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Dell-icious Racing at Lee Dell Rock Oil R4
2018 Rock Oil Championship Round 4 Lee Dell Lancashire

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After the disappointment of having to postpone round 3 only a few weeks ago due to ground saturation, round 4 was the complete opposite with dry dusty conditions at the Lee Dell hill top venue in Lancashire. Clerk of the course Wayne Braybrook knows this venue well, the week running up to the race weekend was used to plot and mark a good traditional fast flowing XC lap. The plan worked perfectly as riders filled all three-paddock areas on the Sunday race day. RAW4 Quads had their second round on Saturday, this flattened the track out perfectly for the first race of the day which was for Youth riders.

Local rider Hayden Stansfield committed to all three events in the weekend schedule, his training session on Saturday was complimented by a great performance in the Saturday Night hill climb, before and outstanding win in the Youth B on Sunday finishing one clear lap up. Harry Walker riding Youth B placed second on ten laps completed. Declan Wheatley one of the Dirty Dozen Race 2 Off Road team was delighted with his third place. Isle of Man resident William Cawte made the trip across again to race with RAW, a fantastic win in Youth A sees this lad as a favourite to be win the Championship although there is still a long way to go. Holly Inness had an awesome race to place runner up, with Alex Morris taking the final podium place. The “New for 18” Junior Auto Class continues to see the stars of the future learning enduro. Kenny Brierley took his first win at RAW, two more Dirty Dozen members placed runner up with Jack Houghton and Brooke Mudie filling the next two top spots.

Onto the massive AM Adult race, with the sun beating down the pre event safety briefing was delivered to all riders on the start. The New Sportsman Elite class is now increasing in numbers, fast sportsman are now the first to leave the start. David Williams was on a mission from then get go, David Loves the Lee Dell track and his win in class takes nothing away from runner up James Cooke Thomas who pushed hard all race to finish runner up, JCT only just missed staying on then lead lap. Mark Cockfield was happy with his third place despite an awkward fall leaving him hobbling for his trophy when his foot peg injured his leg. The top six sportsman riders all finished on 15 laps separated by around 4 minutes, this is competition at its best and also shows fair racing and ability levels are about right in class. Damen Ward took his 724 machine to a fine win from Mick Johnson Motorcycles rider Ricky Ford in second. Ricky and Nick Taylor battled to the finish with Taylor having to settle for third. Local rider Mick Alderson was victor in the Sportsman Vets Class; his 50-second advantage over second placed Martin Allen was a great ride on the day. There were more than 50 riders entered the Novice class, this in due to the fact that Wayne Braybrook always makes the RAW tracks rideable for riders right across the ability level, no stoppers yet still offering the challenge to everyone. Lee Seddon took the Novice class win on 13 laps which was perfect for the day, runner up Simon Collins missed the presentation although he was over the moon with his performance. Simon runs on a race plan created for him by Wayne Braybrook, and the difference is there to see. Liam Parish pushed hard all race on his 473 KTM, he was rewarded with third place for his efforts. Abbie Piggott had a race long battle with Simone Wallis in the Ladies class, Abbie is now gaining confidence and the rest of the season looks set to be very competitive in the class. Simone Wallis pushed her CRF150 as hard as she could to take runner up. Sarah Thomas had an unusual off day, bike problems at the start saw Sarah struggling to find a rhythm in the race, never giving up she ground out a finish in third. The Old lads over 50 class was as tight as ever. Gary Morley was the winner on the day, D3 boss Neil Crayston went Red for this race to show off his Honda CRF250, having a good battle Crayston took runner up as local professional trail rider Pete Fletcher hauled in championship points to take third on the day.

After the dust settled on the AM events, and with the presentation and results delivered to everyone, it was time for the separate PM adult event for the faster more experienced riders. Having his first run in the RAW Experts class D3 rider Burt Crayston took the holeshot and led comfortably around lap one, Zac Sherwin Marc Vardy and David Dudley were all flying and setting a very hot pace. Mid race battles went too and fro during fuel stops and in the end it was a final two-lap dash for top spots. Zac Sherwin took a comfortable win, as Marc Vardy had his best result-taking runner up after a fierce battle with Burt Crayston. Young Burt also got caught napping by the hard Charging David Dudley who desperately wanted the final trophy in the expert class. With Crayston finishing forth this does not reflect how close they all were, only 36 seconds separated second to forth!! Neil Marshal was the man on form in the Clubman class, with his usual Phoenix racing KTM barely alive in the workshop, a borrowed KTM left Marshal full of confidence. A great win in class is what he needed to grab some championship points. Robert Allen placed runner up and RAW Team rider Joe Townsend took his FC250 to a great third on the day. Paul McSorley was the only Elite Vet on the line, hammering his WR250 around Lee Dell after almost 5 months not riding.

Gratitude as always to everyone who plays a part in the success of RAW Enduro as the club establishes itself as one which is run on experience and top flight enduro event knowledge. The Next RAW Event sees a move to the RAW Challenge series for Round 2. The 6 Hour 2 man relay, or solo ironman event at Ripon will sort the talkers from the doers. Come on everyone step outside the comfort zone and accept the challenge!!