Fast Eddy GBXC opening round

The 2018 Fast Eddy XC and GBXC Championships finally got underway last Sunday at Bicton Farm in Shropshire. The poor weather in the weeks leading up to the event had seen delays but just a week later than originally scheduled the turnout was terrific for the start of these championship series.

It was clear that a considerable amount of work had been put in to get the track into shape and with sunshine on Saturday and Sunday remaining dry the ground was perfect for racing.

This year the youth race is run under the Rock Oil XC Youth banner while the morning adult race for Youth B, Sportsman, Novice, Vets B and Over 50’s will constitute the Fast Eddy XC Championship. The afternoon race containing the Experts, Clubman 2T and 4T and Vets A will run as the GBXC Championship.

Traditionally, the first round of the season is at Bicton Farm where a lap for Joe is ridden in tribute to Joe Edge who passed away four years ago. All riders take a slow lap around the course, lead by Paul Edmondson and Joe’s dad and it is an emotional moment for all who remember Joe. As always, the lap was very well attended.

The long-awaited unveiling of Paul Edmondson’s rebuilt 2005 ISDE Honda 250 caused quite a stir and left many people wondering why Honda had ever stopped 2T production as the bike flew around the course throughout the day.

Racing started early, 8.45am, with a good entry of Youth riders having first bash at the Bicton lap. It was a slightly shortened lap to the adult race, the woods section was not included, but proved to be very competitive and entertaining all the same.

The entry to the 85-150 class dominated the field and from this class Cory Cookland dominated the race virtually from start to finish. A cracking ride saw him keep second placed Francis Davies at bay by over a minute with Lewis Hurdsman taking third spot, a lap down on the leading pair. Will Barnett and Rees Jones battled in the 65cc class but Barnett eventually pulled clear for the win with Jones taking second spot ahead of Archie Jordan in third place. Alfie Dawson claimed the Auto class win ahead of James Gittings-Jones with Harry Jordan grabbing third.

Following the lap for Joe the first fast Eddy XC of the season kicked off. The course was extended and the woodland section opened up to provide some technical challenges to balance the field sections. Sion Evans showed his intentions right from the start. His total dominance of last season’s youth races saw him carry his excellent form on to this year. Riding in the Youth B class he lead the field for the whole race and appeared completely in control for the whole two hours. Over 50’s rider Dave Cooper, who won his class but took second overall, put in a great ride to try and keep in touch but couldn’t catch the youngster. Scott Harris, representing the Sportsman ranks took third overall and his class win ahead of Nick Whitehead and Ant Trawford. Adam James was runner-up in the Youth B classification, some way ahead of third placed Doug lote. Mark Plain took second in the Over 50’s with Tony Gunn grabbing third. The Vets B win went to Roger Withington who posted an extra lap on Joe Gittins-Jones and Saxon Nell in second and third spots.

Top Novice rider was Ben Leighton. He posted 13 laps and was over seven minutes clear of second placed Tony Adams as the chequered flag was waived. Andrew Bowley took third, a lap down on Leighton and Adams.

By the time the afternoon’s GBXC race got underway the course was extremely well bedded-in and the opening few laps were truly fast and furious with the lead changing hands constantly. In the Expert pack Derek Bawn took the holeshot with Max Ditchfield a wheel’s length behind but by the time the pack hit the woodlands it was anybody’s race.

Ditchy got to the head of the field and set a blistering pace but had no respite from the chasing group and although he led for quite a few laps his bike experienced mechanical issues and had to DNF. Any of a number of riders were in the hunt for the win but it was Shaun Buchan who narrowly took victory by just 40 seconds over a hard-charging Henry Yardley, both clocking up 20 laps. Third placed Ricky Wiggins narrowly missed out on an extra lap but took third anyway.

It looks as if the Clubman 2T class will be a year-long battle between two riders; Cole Cookland and James Palmer. The each took a victory at the ACU Sprint the week before and were locked together for most of the race on Sunday with just 23 seconds separating the two as Cookland took the win and Palmer second. George Yardley was also on form and completed the 2T top three.

Lee Hattersley got his season of to a great start with the Clubman 4T win under his belt, edging out Ryan Phillips to second spot with a minute between them as Ben Key took third. Chris Wagstaff also started well with a win in the Vets A group ahead of Darryl Mead and Kev Sandland.Cole CooklandIMG_0808Dave Cooper Lee Hattersley Scott Harris Shaun Buchan Sion Evans

The extra week’s wait was worth it. The day saw cracking racing across the board and the weather played ball for once as the course dried to perfection. The Joe Edge tribute was moving and all involved appreciated the efforts put in by Fast Eddy and his crew.

The ACU British Sprint Championship at Rogers Hill

Report Tim Tighe. Images Garry Barnes.

The opening rounds of the 2018 Sprint Championship exploded into action over the weekend at Rogers Hill Raceway in Dorset.Danney McCanney

Gas Gas Factory rider Danny McCanney nailed round one on Saturday while Freestyle Husqvarna’s Joe Wootton claimed victory on Sunday from a top-quality field of riders.

A week-long battle to get the sodden track into shape really paid off as conditions were perfect across the whole weekend. The forecast two days of rain failed to materialise, although there was a slight drizzle intermittently on Sunday, and the big single special test incorporated plenty of challenges both in the woods and on the MX track. Six runs were planned for each day which allowed riders plenty of time for preparation and technical adjustments between runs. As things turned out it was six runs on Saturday and five on Sunday.

The opening sprints at Rogers Hill Raceway always attract top quality riders across all classes and this season looks to have been the best yet with factory riders from Husqvarna, GasGas and Sherco all in attendance.

Factory Sherco rider Jack Edmondson (E2) set blistering times on the first two runs but an error on his third run saw Danny McCanney (E3) take the lead and hold it to the end of the day with Freestyle Husqvarna’s Joe Wootton (E2) just off pace in third spot. Daryl Bolter (E2) took fourth ahead of reigning champion Alex Snow (E1).

Snow topped the E1 bracket ahead of Lee Sealy and Alex Walton while Jack Edmondson won E2 from Joe Wootton and Daryl Bolter. Danny McCanney ruled E3.

Wootton was on top form on Sunday though taking four out of five tests for the overall win with McCanney some 14 seconds adrift in second spot. Jack Edmondson had to fight off Snow for third spot and did so by just two seconds while Bolter once again made the top five.

Snow, Dan Mundell and Alex Walton were top three E! riders with Joe Wootton, Jack Edmondson and Daryl Bolter topping E2. Mccanney was top E3.

Expert Aaron Gordon (E1) was untouchable on both days. Eleven straight test wins saw him head the Expert ranks by a minute on Saturday and 45 seconds on Sunday. Two outstanding outings and a great start to the Championship. The battle for second and third saw Ricky Wiggins (E3) beat Max Ditchfield (E1) on Saturday but lose out to Dylan Baynton (E2) on Sunday.Aaron Gordon

The Clubman class is a real powerhouse of talent this season with a multitude of Fast Eddy youngsters making their way through the ranks. A superb outing from Charlie Chater on his new Freestyle Yamaha saw him blitz the Clubman class on Saturday, nearly 40 seconds up on second placed Cole Cookland and a minute up on Lewis Ranger in third spot. Cookland fought back hard to take the win on Sunday by just six seconds over Chater as Ryan Mundell climbed to third spot.

GasGasUK’s John Shirt took the Vets class by storm on the opening day against serious opposition from Rich Cookland and Neil Bowker then continued his good form throughout Sunday to take the class win from Jonathan Tarr and Danny Halls.

In the Youth class, Alfie Webb and Josh Lucy were locked together all weekend. Webb was excellent and never put a foot wrong and took the class win by well over a minute on the first day but Lucy closed to gap significantly on the second day to follow Webb home by less than 30 seconds. Jac George completed Saturday’s Youth top three while Carwyn Rosser took third on Sunday.

In the Sportsman ranks things were pretty close all day long across the top three riders but eventually it was Sam Baggott who took the win by just three seconds over Ollie Harcombe with Andrew Whieldon less than 30 seconds adrift in third. Harcombe too the win on the second day by nearly two minutes from Jack Smith as Marcus Feltham took third in class.

Just two representatives in the Ladies class; Emily Halls and Gemma Holtham. Hall took both wins although Holtham had her best day on Sunday and narrowed the gap to the leader significantly. Reigning Ladies Champion Rosie Rowett moved to the Clubman ranks in order to push herself as hard as possible and gain valuable experience throughout the year.

Rogers Hill was a terrific venue to start the Sprint Championship. Fast Eddy and his crew had worked extremely hard to ensure the venue was at its optimum and were rewarded by relatively good weather and a cracking rider entry which made for excellent racing. Charlie Chater Joe Wootton Cole Cookland Jack Edmondson John Shirt

The series moves to Brake Hill Farm, Northants, over the weekend of 16-17th June for rounds three and four.

Fast Eddy GBXC begins this weekend at Bicton

BICTON IS ON THIS WEEKEND!!!! Saturday full practice day and Sunday round 1 of the fasteddy/ Gbxc championship including the JOE EDGE 138 # race. Sunday will be again a lap for Joe and I along with Joe’s dad will be leading the lap to remember him… this year the old CR 250 will be out to make the lap even more special… even if your not racing please come along and ride the lap 👍if you intend on racing or practice please book in asap with Christine Parkes or call 07889 924560. Machines and grading from Wednesday but as you can see from pics it’s finally drying up riders .2018GBXCRd1

ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship Rd.3

The H2O Classic.

Husqvarna Monster Energy rider Billy Bolt finally came good at the 2018 British Extreme Enduro Championship with his first win of the series at H2O to defend his 2017 title. Last off the line he powered into the lead by the end of the first lap then piled the pressure on to take victory some eight and a half minutes ahead of rival Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker. His most impressive ride of the season so far.

bb1 H2O saw the series reach its mid-point with three down and three to go. Graham Jarvis had nailed the Tong event while Walker took the honours at Cowm Quarry. With a title to defend it needed Bolt to step up to the plate and that’s just what he did. With team-mate Graham Jarvis overseas it was Walker who presented just one of the challenges with the ever-present Paul Bolton waiting to pounce while a surprise late entry from David Knight was curtailed early on as the big Manxman retired after just two laps with a stomach problem.

KTM’s Nathan Watson tried his hand at Extreme Enduro for the first time alongside Beta’s Jonno Richardson with Sam Winterburn, Gethin Humphries and James Dent all in the Championship ranks and all going extremely well.jonny walker

H2O had undergone quite a few changes over the winter months and the course layout included new stream sections and extended sections which altogether made for the toughest layout to date at the venue. The rock garden and big log were both included along with several other very tricky log challenges scattered throughout the woodland section.

The two and a half hour race saw Paul Bolton and Sam Winterburn get good starts alongside Knighter while Walker and Bolt were the last two to leave the line. Not that it made much difference, Bolt took the lead within a lap and Walker was around third or fourth with Bolton in a solid second spot and that’s how it stayed for much of the race until Walker upped his pace in the final few laps to snatch second with Bolton third. Nathan Watson had been up to fourth but faded to eighth as Jonno Richardson moved to just outside the top three, followed by Jordan Scott, Gethin Humphries and Sam Winterburn.

Joe Deakin once again took the Expert class with a superb ride that saw him fifth overall, mixed in amongst the Pro’s. Charlie frost took second with Sam Ludgate third at the head of a very competitive Expert class.

Gas Gas mounted Juan Knight headed the Elite Vets, a lap clear of second placed Harold Crawford as Kieran Hankin took third in a very tough group of competitors. Dawson Marriott nailed the Clubman class win ahead of Stuart Mack and Richard Hawes.dawson marriott

The two hour morning race once again saw outstanding performances from the Youth class riders with Will Stansbie taking the win and  Suff Sella second ahead of both Mick Boam Mark Houson and Richard Bentham in the Vets.Juan Knight

Stansbie has put in some superb rides this season in the extreme series but this was one of his best. Jamie Williams took third in Youth.

Tsuk Sella took his first UK class win in the Sportsman class but couldn’t catch his brother in second overall. Jack Winn and Ryan Crayston took second and third Sportsman spots in a very tough race.

H2O proved to be an outstanding venue once again, providing a mixture of challenges and variety of terrain that more than tested the best of the best.

Billy Bolt saw it all come together in a fast and smart ride that saw him flying around the course with no major mistakes. With three different winners and three rounds to go it’s anyone’s guess who will take the 2018 title but keeping it close and competitive should make for a really interest final three rounds.

Gethin Humphries paul boltonWell done to the Fast Eddy crew on a great layout and making the day run smoothly.

2018 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship

Round 2 at Cowm Off-road, Whitworth, Lancs.

Jonny Walker celebrated his return to the UK extreme scene with an emphatic victory at Cowm Quarry last weekend.  The Red Bull KTM factory rider produced an outstanding display and led the Pro field, virtually from the start.

IMG_3362Cowm Quarry had undergone many changes in the build-up to this event.  Some of the sections looked easier but proved to be much harder while the addition of a significant amount of faster, open going where riders could “rest”, made the event very stop start in places.

Third gear straights suddenly terminated into a first gear, an inch-by-inch pick through extremely technical sections.  Add to this the biting wind cutting across the venue, icy patches strewn randomly around the flatter areas and steep climbs offering no grip then plenty of grip, all made for a very mixed challenge for all riders.

The course, as with Tong, ran in different directions for both the morning and afternoon races.  Although it would have been easy for the Fast Eddy crew to choose well-established paths and routes, they decided to tear up the map book and lay out something completely different.

The course, for the morning race at least, was more technical than usual, the afternoon course, although very different to the normal layout, presented few problems for the Pros and Experts.

The star-studded Pro race began at 12.30 with a fairly subdued charge around the first set of hairpins and logs; no one wanted to make a mistake here!  It wasn’t until riders were clear of the start area, that the racing really began.  Initially, it was a three-way battle between Walker and rivals Graham Jarvis and Billy Bolt from the Rock Star Husqvarna factory team.

By the time the leaders reached the redesigned rock garden, close to lap-scoring, it was Walker who had just a few seconds lead over Bolt with Jarvis very close behind, all three circulating at roughly the same pace.

Walker turned up the gas and by the half-way point, there was roughly forty seconds between Walker and Bolt, with Jarvis a further forty seconds adrift with Eurotek’s Paul Bolton roughly thirty seconds behind Jarvis.

IMG_3168Beta mounted Jonno Richardson was hanging up there, just off the leading pack and slightly ahead of Sam Winterburn with championship riders Jordan Scott and Gethin Humphreys filling the top ten places.

Disaster struck Graham Jarvis on lap ten, where he ran out of fuel.  Paul Bolton and company gladly received the gift of a jump up the leader board but no one was capable of matching Walker or Bolt, the only two riders to complete the lap in less than twelve minutes.  At one stage, Walker had eked out nearly a two-minute lead over Bolt, who was making small errors, each one nibbling a few seconds off his time.  Bolt recovered however and closed within six seconds of Walker to take the runner-up spot as Paul Bolton secured third.

A significant group of Expert riders followed the Championship class home.  Joe Deakin took the Expert win from Sam Ludgate and third placed Gav Houson but even more impressively, Gas Gas mounted Juan Knight, in the Elite Vets class, made it to ninth overall and another class win in this series. He had plenty of competition.  Wayne Braybrook was a minute and a half behind in second spot.  An excellent outing for someone who does not ride competitively these days.  Harold Crawford completed the Elite Vets top-three, a lap down on Knight and Braybrook.

It was interesting to note that the highest position achieved by a Clubman rider was 31st overall, quietening the claims of pot-hunters.  Stuart Mack and Dawson Marriott battled hard throughout the two-and-a-half-hour race but it was Mack who eventually emerged victorious.  Olly Lawer completed the Clubman podium line-up.IMG_3457

The morning racers definitely suffered the worst of the conditions. Although bright sunshine bathed the whole venue, the wind chill factor was down to artic proportions.  The course was ok, although in some of the shaded areas the grounds seemed to be in perma-frost.  The Veterans always provide great racing at Cowm, in particular Mick Boam and Mark Houson. Houson seems to have the edge at Tong but Boam definitely has the advantage at Cowm but not this year.

Youth and enthusiasm overcame age and experience as Will Stansbie clawed his way to the front of the pack and despite the efforts of Boam, Houson and fellow Youth rider Suff Sella, he maintained his lead to claim a glorious victory in the most challenging conditions ahead of Mick Boam, second overall but first in Vets and Sella, third overall and second in the Youth class.  Gas Gas mounted Tom Knight, took third in the Youth class down in a lowly 9th overall spot with a handful of talented Vets ahead of him, while Karl Greenhall nailed third in the Vet class.

Grant Gillender led the Sportsman class home just sixteen seconds ahead of Ryan Crayston with Liam Robinson close behind in third.IMG_0718

The bitterly cold conditions seemed to have little effect on the quality of riders and fierceness of the competition, in fact the morning race seemed to have more urgency about it than the afternoon race (but it was cold so maybe they were just trying to get warm).

Walker’s return to the UK was welcomed by his many fans and it was great to see him battle with Bolt, Jarvis and Bolton at times even though he always seemed to have things firmly under control. Billy Bolt was close but for a few mistakes here and there, he may well have taken the win but still gaining in experience, he still put in a superb performance.  The demise of the master, Graham Jarvis, running out of fuel gives hope to the rest of mere mortals who have been known to do so on a regular basis. Paul Bolton, as ever, hung tough and was rewarded for his efforts. A smart rider who knows the game really well.

A massive well-done to Fast Eddy and his dedicated but frozen crew, who spent the week at Cowm building a superb course, assisted hugely by John Whittle and his big machines.

 

Events Update

We are pleased to announce dates for the 2018 season.  Another busy and exciting year is on the cards for all riders wishing to join our events, practice days and training schools. Unlike most clubs Fast Eddy Racing has the advantage of having on it’s team riders like Tom Sagar and Fast Eddy along with all the top riders who support the events and training run by this club. Another bonus is NO membership fee is required to race with us!!

We have plenty of different styles of events and several new venues, along with the main grass roots practice days that will give riders lots to go at throughout this season. We will be running the British Extremes, the British Sprints, our Fast Eddy’s and GBXC, along with training and practice days for all ages and abilities. Along with these events we will also be running for the second time the “biggie”; The ENDURO GP of the UK at the popular Hawkstone Park venue in September.

2018 Fast Eddy & GBXC Championships for this season will be split into two but they will be run on the same day. Basically, the morning races will be called the Fast Eddy XC Championships and they will cater for the riders who just want to have fun and enjoy the ride without the fast lads getting in their way.  New classes for this championship will consist of Novice, Youth B, Sportsman 2T, Sportsman 4T, Vets and Over 50’s. These classes will take part in the morning race at all seven rounds of the championship but there will be a ‘throw away’ event as it’s the best six scores from the seven events that will count.

GBXC 2018 makes a welcome return to the programme and will cater for all the ‘FAST BOYS’. Classes for this season include the Clubman, Elite Youth, Elite Vets and Experts. This change will see these prestigious classes return to the UK’s classic cross-country tracks.

Not forgetting our youth classes, their series will now be called the Rock Oil XC youth Championship with our sponsor, oil company Rock Oil, supplying trophies and oil for these young riders of xc racing. Starting with Auto, 65 and 85 to 150, these three classes are set to raise our up and coming riders by competing on similar tracks to the Fast eddy riders.

Trophies at all events, transponder timing and an experienced team of track builders and marshals will make great weekends of racing. Most of these events will also feature a Saturday practice day.

So, fancy a change or want value for money?  Fast Eddy Racing will be working hard to offer all of this for the 2018 season.

Fast Eddy Championship

2-hour AM Race

Classes:  Novice, Youth B, Sportsman 2T, Sportsman 4T, Vets and Over 50’s

& GBXC 2018

2.5-hour PM Race

Classes: Clubman, Elite Youth, Elite Vets and Experts

 
Rd Dates Venue
1 31st March/1st April Joe Edge Memorial

Bicton Farm, Bicton Heath, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8EU

2 14th & 15th April Brake Hill Farm (Champs Park), Grafton Road, Brigstock, Kettering, NN14 3NB
3 19th & 20th May NEW VENUE tba
4 9th & 10th June NEW VENUE tba
5 14th & 15th July NEW VENUE tba
6 4th & 5th August Rattlinghope

Near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. The nearest postcode is SY5 0SR

7 6th October Tong (Parkwood 4×4 Centre), Tong Lane, Near Bradford
 
H2O Practice Days ACU British Sprint Championship
31st March 7th & 8th April: Roger Hill Raceway, Rogershill Farm, Briantspuddle, Dorset, DT2 7HN
21st /22nd April 16th & 17th June:  Brake Hill Farm, Grafton Road, Brigstock, Kettering, NN14 3NB
3rd June 18th & 19th August: New Venue, Mid Wales
29th June 29th & 30th September:  Bicton Farm, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 8EU
29th July  
12th August Enduro GP
2nd September 21st to 23rd September: Hawkstone Park, Shropshire
23rd September  
14th October Steady Eddy X-tremes
(10 Days) 7th: October: Tong (Parkwood 4×4 Centre), Tong Lane, Near Bradford
  18th November: Cowm Leisure, High Barn Lane, Whitworth
Practice Days 8th & 9th December: Westwood, near Tankersley
Plus, additional Midlands based Practice days  

Fast Eddy/Beta UK Announce 2018 Team

Fast Eddy Racing together with Beta UK are pleased to announce its team line up for 2018.

The team will be headlined this season by the ever popular former British Enduro Champion, Tom Sagar.  The 2018 season will see Tom back on a Beta 300 RR two stroke focusing on the ACU British Sprint and Enduro Championships, along with his continuing key role as team partner in Fast Eddy Training Schools and EWC duties.Ely and Coleman Tom Sagar

Alongside Tom will by ‘Eddy’s Experts’, who will be teamed up to support Fast Eddy Racing to help promote the Beta brand. Richard Ely will be a part of this team and will ride the Beta 350 RR 4T, he will compete in the British events and local club events in the South of England.  Heading back up north will see new member Ben Coleman on a 250 RR Racing also competing in the British events and local events in his area. Both riders will focus on the ACU British Sprint and Enduro Championships as their main focus for this season.

Fast Eddy Racing are now well-established Beta dealers and are Midlands based.  Company boss Paul (Fast Eddy) Edmondson said “It’s a great team and I would personally like to thank John Lampkin, of Beta UK, and our sponsors for helping to put this together. The lads are really enjoying the bikes and I’m looking forward to seeing the results this season.”

The Team are supported by:

Beta UK, Michelin, Rock Oil, Alpinestars, Renthal, DP Brakes, AMPED, SM Pro Wheels, KTech and Fast Eddy Racing.

Fast Eddy Training Dates

TOM SAGAR FAST EDDY TRAINING DATES ….. we are pleased to announce the following dates February 21st at cowm quarry,  extreme training. March 7th enduro training for Sportsman/ Novice riders March 8th Expert / Clubman at north venue. March 21st at H20 extreme training… message Christine Parkes or call 07889 924560 .. both with myself and Tom.. limited places .

The 2018 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship

Graham Jarvis gave a masterclass of extreme riding at Tong on Sunday, winning the opening round of the 2018 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship by over ten minutes from his nearest rivals Paul Bolton and Billy Bolt. The gap between Bolton and Bolt was considerably closer, less than half a second after two and a half hours of racing! Amazingly, this is the first extreme event where the top three places all went to four-stroke riders.jarvis4

Now in its eighth year the Tong extreme attracts both riders and crowds alike. The rider entry saw over 120 bikes on the line for the first race followed by eighty plus for the second race. This year really was something special, the course was the hardest it had ever been in both directions. Paul Edmondson and Tom Sagar put some thought into the layout that enabled the racers in the morning to circulate in a roughly clockwise direction while the afternoon entrants saw the course completely reversed.

The morning course was tough, all the infamous spots such as the waterfall (which riders went down) the ditch jump, the ravines and the rock garden were included but several new sections joined it all together and the whole course flowed well and had plenty of lines at the trickiest spots. Absolute carnage ruled in a couple of places during the first two laps but once everyone settled down and picked lines, it all became slightly easier, but only slightly.

The stream sections were used extensively with steep descents into the water and even steeper climbs out which quickly became slippery as water was dragged out of the stream and tree roots began to be exposed. Many of the sections had hard rock climbs that proved to be equally tricky. Huge numbers of spectators helped out by pulling riders up banks despite a large marshalling force present at all the tougher sections.Billy Bolt1

The same start line was used for both races but the morning racers turned right as they joined the course while the afternoon riders went left. The youth class was first away and they hit the course hard. Gas Gas Uk’s Tom Knight took the lead on the first lap and by the time he reached the Rock Garden, virtually at the end of the lap, he had a 30 second lead. The youth class was packed with talent as young Knight worked hard to keep ahead of Will Stansbie who eventually took second in class and Israeli rider Suff Sella who grabbed third.

Knight got a clean run and made the most of it keeping ahead of the pack for a couple of laps but with this type of event experience counts and one of the most experienced riders around Tong is Mark Houson in the Vets class. He eventually wrestled the lead from Knight and charged onwards, even as the last few seconds of the race ticked away on the lap clock he powered through the time check to grab another lap, the only rider to post nine laps in the morning race. Karl Greenhall took fourth overall and second in the Vets, a lap adrift of Houson, as Anthony Crowe just took third in class by 20 seconds ahead of Andy Harvey.

James Crookshank had a cracking ride in the Sportsman class taking the win over Josh Haith and Jack Winn in second and third but it had been a real battle as virtually every riders was stuck at some point and the Sportsman entry was huge.

The course was the toughest ever seen for the Youth, Vets and Sportsman riders but although a few spots proved tricky the course was never altered or sections cut. Riders simply had to get on with it, which they did, much to their credit.Paul Bolton1

As the last rider exited the course from the morning race, the start line for the afternoon race was already packed. With Husqvarna’s Graham Jarvis and Billy Bolt headlining the event alongside KTM’s Paul Bolton, Gas Gas Factory rider Danny McCanney, the ever improving KTM mounted Sam Winterburn and Jonno Richardson representing Beta the Championship class was packed with real talent.

A new class was added to the afternoon line-up. The Elite Vets and it attracted plenty of very talented riders and yet another Knight in the form of Juan representing Gas Gas UK, this class really made their presence felt and spectators witnessed some excellent lines and manoeuvres from them. The Expert and Clubman classes were equally balanced with around 25 riders in each.

As the start flag dropped it was Paul Bolton who gained the upper hand with Bolt, Jarvis and Richardson close behind. Danny McCanney got an average start but within a few minutes he had crashed and injured his hand, forcing him to retire. By the time the riders reached the ditch jump it was Bolt who headed the pack, closely followed by Richardson.Juan Knight

The ditch was approached from the opposite side to previous years with very little run-up room and a flat take off across a very wide ditch. It looked sketchy but Bolt, Bolton Jarvis, Richardson, Ludgate and company made it look easy. There were two jump options and a slower option through the ditch itself, many riders approached the ditch and then opted for option three when they saw the width that had to be cleared.

Bolt seemed to have things under control and lead for a while but then got stuck on one of the big hills, allowing Bolton and Jarvis to pass him. Bolton grabbed the lead but Jarvis hit his rhythm by the halfway point and took the lead, disappearing into the distance. He lapped the whole field up to third place and finished with over 10-minutes in hand.

Who would be second went to the wire, literally. Bolt continued to close on Bolton and with the chequered flag waiving the pair approached the finish line flat out with Bolton just ahead. A last second lunge by Bolt was to no avail and he had to take third, by less than half a second. Bolton had shown he is still a force to be reckoned with and had ridden an exceptional race, especially the first half where the lead yo-yoed between three riders. Jonno Richardson took a solid fourth spot on the Beta with Parkwood Offroad’s own Will Hoare grabbing fifth.

Juan Knight’s silky smooth riding style saw him take fifth overall and top spot in the Elite Vets. Where others struggled, he rode as if it were a Sunday trail ride making the toughest sections look easy at times. It was a long way to second place in the class where Harold Crawford finished 18th overall, just ahead of Andrew Reeves who took third.Fast Ed and Mark Houson

Sam Ludgate put on a terrific show to take seventh overall and top spot in the Expert class. He was up against some fierce competition but still managed to get well inside the top ten with second in class Chris Windle finishing 10th overall. Jack Spencer was a minute and a half behind him in third.

In twenty-second spot was Stuart Mack, top Clubman rider on the day with eight laps under his belt. Thomas Johnson just made second spot on eight laps as Matthew Alpe took third in class.

This was the best ever event at Tong. Switching direction for the races worked perfectly and gave the riders completely different challenges in each race and spectators plenty to watch as the action was everywhere, even on the ‘easy’ bits.

It was a gamble by Fast Eddy and his crew but it certainly paid off and provided two races tougher than anything witnessed at Tong previously. It was a cracking start to a well-established series that improves year after year. Cowm Quarry with its rocks and huge twisty climbs is next in line and could not be more different to the tight, gnarly woodland at Tong. It will be the event to watch as Billy Bolt will not want to give up his British Extreme Champions title easily.  Tom Knight

Well done to all at Fast Eddy Racing, the crew, helpers and marshals made it all run like a well-oiled machine.

Fast Eddy Winter series final round. Ashby Moto ParK.

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.Jay Thomas

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.