The 2017 Slow Pete Series. Pics: Jacob Tighe. Report: Tim Tighe

Cotswold Enduro Club’s Easter Sunday race at Shuckburgh Hall, Northants, could not have enjoyed better weather or a more impressive course. Everything was perfect.

Shuckburgh Hall really is something special, a country estate with deer park and hundreds of acres of flowing Northamptonshire countryside makes it one of the most beautiful setting imaginable and riders are very lucky to have a landowner who is so sympathetic to off-road competition.

A large lap, five miles in length, snaked around the beautiful Shuckburgh Estate taking in three massive woodland sections with plenty of lines everywhere and smooth flowing corners with just a few boggy bits to catch the unwary.

With rain forecast to start at the midpoint of the two-hour race all eyes were on the sky but the wet stuff never materialised and riders took full advantage as lap times fell and battles developed.

 

A packed field without an Expert in sight saw some great racing from the more senior members of both the Veterans 40+ and 50+ groups who were first off the line at the start of the race.

Despite their collective years of experience there were still a few errors on the second corner, the most significant being Ryan Griffiths’ fall from grace that saw him picking his bike up as the 40+ Vets pack disappeared into the distance.

Undeterred, Griffiths remounted and put in a charge that took him to first place within a few laps, and that’s going some considering the wealth of talent ahead of him when he started his mission. Martin Jakeman had built quite a lead over the opening lap with Kev Freeman hot on his heels but Griffiths stuck to task and won the event outright and the 40+ class by nearly three minutes over Darren Bedford as Kev Freeman pushed hard to snatch third in class.

In addition to the fastest riders of the day the 40+ class also contained Lee Allis-Smith who undoubtedly had the crash of the day on the opening lap. A small error followed by whisky throttle saw him plunge down one of the largest and steepest slopes of the venue in true extreme enduro style. His tuck and roll was superb and he survived uninjured having supplied onlookers with a memorable few seconds of unforgettable action.

Out of the top 20 finishers only two were not Veteran class riders. Niles Reid headed the Clubman 4T class, a lap up on second placed Martyn Grantham Keith Jenkins, 50+ class, took third overall and top spot in the Oldies class some six minutes ahead of a chasing Rob Sewell in second and Colin Griffiths in third. The pace of all three was impressive around such a flowing course and Jenkins ‘swift, silent and deadly’ style saw him breeze past backmarkers without so much as a sound. It’s a pleasure to watch him race.but only three minutes clear of Andrew Sterling in third spot who was closing fast by the end of the race.

James Flannigan also made the top 20, riding in the Clubman Plus class. He took the class win comfortably as Ellis Frend was secure in second spot ahead of Neil Munton in third.

Battle of the day was in the Clubman 2T class. Rich Jordan took the win but only by four seconds over Darren Thorpe, the closest finish of the day between class rivals, as Jason King nailed third spot less than a minute adrift of the leading pair. It was a very closely fought class with some talented riders vying for top places.

Chris Northern was a little surprised by his result in the Sportsman Novice class. He won!

A run of good form lately had paid off with top spot on the podium but it was close to say the least as Adam Lewis was only 39 seconds behind him. Adam Bates was just 47 second off the pace in third spot and all three provided a very close finish to a great competition.

Trinity Kirkwood was the sole Ladies class rider and by default took the win while Eric Shaw topped the Trail class with four laps to his credit and no other competitors to worry about.

An hour after the race ended the rain arrived. Perfect timing to end a perfect day at one of the best venues in the country. If you missed it or have never ridden at Shuckburgh Hall then grab your chance in two weeks time as Cotswold Enduro Club returns for the Rock Oil H&H Championship and Club Championship.

 
The 2017 CEC AMCA Rock Oil Hare & Hounds Championship. Pics: Tilde Tighe. Report: Tim Tighe

Matt Porter began the new season where he left off in 2016 with another definitive win at the opening round of the CEC AMCA Rock Oil H&H Championship, mounted this year on a John Lee Beta machine that never missed a beat.

Cotswold Enduro Club got its 2017 season underway in great style at Wymeswold on Sunday. A full entry, a rain-free day and nearly five miles of challenging cross-country terrain that included the excellent Wymeswold MX track saw the race run for the full three-hours, despite some concerns from organiser Pete Carter at one point but the riders were having a great time so he let it flow.

The race came as a shock to the system for many riders who hadn’t competed since last October in many cases, a full three-hours in testing conditions proved to be a real wake-up call.

For mid February conditions could have been much worse. The dry day really did help to improve a greasy surface around much of the course but could do nothing to prevent several water–filled ditches from turning into mud holes.

In true Cotswold style there were plenty of lines to choose from and once the initial few laps were out of the way and riders spaced out around the course, everything ran smoothly.

In the Pro Championship class Adam Castledine launched his KTM into the lead off the line, ahead of Jamie Wainwright and Matt Porter and stayed at the front for a respectable amount of time on the opening lap until Porter got to grips with the new Beta and turned up the gas.

Jamie Wainwright was in the running but by the halfway point Porter had full control and was still pushing hard, knowing there were a handful of quality riders behind him, all of whom had the potential challenge for the lead.

Porter’s efforts paid off as he took the Pro Championship class win by five minutes ahead of Jamie Wainwright who was two minutes clear of third placed Kalem Hicks. These three riders were really going for it and were the only riders to post 15 laps out of 150 who started the race.

The Expert class started alongside the Pro class and it was Dean Edwards who took the class win ahead of James Flannigan and Ellis Frend with Edwards posting an extra lap over his rivals.

Next off the line was the Veterans 40+ class. Kev Freeman got a terrific start and led the pack around the first left-hander, up the long straight bordering the start field and into a tight chicane. It was here that it all came apart as Kev lost the front end and hit the deck, allowing the whole of the class to flash past him, significantly Darren Bedford who eventually went on to win. Undeterred, Freeman battled back to second in class before running out of fuel, pushing to the pits, refuelling and re-joining the race where he had left the course. He still landed second in class by three minutes over Martin Jakeman.

The Veterans 50+ class was next and Mark Glover headed the pack briefly before the experienced Richard Main took control. He was seven minutes ahead of the rest by the end of the race. Mick Belcher got his second wind late on and he went from fifth to second spot in a couple of laps as the chequered flag was being prepared, a great effort considering the competition in the class. He was the only rider to match Mainy on laps. Rob Sewell kept a respectable minute ahead of Richard Wright to take third spot.

Anthony Kirby nailed the holeshot as the Clubman riders left the startline but was soon overtaken by Tim Woodhouse who was on a mission to take the 2T class win, which he did by a clear lap over Rob Latham in second and Dan Phillips, third.

Saxon Nell pulled a six-minute lead over Jamie Berry to win the Clubman 4T class, matching each other on laps while Ian Hart took third in class, a lap adrift on the leading pair.

Gemma Holtham was alone in the Ladies class but pushed herself to post an impressive 10 laps in tough conditions on parts of the course as the race neared its conclusion.

The Sportsman Novice class was as competitive as ever. The top three riders were all on 12 laps but it was Dean Skerratt who took the win from Gary Curtis in second and Adam Carter who just beat the chequered flag to gain an extra lap and take third in class.

This was no easy introduction to the 2017 AMCA Rock Oil Championship, it was a tough and muddy three hours with parts of the course improving as the race ran and others deteriorating, but it was balanced and ultimately very ride-able but required riders to dig deep, especially those who hadn’t ridden for a while.

Gallery: www.foto-x.co.uk

 
Rock Oil H&H and Slow Pete at Tyn Twll

Tyn Twll, or Berwyn Leisure as it is also known, is a valley in North Wales that has some size to it, from meandering stream in the valley floor to the mountains on either side, it is big and steep, covered in ferns and grass, dotted with rocks and has tracks running in every direction.

Cotswold Enduro Club’s Rock Oil H&H course last weekend was nine miles in length with a lap of around 20 minutes, even for the fastest rider, which was, of course, Matt Porter who did manage a 19 minute lap first off with no traffic ahead of him.

The course went to the top of both mountains and back, climbing steadily across slopes but one downhill in particular caused many riders to ask themselves why they were there. It was a very steep descent with a rut in the centre and the best idea was to stay out of the rut.

If you dismounted then it was a long walk to the bottom of the slope as re-mounting was nigh on impossible.

Many riders lowered the pressure in their rear wheels to cope with the grass sections but many paid dearly as they suffered punctures on the rocky tracks.

The valley floor provided an MX section and two stream crossings over bridges, which also caught out more than a few riders who hit the gas too early and spun out in spectacular fashion.

Matt Porter has dominated the series consistently and the Pro Championship title is already in the bag for 2016 but Brendan Griffiths managed to match Porter on laps to take second place in the class, a lap up on Adam Castledine in third.

Griffiths has certainly improved by leaps and bounds this season and it is clear to see that every race brings yet another improvement.

Only five riders completed 9 laps, two in the Pro class, two in the Veterans 40+ and one in the Vets 50+.

Keith Jenkins was second overall, finishing just over six minutes behind Porter and top of the 50+ class ahead of Richard Main and Colin Griffiths.

There was a slightly closer contest in the 40+ class as Kev Freeman and Darren Bedford were side by side for nine laps and they raced for the finish line after three tough hours, a single second between them.

Martin Jakeman had a terrific start and pulled a gap by the time the pack hit the first really big climb but hit a rock and left the track to career down the fern covered hillside, unable to get back to the course until he had completed a sizable loop by which time the rest of his class had disappeared into the distance. He did manage third in class, much to his surprise.

Brad Sullivan returned to racing with a victory in the Expert’s by some 16 minutes over Brian Anderson with Neil Varden some way behind in third position.

Ellis Frend did exceptionally well to take eighth overall against a strong field of riders in the 2T Clubman class. He amassed a 10-minute lead over James Flannigan in second spot and over 17 minutes back to third placed Sam Cave.

In the Clubman 4T ranks, Richard Jones followed Frend to the finish line to win the four-banger class ahead of Dean Skerrett and Roy Brimfield, all three on eight laps.

As usual, the Sportsman class was the biggest by far. Luke Adams fended off a spirited challenge by Tim Woodhouse to take the win with Woodhouse second and Nathan Piper third. Adams and Woodhouse both clocked eight laps, which, for Novice/Sportsman riders, was very good going.

Jerry Adams took the Classic class win as did Anne Cherry in the Ladies class, (although suffering from bladder problems in her back wheel) while Eric Shaw took the Trail class unopposed.

Tyn Twll was rough and tough but provided a huge lap with all types of terrain thrown in and by the looks on rider’s faces, it was a race they were more than happy to finish. Well done Cotswold Enduro Club.

 
Rock Oil H&H and Slow Pete at Llansillin

Cotswold Enduro Club’s Rock Oil H&H Championship rolled into Llansillin last Sunday to what can only be described as Monster Mountain.

The venue is dominated by one very large outcrop reaching into the far distance with tracks zig-zagging down the side of it that riders attacked with great care throughout Sunday’s three hour race.

Cotswold’s combined Club Championship, Rock Oil H&H and Slow Pete series saw 120 riders pack the start at Llansillin, ready to set off quickly over the fairly straightforward start field before hitting the hills. Except it wasn’t that straightforward, as initial leader Brendan Griffiths found to his cost.

He slid to the ground on the second bend and watched the field of Experts tear past him. It wasn’t his best start of the season.

The course then took to the slopes, winding gently up the profile of the hill before arriving at the bottom of the ravine that held the path to the top of the mountain.

Two routes were available and the rocky, wet streambed was by far the best bet initially as riders piled up on the steep grassy slope of the second route. All it took was one or two stalls on the slope and everyone was struggling to get past while the streambed itself remained relatively clear. It was definitely a case of using your head and looking before committing.

Matt Porter had a clear lead after just a few minutes. Adam Castledine had beaten him out of the start field but Porter soon took control and turned up the gas. Hayden Maller followed Porter’s lead and cruised to second place while Griffiths recovered and started his charge to third spot, the battle between second and third yo-yo’d throughout the race.

Kev Freeman was on form in the Veterans 40+ class and was closing on the overall leaders as the three hours ran out. He took third overall and won his class by quite a margin. Second placed Darren Bedford matched him on laps but was just over four minutes adrift at the end of the race. Carl Harmstone was the best of the 12 lappers and he took a solid third in class.

Clubman 2t rider Ryan Phillips got up to sixth overall as he took the two-smoker class win. He managed to maintain a two-minute gap over Mike Evans in second spot while Ellis Frend took third spot, all three on 12 laps.

In the Clubman 4t group Richard Jones had a lap in hand over second placed Andrew Whieldon. Whieldon had nearly five minutes to spare between himself and Glyn Jones in third.

Brian Anderson lead the Expert ranks to the finish line with a two lap cushion over Graham Ayliff in second as Neil Varden took third in a very competitive class.

Rob Sewell and Colin Griffiths in the veterans 50+ class had just 42 seconds between them when the race ended. It was close by anyone’s standard. The pair had battled all race long for first and second in class so it was left to Geraint Rogers to take the final podium spot.

The Sportsman/Novice class accounted for half of the 120 riders. Luke Adams sneaked a minute clear of Tim Woodhouse to take the win as Nathan Piper claimed third place.

Anne Cherry once again took the Ladies class, this time with no opposition while Jerry Adams was alone in the Classic (Pre 86) class. Eric Shaw took a three lap win over Harry Willett in the Trail ranks.

The venue was huge and looked fairly easy from the paddock but that was clearly a misjudgement. It required a steady hand and quick thinking to negotiate one of the hardest courses of the year for Cotswold riders.

Three hours was a long time around this venue but the event ran well and was enjoyed by all, well, endured at the very least. Well done Cotswold Enduro Club.

The AMCA Cotswold Enduro Club Rock Oil H&H Championship and Club Championship. Round 4. Long Compton.
As the rest of the country coped with horrendous wet weather conditions, the small area of Long Compton in Warwickshire somehow managed to miss all the rain and the venue was in perfect shape for Cotswold Enduro Club's AMCA Rock Oil H&H Championship fourth round on Sunday.


The track was tight and technical with nowhere to rest and it was a smart move by riders to vote for two and a half hours race duration instead of the planned three hours, the course hammered all riders for the whole race with nowhere to rest for more than a few seconds around the four-mile lap.

There were plenty of grass-covered slopes, which meant easy on the gas initially but lines soon appeared once a few laps had elapsed and the track flowed well. The ridgeline running between the two main field sections made a great viewpoint and riders were barely out of sight for more than a few seconds. It’s not often that it is possible to follow a rider for virtually the whole lap but the fairly open field on one side of the divide was more than matched by the cratered and undulating slopes of the other side.

In the Pro Championship class Matt Porter nailed the win, living dangerously on a Honda CR500 on very grassy hills, but fair to say he rode extremely well and had the beast mainly under control. Brendan Griffiths once again upped his game to take a solid second spot and improve his championship standing considerably ahead of third placed Adam Castledine who had grabbed the hole-shot initially but eventually slipped back a couple of spots.

The Cotswold Veterans are a great bunch of blokes, full of pre-race banter but when the flag drops it’s every man for himself as the 40+ class and 50+ class fight for supremacy. Keith Jenkins, 50+ Vets adopted the silent but stealthy approach and followed 40+ leader Kev Freeman for a few laps before making his move and taking the veterans lead. He even had time to do a circuit of the pits near the end of the race but he had forgotten why he had gone in there and went straight back out to win his class and take third place overall. It’s an age thing!

Rob Sewell took the 50+ second spot with Colin Griffiths third. Kev Freeman finished fourth overall, 15 seconds behind Jenkins, but at the front of the 40+ pack once again as Darren Bedford followed him home, just ahead of Lee Barnett.

Lee Richards decided to take on the Experts for once and had a terrific outing by winning the class, much to his surprise, finishing over four minutes clear of Bradley Sullivan in second spot as Chris Hill rode hard to take third in class.

Ellis Frend nailed the Clubman 2T win although it was closer than he though as second placed James Flannigan crossed the line just 21 second adrift. Ian Teverson, in third, was just over a minute behind the leading 2T pair.

In the Clubman four-bangers Andrew Whieldon took a great win. Before the race he was talking of quitting but with rides such as he performed on the day, he must be thinking differently now. He was over half a minute up on Neil Munton while Rob Latham took third in class.

Gemma Holtham decided to ignore her pit crew as she won the Ladies class. Instructed to ‘Push’ she duly went and crashed whilst already at the head of the class so decided to settle for just the one extra lap over Anne Cherry in second spot.

Dean Skerratt and Tim Woodhouse had a cracking battle in the Sportsman/Novice ranks with Skerratt just edging the class win by a minute and four seconds as both riders planted an extra lap on their rivals. Matt Davis took third.

Jerry Adams was back to his usual form in the Classic Pre 86 class. He started on a Honda and finished on a Yamaha, thoroughly enjoying every minute of the race. Poor old Eric Shaw only managed a single lap in the Trail class before disaster struck and his bike was parked next to a fence for most of the race.

Long Compton is a tough old place but well suited to technical riders. The speed merchants would not have enjoyed it too much but over the season the Cotswold Enduro Crew like to balance things out. Great event.

 
Club Championship and Rock Oil H&H Rd.2 at Shuckburgh Hall. Report: Tim Tighe. Pics: Tilde Tighe

A one-week delay for the second round of Cotswold Enduro Club’s Rock Oil Hare and Hounds Championship at Shuckburgh Hall was a very smart move indeed. The ground and course had dried significantly and the venue was in pristine condition for three hours of top-notch racing. There were hares aplenty as the riders hit the woodland for the first lap, rocketing across the fields in all directions (the hares, not the riders!).

The stately setting of Shuckburgh Hall is a favourite venue for CEC riders. The venue hosts three CEC events each season and is large enough to ensure that there are three different courses with little or no overlap. It has a huge variety of terrain and this event benefitted from a new plantation section that was added to give riders a 15-minute lap on average although winner Matt Porter managed to get around it in a shade over 11-minutes.

The course was in great shape, mainly through woodland and the plantation with a handful of field sections thrown in for good measure, although exposed roots certainly played their part as the race wore on. The woodlands were wide in places, narrow in others, which made passing tight as Ben Coleman found out to his cost. Knowing when to pass and when to wait for an open section was crucial.

At 10.00am the Pro Championship riders roared off the start line with Adam Castledine grabbing a cheeky hole-shot but it wasn’t to last as Matt Porter moved to the front and began his three-hour charge to the finish line. Brendan Griffiths was determined to keep pace with Porter and for the first half of the race was generally still in touch but the leader turned up the gas and pulled a six-minute gap by the finish. Griffiths enjoyed his best outing of the season so far. Craig Reynolds worked hard for third spot, battling past Castledine, Ben Amy (who unfortunately had a big off and injured his arm), while James Plant rode hard to take fourth place overall and in the class.

Even Porter found the last few laps to be tough going in places. His new Yamaha YZ250 proved to be a little fierce over the growing number of exposed roots and admitted it needed calming down somewhat for this type of race.

As usual the Veterans were amongst the front-runners despite setting off some distance behind the Pro Championship riders. Keith Jenkins matched the leading four riders on laps to win his class, the Veterans 50+, and to take fifth overall. Rob Sewell and Colin Griffiths were both a lap down on Jenkins, taking second and third in class.

Kev Freeman used every one of his 40+ years experience to take the Vets 40+ win by just over 40 seconds from a hard-charging Darren Bedford as the pair circulated almost together lap after lap. Carl Harmston was just over 10-minutes behind the leading pair and took third in class.

The Expert class held some very quick riders, Brad Sullivan being the quickest but even he didn’t escape unscathed. He had great speed but tried just a little too hard to cut around a log and caught the rear wheel. He was catapulted forwards and looked as if he might save it for a fraction of a second but the inevitable happened and he hit the dirt. He picked himself up and put in some very fast laps to take the class win from Tom Collett in second while Steve Norbury rode to a terrific third place following his move from the Clubman ranks.

Jason Billam had a cracking ride to take the Clubman 2T win, posting an extra lap over second placed Ian Teverson and James Flannigan in third while Jason Wittering topped the Clubman 4T ranks by a clear lap over Andrew Whieldon and Neil Munton. The quality of the clubman classes has certainly improved this season and to get a top three position in either class is very well deserved.

Gemma Holtham once again won the Ladies class although she had plenty of competition from Anne Cherry as the pair matched each other lap for lap. Catherine James took third in the class.

The Sportsman/Novice class was once again by far the largest. Getting a result in this class really requires hard work and determination and two riders really stood tall, both posting 11 laps. Matt Davis and Teddy Coleman pushed each other hard for most of the race with Davis just edging a lead in the closing stages to win the class as Coleman took second spot and Tim Woodhouse third.

Within minutes of the race finishing it began to rain. Shuckburgh in the wet is very tough going and the dry weather in the lead up and throughout the race was very welcome.

With another two events scheduled at the venue most riders will grab the opportunity to race at one of the most picturesque settings in the country which holds some of the best XC terrain around.

       

Pro Championship

  1. Matt Porter
  2. Brendan Griffiths
  3. Craig Reynolds

Expert

  1. Brad Sullivan
  2. Tom Collett
  3. Steve Norbury

Clubman 2T

  1. Jason Billam
  2. Ian Teverson
  3. James Flannigan

Clubman 4T

  1. Jason Wittering
  2. Andrew Whieldon
  3. Neil Munton
       

Veterans 50+

  1. Keith Jenkins
  2. Rob Sewell
  3. Colin Griffiths

Veterans 40+

  1. Kev Freeman
  2. Darren Bedford
  3. Carl Harmston

Sportsman/Novice

  1. Matt Davis
  2. Teddy Coleman
  3. Tim Woodhouse

Ladies

  1. Gemma Holtham
  2. Anne Cherry
  3. Catherine James
Slow Pete Series at Bicton

Cotswold Enduro Club’s first ever visit to Bicton will be a memorable one for many riders. Although firmly a Fast Eddy venue, Cotswold’s Slow Pete Series opening round was scheduled for Ashby Moto Park until the weather decided otherwise. Paul Edmondson offered the use of Bicton to Pete Carter as an alternative and everything worked out well, an excellent example of promoters working together for once.

The course was re-graded following a Fast Eddy practice day on Saturday and Pete Carter added his own unique touches to the layout for Sunday’s race. Only a handful of the riders had been to Bicton before and many fell foul of its benign looks. Bicton isn’t a massive venue and doesn’t look too tough but it can be challenging in the extreme for the unwary. The course was muddy and slippery in places initially but the sunshine and breeze saw the whole venue dry considerably by the mid point of the race, leaving perfect racing conditions. Only the woodland and a couple of mud-holes on the MX track continued to provide sticky going throughout the race.

The entry was full at just short of 120 riders and they were led off the line at 10.00am by the 40+ Veterans, around a few twisty turns and out in to the open fields containing the MX track before turning back towards the start and into the woods section. That’s where the fun began.

The course ran through the woods twice during the lap and used slippery off cambers at the top of the steep slope for the first section. Momentum was the key to getting through cleanly and the 40+ vets, followed by the 50+ vets conquered the challenge with ease. Two small climbs proved to be very tricky for all the following riders and huge queues built up on the first lap until riders sorted themselves out and the course dried slightly. Many spectators jumped in to assist floundering riders in an effort to get things moving, which eventually succeeded.

The course wasn’t especially tough but what contributed to the chaos was riders not looking ahead and not maintaining momentum to carry themselves up the slopes. It was a steep learning curve but one that was quickly appreciated and lessons were learned by most.

The lower woodland section was pretty straightforward, a narrow undulating track with several lines in many places, that lead out onto the second large field at the venue.
Kev Freeman was quickest off the line in the 40+ class, maybe a little too quick as he overshot the first tight right-hander slightly and allowed Darren Bedford the inside line to take the lead as Andrew Keyte quickly followed his line. The 50+ vets were next and Rob Sewell made sure he didn’t make the same mistake as Freeman, keeping tight to the pegs and forcing Mick Belcher to take a wider line behind him alongside Richard Wright.

Class after class followed and soon all attention was turned to the woodland.

Freeman had taken the lead, managed to negotiate the swarms of stuck riders and got his head down to become the only rider to complete 14 laps, taking the overall win and the 40+ class win.

Andrew Keyte was three minutes down on Freeman in second place while Rob Sewell fought his way to third overall and top 50+ rider spot. Darren Bedford took third in the 40+ vets while Mick Belcher and Colin Griffiths both had excellent rides and took second and third respectively in the 50+ vets.

Top non-veteran rider was Roy Broomfield. His considerable experience paid off to grab fourth overall and the Clubman 4T class win, a lap up on second placed Richard Wozencroft who had a comfortable three minutes over Dan Cameron in third.

Ellis Frend was the top Clubman 2T rider, sixth overall against tough competitors in the vets, he did extremely well to nail 13 laps. Behind him a battle ensued between Tom Collett and William Stansbie with Collett taking second in class by just six seconds, very close considering the conditions and traffic in the first half of the race.

Jerry Adams has finally found a bike that will last the entire race in the Class Pre-86 class. He is on form this season and rode to ninth overall, once again experience counted hugely.

Matt Davis had an outstanding ride in the Sportsman Novice ranks, topping the class with 12 laps under his belt. Considering that this class made up nearly half the field of entrants, competition was fierce although the initial log-jams did favour some riders and not others but Davis thoroughly deserved his win ahead of Liam Cottrill and Olly Buckland.

Catherine James showed true grit as the sole Ladies class entrant. She finished with six hard earned laps to her credit and, obviously, the Ladies class win.

For most riders it was their first experience of Bicton Farm and parts of the course came as quite a shock over the opening few laps but it was a very good learning experience and if nothing else, riders certainly learned to look ahead and maintain momentum.

In the summer Bicton is a very different place, fast and dusty at times with excellent technical sections in the woods. Cotswold Enduro Club may pay another visit sometime in the future.

A special mention must go to Matt, the landowner.

He is a top-notch bloke and graded the track perfectly between the two days of events then proceeded to use his tractor to pull vehicles in and out of the venue on both days. A great guy with a huge interest in racing and putting on the best event his venue can offer.

 
Rock Oil Hare & Hounds 2016 Championship Opening Round.

Following a two-week delay the Cotswold Enduro Club AMCA Rock Oil Championship finally got underway at Wymeswold in Leicestershire last Sunday.

The course had been waterlogged for some time and the MX track section was unusable but a few dry weeks saw a great improvement and racing was on the agenda at last. Over 130 riders packed the start line, new bikes and kit everywhere, all eager to get underway.

It was all change for the layout of the event with the paddock, usually overlooking the MX track, moving almost a mile to the bottom of the venue, giving riders plenty of time to sort themselves out off the start before hitting the MX section at the halfway point around the six-mile course.

Two tight turns off the start opened up into long fast field sections weaving along hedge-rows before entering the whoops field. In the summer the whoops, two in particular, always give big air but not on this occasion, they were filled with almost two feet of water at the deepest point. It was great to watch but less entertaining to ride as rider after rider collapsed into the muddy water.

As the race wore on water was dragged onto the steep exit slope, making the whole job significantly more difficult as each lap passed. Several riders ended up pushing their machines out of the side exit and at this point a special mention must go to Clubman rider Richard Barnes. He was stuck in the watery hole for nearly a minute before pushing out of the side escape route but he didn’t ride around the obstacle, in proper enduro style he looped back down the course and had a second, successful, attempt. A big ‘well done’ to Richard!

The race was scheduled to run for three-hours, a hard start to the season but as time passed the course dried significantly and lap times fell. Matt Porter enjoyed his first outing on his new Yamaha WR250 and posted the only sub13-minute lap of the day, no other rider was even close to breaking the 13-minute barrier, Luke Gorse was closest with a 13m 16s lap. Porter was flying and won the Pro Championship class with 14 laps to his credit. Adam Castledine charged hard to take second place in class with Brendan Griffiths on his back wheel for most of the race third in class.

Ade Deeley made a welcome return to the Championship series by winning the Expert class by over 15-minutes clear of second placed Bradley Sullivan. Deeley rode most of the event as if he were in an MX race, charging hard everywhere and sat down for most of it but he put in some effort to take second place overall and top the Experts. Dan Marshall nailed third in class, a lap down on the leading pair.

Over 40’s rider Kev Freeman just missed out on a top five position but was the leading rider in his class although it was far from an easy win as he had Darren Bedford, Martin Jakeman and Andrew Keyte all breathing down his neck for most of the race. Interestingly, four out of the top ten riders were Over 40’s Vets, it was a day where experience counted heavily. Rob Sewell had a terrific ride in the Over 50’s class and took a clear class win over Colin Griffiths and Glenn Coltman in third.

Ellis Frend was the top Clubman rider, leading the 2T class home with a three minute gap over second placed Jason Billam while James Flannigan nailed third spot five minutes after Billam. Jack Bridges returned from a long spell as a spectator, he thought he was queuing for a burger but the next thing he knew was that he had the holeshot at the head of the Clubman ranks, a feat he put down to pure fear!  In the 4T ranks Andrew Whieldon started his season in style as he nailed 12 laps and top spot, a lap up on Neil Munton in second place and Jake Arbuthnot in third.

The huge Sportsman/Novice class took a while to establish its natural order and when it did, Tim Woodhouse was at the front of the field five-minutes clear of Adam Clements and Nick Edwards in second and third spots.

Jerry Adams had some competition for once in the Classic (Pre 86) class and amazingly he finished in 35th place out of 118 finishers, on an ancient Honda that lasted the whole race! A first for Jerry and a class win as well. Sean Price followed him home a lap adrift in second spot.

Anne Cherry deservedly took the Ladies class win, pushing hard right to the end, as Wendy Ellis-Smith took second spot having taken an early finish after six laps. Eric Shaw ploughed a lonely furrow in the Trail class and it is fair to say that it was hard going for him.

The three-hour race was a shock to the system for many riders after a long winter break and the mud pool was an even bigger shock. Sympathetic marshals eventually cut it from the loop after two hours, they had had their fun and decided to give riders a break as the exit rut was so deep it was causing problems.

This was a great start to the season and well worth waiting an extra couple of weeks for. The course was well thought out and extremely well executed to provide a real challenge for all classes of rider. Well done Cotswold Enduro Club.

 
Cotswold Enduro Club. Slow Pete H&H Final round. Wymeswold. 25.10.15

Cotswold Enduro Club's final event of the season finished on a terrific high as a full entry packed the start line at Wymeswold once again. Although the club ran there just two weeks ago, it was a very different layout and very different conditions with rain on Saturday making the going 'interesting' in places and the inclusion of the central tunnel on the MX track required a careful approach and no throttle, as many riders learned to their cost.

The race was won by Expert Jamie Wainwright although the Slow Pete Series excludes Pro championship and Expert riders so in effect the top Slow Pete rider was over 40 veteran Kev Freeman who had a great race despite a pathetic low speed off on the first lap which he claims was just practice for later in the race!

The lap designed by Pete Carter was huge. Overall winner Wainwright’s fastest lap was 14.22 although he was well undercut by Veteran Darren Bedford who posted an amazing 13.25, the fastest lap of the day. All in all, it was a big course, central to which was the excellent MX course that provided all the usual challenges plus the aforementioned tunnel, which required respect and great care. Touch the throttle or approach at a slight angle and you were down in a very difficult spot that required outside help to recover from for many riders.

Surrounding the MX track were several field sections that offered challenges from mild to severe for the unwary. The infamous field of whoops claimed many victims while the run of bomb holes further around the course also had their share of fallers.

The bomb holes look straightforward enough but most of them are kickers, pitching over-enthusiastic riders forwards over the bars.

In many places the terrain went from grass to dirt then back again, ensuring riders paid close attention to throttle control but overall, the course was terrific and far too big to become boring as lines changed lap after lap and with over 170 riders on the course, traffic also came into the reckoning at times but the course was large enough to deal with this.

Wainwright led early on and had a serious challenge from Adam Casteldine to contend with for the overall lead but by the fourth lap Casteldine had disappeared and over 40 Veteran Kev Freeman took up the chase.

Jamie Wainwright took the overall win in the Open Class of Experts and Pro class riders ahead of brother Sean Wainwright as Graham Ayliff took third. With Casteldine’s departure it was left up to Sam Hoskins to claim victory in the Pro Championship stakes.

Freeman had a terrific battle with fellow Vet Darren Bedford, both circulating in second and third overall and it was only on the final lap of the two-hour race that victory looked certain for Freeman.

Bedford took a well-deserved third overall and second in the 40+ vets just 17 seconds down on Freeman. Andrew Keyte was a minute behind as third placed rider in the 40+ class.

The 50+ class went to Rob Sewell who had yet another great ride to round off his season in style. Mick Belcher took second place and was in prime condition, not puffing or blowing at all, which indicates that he possibly could have done better had he pushed himself a little more.

Over 50 stalwart Simon Chelener joined them in the top three with yet another solid ride – another vet who is always in the mix at the front of the pack.

Rob Clark upheld the honour of the younger riders with fifth overall and top place in the Clubman 2T class ahead of Mitch Eaton and Chris Hill while Sam Keen nailed the Clubman 4T class with an extra lap over Tom Swinnerton and Russ Pullen.

Jerry Adams always rides alone all season long in the Classic Pre 86 class but this time he had some competition, what a pity he wasn’t there! Ben Measures took the win ahead of Sean Price with both riders lapping around the 17-minute mark, which is impressive for these old machines.

By far the largest class was the Sportsman/Novice. Nearly half the entry was in this class and competition was fierce to say the least. Anthony Kirby was the only rider to manage 8 laps and consequently took the class win ahead of Ellis Frend and Nick Hope who both completed 7 circuits of the huge course.

It certainly wasn’t a case of ‘Ladies First’ as they started from the back row of the grid. Rosie Rowett did extremely well to climb over 100 places to eventually win the class and finish 30th overall, a great achievement! Anne Cherry took second in class and was just a lap down on Rosie.

Even the Trail class had a representative in the form of Tony Needham who clocked six laps to take the class win.

This event was a terrific end to a fabulous season for Cotswold Enduro Club, a club that has provided fantastic courses throughout England and Wales and has been supported well for their efforts. A cracking day! Galleries on www.foto-x.co.uk

 
Cotswold Enduro Club. Rock Oil H&H Final round & Club Championships. Wymeswold. 11.10.15

Cotswold Enduro Club's last minute change of venue for the final round of the 2015 Rock Oil Hare & Hounds Championship paid dividends as the new venue, Wymeswold MX track, was in perfect condition and provided a very close finish to many classes.
Matt Porter was again unbeatable but this time out he was on a Leisure Trail / First MX KTM 250F which handled like a dream around the 5.1 mile course which was tight and twisty in places to say the least.

Cotswold guru Pete Carter eked out every available yard at the venue and ventured across the farm track into the surrounding fields, full of whoops and bomb holes. The MX track and surrounding land provided plenty of action, fast and technical, for a superb end to a terrific series.

Originally scheduled for Haresfield the event was moved at the last minute because of very soggy conditions at the Gloucestershire venue but Wymeswold provided excellent conditions and plenty of variation, plus the chance to hit an MX track hard, which is rare for hare and hounds events.

Although there were several other major events running on the same day Cotswold Enduro Club still pulled in an excellent entry of hard core CEC riders. With many of the class championships resting on this final round, all the main contenders were present and eager to race.

Usually Matt Por ter leaves the start line at the front and disappears into the distance, but not on this occasion. Adam Casteldine, also on a KTM instead of his usual Suzuki, hit the front with Luke Gorse close behind with Kirk Giles and Zeb Rhodes in his wheel tracks.

As the pack hit the first table-top Porter had moved up but Casteldine still had the lead and made the most of the string of puddles after the jump by giving Porter a taste of his own medicine, soaking him head to toe. Three times the riders appeared and then disappeared from the start field as the maze-like course wended its way to the MX track proper then out onto the far side of the farm to a field of whoops and bomb holes that proved to be the undoing of many unwary riders.

Porter had the lead by halfway around the first lap and it was clear he was at one with the new KTM, riding as smoothly as ever. Head down he charged to another convincing Pro Championship class win at the head of the field.
Brendan and Tony Griffiths were wheel to wheel for many of the opening laps, both contenders in the championship race. Brendan dropped it on the approach to one of the many table-top jumps then, covered in mud, continued until his bike seized solid further around the course. His charge for second overall in the championship was over. It was heartbreaking at the time but upon reflection he will realise what an excellent season he has had. Tony Griffiths went on to take second in class and third overall with Casteldine third in class.

Zeb Rhodes led the Expert charge and finished second overall, some six minutes behind Porter, as Dylan Spencer had an excellent outing to take second in class ahead of Kirk Giles in third.

The Veterans dominated many of the top ten spots. Keith Jenkins, swift, silent and deadly took the Over 50’s win following an epic battle with Martin Jakeman who won the Over 40’s vets. Classes didn’t seem to matter to these two, it was a matter of pride and determination as both riders fought to the final lap with Jenkins just pulling a slight lead over Jakeman to win his class ahead of Rob Sewell and Mick Belcher while Jakeman won the 40+ class ahead of Carl Harmston and Darren Bedford.

Ellis Frend put in the performance of the season to win the Sportsman/Novice class, a lap ahead of any of the Clubman riders! A move up the ranks seems in order for next season and he will not be alone as second placed Anthony Kirby also beat all the Clubmen. James Flannigan nailed third in class, quite an achievement considering the huge number of Sportsman/Novice riders.

Blake Summers was in the running for the Clubman 2T top three in the championship and winning the class at Wymeswold certainly helped his bid for a podium place, especially as great friend and close rival Steve Norbury was in third spot and is now waiting with bated breath for the overall results from the season. The pair was split by Sean Flannigan who took second in class.

Russ Pullen rode hard to put 10 minutes between himself and second placed Tim Muston in the Clubman 4T ranks with Neil Varden taking third in class.

Jerry Adams, alone once again in the Classic (Pre 86 class), put on a superb display of 80’s riding on his XT500, performing big jumps with the tail of the bike hanging from the sky in typical old-school fashion and beating many modern bikes to the finish flag in the process.

Pete Carter’s vision and the Wymeswold venue provided an excellent finale to the Rock Oil Hare 7 Hounds Championship season. Great racing and terrific sportsmanship combined for a superb day out.

Well done to all at Cotswold Enduro Club for an excellent championship.

 
Galleries now on foto-x.co.uk. Picture discs or images by email for the whole season are available on request.
 
Cotswold Enduro Club 2-man and Ironman Extreme series and the Emlyn Prole Memorial Meeting. Rockfield . Monmouth.

Cotswold Enduro Club's 2-man Extreme series saw round 4 packed out at the superb Rockfield venue near Monmouth on Sunday.
This large and flowing venue had fast and open field sections dotted with woodland breaks which gave an excellent balance to the course and held up really well for the four hour duration of the event.

Teams and Ironman riders alike enjoyed sunshine all day long as battle commenced over a course designed to test the fast and the technical amongst the large entry.

The number of combinations for teams or solo riders was mindboggling, 13 in all. In the case of teams at least it gave riders who are normally in different class the chance to compete together against similar combinations.

Jack Penhaligon nailed the Ironman Expert win and took first overall, one of only two riders to clock up 20 laps, second placed Derry Milling being the other rider. Brendan Griffiths joined the leading pair to make it an Ironman 1-2-3 at the top of the leader board.

Richard Baxter led the charge of the Ironman Clubman riders, winning with six minutes to spare over Tom Collett in second who was followed by Sam Keen in third place.

Ellis Frend made it home as first Ironman Sportsman to cross the line, seventeen laps to his credit and just over a minutes advantage from Luke Adams, on the same lap, while Michael Clark took third but three laps down on the leading pair.

Andrew Keyte led the charge of the Ironman Veterans 40plus. He had pushed hard in the final hour of the race to build nearly two minutes gap over Keith Jenkins in second spot as Rob Sewell took the final podium place in the class.
Team Francombe & Francombe won the Expert/Expert team challenge and were the top team overall, eventually finishing in four spot. They were joined by Hoskins and James in second and Casteldine/Dennahay in third.
The Expert/Clubman pairing of Barnes and Adams proved hard to beat as they topped their group ahead of Ayliff/Varden and Breakwell/Farr. The Expert/Veteran pair of Smailers/Smailes clocked 17 laps on their way to their class win.
Sullivan and Kirkpatrick headed the Clubman/Clubman class ahead of Glackin/Sullivan while Waters/Leighfield nailed the Clubman/Sportsman combined class, beating Flannigan/Flannigan and Vaughan/Vaughan along the way.
Cave and Cave were the top Clubman/Veteran pair finishing seven minutes clear of the competition, Dorell/Nutman. Bedford and Freeman finished a lap ahead of their closest rivals in the Veteran/Veteran class. Bishop and Elway took second with Sweeney/Hutchinson third.
Clements and Collett were clear winners of the combined Sportsman teams although second placed Ratcliffe/Fowkes were on the same lap after four long hours and only a handful of minutes adrift. Arbuthnot and Varden completed the top three in this class.
A cracking day at Rockfield once again. Cotswold Enduro Club uses this treasured venue just once a year and it shows. It is always fresh and well maintained as it rolls through the Monmouth countryside and the fact that the sun shone all day long was an added bonus for riders and spectators alike.
AMCA Rock Oil H&H, Slow Pete & Club Championships. Ashby Moto Park

Cotswold Enduro Club's last minute change of venue to Ashby Moto Park was a great move, one that ensured a full capacity on the start line and plenty of competition throughout a tough three-hour race.

The Rock Oil H&H event combined with a Slow Pete and Club Championship race, all rolled into one, proved to be a tough contest with everything from the MX track, plantation section (both very dry) to the woods which held water in places creating a long and tough muddy rutted sections just to make things interesting.

It took some planning but Pete Carter managed to get over a 10-minute lap out of this cracking venue. Matt Porter took the honours around a course, which was totally reversed to the usual Ashby set-up.

Reversing the course was a brilliant move by Pete Carter, even Jack Staines (son of the site operator) who possibly has more laps of the venue under his belt than anyone else on the planet said it was the best course he had ever ridden there.

The massed ranks of riders left the start line at 10.00am following a vote for two and a half hours of racing or three. Three won by a large majority but two hours into the race there were plenty of riders who wished they had voted for the shorter race as the rutted woodland took its toll, sapping strength lap after lap as the ruts deepened.
Ross Benton took the hole-shot as the Pro Championship and Expert classes left the line with Brendan Griffiths and Kirk Giles tight behind him but it championship leader Matt Porter no time at all to get to the front and begin his flat out assault on taking another win. His smooth style and effortless way of getting his bike through the trickiest of the challenges saved plenty of energy although it was a good job he still had some left in the tank for later. Expert Matt Boam hung with him briefly at first but Porter eventually pulled a gap of three minutes before easing off on his way to victory. Boam didn’t ease off and halved the gap as the final laps fell, causing Porter to up his pace to finish with a 69 seconds gap at the end of three hours.

Ben Murphy hadn’t looked at the wet woodlands before the race and it came as quite a shock on the opening lap but he soon settled in to his rhythm and took second place in the Pro Championship class. Jack Staines rode hard to take third in class with his rear brake playing up for over half the race, he was around half a lap down on Murphy as the finish flag dropped and separated by a lap on the final score sheet.
Matt Boam had pushed hard throughout the entire race and took the Expert class win with ease, a full lap ahead of second placed Roger Holland. Dan Boam made it a double podium for the Boam family as he took third in class, finishing just over a minute behind Holland.
At the head of the Clubman 2T class Blake Summers gradually pulled a three-minute gap over close rival and friend Steve Norbury while Sean Flannigan stayed just behind the leading pair to take third in class.

Sam Keen had something of an easier time in the Clubman 4T ranks. He won the class by a clear lap over Russell Pullen who had third placed Tony Adams breathing down his neck for much of the race. This class is always tough, full of talented competitors riding hard for the win so Keen’s victory was a very sweet one.
Kev Freeman took a significant win in the Veterans Over 40 class, helped by the fact that close rival Martin Jakeman was taken out hard part way through the race and lost time, and his front mudguard, getting his bike sorted. Jakeman has generally had the better results over the season but Freeman has found his form of late and is always pushing at the front of the pack. Jakeman gathered himself and continued on to eventually take second place and managed to create a decent gap ahead of Darren Bedford in third.
Mick Belcher was gasping for breath at the end of three hours, wondering why he had voted for the longer race, but his efforts were not in vain as he took the Veterans Over 50 class win despite a last-minute charge by second placed Roger Billam to try and close the gap on the leader. Richard Holland took third spot a lap down on the leading pair in the class.
By far the largest class was the Sportsman Novice. It proved to be a very close race between Anthony Kirby and Nicholas Hope, just 12-seconds separated them at the end of three hours with Kirby taking the win ahead of Hope with James Flannigan not a million miles behind them in third spot.
In the Classic pre 86 class Jerry Adams had his own small victory. Rarely having anyone to compete against, his victory was actually finishing the race on the same machine he started with although he had brought a couple of spare bikes, just in case. Anne Cherry was another lonely rider, in the Ladies class. She clocked nine laps to valuable points to her championship standing.
The race ran really well. The course proved to be a massive hit with the riders with its mixture of several types of challenges, fast bits and technical sections. It will be hard to revert to the usual layout after such a successful day but Pete Carter and his team always come up with something new for each event, which is why Cotswold Enduro Club is so popular.
 
AMCA Rock Oil H&H, Slow Pete & Club Championships. Llansilin

Cotswold Enduro Club rolled three events into one last Sunday; the AMCA Rock Oil H&H Championship plus the Slow Pete series and a round of the Club Championships so for such a special event, a special venue was needed.

Llansilin proved to be more than up to the task. A huge Welsh hillside setting gave the fastest riders a 12-minute lap over a course that seemed to have three times as many downhills as uphills.

At first glance the course looked well suited to the faster riders but on closer inspection a great deal of technical ability was also necessary to negotiate the many traps that Pete Carter had included in his layout.

The tight and twisty lower part of the course fed riders out towards several sharp climbs to get onto the hilltops where riders could get their speed up before a snaking descent slowed them to a crawl for the first couple of laps. As confidence grew and new lines appeared the course flowed smoothly.

Also used as a MTB course, Llansilin provided plenty of jumps but they were not quite right for enduro bikes and care had to be taken as a few of them turned into kickers.

The three-hour race got underway at 10.00am and Brendan Griffiths reacted quickly to take the holeshot in the Pro Championship ranks but within less than a minute as riders exited the start field out onto the course Matt Porter was already in the lead. Andrew Edwards wasn’t far behind and it looked as if Porter would have to work hard for his win with Aled Price also in the top three initially.

Porter turned on the gas with no sign of slowing at any point on the course he gradually started to gap the rest of the field.

There was no catching him and another victory was secured. Edwards made second place safe but as the race neared its conclusion Price pushed to close the gap and got within eight-seconds of Edwards, taking third place overall and in the Pro Championship class.

With the first five places taken by Pro Championship riders it was somewhat surprising to see that Veteran 50+ rider Keith Jenkins made sixth overall despite riding with a very heavy hangover. His spectacular crash and roll on the first lap must have woken him up because he really kicked into gear once he recovered.

True Enduro sportsmanship was shown by Kev Freeman who was challenging Jenks for position at the time. Freeman stopped and checked Jenks was OK and waited for him to remount before continuing.

Jenkins waived him past until he recovered his senses and the race between the two resumed at pace.

Jenkins won his 50+ class with ease by nearly nine minutes over Colin Griffiths in second place. Griffiths’ position was safe as third placed Mick Belcher was a lap adrift.

The Veterans 40+ class was a battle to the end. Kev Freeman had matched Jenkins for pace early on and although in different classes, Freeman had gained quite a considerably lead in the 40+ ranks. Carl Harmston had other ideas and didn’t fancy second place so on the final lap his persistence paid off as he passed a tiring Freeman to win the class at the death. Freeman took second while Darren Bedford powered to third.

Clubman 2T rider Rob Clark once again had a terrific ride. His performances lately have been outstanding and a move to the Experts next season is on the cards as he beat the best Expert on the day. His 2T class win saw him finish a lap ahead of Bo Anderson in second while Steve Norbury had his eyes on the 2T Championship overall and managed to hold third spot while his nearest rival, Tom Collett, took fifth.

Geraint Jones was the top Expert on the day, finishing 12th overall as Kirk Giles put in a great second half to finish in a solid second place ahead of Brian Anderson in third.

Sam Keen nailed the Clubman 4T class win but Dan Cameron and Richard Graham pushed him hard all the way to the finish line, all three on 12 laps.

The Ladies class proved interesting. Wendy Ellis-Smith amassed a huge lead after a couple of laps, Anne Cherry was second while Gemma Holtham spent 10-minutes clearing her rear wheel on the opening lap. It looked like game over for Holtham but a great fight back ensued and she eventually took the class win by 30 seconds over Ellis-Smith as Cherry took third spot.

Dale Phillips’ win in the Sportsman Novice class was hard earned. He was constantly challenged by Ellis Frend and Jason Wittering throughout the race, all three were never far apart and eventually Frend took second place with Wittering third.

Jerry Adams rode so hard in the Classic (Pre 86 class) that the paint came off his bike, it was red when he started and white when he finished, or he just changed bikes during the race. Ian Jones ploughed a lonely furrow in the Trail class. This very senior rider plugged away for 3 hours to post just three laps but he was determined to get to the finish flag.

The addition of new blood into the Championship class certainly spiced things up and although Matt Porter took the win, he couldn’t relax at any point but there is no getting away from the fact that he rode magnificently.

Llansilin was tough, the course reversed from last season proved to be at least twice as tough but as usual the turnout was terrffic and the racing superb.

Well done Pete Carter and Cotswold Enduro Club.

Slow Pete rd.4 at Long Compton

Pete Carter and the Cotswold Enduro crew got it bang-on at the weekend for the club’s Slow Pete meeting at Long Compton in Warwickshire.

The course was tough enough for Experts and Championship but there were none present as the Slow Pete is for Clubman, Sportsman, Novice and Veterans so it was hard going and a chance to learn for many riders but one the race was underway things weren’t as tough as they seemed.

As Pete Carter always says: ‘It’s not supposed to be easy!’ and it certainly wasn’t around open fields dotted with drop-ins, pop-outs and off cambers not to mention the slippery slope near the start that found some riders having a few attempts to get up it, another of Pete Carter’s ‘learning areas’.

These Slow Pete events attract great numbers, over 120 on this occasion, so a 3.5-mile course might not seem very long but it was packed with features that broke up the field and gave everyone a chance to spread out over the first couple of laps.

The finishing top ten was to be dominated by Veterans 40 & 50+, eight out of ten were Vets riders, who may not be as fast as they were but certainly have the bike skills to take on anything thrown at them, especially technical stuff. This was a good indicator to the nature of the course.

On the front row of the grid sat the Veterans 40+. Getting a real flyer off the line put Kev Freeman at the head of the pack with a clear track ahead of him and space to make some ground on the competition. He rode a virtually faultless race to take the win at the end of the two-hour period, easily negotiating the course and backmarkers to grab the top step of the podium. In the Vets 40+ class he was joined by Darren Bedford and Carl Harmstone, two very experienced riders but it was only Bedford who could match Freeman on laps and took third overall.

Second place overall went to Clubman 2t rider Rob Clark who managed to post the fastest lap of the day, the only lap under 11 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to catch the overall winner. Tom Collett took second in class behind Clark and just held out to beat third placed Bo Anderson by 8-seconds.

Rob Sewell upheld the honour of the more mature gentlemen, Veterans 50+, showing that youth and enthusiasm rarely beat experience and cunning. He had a terrific ride to fourth overall and narrowly missed third overall by just 5-seconds! Colin Griffiths took fifth overall and second in the 50+ class, just losing out by a single second to Sewell, it was that close a race. Mick Belcher grabbed third in the 50+ class ahead of a handful of fellow 50+ competitors.

Creeping into the top ten in tenth spot overall was Clubman 4t rider Dan Cameron. He won his class although he did have a challenger for most of the race in the form of Sam Keen, who took second in class and was the only 4t Clubman to match Cameron on laps, both posted 11. Just a little way behind was Dan Salmon, a lap down and third in class. Graham Ayliff was the sole entrant into the Clubman Plus class and held his own against the very experienced Vets.

Nick Hope topped the Sportsman Novice class by nearly a minute and a half over his closest rival Mike Ratcliffe in second spot. Tony Kirby was just two seconds behind Ratcliffe and took third in class.

Jerry Adams rode a lonely race in the Classic Pre-86 class and clocked a respectable 9 laps and finished on the same bike he started with which is something of an accomplishment for Jerry.

Anne Cherry and Wendy Ellis-Smith made the ladies class a two horse race and they battled hard for two hours before Anne took the win by just under a minute from Wendy.

The Slow Pete series was designed to give up and coming riders a chance oif a level playing field without having to deal with more accomplished riders tearing past them every few minutes. The Sportsman Novice class is always by far the biggest and it is good to see that there is a relatively easy ‘entry level’ series available for new riders to start somewhere.

Pete Cater sees it as a series where riders can learn new skills and gain confidence and he certainly doesn’t make his courses flat, just around the edges of fields. They are challenging but every rider present at Long Compton will have learned something, improved their skills and widened their experience. That’s what it’s all about.

Slow Pete rd.3 at Ashby Moto Park

Ashby Moto Park might not be one of the biggest venues on the Cotswold Enduro Club calendar but it certainly was one of the toughest on Sunday for the third round of the Slow Pete series.

On and off torrential rain throughout the event made for two hours of hard going in places but it didn’t have much effect of the riders, who toughed it out to the end. No pro or experts were allowed and the Clubman riders certainly made the most of this although there was a strong showing from the vets, as usual. Experience was the key to having a good ride in such conditions.

Ashby has been constantly upgraded over the last 12-months with thousands of tons of woodchip which definitely helped the course maintain its shape although the going was very tough in the woods, not so much ruts but lack of traction was the main obstacle. It recovered after each downpour but just as it was getting manageable another heavy shower struck changing the conditions once again for the riders. The MX track stayed pretty consistent but it was the woods that caught many riders out.

 

A big vets contingent failed to stop Clubman 2t rider Rob Clark from taking a great win against stiff opposition from track owner Keith Staines whose last minute decision to ride was one of those ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ senior moments and even though he came second overall, he instantly regretted it once he sat down after the race and seized up.

Clark was unstoppable. He was one of only four riders to complete 12 laps and outrode some very talented vets who filled the podium spots.

Clark took the win and his class ahead of Guy Britton and Chris Bushnell while Stainer won the Over 40’s vets, (even though he looks over 50!) ahead of Darren Bedford and Gareth Lodge.

Rob Sewell’s fourth overall came with the Veterans Over 50 class win and Sewell certainly had to dig deep to fend off Mick Belcher and Simon Chelener.

The Clubman 4t class saw Andy Whieldon take his first ever class win and he had to work very hard for it, finishing just 40 seconds ahead of Russell Pullen while Dean Hancox grabbed third in class.

The Sportsman and Novice class was huge as usual and it was a real free-for-all initially, the slippy conditions meant there were a few jams in places but by the second lap everything had smoothed out and the race was on.

Nick Hope and Ellis Frend began to pull a lead on third placed Tim Woodhouse and it came down to the last couple of laps to see who would win the class. Hope took the win by just eight seconds with Frend second and Woodhouse third.

Ian Jones hade some competition for once in the Trail class as Eric Shaw took the class win with Jones second. Anne Cherry was the lone Ladies class rider and went on to complete the race with five laps to her credit.

It was a tough day contending with the rain showers and the changing track conditions but despite this, the competitors seemed to really enjoy the challenges that Ashby Moto Park threw at them. It was done and dusted by midday, one of the great things about the Slow Pete events, but the cleaning up may take considerably longer.

This was a great event and very enjoyable. Well done to Cotswold Enduro Club. Gallery

AMCA Rock Oil Hare & Hounds and Club Championship Round 4. At Clearwell near Monmouth.

At a new venue in ancient woodlands not far from Monmouth Matt Porter stole the show at Sunday’s AMCA Rock Oil H&H, organised by Cotswold Enduro Club. Although Porter has an MX background his technical abilities were tested to the max in the tight and twisty woodlands.

A massive MX track was more than matched by two huge forested areas.

Both were just plain nasty; cratered, covered in wild garlic, steep sloped and heavily strewn with roots just below the surface.

Parts of the woodland contained rock strewn sections that were a throwback to ancient Roman iron mines, which made Clearwell forests a unique place to race. The lap was large and tough, the fastest riders managing between 11-12 minutes per lap.

The field linking the woodlands and the MX track were a short but well received respite from the tough going and the only place to take a brief rest.

Coming from the MX track at the start and hitting the first woodland was a real shock to the system for many riders when the realisation that they had two hours ahead of them hit home hard.

The fast a flowing MX was impressive in size although a few sections had been utilised to slow riders down as they left the course for a short but technical foray into the infield, around trees and along narrow pathways.
The event attracted a host of MX riders. This became evident at the first tough slope in the woodlands as many riders thought first gear pinned would do the trick. It didn’t. There was a flurry of activity in the pits at the end of the first lap as a few smart riders lowered the pressure in their rear tyres. Their improvement was plain to see on the next lap.
When the start flag dropped at the beginning of the 3-hour race Ben Adams got into the swing of things immediately and took the holeshot. The thickly grassed start straight claimed a few victims but the Pro and Expert ranks got away cleanly with Matt Porter and Brendan Griffiths just slightly behind Adams. Within a few hundred metres Porter had the lead and began his customary charge to take the win with 16 laps to his credit. Adams held pace fro quite some time before settling in second spot as Hayden Maller worked through the pack to take third in the Pro class.
Zeb Rhodes was just over a minute adrift of Maller, fourth overall but at the head of the Expert ranks, just 30 seconds ahead of a fast closing Matt McClean who took second in class as Steve Biddles secured third spot.

Kev Freeman and Martin Jakeman made the Veterans 40plus a two horse race, swapping places constantly throughout the race at the front of the class but it was Freeman who just managed to sneak in an extra lap to take the win as Jakeman nailed second with Darren Bedford just seven seconds behind him in third place.

The Veterans 50plus was also very competitive and the woodlands proved to be hard work for many riders, not just the over 50’s. Mick Belcher took the class win by just over four minutes from Simon Chelener with third placed David Smailes a further two and a half minutes behind Chelener.

The Clubman ranks were divided into 4t and 2t as usual. The argument over which was better suited to the terrain, which was mainly technical considering the amount of woodlands present, went to the wire as Tom Collett won the 2t class and was followed to the chequered flag just 18-seconds later by Paul Tomkins at the front of the 4t class, a very small margin after three hours of racing.

Collett was pushed hard by Steve Norbury throughout the race, Norbs got within 15 seconds of the class leader at one point, but he had to be happy with second place and even happier that he beat his mate Blake Summers down to third. In the 4t ranks Tomkins took a significant victory by over nine minutes from Jamie Maller and Russell Pullen who completed the top three in class.
Kye Banks manhandled his 450 KTM to a win in the Sportsman Novice class.
He was only a Novice in the Enduro sense of the word and watching him force the KTM beast through the woods was a sight to see but out on the MX track it was plain sailing. Tim Woodhouse grabbed second in class, a lap down on Banks, with Mike Radcliffe a couple of minutes behind in third place.

Jonny Stagg stood up for the duration of the race. He had to, he was on a trials bike but still clocked 11 laps to win the Trail class by quite a margin from second placed Ian Jones.

Gemma Holtham and Wendy Ellis-Smith contested the Ladies class, which witnessed close racing from the pair up to the halfway mark but Holtham eased ahead and even managed an extra lap to take the class win.

Jerry Adams battled onwards in the Classic (Pre 86) class as the sole entrant and managed to finish despite spending some time in the pits clearing his back wheel of something he picked up.
Clearwell was really something special. The woodland was eerily dark and foreboding, the smell of wild garlic was nauseating and it hid hundreds of potholes and fallen trees, and that was just for the spectators!
It was clearly a shock to many riders who hadn’t bothered to walk the course the day before the event but it proved to be a fantastic venue that challenged riders to the max, thanks to great planning by Pete Carter and his team. Results. Gallery
 
2-Man Xtreme team at Shuckburgh hall. 10.05.15

It is not often that a four-hour race, especially a team event, is decided on the last lap but that is just what happened at Cotswold Enduro Club’s event on Sunday. To say it was close racing would be an understatement.

A few years back Cotswold Enduro Club introduced a new concept, two man extreme enduros. It wasn’t well supported and consequently, died the death. Last Sunday saw the re-introduction of this type of event, a four-hour race for two-man teams and solo Ironmen. The Shuckburgh Hall venue was absolutely rammed. The club now has a significant rider base to draw from but in addition to that, the event attracted plenty of newbies who had never ridden at Shuckburgh Hall or with Cotswold club before.

Shuckburgh is a nightmare in the wet and rarely runs following a period of heavy rain so it was really surprising to see that the paddock and the course were in perfect condition for the event following a week of heavy downpours.

The course was superb. Although billed as an extreme event it wasn't really that extreme. There were some very difficult ‘red routes’ with huge drops and steep, gnarly climbs but there were also an equal number of ‘green routes’ for the less experienced riders. As the race progressed and rider confidence grew,

the green routes were used less and less.

A course of this magnitude, approximately 4.2 miles using red routes and 4.5 miles using green routes, certainly takes some planning.

Pete Carter had spent nearly two full weeks at Shuckburgh, meticulously planning the best course ever laid out at this huge venue.

Considering the club had already run two events at the same venue prior to this event, the weekend’s course used 95% fresh going.

Entries came in all shapes, sizes and combinations. Twelve classes in all. Top of the list was the Expert/Expert two-man teams and the Ironman Expert solos. Matt Porter, who invariably wins every time he rides at Shuckburgh, teamed up with Adam Castledine against the Bowden brothers Ash and Jacob while Jack Staines and Ben Coleman added youth and unpredictability to the mix. Luke Gorse somehow managed to persuade Scott Altass to team up after a 9-month break from riding, while the Callow brothers Jamie and Jeremy added to the mix alongside the pairing of Dale Raynor and James Barnwell.

Porter took the front spot instantly and built up a 3.5-minute lead over Jacob Bowden by the time he handed over to Castledine. The pair were changing spots every hour while the Bowden boys decided on a strategy of changing every 40-minutes. Ash Bowden went out and clawed back the deficit, getting to the front as he handed back to Jacob. Porter exited the pits for his second charge of the day and managed to build a 4.5 minute lead as he handed over to Castledine for the final hour. Jacob Bowden took to the track for his second stint and the teams entered the last lap with Porter/Castledine 1 minute 32 seconds ahead of the Bowdens with two laps to go.

With one lap remaining it was down to 42 seconds. Master tactician Joey Bowden insisted that Jacob ride for the final six laps as he was consistently gaining ground. It was a good call.

Jacob Bowden took the lead with a few hundred yards to spare and even managed to beat the clock by 2-seconds to gain an extra lap and take an impressive, hard-fought win.

The combination of Jack Staines and Ben Coleman took third spot overall and in class.

They would have done better with adult supervision, both riders coming in to the pits to change over, only to find the other not ready to go out.

Jack Staines did manage the fastest lap of the day and was very impressed by the venue and the excellent course. Gorse and Altass took fourth overall, not bad for a team

where one rider hasn’t been on a bike for 9 months. Jeremy Callow’s clash with a tree resulted in a broken finger and a team DNF.

Many Experts and Clubman riders teamed up with other classes to make for some interesting combinations. The Expert/Clubman class went to Graham Ayliff and Neal Varden while the Expert/Clubman went to Callum Swan and Luke Bradford.

Phil and Ross Benton topped the Expert/Veterans while Tom Collett and Steve Hand took first place in the Clubman/Sportsman class. The Sportsman/Sportsman class went to Mike Ratcliffe and Paul Fowkes.

Keith Jenkins and Julian Cook topped the thoroughbred Veteran/Veteran class, finishing sixth overall as Ryan and Peter Benton held firm at the head of the Clubman/Veterans group.

Roger Holland deserves a very special mention, as an Ironman Expert he ground out four-hours of magnificent riding to take fifth overall and the top spot for a solo rider.

This was a really impressive effort considering that all the riders ahead of him had only ridden for around two hours each.

Tony Griffiths and Brendan Griffiths followed Holland home, both a lap down on the class leader.

Jack Heath nailed the Ironman Clubman class, posting an extra lap over Josh Brown and Sam Keen, as did Ellis Frend in the Ironman Sportsman class.

With 18 laps to his credit as a Sportsman rider Frend did extremely well. To keep ahead of Luke Adams and Mark Rogers.

The Ironman Veterans 40plus class was as close as ever when these Vets race. Andrew Keyte took the win with just seconds to spare over Lee Parry in second place. Richard Holland was in Parry’s tyre tracks, just three seconds behind in third.

This was one of the closest races and best days ever experienced at Shuckburgh Hall.

All credit to the marshals who were on the ball for the duration of the race and certainly helped things to go without a single hitch, plenty of them at all the right spots indicates excellent planning and execution by the CEC team.

The course was simply superb. Pete Carter’s two weeks (including his birthday!) were well-spent laying out a phenomenal course that suited everyone.

A fantastic start to what is shaping up to be a terrific series.

 

Gallery

Results: Overall , By Class

Slow Pete Rd.2 at Shuckburgh Hall. 26.04.15 By Vanessa Tighe

If you have never gone to Shuckburgh Hall for a Cotswold Enduro Club event, then its time you did! The venue is huge and simply amazing, full of fields, forests and dozens of sections that could grace an EWC round.

This venue is so big that Cotswold Enduro Club organise three events each year at the Shuckburgh Hall, all two weeks apart, using completely different courses each time.

Last Sunday’s event, the second round of the Slow Pete Series, took in plenty of the abundant forest sections, making for a technical course with a handful of open stretches in between and only one small muddy section.

It was in complete contrast to two weeks earlier, which was very slippy.

The Slow Pete event enjoyed perfect conditions, the course was superb with weather to match.

The dense woodland hid plenty of small trails, dotted with climbs and descents, which suited the more experienced technical riders down to the ground.

With no Pro or Expert riders allowed it was up to the old boys to step up to the plate and yet another large entry by CEC’s faithful Shuckburgh fans made for some cracking racing.

Looking at the results will give you a good indication, the top three places were filled by very experienced technical riders, all Veterans, with seven of the top ten places occupied by vets.

Keith Jenkins, in the over 50’s class took the overall win and although he didn’t post the fastest lap of the day, his consistency and silent but stealthy approach gave him the victory. Colin Griffiths and Rob Sewell had a real ding-dong battle for second and third in the over 50’s class with Griffiths taking second spot by 30 seconds over Sewell.

Kev Freeman, in the over 40’s Vets, finished over two minutes behind overall winner Jenkins, winning his class in the process.

In third place overall was Martin Jakeman, over 40’s Vets, always near the front in every race and a true Enduro competitor who never quits, posted the fastest Veterans lap of the day but wasn’t quite as consistent as the two riders ahead of him and had to settle for second in class on this occasion.

Andrew Keyte took third in class, just 30 seconds behind Jakeman.

Adam Castledine climbed to fourth overall and won the Clubman 4T class by quite a significant margin over Ricky Tropman and Sam Keen in second and third spots. Castledine was followed to the finish flag by Clubman 2T winner Josh Brown, just two seconds separated the pair after two hours of racing.

Luke Bradford firmly held second in the 2T class while Tom Collett was around 30-second adrift in third. Graham Ayliff was the only competitor in the Clubman plus class and completed 10 laps.

For once, Jerry Adams, in the Classic Pre-86 class, had some competition. He was joined by John Brown and Sean Price and between them they clocked up 28 laps. Price took the class win on 10 laps with Adams in second place, just over two and a half minutes clear of third placed Brown.

Anne Cherry was out on her own in the Ladies class, fellow female competitor Kate England only managed one lap before retiring but Anne went on to complete eight challenging laps.

Guy Britton climbed into the heady heights of the top 15 overall competitors with his win in the Sportsman Novice class. Ellis Frend was some way behind in second place, maintaining a good gap between himself and Tim Woodhouse in third.

Ian Jones once again ploughed a lonely route as the only trail class competitors but this never worries this old hand. He plugs away regardless and notched up eight laps.

The course was set just right, technical with a few places to gather speed around one of the most picturesque venues in the country. The 10-12 minute lap for the faster riders was just right, weaving through ancient woodland and along tracks, past trout pools and deer reservations, all overlooked by a magnificent stately home.

A terrific setting and a fantastic course, plus excellent weather, made for a superb event from Cotswold Enduro Club. Gallery

Club Championship & AMCA Rock Oil H&H rd.3. Shuckburgh Hall.

Shuckburgh Hall is a firm favourite in the Cotswold Enduro Club calendar. It is massive with a huge amount of land for three separate courses potentially but it rarely runs following wet weather. Last Sunday was the exception to the rule.

The third round of the AMCA Rock Oil Hare and Hounds championship and CEC club championship was very well attended and this could have complicated the issue. Parking is usually the problem in the wet but careful alignment of vehicles along the access road saw the event crammed with riders, all raring to go.

Shuckburgh Hall contains a variety of forest and woodland sections, linked by open meadow and grassland, all slightly undulating and extremely slippery initially. Plenty of rain in the run-up to the event left the top layer of ground very wet and made even the slightest slope into a challenging off-camber.

Cotswold guru Pete Carter and his trusty team had laid out a ‘wet weather’ course but altered it on Friday to a ‘very wet weather’ course, cutting over a mile from the original five-mile layout.

There was plenty of room to manoeuvre as the course had a choice of lines at every tricky section. The woodlands were not too bad in some places, once the top layer was removed the clay underneath provided grip but polished up in others, making the going tough.

There was no place to rest anywhere on the course, full concentration was required at all times to prevent the front wheel sliding out or getting stuck on any of the numerous roots.

All in all, a fantastic and challenging course where experienced riders could shine, and they did.

Matt Porter simply dominated the race from the moment the flag dropped. Ben Adams charged hard behind him initially while Ben Swambo hit the whoops on the start straight very hard and ended up on his head, at the back of the Championship and Expert class. Jack Lee followed Porter for the first few laps but then Expert Roger Holland took up the running, ahead of Frazer Curtis as Lee dropped to third place.

Holland won his class as Curtis took second in the Pro Champs behind Porter with Ben Adams in third. Adams had a big crash on the final lap but gathered himself and charged onwards.

Holland won the Experts from Lee then Mick ‘on the pegs’ Boam as Over 40’s Veteran Derry Milling carefully steered his way to fifth overall and top of his class. Grant Churchwood wasn’t far behind him while Gary McCoy completed the over 40’s top three.

Keith Jenkins was virtually on home turf and took the over 50’s Veterans class win with ease, a lap ahead of second placed Rob Sewell and Colin Griffiths in third, both on 10 laps. Always a skilful rider in tricky conditions Jenkins made the hard stuff look easy. One over 50’s Vet who was really a fish out of water was John Mitchinson. He can usually be found in some desert somewhere on a month long rally but on Sunday he was out at Shuckburgh on a new Beta X Tranier and loving every minute. Easy to ride with plenty of power when needed, the new Beta made a great impression on Mitchinson and many other riders.

Mathew Jones topped the Clubman 2t class, fending off two hard chargers in the form of Ed Gwyther and Steve Norbury. This was Norbs first podium and he missed second spot by just 35-seconds.

Norb’s friend Paul Ellis-Smith sat in the pits with a poorly bike as his wife, Wendy Ellis-Smith showed him how it should be done, winning the Ladies class into the bargain. Gemma Hotham took runner-up spot even thought her KTM spat its dummy after a single lap.

Richard Baxter had a clear run at the Clubman 4t class win, a lap up on John Underwood and two laps ahead of third placed Josh Buckley.

The Sportsman class was anybody’s guess to who would win. Seven frontrunners were all on eight laps as time ran out but it was Sam Hollows who took the honours by nearly two minutes over Jason Wittering with Tom Mahoney a further minute behind in third spot.

Jerry Adams manhandled his Pre 86 around the course to take the Classic class win and it was a nice change to see him finish on the same bike he had started the race on.

The course was tricky in places to say the least. When Matt Porter slithers uphill then bounces down the other side, desperately trying to get his feet back on the pegs it doesn’t bode well for any lesser riders but everyone had their moments and all thoroughly enjoyed the course although it was hard work.

The weather stayed fine for a pleasant day of spectating while the riders thanked their lucky stars it didn’t rain. Gallery.

Club Championship & AMCA Rock Oil H&H rd.2

Cotswold Enduro Club made the tough decision to switch venues a week before the second round of the AMCA Rock Oil Hare & Hounds Championship, moving from the wide-open, slightly technical but sodden, Haresfield to Edgehill Quarry near Banbury. It was a great move as the quarry provided an excellent technical challenge that was very different to the usual rounds of the series.

The course around the small quarry was relentless, full concentration was needed for the whole of the two and a half hour race and there were plenty of hard and easy routes scattered around the course.
Cotswold guru Pete Carter and his team had made the most of what the quarry had to offer and there were plenty of climbs and drops, some quite impressive in stature, with a handful of off-cambers thrown in for good measure. The going was absolutely spot-on, a couple of the tougher climbs were slightly challenging but racing was fast and furious across all classes.

A relatively steady start by most of the field for the first couple of laps saw the Pro and Expert classes gain ground and catch backmarkers early on, so to add to the technical terrain traffic was also thrown into the mix but there were plenty of different lines and congestion wasn’t a problem once the riders had strung out.

Beta mounted Pro class rider Matt Porter continued his form from last season by taking to the front and building a sizeable lead but Ben Adams, on a brand new KTM, rode hard to try and keep the leader in sight while Tony Griffiths kept within touching distance of Adams for the first half of the race. Porter took the win followed by Adams and Griffiths, both a lap adrift of the leader.

Fourth overall ahead of some pretty quick Expert riders was Derry Milling who put in a great ride to win the over 40s class by quite a margin from Andrew Keyte and Carl Harmston. All three showed just how much experience counted in the tricky stuff.

The Expert class was very tough. Luke Gorse nailed it but only just as Zeb Rhodes was just eight seconds behind him at the finish flag. Kirk Giles was a lap down on the leading Expert pair but still managed a solid third in class.

The most impressive ride of the day was in the Clubman 2T class. Rob Clark, who obviously loved the technical nature of the course, really was riding like he stole it! Not many riders were so flat-out fast, especially on the one and only flat piece of the course where he was drifting around the corners Speedway style on his way to posting 20 laps and finishing 11th overall. A lap behind in second place was Josh Brown who had just over a minutes gap from third placed Chris Bushnell at the chequered flag.

The Clubman 4T class saw an emphatic victory by Paul Tomkins as Andrew Whieldon and Paul Parry were strung out around the course in second and third places.

Most of the Sportsman Novice riders opted for the easy routes initially but not Ellis Frend who pulled a three-minute lead over Daniel Griffiths and held it until the finish while James Flannigan cruised into third in class.

As the race progressed the hard routes became harder because more riders were attempting them so the easier routes became a better option at times and the riders who used their heads managed to gain quite an advantage a times.

Mick Belcher definitely used his head on the way to winning the Veterans over 50 class but he was pursued hard by Roger Griffiths throughout the duration of the race with Griffiths eventually taking second spot while Simon Chelener grabbed third in class.

Jerry Adams once again amused onlookers with his Pre-86 antics. Starting on a Honda he finished on something completely different, bringing two bikes certainly has its advantages at times. Ian Jones plugged away to take the Trail class win while the sole female entrant Gemma Holtham posted 16 laps to win her class, finishing 74th out of a field of over 100 riders.

Edgehill Quarry was certainly different from the usual CEC venues but it was great to see the more technical riders shine for once. The Veterans took it in their stride, as did the Pro and Expert riders and this venue seems sure to be visited in the future during one of the Cotswold Two-man Extreme events planned for later this season. The venue also gave many Sportsman riders a chance to experience something completely different and proved to be a good training ground for future events. Gallery. Results