Last night – Wednesday evening, July 11th – it was the 66th running of the famous Patchquick Trophy at Phoenix Moto Parc Nr Kingsteignton inDevon which again was sponsored by local business Phoenix Tools. There was a lot of speculation across the country as weather this event would go ahead as many events the weekend before had been cancelled due to the downpours of rain, but this wasn’t the case as a lot of track preparation had been done and the track was in prime condition on arrival, but during practice and qualifying the heavens opened up for a really heavy shower which made things a bit tacky, but luckily there was no more rain and there was some top quality racing to be seen for the some 1,000 plus spectators.
This year’s event had attracted some of the countries finest as usual as well as many local kingpins including Oakleaf Kawasaki rider and last year’s winner Alex Snow. Snow had set the fastest time in qualifying, but it was the Par Homes Honda of Kristian Whatley who had the best start in the opening race from Neville Bradshaw on the Evotech Stevens Honda with Snow tucked in 3rd. Whatley was in a real hurry and was soon in to a rhythm and was gradually easing away from Bradshaw on the opening lap who had Snow breathing all over him like a rash desperate to get pass and this was to continuing for several laps. Backmarkers were to come in to play later on who Whatley passed with ease, but Bradshaw was to be showered in the face with mud and he had to slow as he searched for vision which was to let Snow up in to 2nd. Whatley was well clear by this time and was to go on to take the win with ease from Snow with Bradshaw taking 3rd. In the second moto again it was Whatley with the best start from the Rockstar Ktm of Shane Carless and Snow, but within two corners Snow had edged up in to 2nd and was giving chase. Bradshaw didn’t have the best of starts in this one and was mid field having a real battle with the Phoenix Tools Honda rider Jackson Evans and Luke Hill on the HPR/DirtbikeXpress Honda which was thrilling the spectators for several laps. Meanwhile back at the front Whatley was starting to get away from Snow on lap 6 and Carless was now closing in again which Snow reacted to and he put in a couple of quick laps to ease away again. As the last lap flag was shown Whatley had a 7 second lead over Snow who was now comfortable in 2nd, or so everybody thought until Snow went into a fast swooping right hander where his front wheel went high on a berm and he slipped off and through came Carless who was to finish 2nd with Snow remounting to take 3rd. In the last moto this time it was Snow who had the holeshot, but this was short lived as Whatley had the better line in to the chicane and took the lead with young Dan Thornhill on the Grittenham Meredith Suzuki there in 3rd. Carless was to pass Thornhill on the opening lap, but Thornhill didn’t give up that easy as he stayed with Carless for several laps and was soon to be joined by Bradshaw to make it a three way battle. Snow was to stay with Whatley in this one at the front early on ready to pounce on any mistake but on lap 6 Snow was to take a tumble over the whoops section which dropped him back a few places. Bradshaw had got the better of Thornhill on the same lap and was now up in to 3rd and gave his all to try and catch Carless but the deficit was too much to ask. Whatley was to take the chequered flag to make it three wins out of three to win the Patchquick Trophy, Carless finished in 2nd with Bradshaw just holding off Snow in the closing stages to take 3rd.
In memory of Vic Ashford who sadly passed away earlier in the year this years junior A class was to race for the Vic Ashford cup. In the opening race it was the Gillette Spar Kawasaki of Ryan Blee who set the early pace from young Lougas Maggio on the Phoenix Tools Honda and Steve Holcombe on the J D Racing Ktm. Blee was flying at the front and Holcombe was all over Maggio and was really piling on the pressure on lap 2 and it seemed to disrupt Maggio as he made a mistake and through came Holcombe with the Maunders Racing Ktm of Ben Butler now in 3rd. Holcombe who mainly rides Enduro’s was absolutely flying and was to catch and pass Blee in no time and from there powered away at the front, Butler was to get the better of Blee mid race, but Blee was to come back to regain 2nd and Butler was soon to have Maggio all over him and with just two laps remaining Maggio went through, but he wasn’t going to catch the two in front as Holcombe took the win by a considerable margin from Blee. In the second moto it was Maggio who had the best start from Butler and Holcombe but by the end of the opening lap Holcombe had hit the front and was on his way which was to leave Maggio and Butler to battle it out for 2nd and 3rd with them swopping places all the time, but in the end it was a win for Holcombe with Butler just taking 2nd from a close Maggio in 3rd.
In the Junior B class there was also some good close racing with Fraser Gardiner winning the opening race by the closest of margins from Aaron Yeo with Mark Cornish taking 3rd but in the second race there was a long hard battle again between Gardiner, Yeo and Cornish with Yeo this time taking the win from Gardiner with Cornish again 3rd.
Patchquick Trophy Event
1st Kristian Whatley (450f Par Homes Honda) 30 + 30 + 30 = 90
2nd Shane Carless (250f Rockstar Ktm) 23 + 27 + 27 = 77
3rd Alex Snow (450f OakleafKawasaki) 27 + 25 + 23 = 75
4th Neville Bradshaw (250f Evotech Stevens Honda) 25 + 23 + 25 = 73
5th Luke Hawkins (250f Apico Suzuki) 15 + 21 + 21 = 57
6th Dan Thornhill (Grittenham/Meredith Mx Suzuki 13 + 11 + 17 = 41
7th Jamie Skuse (450f Apico Suzuki) 4 + 17 + 19 = 40
8th Jackson Evans (450fPhoenix Tools Honda) 17 + 15 + 8 = 40
9th Jake Milward (250f OakleafKawasaki) 11 + 13 + 15 = 39
10th Luke Mellows (250f J H Plastering/Meredith Suzuki) 21 + 9 + 9 = 39
Vic Ashford Junior Cup
1st Steve Holcombe (250f J D Racing Ktm) 30 + 30 = 60
2nd Ben Butler (350f Maunders Racing Ktm) 23 + 27 = 50
3rd Loukas Maggio (250fPhoenix Tools Honda) 25 + 25 = 50
4th Ryan Allen (450f Ktm) 19 + 23 = 42
5th Harry Mitchell (125 Yamaha) 21 + 17 = 38
6th Toby Harvey (250f Honda) 13 + 19 = 32
1st Aaron Yeo (????) 27 + 30 = 57
2nd Fraser Gardiner (125 Yamaha) 30 + 27 = 57
3rd Mark Cornish (450f Honda) 25 + 25 = 50
4th Robin Wilkins (250 Suzuki) 23 + 19 = 42
5th Matt Wells (250 Suzuki) 17 + 23 = 40
6th Scott Hooper (450f Honda) 21 + 15 = 36
Words and Images by Dave Rich