Words Tim Tighe. Pics Tilde Tighe
In the timeless Neverland between Christmas and New Year scores of the bored and simply overindulged turned out for Keith and Eddy’s Xmas bash at Ashby, two hours of simple, freezing, ice-encrusted, muddy fun which masqueraded as the final round of the Fast Eddy Racing Winter Series.
Ashby isn’t used much these days for events, mainly for practice, but when an event does run there it is always memorable and this event was no different. Following one of the coldest nights of the year the mulch covered parts of the track slowly began to thaw in the weak winter sun. The deep pools of standing water would take a little more convincing to begin to thaw but after a couple of laps over 50 bikes had smashed the ice to oblivion.
The going varied all around the course but just so riders didn’t think it was too easy the Fast Eddy track crew threw in some decent sized rocks on the central MX section of the course.
With a short section of new going off the start line it didn’t take long before all classes were away and into more familiar parts of the course, the separate classes mixing within a lap.
Jay Thomas and Adam Castledine were out in front alongside Jack Ditchfield and Sean Wainwright while a surprise late entry from Jack Staines saw a fearsome Honda 450 tearing up the track in the Expert ranks. It was a real grueller of a race and Jay Thomas just gritted his teeth and clung to the overall first spot as if his life depended on it. He’d had a lead over second placed Jack Ditchfield for quite some time but Ditchy also kept plugging away to take second place with Sean Wainwright eventually taking third.
James Palmer has a terrific ride to take fourth overall and win the Youth A class ahead of Charlie Chater and Archie Collier. Keith Staines maintained his Christmas tradition of a single muddy outing by winning the Clubman Vets by quite a margin over Julian Cook and Chris Wagstaff.
Jacob James had an outstanding performance on his way to Clubman class victory with 12 laps to his credit, just ahead of Rich Heslop and Glyn McGuire. Ben Martindale once again picked up the Sportsman win just ahead of Paul Clarkes and Luke Austick.
Kristian Ankritt topped the Novice runners with Joe Poole and Andrew Williams just a lap adrift of the leader. The Sportsman Vets was well attended and it was Nick Barrow who claimed the class win with Chris Edwards in second spot and Michael Eaton third. Toby Flack had a tough old ride around but still nailed the top spot in the Youth B class ahead of Will Farrow and Ben Cook.
This was a typical winter event. Muddy, cold but lots of fun once the racing was over and there was time to reflect on just how tough it had been and how mad everyone was to have ridden it.
Actually, it ran rather well. Once the first few laps were completed riders settled down and Ashby Moto Parc reminded everyone just how tough it could be. It was and experience to ride but also really entertaining to watch. The Fast Eddy crew did a great job in tough conditions to layout a course that suited virtually everyone and even throw in a few hard and easy options to boot.