All content © Bob MuIIins

“THE GREED FOR SPEED”
ROUND 2 – MAY 2018 - LUDLOW

Report: Keith Williams
Pics : A.J Photography & Wayne Patton

WOR Events unleashed their unique and quite amazing Ludlow venue last weekend on the lucky riders for their Saturday Enduro Playday Special and the Sundays MICHELIN XCE Rd 2 race day. Having unearthed this gem of a course last year and running the first event there last September, it was always going to a very highly anticipated return with everything about the venue from the fantastic camping friendly paddock through to the unreal 400 acres of rolling Shropshire countryside that is nothing short of a Golf course for dirt bikes!

6 miles per lap of intense, flat out action-packed twists and turns, massive 6th gear straights with a twisty technical felled woodland, and lots of changes in elevation gave the couple of hundred riders that attended simply huge smiles all around as they blasted the course with vigour and enthusiasm. This venue is living proof of how Steve Ireland is a master of, with his WOR Events team, finding and providing places to ride and race at that keep WOR at the sharp end of their game with endless, class and quality venues in their stable that are unmatched nationwide.

The adults race started at 12.30pm sharp and would run as a straight 2-hour sprint Cross Country Enduro race and Jack Cadwallader was making a very rare appearance in a WOR race and rode his socks of in the “grass special test” type terrain to take his KTM 2t to a well earned overall win in the Experts. Caddy looked very comfortable and his nice smooth and effortless style gained him many admirers from the watching spectators and it was nice to see him at the top of an adult WOR race after competing through the ranks as a youngster with the club along with his Dad and Uncle whom have been around WOR Races a long time indeed over the last 2 decades.

Caddy had a proper battle early on with Connor Bolsover but knackered reeds in the 300 2t Husky saw Bollsover’s lead and race not go to plan. Robbie Francom is improving every week he rides in the Experts and is now a force to be reckoned with at WOR. Bobby pushed his Husqvarna 300 to the Runners up placing with a very fast and smooth ride finishing 2 mins down on Caddy but importantly matching the class winning 13 laps. Rob Cooke is always there or thereabouts when he does a WOR and he can also ride any terrain, be it tough slow and gnarly or open, fast and rolling as this was… Cooke did 13 laps and was 1.30 minutes down on Francom after the 2hr Sprint of XC race.

WOR Stalwart and the most winningest man ever to compete at WOR Events over the years, Lincoln Brewster is back, and he topped the Expert Vets and was only 2 seconds short of Rob Cooke as he blasted his little 150 XC KTM to a cracking, fun filled ride across the rolling meadows. Runner Up Expert Vet was the hard charging Stephen Ethelston on his KTM a lap down on Brewster with Cefn Gamez (KTM) taking a well-earned bronze finish in the group.

Mark Mealham has just done two back to back weekends with WOR and he has visited the podium on both occasions making his long haul up from Kent with the whole family totally worthwhile. After doing well at the TOUGH ENOUGH he bettered himself on his Husqvarna in the Clubman class to take a top place finish and pull an impressive 2 minutes plus advantage over Runner Up Clubman, Archie Collier. Collier himself is a very young rider that is progressing weekly through the ranks and is on fire at the moment on his Husky 125 and he pulled just short of two minutes on 3rd placed Paul Engerlen. Engerlen did well to finish on his KTM as a knackered rear mousse nearly finished his day off. All the top 3 Clubman and indeed top 5 riders completing 12 laps each.

On a track where everyone was sort of level because of the fact of the fast and open going, it was simply a case of the biggest balls got the rewards and showing mighty bravery and speed in the Clubman Vets was winner, Bo Anderson but get this, only 3 seconds after 2 frantic hours separated him from 2nd placed, Steffan Butterworth. Butterworth from Cumbria had gone really well and his battle with Anderson on the last lap was epic, Truly great racing. 3rd place Club Vet went to Colwyn Bay KTM man, Ian Smart. Nice to see Smarty back at racing WOR and truly enjoying his riding. 12 laps was the winning amount at the sharp end of the Clubman Vets.

The Over 50’s is always super competitive and never more so now former Top Expert Vet, Chris Wagstaff has moved into the group. Waggy led from start to finish on his trusty Yamaha to take an eventual 1 minute and 31 seconds win from Silver placed, Colin Griffiths (KTM). Duncan Humphrey was stomping on too as his 350 Husky was flying around the rolling course to match the top two on 12 laps each in the 2-hour duration.
Sportsman Honours was Mitch Parkes who is a young man on a mission and fully deserved his class win and the only rider in class to complete 12 laps, Parkes was making the little 150 KTM sing that’s for sure, but the riders in 2nd and 3rd place respectively deserve a massive mention. The performance of 3rd placed Haydn Rainford on his little 85cc with its small wheels was nothing short of phenomenal as he was faster than many older riders out there and totally defied his young age completing 11 laps alongside Runner Up, Hayden Tyrer. These three are all so young and seeing them go so well in an adult class was fantastic to see and all of them deserved the huge pat on the back that Race Director and WOR Boss, Steve Ireland gave them at the end and indeed the plaudits at the presentation.

Sportsman Vets victory was a man in form and a lover of speed events, Anthony Foulkes. Foulkesy blasted his 250f Husqvarna to a convincing win and a margin of 4 minutes which on this course was no mean feat, the fact he pushed his luck and took a gamble on not refuelling for the entire race was his good choice and it so easily could have backfired on him as on completion of the race he had a thimble full of go go juice left and was a lucky man to do so, one more lap would have been a different story. Well done Anthony Foulkes. Runner Up was Paul Lightfoot on his 300 2t Beta as he deserved his 2nd place trophy and cheers at the podium matching Foulkes 12 laps. 3rd place was Guy Graham’s as a welcome return to WOR races saw the YAMAHA 4t rider make his regular podium visit and he had 11 laps to his credit.

Rounding out the adult classes was the Novice group and it was a fast and smooth ride by James Short that secured the win by 1 minute and 58 seconds from Runner Up, Matthew Blackburn whom in turn was 2 minutes and 27 seconds ahead of 3rd placed Phil Kewley. All the top 7 Novices completed 11 laps each.

KIDS RACE : 10:30AM -1.5hrs
Earlier in the day over 30 kids took to the start line for the 2nd round of the MICHELIN XCE series for the little ones, This is a proper race series and each race is 1.5hrs with separate classes and a full on track (3 miles a lap this one) that is not to be confused with the Tiny Warriors which ran first thing in the morning from 9am till 10am. The Tiny Warriors is for 4-8 year olds that go round a very mum and dad, spectator friendly track near the parking area that allows the tiny riders a taste of Enduro and a first step of the structured rung of the ladder at WOR Events for all riders. All Tiny Warriors get a medal and a group picture with the Chequered flag, its truly inspiring and something WOR have led the way with again as this is now the 3rd season of Tiny Warriors and its been received with glowing reports from the parents of the future of our sport.

Back to the Kids Racing though and what a performance some of these little folks put on, 85’s and 65’s and 50cc machines getting ridden to the max by some very talented youngsters indeed.

The Winner was Sam Hughes but only after a last corner push and a winning margin of just 2 seconds as he sneaked past the race leader Francis Davies, unreal close action right to the wire from the top two riders in the race. These guys where in the 12-13yrs class and the 3rd place on the Podium was taken by Cynan Jones all 3 blasting their KTM’s to 14 laps.

In the 10-11 yrs group it was Endaf Hughes from Llanidloes showing he certainly has his father genes as he took the win and was the only other rider in the race to complete 14 laps. His Dad is former Top Enduro rider and Freestyle Husqvarna shop Boss at Newtown, Wyn Hughes, its running in the family there as Endaf took a comfortable win over Runner Up, Alfie Barber from Ellistown on 13 laps and 3rd placed Gethin Thomas from Gwynedd on 12 laps.

Tomos Jones won the 8-9YRS group on 12laps with Dan Healey and Sonny Ireland taking 2nd and 3RD place on the podium in their first competitive 1.5 hr event.

The kids all did brilliantly and enjoyed the glorious weather and stunning track. The post event feedback from all the riders has been nothing short of fantastic from riders and parents.

Summing up is easy, The Weekend catered for all levels and all ages of riders and WOR welcomed all comers into the paddock with open arms, a superb atmosphere and professional riding and racing was on offer to all. The weather and venue added to the fact that this really was a special event to have been at.

WOR as always send out a massive thankyou to the land owners, staff, medics, Caterers, Sponsors, spectators etc but always save the biggest thankyou for the Riders that support the events and without them there simply would be no events of this quality.

WOR ‘s next event is this coming weekend 19/20th May at MANOR PARK, WELSHPOOL. Another brilliant venue that this weekend will host a top value £30 per rider no frills playday on Saturday followed by Sundays brilliant new Practice and SPRINT Enduro format event. The previous one in the forest a few weeks ago went down a storm with the riders loving it. An open 1.5hr practice, play and set up ride around the track that is the 3 or 4 mile track for the Timed test.. followed by 6 individual Timed test enduro specials for the riders… A superb, big value for money format that went down a treat and is one not to be missed. Please get your entries in now at www.worevents.com/entries  so WOR can plan accordingly on the numbers ..Remember its cheaper and easier online and helps WOR out by knowing how many are coming …

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