ll content © Bob Mullins
Maiden for Milburn !
Its all getting a little bit close in the race for the Experts "title" in Lincolnshire Enduro Club's/Back Office Pro 2023 series. Elliot Milburn with his first win of the year at the weekend has now put the squeeze on Dan Johnson somewhat. Whilst Dan leads the group overall, he has now seen his lead at the top of the division reduced to seven points from the previous nine. On the day, Dan couldn't quite get to the line in time for another lap in this the fifth event of the year but with a few minutes in hand after his eight lap, Elliot managed the one extra loop that secured victory over his nearest rival, thus taking maximum points. Elliot also "won" the fastest lap of the day award too; 20.32 over the 9.5 mile mixed field/quarry/woodland track. Not only was It a race long battle between the two on track, it was a clash in the refuelling area too as they both fought to get in/out as quickly as possible. Whilst It was only in the last thirty minutes that Elliot started to pull out his winning gap, victory still wasn't secure. It involved an unplanned 1/4 mile run to the pits for even more fuel as the "Donkz Racing" FE Husky 350 decided it had used up all its Unleaded !! Given the stifling heat and dust of the day, perhaps like most riders, it felt like a lie down after its exertions !. Mark Lonsdale came home on the same lap as Dan, (Eight) but some four minutes adrift. Mark is in third overall for the year and is awaiting any slip ups from the leaders.
The first pairing in the Clubman class on Sunday do not feature so heavily in the yearly rankings. Lucas Travers took the spoils at "The Heath" with a two minute victory over second placed jockey, Hayden Stansfield. Both these lads were on eight laps when the chequered flag came down and this result now sees them move into sixth and eighth positions respectively. However, it was the third placed lad on the day Wesley Bell who now has his head marginally in front overall for 2023. What was a shared lead up front is now a narrow five point lead.
Only one rider through all classes has seen a clean sweep of wins this year. However, that winning streak came to end on Sunday though for Scarboro' lad Mark Peckitt in the Over 60's. Due to a "mechanical", he succumbed to a DNF this time, leaving Kev Bartle Sr to take his second win of the campaign. Paul Oates was runner up, but only a minute adrift; both riders on seven laps at the end. Even with "nul points" on the day still heads the championship table, by four points.
Staying with the "Older but perhaps not wiser" classes, it could be said that Lee Hattersley in the Over 40's has one hand on the title. His win on Sunday was his hat trick for the year and takes his 2023 tally to more than thirty points in front of nearest rival. That rival is Alex Shaw, who came home third on the day, also on eight laps. Sandwiched between the two in second place was Alan Vissian, but only a handful of seconds behind the winner. Richard Price who came home forth, is in third place for this year.
The Over 50's once again saw one of the biggest classes, with eighteen lads on the start line. Ian Shepherd still leads them out for the year with his third place on Sunday. The winner on the day though was Lee Smith. He was however followed home very closely by Neil Tapper, just 30 seconds adrift. Neil lays second overall, with Justin Lawson now in the Bronze position. Larger than the Over 50's class was the Sportsman 2T lot, with twenty riders. A cigarette paper cant be squeezed between the top three lads after this event. There's just one point separating the top trio. Kieron Moore and Stuart Ellis share the lead on sixty points, with Dan smith chasing hard just a single point behind. On the day it was Stuart who took the spoils but it was close again; just twenty seconds in front of runner up Bobby Barrows. Kieron was third on the day. All three were on seven laps. In the 4T division, it wasn't quite as close with Luke Howson going over the line a minute in front of second placed lad Paige Felipes. In third spot was Simon Owen. Archie Juszczak who is in front of the pack for 2023 was down in fourth, with Stephen Slater (eighth) now laying in the runner up spot. Shaun Avison has his nose in front in the Trail/Classic group, with another win at the weekend. Steve Kemp chases hard with his second spot, and is in the same position for the year.
Extra thanks go to everybody concerned with the race/track set-up. Taking into play the temperatures that got close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the dust, conditions were anything but comfortable out there. Well done to all competitors too.
The next round is on the 22nd of October, venue to be confirmed. Entries will be on line (ACU) asap.
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Report by Martin Southwick/Photos by Graeme Taylor . . . Elliot Milburn (No. 233) and Dan Johnson (No. 94) in their race long dogfight; Steve Dickenson (no. 370) and No.45 (Antony Jelley) eat dirt in the Over 50's class, and Justin Lawson (No. 639) heads into one of the quarry sections.