Mark McLernon stormed his way back to the top of the Cromwell Trucks ACU British Quad Championship at the very impressive and challenging track at Culham in Oxfordshire. With 2 wins and a second place on the day, he now leads Championship rival Paul Holmes by a slender 2 points at the end of Round 2.
He was joined by a record entry of over 180 riders, over six race groups who all entertained the crowds with some incredible fast riding and high jumping displays.
McLernon was fastest in qualifying with a time of 2 min 17.4 secs, with George Callaway just 0.15 secs behind. He then took this speed in to race 1, taking the race by the scruff of the neck leading from hole shot through to chequered flag. He was well supported by his fellow Irishmen in Justin Reid and Leon Rogers who completed an all Irish 1-2-3 in race 1.
Race 2 started with Welsh youngster Dafydd Davies taking the hole shot and impressively leading the familiar contenders of McLernon, Holmes, Bunce, Callaway and Leon Rogers for a few laps. But as the race developed it was the Titans of McLernon and Holmes who battled it out for first place. Holmes then suffered a puncture with just over a lap to go, and had to settle for a second place finish behind McLernon.
A storming start to race 3 by George Callaway and he quickly built up a commanding lead. But then “Luckless George” suffered from electrical problems which handed the reigns over to Paul Holmes who took the win by the largest winning margin on the day, 33.9 secs. McLernon took a good 2nd with Sheldon Seal coming through the pack strongly to grab a 3rd.
1ST Mark McLernon (1,1,2), 2nd Paul Holmes (4,2,1), 3rd Leon Rogers (3,6,4)
U21’s 1st Dafydd Davies, 2nd Harry Walker, 3rd Davino Bruneel
All other groups had two blocks of racing, but there were many swings in fortunes, some changing Nora Championship Leaders.
In the 250cc Class Zak Orchard had dominated round 2 at Grittingham with 3 fine wins. But would he push on in round 3?… Well almost!
Qualifying went the way of pre-season favourite Scott Irons with a time of 2 mins 37secs, being 3.7 secs ahead of a much improved Reece Swann in 2nd.
Onto race 1 and it went to form with Irons and Orchard taking first and 2nd respectively.
Then race 2 and with just over a lap to go it looked a certain 1st and 2nd battle between Orchard and Irons until disaster struck for both as they collided in mid air ruling them both out of the race. Up stepped Gloucester’s Josh Birch and Cardigan’s Catrin Davies to mop up and take first and second both in the race and on the day!
“Girl Power” Catrin is now the new Championship leader by 5 points over Josh.
One class that never disappoints is the 33 strong Clubman / Elite class.
Championship leader Rhyds Owen, seemed less at home on the Culham high jumps, and this opened the door to two different race winners on the day in Iestyn Rowlands and Dean Dillon. Ayrton Knowles marked his return from injury with a credible 2nd and 3rd.
Greg Thynne and Iestyn Rowlands are the new championship leaders in this group.
Two straight wins and the fastest lap in qualifying of 2 mins and 4.6 secs in the 100cc class were the days work for Luke Berlyn. He is now the only rider with a 100% winning start to the season.
The Masters Support / Novice group were separated by the split gate following the successful trial at Round 2.
Geoff Otway was on fine form with two clear wins over 2nd placed Matthew Kirk. Kirk was on hole shot form though with two crackers.
In the Novice group it was Scott Berlyn who dominated, to join his brother with 2 straight wins and the fastest qualifying lap. His smallest winning margin was over 36 seconds.
The Masters “A” were joined by the “Out of the Box” and Expert Support class in this group.
In the Masters “A” the normally dominant Ed Davies suffered a bike collision in race 1 to put him down in 4th. A 1st in race 2 was not enough for him to over haul Jonathan Mcknight who took the win on the day with a 1st and 2nd.
The “Out of the Box”went the way of Matt Burroughs with two good wins and two large winning margins.
The Expert Support class was won by Tom Day with two wins, both over Jack Norris in 2nd place.
Next up Round 4 at a new track for Nora, at the much talked about Landrake on 21st May. Postcode PL12 5EP
Pro British Championship: 1 Mark McLernon (1,1,2), 2 Paul Holmes (4,2,1), 3 Leon Rogers (3,6,4).
Pro U21 Winner: Dafydd Davies (8,5,5)
Clubman Overall: 1 Iestyn Rowlands (1,2), 2 Ayrton Knowles (2,3), 3 Dean Dillon (5,1).
Masters A: 1 Jonathan McKnight (1,2), 2 Ed Davies (4,1), 3 Clint Eagle (2,3)
Experts Supports: 1 Tom Day (1,1), 2 Jack Norris (2,2), 3 Rob Orchard (3,3)
Out the Box: 1 Matt Buroughs (1,1), 2 Danny Spencer (3,2), 3 Joe Williams (2,3)
250cc Overall: 1 Josh Birch (3,1), 2 Catrin Davies (4,2), 3 George Oliver (5,4).
Masters Support: 1 Geoff Otway (1,1), 2 Matthew Kirk (2,2), 3 David Marriott (3,3)
Adult Novices: 1 Scott Berlyn (1,1), 2nd Rick Indge (4,2), 3 Joe Ross Holmes (2,4)
100cc Overall: 1 Luke Berlyn (1,1), 2 Robbie Wood (2,2), 3 Aled Davies (4,5)
100cc Auto sub class winner: Frank Marston
50cc Sub class winner: Olivia Dennis