Down in the West Country, the guys and gals from the UK EVO MX Club have been working their socks off to provide as much competition as possible for EVO and Twin-shock riders.
Affiliated to the AMCA, the club have already this year promoted a very successful four round series and last weekend signed off for 2016 by staging the end of season Goldentyre Champion of Champions event. This forward thinking club did though have their organisational skills pushed to the limit during this very trying finale weekend! Early on day one, the electronic transponder lap scoring system went down requiring the need to revert to the ‘old school’ pen and paper method of obtaining results. However despite this unwanted set-back, six blocks of racing were comfortably completed with just about everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves and going home with a big smile on their face after a great weekend of EVO and Twin-shock racing.
The venue for this big final clash was the superb Culham Park in Oxfordshire and as expected the circuit had been expertly prepared and in absolute prime condition. And, the weather also thankfully played ball despite a very threatening forecast of constant rain which failed to materialise until late on day one! Before that wet stuff eventually hit the soil, there had been plenty of super action to keep everyone royally entertained. The format of the weekend was for everyone to have six races apiece with the top three overall in each class then going forward to a big last moto Champion of Champions shoot-out.
Opening proceedings was a very hotly contested 125cc EVO/125cc Pre83 class and on day one it was Honda mounted Bradley Doyle who finished top of the pile from Jack Gribble, David Blackburn and Dean Warren. In the Pre83 tussle, Rob Mead took the honours from Wayne Twiddle, Paul Lippitt and Zac Todd. Next up was the ultra-competitive 250cc/500cc EVO battle full of mouth-watering machinery and some very interesting names! Lining up in this one you had the likes of Neil Prince, Phil ‘Factory’ Mercer, Keith Hanson, Ben Milward, Danny Blakeley and fast young guns Jamie Skuse and Jordan Carter. On day one, Skuse on his quick Honda took maximum points in the 250cc EVO ahead of Milward and Lance Marshall. For Veteran Blakeley though the event proved to be somewhat a disaster when his Kawasaki’s engine self-destructed. So by 1pm on day one, Danny was making the very long journey back to his Yorkshire home! In 500c EVO, local personality Mercer making a rare UK racing appearance topped the scoring from Carter and Jamie Tempest.
Having a very busy weekend, Carter after finishing 2nd in 500cc EVO also contested the Super EVO class where he scorched to maximum points on day one ahead of Daryl Hall and Alec Everrett. The weekend was not only about those EVO’s though as the Twinshock boy’s also had a right old blast around the spectacular Culham track. Scored as separate Under and Over 50’s, Scott Basillie took the younger class from Chris Doney and Sam Oliver. King of the older racers was Terry House with maximum points from Alan Hambridge and Mark Tilzey. The last EVO class of the day was the Pre85/4-Stroke contest which resulted in victory for former AMCA Champion Simon Gower chased hard by James Reeves and James Hudson.
So on a bright Sunday morning, there was still three more blocks to come before the line-up for the Champion of Champions would be known. Dean Warren started day two by topping 125cc EVO with Oli Partridge best in Pre83 despite crashing in the last race and injuring his arm. Confirming his place in the big last race of the day, super Skuse again blasted to maximum points in the 250cc EVO whilst Mercer was the best 500cc EVO despite having to settle for 3rd in a tough last encounter. Also ensuring that he would be on the start-line for the Champion of Champions, the immaculate Carter took another smooth maximum in Sunday’s Super EVO.
After dominating day one of the Twinshock contest, Terry House looked set for another maximum in Sunday’s Over 50 class. However after winning the opening two clashes, Terry on his trusty Maico disappeared on lap one of the last clash so overall victory instead went to Ady Matthews. In the Under 50’s on Sunday, Jamie Jackson won all three moto’s, the next best being Sam Oliver. Whilst Terry’s weekend did not finish to well, in contrast Simon Gower again topped the Pre85/4-Stroke group. Throughout the weekend there had also been some action for modern bikes and there was absolutely no doubting the winner of this one! Taking maximum points was the superb Jordan Bachelor.
So all that remained was the feature race and winner takes all Goldentyre Champion of Champions. Due to aching limbs and injuries, several of the qualifying riders declined to compete in this finale including Mercer. When the gate dropped it was 250cc mounted Skuse who pulled a fabulous holeshot and thus lead the pack. However by the end of lap one, Jordan Carter on his big 500cc Kawasaki, a rider who had competed alongside Skuse back in the good old days of Moredon SSC took control. Despite the determined efforts of Skuse throughout the remainder of the contest, it was Carter though who was to take the win and be crowned Champion. Bagging 3rd in the final was a hard-charging Ben Milward on his fast 250cc Yamaha with the main tussle being about who would finish 4th as Jack Gribble just about kept ahead of Jamie Tempest.
Well done to the organising UK EVO MX and all the riders on a fantastic weekend of top class EVO and Twinshock action. During the event, UK EVO also announced dates for their 2017 series, starting at Ford on April 2nd, they will also visit North Nibley, Marshfield and Wickwar, it should be a cracker!
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Mike Wood http://www.offroad-action.co.uk/