Desertmartin 1st April 2017.
Hosted this year by an enthusiastic North Armagh MCC alongside Maxxis Sidecars
Round 1 Kindly sponsored by Datum Monitoring.
A well-prepared track of Desertmartin was once again a track never to disappoint.
Heavy rain during Friday into the night left some competitors with doubts.
With many new riders to the 2017 season we had 13 U21’s contesting the Willcock Holeformers championship, and 12 Rookies in the Zip Cup, all new to the whole series.
Feelings rose as the skies cleared and the sun eventually shone through, the track drying just in time for the first Quad race. All four nations were represented well which gave it a true national feeling. With 7 Irish, 17 English, 3 Welsh and 6 from Scotland to make up the 33 strong line-up with Irelands Terrence Mackin the last man to commit to the whole series.
The ACU British Quad Championship now under the command of quad legend Stuart Walker, Sponsorship, Prize Money, Racing and Venues Look superb for 2017
Race 1, Crowds had gathered to support their fellow riders and team members. As the gate dropped, Mark McLernon was the early pace setter on his new Quad Bikes R us Yamaha 450 ahead of Paul Holmes. The battle was soon to commence again between these pair with both riders wanting to take top honours. After a few laps with riders setting their own pace a nasty crash for Navan rider Leon Rogers, at the bottom of a tricky downhill section and riders on race pace, the red flag was shown after 12 15seconds minutes on lap 5 and Mark McLernon was announced Race 1 winner ahead of Paul Holmes and local man David Cowan. The Willcock Holeformers under 21’s saw Harry walker take the Honours in 12 overall after a 7th place qualifying session. The Angry Holeshot award of £25 in Race 1 was awarded to Paul Holmes.
Race 2, Scores were to be settled again. Paul Holmes was wanting to take the lead from the gate drop and so he did. Full race distance was on the cards now and the battle between him, and the recovered Leon Rogers and Mark McLernon. Mark suffered some minor bike problems during race 2 which didn’t help him at all and allowed both Paul and Leon to take off on their own, with the track now getting rough in some places, there was a 2 second difference in times from race 1, with Mark looking to charge ahead and catch both riders. In the end, Paul Holmes took 1st place with Leon in a good comfortable 2nd place. Carl Bunce was not far away from the top 3 riders and at times looked to push Mark in some spots to take 3rd away from him. In the U21’s we saw James Bevan take the win after a chain issue in the deep rut eluded Harry Walker of the top spot, Dafydd Davies took the Runner up spot, the deep sand clearly not his favourite discipline. The Angry Holeshot award of £25 in Race2 was awarded to Leon Rogers.
Race 3, Was once again a cat and mouse race. Paul Homes, Mark McLernon and Carl Bunce were now the top 3 riders that had it all to play for. All 3 riders had nearly a ten second lead over the other riders that filled the top 5 places. Stefan Murphy having made a comeback was 4th and the legend himself, Justin Reid made the days already eventful racing even better. Paul Holmes and Mark McLernon had a ding dong battle until Paul pulled out a comfortable gap over him but the race pace was down on last race by a good 6 seconds a lap, the other days racing which was the Maxxis Sidecar British championship made the track both rough and very one line. Riders had to think and pick their race lines Paul Holmes had a 6 second lead at the chequered flag ahead of Mark and Carl Bunce with Stef Murphy and Justin Reid topping out the 5. The under 21’s saw Harry walker take his second win of the day in 9th overall. The Angry Holeshot award of £25 in Race 3 was awarded to Leon Rogers.
Rookie Class Bradley Frost took 8th overall on the day picking up the top honours and money for the ‘Rookie Class’ for an injured Blake McCormick in 2nd, and Alex Bethall 3rd.
Under 21,s James Bevan taking a Win and a Second and a Third in the Willcock U21 class was crowned winner on the day with 67 points and is leading the under 21 championship over Davies by 3 points and Walker by 7
Proving consistency is key!
Photos Paul Ervine.
Words Ervine, Walker
We now look forward to Round 2 @ GP Track Culham in Oxford
Hosted by Nora-Mx on May 7th