GEST’s return to Mildenhall permitted a lingering sense of optimism in the early stages of their 2017 season. Exceptional weather, a desirable turnout and a track renowned even amongst national circuits concocted a formula for an exceedingly successful day of racing!
The tiny terrors were first to face the gate drop, as the junior group prepared themselves for the lengthy start straight. One rider, Ashton Boughen, in the class psyched himself up to deliver and anticipated nothing less than victory. Expectedly, he produced three spectacular moto wins; decimating the opposition, leaving devastation in his wake and comfortably clinching the overall with ease!
As the dust settled behind him, it would be Alfie Stevenson emerging to take the second step of the podium. Alfie Walton snatched third overall following a mixed bag of results, yet showing clear progression in the later motos. Notable performances from Hayden Andress allowed the number ‘9’ to command the class ahead of the GEST members. Callum Wilkinson also displayed an immense amount of bravery, at his first of many races with the guys over at GEST!
The Small Wheel class was also graced by a guest appearance from a former arenacross champion, the number ‘72’ machine of Raife Broadly poached three race wins at the head of the pack and was followed by an array of national riders such as Kiean Boughen and Leon Ongley. Josh Bassett, although missing out on a podium step, was awarded rider of the day atop his Holeshot2Win KTM. Notable performances throughout the day also came from the likes of Jack Anderson, Daniel Wood and Max Whittley.
Next to brave the circuit was the Big Wheel class. Three dominant executions from Kieran Thomas at the head of the field gifted him the overall with ease, finishing at least thirty seconds ahead of his closest rival in every moto! In second overall, another visiting rider found himself gapping the rest of the field… Tommy Petchell bagged three consecutive second place finishes, allowing him to claim the second step of the podium unchallenged. Coming home in third, but first in front the GEST members, was Benjamin Causer. This guy has been displaying clear signs of progression this season wherever he races. Definitely a rider to look out for in the coming months.
The Youth Open class delivered a few controversial results, as Tommy Clark snatched three wins along with the overall and a few riders all looked ripe to steal the next step of the podium. Alfie Cox, however, showed spectators that his move up from Big Wheel to 125 certainly wasn’t pre-emptive, as he charged ahead of riders such as Ashley Surridge, Adam Caraleo and Ritchie Martin. Rounding off the podium of the Youth Open Class was the Husqvarna of Ritchie Martin, despite an anomaly moto in the final race of the day. George Caudwell topped the GEST riders, beating both Luke Horley and Harry Hollyoake.
In GMX 3 Michael O'Connell laid his opponents to rest with three out of three moto victories, claiming the overall in spectacular fashion. Michael Emsworthy railed his way around the circuit to take second overall, as Adam Duzelman ascended through the ranks to steal the final step of the podium. Despite a second in the opening moto, Danny Hill found himself dropping down the order with less than favourable results in the remaining races.
GMX 2 witnessed three different riders each take a race win throughout the day. With such a broad field of talent it seemed as though the overall was truly up for grabs. However, Stewart Lawrence out-performed his adversaries on the day, delivering a marginally more consistent trio of motos, ultimately walking away with the overall, ahead of Sean D’Ath and Scott Brassell.
GEST’s premier class, GMX1, presented a clear victor by the end of the event. The ‘818’ machine of Shaun Springer easily found its way to the front of the pack in each moto, before then pressing hard to the chequered flag in all three races. Springer once again resumed the top step of the podium, a position not unfamiliar to the KX rider. Following Springer home in every moto, the number ‘12’ of Dean Simes consistently finished second throughout the day to finish first ahead of the GEST members. Meanwhile, Ben Lambert-Williams muscled his Off-Road Motorsport KX450F to clinch the final podium position.
Words: Ian Tiltman/Marc Carter | Lead Image: GEST MX Hastings MCC Ltd.