the Deuxhill venue in sleepy Shropshire, just south of Bridgnorth, was interesting to say the least. The venue obviously has potential although due to farming commitments some of the land originally Max Ditchfieldplanned as part of the course was not available for use, which severely shortened the lap. What was available was mainly dusty field sections but the heart of the venue proved to be a wooded area with a stream section that provided great entertainment throughout all three races.

Max Ditchfield posted a significant win in the afternoon race at the head of the Expert class that broke Ben Murphy’s stranglehold on the Championship. Ditchy started well and fought off challenges from Jordan Ridgway, Derek Bawn and Harry Edmondson early on as Murphy encountered problems in the stream section. Twice he crashed on consecutive laps and ended up facing the wrong way in the stream, losing his goggles in the process.

On aDan Leadbetter dusty track losing goggles was not a good thing, not just for following other riders but also around some of the longer sweeping curves riders were riding into their own dust as it slowly blew across the course.

The layout of the course was changed for the final race and it was a work of genius as riders went through the stream section three times and had a steep climb or tricky gully to negotiate. It was so tricky that Fast Eddy himself jumped in and rode bikes out of the gulley when all seemed hopeless, and it was entertaining to see his little legs scrabbling for grip as he pushed riders and bikes up the steep exit slope.

With Ditchy in a solid spot at the head of the field it was all eyes on Harry Edmondson to see if he could close the gap and stay ahead of Murphy at the same time in the closing few laps of the race. Harry did it in style and took a very well-deserved second spot as Murphy pipped Bawn to the post for third place with a pass on the final lap.

James Palmer rode exceptionally well to take fifth overall but much more importantly, he won the Youth A class with ease as Cole Cookland and Charlie Chater finished second and third in class following a tremendous battle from the moment the flag dropped. All three Youth A riders were up in the rankings, beating the Clubman riders into submission.

Jacob James was on top form to win the Clubman class against stiff competition from Lee Hattersley and Ben Key, all three riders posting 22 laps over the two-hour race with just over 40-seconds between them at the finish.

Kev Sandland’s move to a KTM seems to have paid off. His long-awaited win in the Vets finally came true as he beat Chris Wagstaff into second spot by just 10 seconds. Mike Windsor took third.

Earlier in the day the Vets B, Youth B, Sportsman and Novice riders had their shot at glory. Even by mid-morning it was really hot and although the woodland offered some shade it also had the stream to contend with.

Shaun James and Andrew Whieldon had a cracking race in the Vets B class but it was Youth B rider Dan Leadbetter who took the overall win with a terrific ride that saw him post 20 laps, matched only by fellow Youth B rider Will Farrow in second spot. Carwyn Rosser completed the Youth B line-up.Kev Sandland

James and Whieldon were never more than a couple of bike lengths apart and that’s how they finished at the head of the Vets B class with Mark Glover grabbing the final podium spot just seconds ahead of Mark Plain.

Ben Martindale was head and shoulders clear in the Sportsman class wile Rob Latham took second and Andy Rich third but there was not much between them by the finish flag.

Josh Lucy had an outstanding ride to win the Novice class by a clear lap over Ash Williams in second spot and Dan Laight in third.

The Youth race started the day and it was won by Sion Evans (85-150cc) once again as this talented youngster posted 12 solid laps. He was matched on laps by Cole Cookland who was just over 30 seconds adrift at the end of the race while Callum Millward took third in class. Jack Sandland put on a great show to take third overall and win the 65cc bracket ahead of Wilf Barnett. Young Alfie Dawson displayed true grit in the Auto class, managing seven laps to his credit.

Deuxhill had been in the pipeline for a while but timing was crucial. Some of the fields were out of bounds but it was an interesting little venue with some great features and plenty of potential for the future if more land can be incorporated into the track.  James PalmerJacob James Sion Evans

It was hot, dusty and fun throughout the weekend and hopefully the first of many visits to this cracking little venue.