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Rock Oil Round 6
The battle at Rock Oil round 6 was pegged to the Hapton Valley in Lancashire around a monster 5 mile course taking an average of almost 16 minutes per lap to complete for the fast adult riders. Youth class riders had an awesome fast flowing lap to compete on minus the long fell run and gnarly woodland section.
A fantastic showing of youth riders were flagged away at 9am, Cristina Palmer showed her MX fast starting skills to claim the Youth A Holeshot prize of a £20 voucher. Unfortunately Cristina hit trouble after 4 laps when an old injury halted her progress. This left RAW Team rider Bert Boam (right) to take the Youth A win without any real pressure. Hayden Stansfield out on his big wheel 85 did his best to hunt down Boam but settled for a solid second in class. Harry Walker back to form won the Youth B, a full lap up on second place finisher James Lindsey, Lindsey was another rider grabbing the holeshot prize in his class. RAW had 4 junior autos at this event, Harry Croft on his KTM 50 big wheel kept cool to take a well-deserved win in class. Jake Hannon placed runner up, with the girl power squad of Lily Marshal third and her pal Darcy Sharpe finishing her first ever race with a smile in fourth place.
With track marshals having changed to course to include the woodland and long hillside fell run, at just after 11am Wayne Braybrook fired the adult event into life. Each and every class had some awesome battles at the front, as mid pack riders battled to make the finish. Old school Enduro's are few and far between these days, Hapton always makes riders work for their supper, and this day was no different. Jamie Williams drove from Wales to Lancashire to make sure he didn't miss the latest Rock Oil Championship, his steady start then saw him settle into a rhythm which meant he was able to take the overall win. Chris Hughes hopped back on his enduro bike to race Hapton, Pingu was on great form even making light work of the tough climb out of the woodland which was always a test. Championship leader Jack Spencer crashed out on Lap one damaging rider and bike past the point of being able to continue.
John Shirt (right) out on his trusted 2019 Gas Gas won the Elite Vets and took third overall. Shirty's level of bike fitness is super high, that coupled with his love for proper events meant his race was nothing other than enjoyment. Rick Du-FEU out on his MR300 Reiju was happy with runner up behind team boss shirty. John Bradford back on 4 banger power got stuck in and grabbed third spot for his efforts, saying at the finish "that was awesome".
Perhaps the closest battle of the day went to the hard fighting clubman. Sam Lampkin hounded the inform Scott Hipwell all race, the pair pushing each other and looking to gain precious seconds in the hard woodland section. Literally at the finish line Sam Lampkin took his first ever RAW Enduro win on his little 200 Beta. Scott Hipwell had to settle for runner up place. Tommy Grimmer kept his championship alive by finishing third on the day. Interestingly Lampkin and Hipwell both had exactly the same Average lap time of 13:07. Sportsman Vets winner Nick Barrow is another fan of real enduro's, his win in sportsman vets moves him closer to the sharp end of the championship. Local ace Ashley Jones battled hard to place runner up, with Aaron Ward placing P3. Jonny Bagnall was runaway winner in the Sportsman class, Jonny just missed the extra lap on his rivals by a mere 2 seconds at the finish flag. Another huge turnout of Over50 class riders saw old war horse Mark Raynor taking the win from Andrew Dean. The saying we breed them tough up north applies to Andy Dean, a crash after just five minutes left Andrew with a sore hand and injured finger, never one to moan he battled on to the finish in second place, when he took his glove off after the race it revealed a finger slashed to the bone which needed a little TLC at A&E. Get well soon Mr Dean.
Finally Novice class honours went again to John Parker with an average lap time of 23 minutes, not bad for a club Hare & Hounds winning rider! Nathan Handley placed runner up just 26 seconds back to keep Parker honest.
All in all another quality event delivered from the RAW Enduro Organisation. Hapton is now graded ready to recover for its next event which will be the Ballbreaker Extreme running as soon as current restrictions permit.
RAW Enduro have saved the best until last this year, Rock Oil Round 7 will take place at a Brand New Venue at the end of September, a fast flowing Stubble X event which will add a very different feel to the penultimate round of the 2020 Championship. Then "The Final" Round 8 will again see another Brand New venue in October to round out what has been a fantastic season of competition during very strange time.
Thanks to all participants for keeping the club moving forward during these very restricted times.
More info on the RAW Enduro Website and Socials @RAWEnduro