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Top Experts Entertain Crowds, relay team racing
closer than ever.
Butts Quarry played host to RAW Enduro’s opening RAW Challenge race of the 2017 season. The 4 hour race saw a great turn out in all classes both Solo Ironmen and 2 man relay teams.
A Le Mans Style start saw riders having a 5 metre dash to their bikes, Ex world and European Enduro rider Jack Rowland was the holeshot man from the expert class, paired up with MPS Racings Luke Flack for the day, the pair gave a demonstration to a packed Butts Quarry in just how to ride fast with the minimum amount of fuss. Taking the overall win both riders had a great day out at a club enduro. Lee Sampson and Tom Weston grabbed runner up spot in class. Clubman solo honours went to Gregory Hough, Gregs 34 lap tally was impressive in the searing heat. Graham Dickinson placed second with RAW Regular Andy Williams taking third in class. With track conditions drier than ever, the surface was very unforgiving as the hard Butts Quarry base started to tear up, most teams opted for either 30 or 40 minute stints before tagging their team mate to the take a well earned rest. Lee Pallet and Lee Stansfield were the outright winners in the Clubman class with a fine performance. Darrell Patrick and Ryan Patrick finished in runner up spot and look set to be title contenders as the series heads to the next round which is a 5 hour bash. Richie Hawes was the surprize of the day taking the sportsman solo class win, Chris Brown was delighted to place runner up after changing gloves in the pit stop proved a mistake when his hands took a beating in the last part of the race. Lee Holland and Andy Holland topped the Sportsman team class by just over 3 minutes at the flag from runners up Sam Bryan and Thomas Morley. Old faces Richard Reeve and James Reeve had a rare enduro outing with RAW to take a fine third place on the day.
As the 4 hours ticked by, in the closing stages of the race was where some riders really dug deep to nip some extra places when other riders started to tire. Steve Johnsons Vets solo win was a great effort clocking up 32 laps. Local Builder Mark Vardy took second spot only missing the win by just over one minute. Martyn Thomas was the final podium placed rider clocking up 31 laps. 2016 Vets team winners Neil Myers and John Leith picked up where they left off last season by winning the opening round in fine style. Jon Paul and Paul Tonks took their 46 machines to a well deserved runner up place, as Steven Dean and Andy Kirby got their challenge attack off to a solid start in third.
As well as the riders making vital calls on when to change and pit, it seems wife’s, girlfriends, and pit crew are becoming stratergists when it comes to the RAW Challenge series. Novice team class winners Grant Harmon and Danny Philips had Danny’s fiancé making the call to great effect as they took the class win. Sarah Thomas and Josh Patrick were delighted to take runner up place back home for their efforts.
The Youth Support race was run despite a low field of riders, overlap of school holidays didn’t deter the RAW staff from running the event giving the Youths a full 2 hours on track. Jamie Williams was best Youth A, as Bert Boam was the winner of the Youth B class from Hayden Stansfield and Tommy Tate in third place.
All in all a fantastic atmosphere surround Butts Quarry as round 1 played out. Round 2, the 5 Hour Challenge heads for Ripon in early June. Before then the Rock Oil Championship resumes on April 29/30th as RAW have their first visit of 2017 to Lee Del. The superb Hilltop open moorland venue boasts the hidden valley with old mills ruins should provide a great platform for the third round of the Rock Oil Championship to work from.
Thanks to everyone who assisted at Butts Quarry, and Barry Dring for the use of his land.
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