All content © Bob Mullins
THE JOYS OF YOOF !
Mansfield youngster Josh Knight riding his TEAM RAW sponsored Beta 200 claimed top spot in the latest of Lincolnshire Enduro Club's events at the weekend. Eight riders out of the 130 entrants lined up in the Experts class with schoolboy Josh taking the spoils. The Nottinghamshire lad also registered the fastest lap of the day, 16.22. Whilst Josh and runner up Dan Johnson were the only riders in the group to total eleven laps, the winning margin was just over one minute after three hours of racing . Its obviously very early days yet, but this win for Josh sees him top the leader board in the class table for this year. He now has 30 points after his fourth place back in March. A lap down and completing the podium was Thomas Kirk in third spot, and then club regular Elliot Milburn in fourth, also on ten laps.
Taking place at North Willingham, and once again sponsored by Back Office Pro LTD, this was the second race of the 2023 series. Due to the deluge of water that fell in the days previous, conditions weren't so much Hare and Hounds but more akin to an old fashion "Scramble" ! (Ask your dad !). The six mile lap comprised of forays into local woodland and equally wet and (very) sticky field sections. The wettest March for four decades, which seems to have carried on into April didn't help, and whilst some places got a little drier over race distance as the sun came out, other parts of the course went the other way and had to be "pulled" due to them being deemed somewhat impassable for some riders. It seems that those conditions may have lead to more than the average amount of riders "sitting it out" in the last 100 metres or so, awaiting the chequered flag being lowered ! Call it astute, sensible, or perhaps tactical .. ?. Possibly all three. There was only 5 DNF's over all the classes !
The winner of the Over 50's division deserves a special mention. And not just for his victory in the class either. Gary McCoy (and colleague Stuart Williams) made a 700 mile round trip from Devon to compete in this the 45th event in LEC's "career". A win would have certainly eased the long miles back to the Land of Cream Teas !! Gary's winning margin was by one full lap by the end of play, with runner up place going to Ian Shepherd. On the same amount of laps as Ian but some eight minutes adrift was Dean Johnson in third. Once again, this class was one of the largest on the day, proof that a few extra years does not diminish the interest in competitive sport ! Equally, the Over 60's class remains buoyant too. Whilst this class may not be so popular, it still sees some close rivalry at the front end. Mark Peckitt's eight laps added another clear win to his first one back in mid March. Marks victory may have been an easy one over his rivals, but the second and third placed riders were a lot closer. Club stalwart Kevin Bartle Sr came home in runner up spot but only a shade under two minutes in front of third placed man Chris Woodward.
In the Clubman class, George Pearce went one better than last time out at Ashby Puerorum. To complement his runner up place in March, George added maximum points this time; his victory was by some six minutes over nearest rival Callum Woodland. Both lads were on eleven laps after the three hours. Stuart Williams (The other part of the travelling Devon crew) couldn't quite match his colleagues win in the Over 50's but did come away with a third place.
In the over 40's, Lee Hattersley is another lad who has taken back to back victories this year. Lee's winning margin in the last round was just a handful of seconds, and whilst that gap may have been a lot larger this time (A full lap in fact) it pushed the same guy into runner up place, Alex Owen. Newcomer to the group Alan Vissian was another lap down and in third spot. Once again, the biggest class on the start line came with the Sportsman two Strokes, with over 30 riders. Clear winner was Dan Smith with a clear lap's victory over nearest rival on the day, Kieron Moore. However, the battle between Kieron and third placed rider Evan Sharpe couldn't have been much tighter, just sixteen seconds. In the four Stroke version of the Sportsman class, a lad not seen at the first race of the year came out on top. Craig Lee took a win but it was fairly marginal, well under a minute over the three hours. Archie Juszczak pushed hard for his runner up position, with Thomas Feely a distant third. All three riders were on 8 laps when the finish flag came down.
In the Trail/Classic Class, Steve Kemp came on top this time, with Shaun Avison a very close second. (Just 8 seconds in fact !) Well done to all the Beginners again, a large contingent of 9 riders this time. A baptism of fire in those conditions !
The clubs next event is a practice day at Dembleby on the 7th of May. Details
Photos (Graeme Taylor) are Number 200 (Josh Knight) heading for victory at Willingham. Beth Stow (No. 414) in the 2T class and Steve Kemp coaxing Green Meanie to a Trail class win (No. 3)
Report by Martin Southwick