Schwalbe British 4X Series - round 2 - Penshurst, Kent
What a tough weekend round 2 of the Schwalbe British 4X Series proved to be. On Saturday, the track ran really well. There was some light rain at times, but the track was dry and running really fast. The weather forecast assured us that worse was definitely on the way, but no one could have predicted just how much rain would arrive through the night and on Sunday morning...
The phrase washout may seem too strong, but Sunday morning was just that. Probably the wettest conditions that any 4X national has ever had. A real mudfest was certainly on the cards. As ever though, the 4X guys and girls, picked up their hard tails and got out there on track to start practice. The riders were loving the track, even though in places there were streams of water running down the hill. Super fast and technical is Porc's best description and even in these conditions, riders were flying down the track.
The rain however, did cause a slight problem. The compressor for the start gate unfortunately could not cope with the deluge of rain and it gave up. The race organiser was quick to race off in search of a new compressor in the nearby towns, but to no avail. The gate was designed to work with the air ram or the manual start so after a short delay whilst Chris was on the road, the team went into action to set up the gate up for a manual start. The starter would say: riders ready, random gate and anytime in 1 to 5 seconds, he would release the gate. No lights or beeps. Just a completely random gate drop with no indication at all of when it was going to drop. Some riders were a little nervous of how this would turn out, but we can honestly say that after a couple of tests for the riders, they were all actually loving it.
The completely silent and random gate drop added a new dimension to the race and levelled out the best starters in the business. Now it was instant reactions that would get you out of the gate 1st.
The motos started and sure enough, the sun came out! Immediately the track began to dry and there were some great racing lines. The motos were action packed. Plenty of passing, lots of mistakes and the occasional crash gave way to some very interesting results. In the elite men's, defending series champion Scott Beaumont and Lewis Lacey were flying. They did not race each other in the motos, but both went unbeaten and were looking like the men to watch all day. If anyone was going to challenge them it looked like Scott Roberts or Nathan Parssons.
In the women's it was great to see Joey Gough racing. She was looking fast, but Emily Horridge and Jess Greaves were pushing her in every moto. Just like the first round at Leamington a few weeks ago, it was great to see such a big entry in the women's race.
Onto the quarter finals and the first shock of the day. Nathan 'Natedogg' Parssons was knocked out in a tough race. Clearly gutted with the result, he will be back fighting for a good result at round 2 of the 4X Protour in Poland next weekend. Beaumont, Lacey and Roberts were all through with no problem.
In the semi finals it was Beaumont and Rookie Issac Mundy who went through from semi final number 1. They were to be joined in the final by Lacey and Roberts.
Onto the finals. Fun category was won by: Rhys Jenner Big fun: Andrew Cooper Juvenile: Christian Corthorn, Seniors was a great race as the two Dave's - Richardson and Roberts battled from start to finish with Dave Richardson taking it at the finish line. Masters was won by Gareth Parr and vets dominated by Anthony Fisher.
In the women's Joey Gough got the snap and led the race into turn one. She went wide and Emily Horridge dived inside to take the lead. On the second straight Joey got a great drive and moved back past Emily. The two riders battled for the lead all the way to the line, but Joey held on to take the win. An awesome final. Suzanne Lacey was third and Cara Murray fourth.
Finally the elite men's race. Gate one was Beaumont, on two was Lacey, three Mundy and on the outside Roberts. Beaumont got the snap and led into turn one. As the riders battled bar to bar, Lacey went to the back and Roberts made a great move to come from the outside gate and into second on the exit of turn one. On the second straight the two Scott's really got the horsepower out and moved away. Scott Roberts kept Boom Boom on his toes all the way, but Beaumont held on and took the win ahead of Roberts, Issac Mundy and Lewis Lacey.
Full Results - www.british4x.com/news/rd2-results-2012-porc
All in all it was an awesome day's racing and despite the tough, wet conditions, racing was as always fantastic and Porc's for 2012 is in the record books.
See you all at Redhill for round 3 in June.www.british4x.com www.facebook.com/british4x www.twitter.com/british4x