19 March 2018 by 028
WOR EVENTS PUTOLINE NATIONAL HARE SCRAMBLES RD 1 2018
BADEN HALL / STAFFS / MARCH 18th
Report: K. Williams
“All in a Knights WOR-k”
“The 2018 Putoline National Hare Scrambles started last Sunday for both solos and quads as WOR Events kicked off their spring and summer campaign in …You guessed it… Snow and freezing artic conditions! Baden Hall in Staffordshire was the setting and this superb, classic, decade old, exclusive WOR venue, took on the crazy Mid March weather and won, as Hundreds of riders still managed to get to the event with massive snow falling all over the UK and interrupting lots of events and people’s lives. WOR’s careful planning and preparation had hired in plant machinery and Road Sweepers and an army of dedicated staff all fired up and ready to get the 2018 season going in full swing ….
The unique Baden course is like a mini version of a GNCC track from the states and was its usual mix of twisty, winding woodlands linked with open grass sections, bomb holes, drops and climbs and old concrete military roads from back in the day when it was an MOD bomb making facility. The weather made it muddy, gloopy, rutty and very tough indeed to say the least with all riders that battled to the finish deserving a massive pat on the back for their efforts.
Solo Race 10.30am
The old Staffordshire bomb site had another massive explosion last Sunday and that was called Word Enduro legend, David Knight. The” Knighter” on his GGUK GASGAS 300 was like a bomb had gone off to his fellow competitors as he exploded from the drop of the union jack start flag to the waving of the Chequered flag at the end of the 2-hour Hare Scramble. The most decorated British Enduro rider of all time was simply unstoppable as he lapped the entire field and made light work of the treacherous conditions, almost seeming to revel in them, being the only rider to complete 10 laps and win by over 15 minutes from his next challenger. The aggressive Knight looked fit and lean, and fast and smooth and this really was a top performance from a man approaching his 40th Birthday and returning to a speed and form that is customary to him. The Humphreys brothers, Owain and Gethin where once again at the head of the pack, if you exclude the Phenomena that is David Knight, and the North Wales based brothers once again where not far apart come the end of the race. Owain on his CF Racing Husqvarna FX 350 4t was running in second place for most of the race with his younger Brother Gethin on the MRS Sherco 300 2t solid in 3rd place. This is how it finished at the end but not without a bit of drama as Owain derailed a chain, not once, but twice, allowing Gethin Through to second spot with a lap to go, but a determined Owian reeled him back in and managed to take a 15 second advantage over his younger sibling, Both on 9 laps. Tim Forman and Jon Hunt both Beta mounted made the top 5 and the only other riders to do 9 laps. For the first time in a long, long time, there was not a single orange KTM in sight of the top 7 riders at a WOR event.
Paul Engerlen showed his class in the Clubman group as he used all his years of experience and determination to complete 8 laps and take a 6-minute winning advantage over Runner Up Nathan Rogers. Rogers was going well on his return to WOR racing too as he just shaded the silver award from 3rd placed Steve Mercer, they too where on 8 laps each. Former TT racer Steve Mercer deserves a special mention too, riding on his 36th Birthday and again travelling all the way up from Kent for a WOR event, Mercer took the lead and stayed in front of the clubman class comfortably, he then ran out of fuel and had to push bike in the slop to the pits… a valuable lesson learned there indeed and one not to be repeated in the forthcoming season that’s for sure.
Gary Mccoy (KTM) is a battle hardened, veteran rider from Devon and has done many a WOR Tough One in the past, always putting in a solid shift, this event was no different, Overnight travel in Snow from Devon? No problem! take on the Top-Level Veteran group in a two-hour mud fest? No problem!!, A start to finish lead had the likeable 50 plus year old as the winner, but he was pushed hard all race by the Runner up, Anthony Griffith, whom in turn was only 39 seconds down as both riders where the only ones in class to complete 8 laps each. Really good riding there from the sharp end of the VETS A’s. Third place on the podium belonged to Rick De Fue as he used all his top-level MX style, pace and experience to take the bronze award aboard his Gas Gas 300 albeit on 7 laps.
Steffan Butterworth was the top rider in the Vets B group, completing 7 laps and holding off Runner Up, Andy Harvey by 1 minute and 1 second. Paul Lightfoot kept things tight at the top in the Vets B as well bydoiung 6 laps and taking 3rd place ..
Chris Wagstaff has done a fair bit of winning at WOR in the Expert Vets over the years but now time has moved him into the Over 50’s group and making his debut in there saw a very familiar result, a class win for the Shrewsbury based builder as he was the only rider in class to complete 8 laps. Waggy was chased down hard though by Duncan McCormick, whom had made another long trip down from Scotland and battled his big 500 KTM around the tough course to secure 2nd place I the group with a 7-and-a-half-minute advantage over Triple D Motorsports Boss, Neil Crayston who took a lovely looking and sounding new Honda 250f to the final spot on the podium.
Jake Shepard was the man to beat in the Sportsman group as he upped and left the rest of the field from the off. Jake was the only rider in class to complete 7 laps and fully deserved his win after moving up from last years Novice group. Adam Bates was another rider promoted up from last years Novice group and he too rode well to take the Runners Up spot with a 2-and-a-half-minute advantage over 3rd placed Phil Foster in 3rd. Bates and Foster completing 6 laps each. T
op Novice was Richard Marr from Rob Moreton and Chris Cannon in 2nd and 3rd place respectively with Marr completing 6 laps and Moreton and Cannon on 5 apiece. Frank Skillin and Haydn Rainford completed 4 laps each with the advantage going to Skillin, both riders doing brilliantly in the mud on their little wheels.
Quad Race – 1.30pm.
The second race of the day was the WOR 4 wheelers as the quads took to the start line for their shortened, 2-hour battle around the gnarly, testing track. Dave Tokarz is an old school WOR rider that has been absent from the scene for a while and he made a welcome return with a stunning ride to take the overall win and a the 4x4 Experts class with a super strong and smooth performance. Tokarz on his Can Am 1000cc finished 1 and a half minutes ahead of Scotland’s Craig McCormick and a further 2 and half minutes ahead of The Hard Charging Dean Foster in 3rd place. All on 10 laps each and making it a 1/2/3 for Can Am.
Bradley Price was the only 2wd Expert to finish and in doing so he topped the group with 9 laps to his credit.
Sean Wealleans was in good form in the 4X4 Clubman and took the win, but it might have been a bit different if Danny Lloyd had not gotten a puncture on his Suzuki and had to stop to borrow a new wheel. Wealleans and Lloyd being the only riders in class to complete 9 laps. 3rd placed Clubman 4x4 went to Neil Martin on 8 laps with a determined, muddy ride.
As always, the biggest class is the 2wd Clubman and a good turn out had Neil Sweeny out in front of that group by being the only rider in class to complete 9 circuits. Runner up to him was David Hull with Lee Carpenter in 3rd place. All the quad riders looked absolutely knackered as they crossed the line to get their congratulations from the event Boss, Steve Ireland, and all fully deserving of it too.
Summing up this event is easy, a massive well done to all the super hard working WOR staff and team for taking on the horrendous conditions and making sure that such a high profile and busy event ran like clockwork and injury free. The biggest thanks as always must go to all the riders that attended and supported the event from all 4 corners of the UK and further making it a true National Hare Scramble indeed.
This Putoline National Hare Scrambles series is shaping up to be a cracker if the support and atmosphere from round 1 is to continue throughout the year and with the WOR Events Michelin Cross Country Enduro series about to start and the clubs new Extremism Hard Enduro championship kicking off in May, it all looks like being a cracking year ahead for Enduro riders and dirtbikers with WOR as they continue to be the most Pro Active Enduro promoter out there with such variety of venues and formats of both racing and play riding for all ages and skill levels.
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