2013 is well and truly upon us and six weeks into the New Year the team behind the Dave Thorpe Evo series are ready to showcase revamped format and programme for the forthcoming season at this weekend’s Telford Classic Off – road show.
The most important news which broke over the winter was the agreement by the Evo series promoters that will see the championship recognised officially and be run with the expert guidance and total support of motorcycle sports’ national governing body, the ACU. This is an arrangement and firm commitment initially for the next three years.
Following the growth and the enormous amount of interest shown in the EVO scene over the past few years, both the promotion team and the ACU were extremely keen to bring this popular championship and the governing body together.
An initial approach and subsequent meeting with senior officials from both sides at the 2012 Farleigh Castle VMXdN a deal was agreed in principal and further brokered toward November, culminating in Kevin and Jill Spencer finalising details, and signing up to the three year deal, along with the ACU chairman Brian Higgins, himself a former motocross rider, at the Stoneleigh Dirt bike Show.
Brian commented at the time “This is a fantastic friendly series and it will stay that way. The ACU have pledged as much, or as little support as required, to the organisers requirements and I have expressed this to Kevin and Jill. From a riders perspective nothing will change except they will now only need one all-encompassing licence to compete in all ACU events”
This was reiterated by Kevin Spencer adding, “The ACU’s involvement and sanctioning will give us a much more official and firmer stance, thereby raising our profile in the hierarchy of the sport at a national level here in the UK”
The Dave Thorpe series will therefore be headlining all eight rounds in 2013.
The series’ first came to prominence in 2010 as the brainchild of VetsMXdN promoter, Dave King. The inaugural series was over five rounds with riders of all ages and abilities competing on bikes from the “golden age” of the eighties, when the series namesake was all conquering and gained his three world titles in the 500 class.
The concept of the championship from its pilot year in 2010 is still in the same format in such that bikes manufactured from 1980 to 1989 inclusive are eligible.
Initially the three classes of machine, 125, 250 and 500 would compete against each other, but obviously score points separately.
Towards the end of 2010 “Kinger” decided he needed to dedicate more time to the hugely successful VMXdN and following numerous meetings the husband and wife team of Kevin and Jill Spencer decided to forge ahead in 2011. Kevin was well versed in the format and ethos of the series as he was one of the original registered riders, him and Jill being heavily involved in running events under the auspices of the North Devon (Atlantic) Classic Motorcycle Club, where a chance meeting and conversation with Dave King and Chris Stone sowed the seed to go forward and expand on the original EVO concept.
That Christmas and New Year period was a busy one for the Spencer’s as a major sponsor in the form of Putoline Oils’ John Hayden was brought on board, a highly successful industry partnership which is still prominent today.
The main aim was now to secure the series name and after a face to face meeting Dave Thorpe gave his backing to continue and donated the prestigious 500cc trophy which bears his name.
The series by then had extended to six venues, which very conveniently brings us through the eight rounds of 2012 to the present day.
Pontrilas kicks off 2013 on 7th April and the momentum which has been gained over the past two years has now seen the number of separate classes growing to four, encompassing 125, 250, 500 and a combined clubmen/over 50’s.
The circuits this season take in some of the most famous in British and GP history, visiting the Fox and Hounds , Newbury, Foxhills at Swindon, Culham, Oxfordshire , along with Torrington,Devon, Grittenham, Wiltshire, Phoenix Park , Devon and culminating in September at Owslebury , Winchester.
Jill Spencer confirmed this week she already has almost 250 riders registered with almost a dozen pledging support and signing up at this week’s Telford show. The three current 2012 champions have already given their full backing to the series , two of them will be striving to retain their crown , Ben Millward in the 250 class and Welshman Glen Phillips in the 500’s . 125 champion, Phil Lewis is stepping up to the 250 class. The three champions will still be on their respective marques with the main Japanese factories of Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki represented. A fit again Ross Sturmey will be striving to wrench his 2012 number 1 plate back from Glen Phillips in the 500 class.
With the four main groups there are some very famous names on the trophies. Mentioned before is the 500 Dave Thorpe cup, the 250 winner will receive the Rob Herring cup, 125’s the Paul Malin cup and four strokes the Greg Hanson cup. Up for grabs in the Clubman class is the RH Legal Cup, with the Andy Roberton Cup for the over 50’s.
The Kevin and Jill Spencer team have been joined by son Elliot doing all official photographs, Jim Thompson is taking responsibility for press and media relations in 2013.
Further information can either be given in person on the stand at the Telford show or on-line at www.dtevoseries.co.uk
Words/report by Jim Thompson.