Overnight Easter Sunday/Monday the West Midlands was battered by Storm Katie. Gale force winds, heavy rain and snow combined to turn parts of Walsgrove Farm, Great Witley, the home of the Red Marley Classic Hill-Climb, into a quagmire. However, by the time racing started the storm had passed and the course was beginning to dry out. Not enough to break Carl Pope's hill record, but sufficient to guarantee some close racing. And best of all was local man, Tom Crump. Tom, aboard a functional, but far from handsome, Jawa was outstanding, winning everything except the All-stars Invitation. He was a reserve for that class because a trip to Australia made him a late entry
This year regular up to 350cc class winner, Ian Bain, was promoted to the All-Stars. In his place came Paul Munslow. Second in the class last year, Paul made no mistakes this year winning every climb convincingly. In the final he had keen opposition from Mitchell Harris, Colin Hickie and John Dallaway but the latter's day ended in a crash at the top of the hill.
The over 350cc class (excluding those riders invited into the All-Stars) was a Tom Crump triumph. No drop-outs from the All-Stars so Tom was confined to the class and he made the most of it, going through to the final unbeaten from the bottom half of the draw, while John Cash and Alan Harris did likewise from the top half. In the final he won convincingly from classic scrambler John Cash, George Newman (sharing a bike with Carl Pope) and Alan Harris, aboard one of the few two-strokes to make it all the way to a final.
Ever-ready to make the programme more competitive (and interesting!) the Red Marley club introduced another innovation this year. The Allcomers class (including those from the All-Stars) was split - under 50 and over 50 - with each group having its own final. After the age-related finals were run, the first two riders in each competed in the grand final for "King of the Hill".
In the under 50s, Tom Crump and Richard Williams made it through to the final from the top half of the draw: Tom unbeaten, while Richard had to give best to Ricky Pedder twice along the way before winning the decisive semi-final. The bottom half of the draw had Jim Shand and Ian Bain victorious, but they were no match for the Crump and Williams expresses in the final.
The over 50s, Red Marley regular, Carl Pope, and Maico-man Mark Grinnall made it to the final from the top half of the draw, with record holder Carl unbeaten. In the bottom half, despite the best efforts of Steve Dent on his 350, a couple of veterans came through to the final - Phil Edwards and Roger Dunford - Phil winning twice along the way but Roger had the upper-hand when it mattered.
Into the Grand Final with four riders whose ages extended from 21 to 66. I would like to be able to record that this was an occasion when old defeated young, but, once again the Crump and Williams duo prevailed.
The All-Stars Invitation class, now in its third year, looks destined to be a Red Marley feature for the future. Popular with most (but not all?) it pits sixteen riders with the best Red Marley records against each other. Each rider is drawn against his rivals at least once, giving a total of five rides with points awarded; 3 for 1st place, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd. Top eight go through to the semi-finals They were; Tim Dallaway, Richard Williams, Ricky Pedder, Carl Pope, Jim Shand, Dean Howells, Keith Barnes and Leigh Owen.
Tim Dallaway and Carl Pope (in that order) emerged from the first semi-final. And Richard Williams and Ricky Pedder from the second. No Tom Crump, but plenty of talent to make real competition. And so it was. Richard Williams and Ricky Pedder had several close finishes with Richard usually getting the upper-hand when it mattered. However, this time Ricky, aboard the Phil Edwards Triumph Metisse, made it count. Just 1.07secs separated the four riders, the closest finish of the day and the second fastest climb. The winner received the SB Trophy, a huge cup awarded for the first time. Such an expensive piece of silverware it remains with the club alongside the other historical awards that commemorate a great event - one of the best in the classic calendar.
Up to 350cc:
(1) Paul Munslow (BSA)
(2) Mitchell Harris (BSA)
(3) Colin Hickie (BSA)
(4) John Dallaway (BSA)
(1) Tom Crump (500 Jawa) 21.29secs
(2) John Cash (500 BSA) 23.81
(3) George Newman (600 BSA) 24.13
(4) Alan Harris (380 CZ) 24.62
Allcomers under 50 years of age:
(1) Tom Crump
(2) Richard Williams (500 BSA)
(3) Jim Shand (600 BSA)
(4) Ian Bain (345 Greeves)
Allcomers over 50 years
(1) Carl Pope (600 BSA)
(2) Roger Dunford (500 BSA)
(3) Mark Grinnall (400 Maico)
(4) Phil Edwards (650 Cheney Triumph)
Grand Final (Allcomers combined)
(1) Tom Crump20.91secs
(2) Richard Williams21.35
(3) Carl Pope 21.81
(4) Roger Dunford24.50
(1) Ricky Pedder (650 Triumph Metisse)20.79secs
(2) Richard Williams21.08
(3) Carl Pope21.67
(4) Tim Dallaway (500 BSA)21.86
Winner Len Vale-Onslow Trophy (King of the Hill)Tom Crump
Winner Silver Helmet (fastest time of the day) Tom Crump 20.72secs
Vicky Roffe was at a sunny Woodford on Sunday to send us her shots from a combined Corby and Southam MXC race event.
The results of the event are below.
North Staffs MXC were in action again at Lower Drayton on Sunday, Ray Smith and Tracy Bermingham was there to send us these images whilst Joe Marston provided the words.
With the opening round of the championships just weeks away the AMCA’s finest flooded to Lower Drayton for North Staffs club meeting. After two nights of rain the track would be a challenge for any rider, never mind the 25 strong line up of Inter Juniors that had come out in force. Once practice was finished the track started to come good with lines developing through the deep loamy woodchip making for some fantastic racing across all the classes.
The MX1 expert’s gate was filled with talent including championship front runners Luke Meridith, James Dodd & Ryan Crowder who was looking to carry on his recent good results following a successful superclass campaign. Race one set the tone for the day as Meridith and Crowder took to the front battling amongst themselves whilst Dodd & Clinton Barrs chased them down. Crowder seemed to have the edge only to suffer bike issues mid moto ruling him out of the win and handing a second place finish to Dodd. Second time round and it was much of the same with Crowder and Meridith leading the way ahead of the chasing pack. Crowder seemed to be getting to grips with the tough conditions, gradually opening up a lead over Meritith until he crashed spectactually on the fast straight section at the back of the track. Thankfully he managed to remount and take a well-deserved second. With that Meritith took the reins and led to the flag setting himself up nicely for the overall. With the track at its toughest the riders rolled out for their final race. Crowder was a man on a mission trying to overcome the day’s bad luck with a win and he didn’t disappoint either riding hard at the front with Dodd & Meridith pushing hard to catch him all the way. At the close of play it was Meridith who came away with the overall win ahead of Dodd and Crowder respectively.
Owed Huddleston demonstrated a riding masterclass in the inter juniors dominating all three races, lapping as fast as some of the adult classes through the challenging ruts and berms. The rest of the field saw some fierce competition with Lewis Thompson eventually claiming second overall with a 4-2-3 score card. Matthew Lloyd was unlucky to miss out on the second spot taking third overall with two strong second place finishes.
The MX1 Seniors saw a competitive field with a good mix of machines and riders from both north staffs and central group. Jason Clarke and Jay Rumbold would share the wins with Clarke taking the final two races of the day and the overall win. Rumbold however started on the front foot taking the opening race win aboard his new Kawasaki and setting himself up for a strong second overall finish after two second spots in his final two races. Rounding off the podium was Paul Unwin with two thirds being his best results of the day.
Tom Smith and Mitchell Everill fought out the MX2 Juniors win until the final race where the overall swung in Everills favour as Smith scored a DNF. David Gee managed to grab second overall with a great final outing taking second spot on the box and bagging some much needed points. Nathan Betts took the final spot on the podium after riding consistently fast all day with only little mistakes hampering his overall position.
The MX2 experts saw the strongest line up with Steven Clarke, Josh Waterman, Lewis King and Luke Mellows looking to get some practice in before the opening round of the championships. Clarke kicked off his day with a massive holeshot never looking back, leading from gate to flag ahead of Waterman in second. Luke Mellows was looking fast fighting hard for third spot from Lewis King whose great speed was let down by small mistakes which hampered his progress. When the riders lined up for race two there was two obvious casualties. Clarke & King were both missing from the gate. With Clarke out of the picture, Waterman pulled the pin and dominated the final two races, mastering the challenging conditions. Luke Mellows improved throughout the day taking a second in race two and a third in the final race behind Craig Robinson who had made a fantastic start to his final outing. Mellows rounded off his day in second overall with a 154 points. Jamie Wainwright was unfortunate to miss out on a podium by just 2 points shy of Robinson.
In the MX1 Juniors, Matthew Casey powered his way through the tough track to take a pair of wins and the overall aboard his TM despite having exhaust issues throughout the day. Carl Swan put up a valiant fight taking a win second time out and securing himself a podium spot. Robert Procter took the final spot on the podium fending off the advances of Scott Wright who looked threatening in race two stealing a podium spot in third.
Ben Murray made a fantastic 125cc debut being beaten only in the final outing of the day by Josh Cooper where the extra age helped when man handling the bike through deep ruts. Cooper stole second overall with his final race win, finishing just a handful of points in front of Mike Kingston.
Ray Smith http://www.actionsport.co.uk/
Tracy Bermingham http://tra3ylouphotography.weebly.com/
The results of the event are below.
Once again the Mike Brown Memorial hosted by the Marshfield MXC on Good Friday was a massive success. Attracting an almost now expected massive crowd and bumper entry list, the action on offer was superb.
Ray Smith http://www.actionsport.co.uk/
The results of the event are below.
Just three days before round two of the 2016 AMCA Superclass at Bromsberrow, the participation of Championship leader Luke Burton appeared very unlikely after x-rays revealed that the Rikki Priest Fraser Husqvarna rider had a broken shoulder. The injury had been sustained during the previous weeks Maxxis British Championship opener at Lyng in a moto one crash. Receiving the devastating news that bones were broken, Burton frantically sought further medical advice before making the big decision, should he ride or rest! Well, with a very heavily strapped shoulder, he made a late, late call to give it a go and what a performance he was to produce!
In three tough moto’s, Luke won all three clashes to thus extend his lead at the top of the Superclass standings. Showing great early season form, Richard Cannings(M & S Brettle/TeeBee Honda) got home in 2nd whilst the podium was completed by James Dodd(FUS Moto4 FRO Husqvarna), getting stronger each week after missing just about the entire 2015 campaign due to injury. Over in the Youth 85cc/150cc class the brilliant James Hanscombe continues to dominate after producing another cool, classy maximum points score. Just like round one, Lloyd Duggan-Thomas chased him home in all three Bromsberrow clashes whilst Lewis Glynn took the final podium step.
Despite some unwanted wet weather before the event, the circuit was in absolute prime condition thanks to some extensive track grading and hard work by the organising Kinver Auto Club. The smooth lines were certainly appreciated by the battered Luke Burton who quickly shrugged aside the pain of his injured shoulder to get into the rhythm and post the fastest qualification time, nearly three seconds faster than Jack Cox with James Dodd 3rd and Adam Harris on his 250cc two-smoker a great 4th.
When the gate dropped though to signal the start of proceedings it was the red Honda of Richard Cannings that led the charge from Dodd, Clinton Barrs, Burton, Ryan Crowder and Lewis King with Cox surprisingly down in 11th. Three laps in and Burton was up into 2nd spot and hunting Cannings down as Cox on a charge moved through the leaderboard to sit in a menacing 6th. After finishing as runner-up in the opening round at Long Lane, Cox was desperate to keep Burton in his sights but unfortunately for Jack the series was soon to be over! Suffering a very big crash on a fast downhill section, the Yamaha rider face-planted the ground suffering a very sore lower back injury and bruised forehead. With Cox out, Burton then moved forward to take control of the moto on lap six before racing onto victory ahead of Cannings, Crowder, Dodd, suffering from a puncture, Andrew Smart, King and Zac Stealey the first 250F pilot home in a great 8th after initially gating in 17th. For fellow 250F rider Luke Mellows, this opening clash proved rather forgettable after crashing then being covered in petrol when his fuel filler cap came undone!
Superclass moto two and the FUS Moto4 FRO Husqvarna team were cheering loudly as Dodd claimed the holeshot before that man, the immaculate Burton, quickly took control before racing onto a comfortable win. With Dodd having to settle for a rather lonely runner-up spot, the main battle in this clash proved to be for 3rd spot. Earlier in the moto, Cannings had looked the most likely earner before falling. In his urgency to restart, he knocked his bike into neutral thus dropping down to 10th place in the process. Quickly the Honda rider started to make progress back up the leaderbaord before being caught in a fierce tussle with King, Smart and Bradley Tranter. Two laps from home and Cannings eventually got back to that 3rd spot as Smart took 4th, King 5th and Tranter 6th. Proving that the Superclass is not just totally dominated by the 450F boy’s, the next seven finishers were Harris on the 250cc two-stroke and then Mellows, Stealey, James Wainwright, Chris Povey, Craig Robinson and Shaun Pearce all 250F mounted.
In determined fashion, Cannings grabbed the final Superclass holeshot of the day to lead Dodd, Crowder, Burton, Tranter and Jack Gardiner. For several laps battle raged as Cannings, Dodd and Burton then broke away at the front. Lap four and Burton eventually hit the front in a race which was to eventually be shortened by a red flag incident after Dean Swift had crashed. So with the result standing it was again a win for the remarkable Burton from Cannings, Dodd, Crowder and King. Producing another outstanding effort Harris took 6th just ahead of the hard charging 250F duo of Mellows and Gardner. So with just one round to come at Condover this weekend, Burton starts as favourite for the crown with Cannings, Dodd and Smart also still right in the mix for medal honours.
After setting a qualifying time over seven seconds faster than his closest rivals, James Hanscombe the proceeded to scorch to a massive win in the opening Youth 85cc/150cc Championship moto. Quickly this clash settled into a rhythm as Lloyd Duggan-Thomas held 2nd spot throughout with Matt Lloyd in 3rd. The main battle proved to be for the right to get home in 4th, a position held by Harry Syson, Finlay James and finally Lewis Glynn. With Syson eventually disappearing from the leaderboard, Finn Corbijn, Ben Evans, Max Lewis, Lewis Thompson and Ffion Jones filled the remaining top ten places.
Whilst Lloyd found himself involved in a first turn collision and with it all to do as the pack disappeared over the horizon, Hanscombe again led the moto two charge until something rather unusual occurred! Making a very uncharacteristic mistake, Hanscombe lost his lead to Duggan-Thomas on lap three before just one circuit later regaining his advantage. So on completion it was another victory to Hanscombe with the gallant Duggan-Thomas in 2nd. Taking 3rd this time around was Glynn who had produced a strong ride to move up from an early 7th place. After his earlier fall, Lloyd was also very impressive, storming back up the leaderbaord to earn a superb 6th just behind Evans and Max Lewis.
In the final Youth Championship clash it was again Hanscombe from Duggan-Thomas as Glynn overhauled Lewis for 3rd with Lewis, Corbijn, Ryan Lancelotte and Jones also in the mix. Another outstanding display by the Youth class riders on duty, the stars of tomorrow who coped in style with the rough, tough and undulating Bromsberrow circuit.
Backing up the Championship classes was some entertaining Support action particularly in the Experts group as young Welsh teenager Curtis Blamey scorched to a maximum points win defeating the likes of Simon and James Lane, Jack Waterman, Dale Halls, Ben Saunders the 2014 AMCA MX2 Champion and Jamie Powell, the latter two riders mounted on 144cc two-stroke KTM machines. In the Seniors, Lewis Syson bagged top slot whilst Neil Parry took home the Juniors honours.
Well done to the Kinver Auto Club for their presentation and slick organisation.
TO VIEW ALL OF THE IMAGES FROM THIS EVENT INCLUDING SUPPORT RACING,GO TO
Mike Wood http://www.offroad-action.co.uk/
The results of the event are below.