“Ryan Shacklady on his GASGAS UK 300 2t, stormed to the overall win last weekend at WOR Events Michelin XCE series starter. The almost constant recent months of bad weather in the UK has played a massive part in hampering the start of this championship and WOR’s last-minute move of venue due to water logging for this rescheduled event certainly did not help again but at least now the competition is under way and a cracking race kicked it all off. The track was well received by all the riders with loads complementing the course at the end. There again was a lot of “no show” riders that had entered the initial rd 1 one but on the announcement of the change of venue, didn’t turn up for this one, and very few of them sent in a cancellation notification but it was their loss as a cracking race unfolded.
Starting at 12.30pm and running as a straight 2-hour multy lap challenge, The Cross country Enduro course had Shacklady take a well-deserved win by 2 and three-quarter minutes from Runner Up, Rob Francom (Husqvarna) with both riders on 12 laps of the 6-mile lap course to their credits. Darren Skillin (HUSKY)was the Top Expert Vet and the only other rider to match the 12-lap count on the day.
Paul Engerlen was his Usual smooth and consistent self to take an 11-lap score to the top of the Clubman class, but he certainly did not have it all his own way as Runner Up, Sam Morris was only 5 seconds behinds him. Morris on the 300 Husqvarna is improving with very ride, getting faster and smoother and will 100 percent be keeping Clubman king, Engerlen, on his Toes this coming season. 3rd place in Clubman went to TM mounted Sion Jones, matching the 11 laps of the top two riders and finishing just over 2 minutes behind Morris.
Richard Manser (Husqvarna) topped the Clubman Vets with a very secure 10-minute advantage over Runner Up, Andrew Davies. The top two riders completing 10 laps each with 3rd placed Stephen Davies finishing on 9. All 3 riders going well and enjoying their challenge.
The Over 50’s class always has a good show and it was Martin Wells on his Husqvarna 300 that took a very well-earned win on 11 laps from Lee Sephton also on 11 laps but a minute and a half down. Sephton rode like “never before” round the forest on his new 350 Husky, his own words! Forming a strong bond with his new steed as his big smile showed at the chequered flag. 3rd place went to Colin Griffiths, the Over 50’s dominant machine, that is always there or thereabouts in this group, Colin did in fact take the lead 3 laps in but had to stop to fix a faulty rear wheel and got back out to indeed grab a “podium” on his 350f KTM albeit on 10 laps to the premier riders 11.
There was some Battle at the front of the Sportsman Group. Tom Walker was the man going out on the last lap well infront and looking like the winner, but disaster struck as his tyre came off the rim and left him as a stranded DNF!! This allowed the youngsters, Mitch Parkes and Haydn Tyrer to blast through and take the top two place son the podium. Close wasn’t in it as they crossed the finish line almost together with a simple 1 second advantage going to Parkes as he just pipped it. Great racing from the two KTM 125 mounted youngsters. 3rd place went to Danny Griffiths a minute down but matching the top two’s 10 laps. A nice result for Griffiths after being promoted up from the Novices.
Anthony Foulkes and Nigel Lynn where at it all race, both on Husky’s, Foulkes 250f , Lynn 300 2t, and they both wanted to take the Sportsman Vets win in this first round of the series. Battling Neck and Neck for the first part of the race then saw the 4 stoke of Foulkes pull out in the front and then a couple of “off’s” from Lynn made the gap a bit bigger come the end with Foulkesy eventually taking a 3-and-a-half-minute advantage to the Premier place in the class. Lynn secured second place with Rob Parry making it a Husqvarna 1,2,3 in the group. The top two completing 11 laps with Parry on 10 to his credit.
Lee Anderton took a well-earned win in the Novice class followed home on 10 laps by Phillip Kewley and 3rd placed, 9 lap man, Graham Howard. All 3 riders doing well and deserving of their spoils.
THE KIDS RACE:
Earlier in the day, starting at 10:30am and running for 1.5hrs, WOR Events brought Kids racing back to the race day for the first time in a long time after a forced gap due to not enough kids taking part.
With 4 age related classes, it was awesome to see 25 kids back competing on a start line and actually “racing” again. It looks like the kid’s races are back for good too as the general consensus and feedback from all the riders and parents was just how good it was. WOR had an army of marshals out on the 2-mile forest course, both travelling and static and they just instilled confidence and well being throughout the event for the kids and mum’s and dads.
The riders all did superbly as they battled the well thought out kids lap with determination and endeavour along with lots of skill on show from the stars of the future…
Frank Skillin on his 85 Husqvarna was the top rider on the day in the 14’s group followed home by his big sister, Izzy Killin (Husq 85) both going well and ensuring all the Skillin’s went home with a trophy as dad got one in the adults.
William Cawte was flying in the 12-13’s and took the win quiet comfortably in class from Runner Up, The hard Charging, Cynan Jones. Cawte completing16 laps with Jones on 15. Cawte was only 1 second down on Skillin at the chequered flag as the finish times declare. 3rd place in the 12-13’s was Kaheln Tyrer doing excellent to complete 12 laps.
The 10-11’S was topped by Hayden Rainford as he blasted to 16 laps. Runner Up was Alfie Barber with Gethin Thomas in a sold 3rd place. All 3 riders deserving the post-race trophies.
The final group of the day was the 8-9yrs, the small wheelers, these guys and girls did really well as they blasted their tiny machines all over the demanding and technical forest course. Top rider in group was Lewis Evans with Edward Short in second place. These two where both on 7 laps and only 12 seconds separated them at end in favour of Evans. Bella Parkes secure d3rd place on the podium with 6 laps to her credit. Well done to all.
Summing up is simple, the pre-event weather may have caused a venue change and a poor showing of riders compared to what was booked in for the proposed Ruthin Event but those that did turn up where treated to kind weather on the day, a simply superb course and a brilliant start to the Michelin XCE series from WOR Events. The next round of this championship kicks off on May 13th at WOR’s amazing Ludlow venue in Shropshire but before that it’s a massive weekend this coming Saturday & Sunday 21/22nd APRIL at MAESHAFN Nr Chester with an off road Enduro festival of action Starting Saturday morning with E bikes followed by an Enduro Playday, Then Sundays’s Tiny Warriors, Sidecars, quads and the solos in the PUTOLINE NATIONAL HARE SCRAMBLES… & The 10th Running of the ALED EVANS MEMORIAL SHEILD ..All info and entries at www.worevents.com/events