Thursday, 3 June 2010

Harthill NPS 4X RD2 and Euro

Photo by Dave Thomason

Ace weekend of racing at the new 4X track up near Chester. The track itself was a mix of tight and awkward features that were a little rough and ready compared to the usual track standards. This however made for some really interesting racing and tonnes of overtaking due to the awkward flow. The terrain was loose sand on top of a hard packed under layer making grip a struggle to find and there was the odd random sandpit ready to catch people off guard. The weather played its own part in livening up the racing, we had it all. Rain to further lubricate the track and when that started making sense the sun was out to dry out patches allowing a formula one style dry racing line to form. The wind built throughout the weekend and by sunday it was seriously hauling literally blowing off the competition at the gate.

Saturday was an epically fun day of racing. Every moto turned into a real battle with moves being made left right and centre. I managed one win and 3 seconds, unfortunately this run of luck was lost in quarters leaving me out of the competition. With the Euro the following day and the imminent Fort Bill World Cup there were some big names entered and a full Elite class which was great to watch. There is a definite step up in intensity in the Elite class and the speed that the top riders were taking on the track and each other made for some top notch spectating. Check out this great video coverage by Corine Walders to really see what was going down.

British 4X National Rnd 2. Harthill May 2010 from Corinne Walder on Vimeo.

The big day was the Euro round on the sunday. We were all in one class mixing it up with the Elites. A timed qualifying run set the order for the motos which were a straight knockout. Qualifying went ok, a few mistakes up top left me in 40th place and put me on a gate alongside Will Evans, a large gust of wind right before the gate dropped put the other 3 off their balance and leaving me with a brief foray out front but the deep sand on the inside line on the second corner got me and from there it was chase to the finish and giving a final ranking of 43rd. The atmosphere trackside was really good and everyone was getting right behind the racing. The finals were hottly contested and the places the top guys were able to pedal and get those few extra cranks in is really impressive. Prokop ended up taking the win but I think Dan Atherton was my favourite to watch making a number of seriously impressive passes at the bottom of the track.

All in all a great weekend, the UK 4X scene feels really strong at the moment with great turn out and a number of fresh tracks popping up, bring on the next round!!

No comments: