Local Boy Makes Good
The first round of the inaugural ACU backed Dave Thorpe Evo Series got off to a flying start last Sunday at the well prepared top class circuit of Pontrilas. This track has hosted many top national events in the past and if Sunday was anything to go by, many more. Very slick running by the hosts teams from Breaking MX and Transporterland made sure everything went smoothly and without a hitch, making the three blocks of racing appearing as seamless as possible.
First to the starting gate after the mornings practice session was the eagerly anticipated premier event of the DT series, the 500,s and true to form did not disappoint.
Leading the pack into turn one, with the picturesque backdrop of the black mountains was the Honda of Fred Heath, a feat he was to repeat in race two, this along with strong results behind the front two gave him a creditable third overall.
Then to the front pairing of ex British Championship runners Glen Phillips and Phil Mercer. They raised the temperature on the track in each of their three outings.
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Phillips came through strong in turn two of race one with Mercer snapping at his heels a couple of cambered corners later. These two had pulled out a ten second lead over the squabbling trio of Andy Watkins, the aforementioned Fred Heath and Henry Weston. At the flag it finished Phillips, Mercer and Heath.
Moto two gave us as much excitement although the tables were turned by Phil Mercer who had used all his experience and race craft to shadow Glen after cutting into his twenty second lead. A last lap pass after turn two ensured the man from Oxfordshire scored his maiden victory.
The hard charging Wayne Butt went one position better to secure fifth to add to his race one tally, once again battling with Dave Thomson.
The”Man from the valleys” had his game plan figured out as they came to the line for the third and final moto. Phillips gated well, holeshot the race and rode hard to create an eighteen second gap between him and Phil Mercer knowing full well that Mercers fitness would maintain his speed throughout the moto. Phillips had kept the gap until Mercer gained two seconds a lap right up to the chequered flag. Once again Heath, Watkins, Butt and Thomson provided a spectacle in pass after pass for the spectators rounding out the top six.
Quality racing was the order of the day and not to be outshone by their larger capacity rivals were the quarter litre class. In fact so much quality that it prompted DQMX with Dunlop to award the prizes of tyres to number 248, maximum man, Ben Haggerty-Marks scoring a perfect card and three wins. The other DQMX prize was awarded to Glen Phillips.
So to the 125,s, holeshot king proved to be the Honda of number 555, Neil Carroll who achieved a clean sweep although a couple of mistakes gave him a creditable second overall. A day long squabble over three motos between Carrol and Warren Berthiaume over second and third kept everyone on their toes.
Not to be outshone and keep everyone honest was the racing between Dean Warren, Lewis Dowdeswell and Stevie Ruddock, perhaps producing the best racing of the day. These three shared equal fourth spot behind Berthiaume. Strongest on the day of the young Stark brothers was Ben in fifth.
The only low point in the full DT Evo day was the coming together between 125 rider Dave Ganes’ hand and a post.
From a broken bone to a broken piston, the unfortunate story of young Luke Deans day. A seizure in moto one robbed the talented 18 year old of a possible 1-1-1 score, although Rick Du-Feu had something to say about that. Capitalising on Dean’s misfortune, Du-Feu grabbed the 30 points on offer with consummate ease which added to a second and third spot gave him the overall lead at the top of the table to take to Newbury in three weeks time. Harry Sellwood is also keeping himself in the mix, riding steadily for third in motos one and two and having the measure of the track by moto three to claim second and the same overall. Richard Chinn proved extremely capable carding 2-4-4 for third overall, although on his day, will be challenging for maximum points.
After a quick pre-race change of piston Luke Dean finished with his two top scores giving him fourth overall in front of the Jordan Owen and Olly Jones show. Current 125 champion Phil Lewis was also in the top ten consistently.
Rounding out the blocks of racing was the over 50 combined with clubman class.
Russel Priddle was quickest out of the gate to claim holeshots followed by Keith Hanson, no stranger to podium finishes. The over 50’s finished this way overall with Martin Maisey and Richard Wright heading Chris Stone to finish top 5 on the day.
The clubmen showed their class in the strong field with Jon Rutherford winning his overall and dicing between top five and ten in all three motos. Another to shine overall was Curtis Ratcliffe again consistent in the overall combined class with top ten finishes. Stu Puddle and Mike McEvoy likewise. Rob Whiting had a strong first moto third overall to help his points accumulation to sixth in the clubman class.
The second round is being run at the famous Fox and Hounds circuit, Newbury on the 28th April.
The MR Thumpercross reunion races saw an overall for the every green Phil Mercer, followed by Mike Deeley and Simon Wise. In the Modern Open support class there was a win for British arenacross star Jack Brunel taking a fine overall from Jordan Wright and David Frankland.
- Ben Haggerty-Marks
- Neil Carroll
- Warren Berthiaume
- Dean Warren
- Lewis Dowdeswell
- Stevie Ruddock
- Rick De-Feu
- Harry Sellwood
- Richard Chinn
- Luke Dean
- Jordan Owen
- Olly Jones
- Glen Phillips
- Phil Mercer
- Fred Heath
- Andy Watkins
- Wayne Butt
- Dave Thomson
- Jon Rutherford
- Curtis Ratcliffe
- Greg Cox
- Stuart Puddle
- Mike McEvoy
- Rob Whiting
- Russell Priddle
- Keith Hanson
- Martin Maisey
- Richard Wright
- Chris Stone
- Chris Smejkal
Report By Jim Thompson
Pictures By Elliot Spencer