All content © Bob MuIIins
2019 Protect My Income RAW Challenge 5-Hour Enduro
RAW Enduro turned their attention to the longer two man Challenge Enduro events last Sunday at the stunning Hapton in Lancashire. Once again Wayne Braybrook had plotted the perfect mix of terrain for the long 5-hour race. A fantastic turn out of riders saw more solo ironmen, as well as a great mix of teams having huge amounts of fun on the day.
A new paddock and start area within the site was used to make for better spectator viewing. Along with new virgin grass fields never before used, some new climbs, and the usual fast open going, an average 10-minute lap was laid on. For this 5 hour it was critical that the course was hard wearing and capable of holding up, it did just that, and the inclusion of the super fast gravel access roads saw riders beaming as they exited the fast flowing farm fields.
Matt Parkinson took advantage of Greg Hough's mechanical problems to take the Expert solo class win. Hough was stranded in the old quarry section when his KTM chain link snapped, a jog back to the pits saw him repaired and able to make the finish to salvage championship points for runner up place. Local MX ace's Brandon Sharples and Denny Rapson smashed the Expert team class win, despite some extra pressure towards the end of the race when Mr Braybrook and team 26 started to haul them in, as the teams switched riders an off form Marc Vardy battled to the end, still suffering the after effects of pneumonia, the Vardy / Braybrook team pairing had heaps of fun. James Clark continues to stay at the top of the Clubman taking a slender win in class, just over 5 minutes down over the five hours, TFR racing rider Neil Marshal cracked the back pain barrier to take a very well deserved runner up place. Thomas Bradshaw is an ace on tarmac, as he prepares for a 2021 Manx Classic debut, he is using his RAW Challenge assault as train for his next challenge. Third on the day kept his championship alive as we head for the Double Points 6 Hour in September. Kev Hipwell and Jamie Williams ran out clear winners in clubman, with Doltan Shannon and RAW Team rider Dominic Richardson in runner up spot, despite two injured thumbs between them. A very well supported Vets class saw Mark Raynor taking the solo win on 31 laps, Local lad Simon Nutter placed runner up, and Mark Vardy was delighted with his third place after a relatively trouble free race. Andy Harvey and "old timer" Rob Gregory were the Vets team winners, Harvey's pace complimented Gregory's as the pair took the win from locals Gary Parr and Neil Croston. In the very well supported Sportsman class Lee Hargreaves was solo winner from Isaac Bargh in runner up, Dave Hopkins was a happy chap with his third place after a long hard race.
The Dream team lads Ashley Carroll and Nick Manger ran out winners of the Sportsman Team class, The Taylors (Ian and Phil) pushed hard all race to stay with the lead pair, but narrowly missed out grabbing the extra lap as the clock hit zero. Scott Hipwell and Ben Ashmore filled the final podium place in class. Our Novice riders once again showed great grit and determination on the day. As riders at the start of their enduro riding days, it's always nice to see the progress of novice class runners. Chris Sanderson was the winner in the Novice solo class, Ben Francis was his nearest challenger until a fuel error saw him run dry out on track, Unable to fuel outside the official fuel area, Ben unfortunately had a DNF within site of the finish flag. This left Chris Smith to inherit runner up place from Richard Baldwin in third place. Novice teams were all looking to out do one another, Lee Stoyles and Dean Bromley timed it to perfection to take the win. Abbie Piggott and Sarah Thomas simply got on with the job and ground out a superb runner up place, despite Piggott taking an early bath on lap one needing a change of riding kit!!! Carl Chapman and Mark Bott were over the moon taking third place on the day. A special shout out to Tobias Stansfield who (under the guidance of a marshal) rode the entire 5 hours solo on his KTM 85!!! Some achievement young man, well done from all the RAW Crew, friends, and Family.
The Protect My Income sponsored RAW Challenge Championship is still wide open as we head to Driffield on September 28th for the Final "Double Points" race, this is where a race finish is absolutely vital to secure points for the overall championship.
Well done to all riders who took Part in this race, you all deserve a pat on the back! Now get training as the six-hour edition is looming.
Thanks once again to all campers and riders for not leaving rubbish behind, working farms depend on livestock, Hapton has Happy Cows and Sheep this week now they've got their home back.