Words and pictures : Rob McDonnell
Dean Colhoun took a fine victory at the fourth round of the Cromwell Trucks British Quad Championship at Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday, but it was veteran Paul Winrow (above) who snuck into the championship lead for the first this year following another impressively consistent performance.
Colhoun, 19, from Bannynahinch in County Down was one of several riders who had competed in the Ulster Championship round at Desertmartin the day before. However, he looked anything but tired as he fired his Can-Am to second in opening race behind European Champion, Jeremie Warnia, then two impressive race wins.
Colhoun has shown flashes of speed all year, but admitted the fast and excellently prepared Warwickshire track suited his style, and it was the first time this season he has managed to string together three strong finishes without a problem occurring.
The same however, could not be said for his compatriot, Mark McLernon, who had come into the round leading the championship but left it in third after a disastrous day which ended in 19th
overall, 84 points adrift of the winner.
McLernon had ridden his spare bike the day before to save his race machine for Stratford, but right from qualifying the CRF450-engined machine was beset by fuel-injection problems which left him 17th
in race one and a non-finisher in the second race. He managed to salvage a sixth in the final race after Emma McQuaid loaned him her machine (despite being on course for a top ten overall finish herself!), but by then the damage was done.
All the while 13-times champion Winrow – double Colhoun and McLernon’s age – was banging in finishes which ensured that he ended the day in second place overall and took a 35 point series lead at the two-thirds stage.
“I just keep plugging away. As long as I can finish in the top five in each race I’ll be there or there about come the end of the season,” said Winrow, who managed sixth, second and third.
The opening race had gone with relative ease to guest rider Warnia, though Colhoun set the fastest lap in a pursuit of him that left him six seconds behind at the flag. Stefan Murphy, in turn, chased Colhoun hard in the early stages before finishing in third a further 15 seconds behind.
In the second race, however a stray oil pipe that covered the rear of the machine meant Warnia had to settle for third just behind Winrow (though Winrow admitted Warnia was probably just “playing” with him and could have passed him if he’d needed to). Neither though looked likely to catch Colhoun though after he got the holeshot and was never headed.
A spin and more problems in the third race meant Warnia DNF’d, again leaving Colhoun to win by seven seconds, but this time from former champion, Justin Reid, who hunted down Winrow in the closing stages. That result ensured Reid secured third overall just two points ahead of Carl Bunce. An eighth in race two after getting tangled up at the first corner was the only major problem for Reid. Bunce moved up to second in the championship thanks his efforts.
British Champion Paul Holmes made his return after a three-month injury lay-off and finished a solid sixth overall and reported no major problem with his shoulder, though his blisters were not pleasant!
George Callaway however, third in the championship at the beginning of the day, ended up 25th
overall after a heavy crash in race two left him with a broken collarbone and dropped him to seventh in the championship.
Also out of luck was Stefan Murphy, who had finished third and fourth in the opening races and, after getting the holeshot in the third race, looked set for a strong overall podium finish before a collapsed rear linkage put him out.
In the Connor Smith Six Sixty Under 21 British Championship, unsurprisingly Colhoun was the easy winner, but Jake Smith and Harry Miller took advantage of others misfortune to secure their best finishes of the year to far in second and third.
The meeting also featured round eight of the NORA MX club championships. In the highly competitive 100 youth class Catrin Davies put one over all the boys, for the second time this year, by taking overall victory thanks to three second places.
Davies had qualified fourth, but all three riders ahead of her had dramas in at least one race. Alfie Walker had led the first race before he stalled in a corner then crashed heavily as he fought his way back. Despite winning races two and three, he could not bridge the points gap. Josh Birch also led the first race before his machine hit carb problems which also affected him in race two. Then finally Marcus Sprason, who won the opening race, hit problems in race two when he first knocked off the kill switch then later jarred his wrist on a jump.
In the 250 youth category Estonia’s Martin Adamson was the quickest rider, winning races one and three, but a DQ in race two after he failed to show due caution through a section of waved yellow flags left him eighth overall. Bailey Edwards inherited the race win and secured overall victory and now leads the championship for the first time this year.
The other story in the 250 group was the end of Dafydd Davies’ unbeaten winning streak in the Modified class after engine problems in race one dropped him to last place. He bounced back with two class wins, but it was not enough to salvage victory.
In the Masters class Ed Davies was again dominant winning all three races, each time from Ant Barrett. That result finally moved Davies into the lead in the championship after a few hiccups in earlier rounds meant he has been playing catch up ever since. In the Masters B Group Trevor Humphris went unbeaten.
In the Clubman class a packed line-up of 34 again produced some cracking racing with three different riders - Jamie Morgan, Harry Walker and Jack Naylor - taking race wins. Walker and Naylor came into the day tried on points at the top of the table (Morgan missed some earlier rounds), but it was Walker who left with a slight advantage after taking the overall Clubman (and Rookie) class wins. RESULTS: Cromwell Trucks British Championship:
1 Dean Colhoun, 2 Paul Winrow, 3 Justin Reid, 4 Carl Bunce, 5 Sheldon Seal, 6 Paul Holmes. Connor Smith Six-Sixty Under 21 British Championship:
1 Dean Colhoun, 2 Jake Smith, 3 Harry Miller, 4 Callum Bates, 5 Luke Davies, 6 Jordan Hickman. Clubman:
1 Harry Walker, 2 Jack Naylor, 3 Alex Bethell, 4 Jamie Morgan, 5 Kyle Hawkes, 6 Sam Brown. Rookie:
1 Harry Walker, 2 Jack Naylor, 3 Alex Bethell, 4 Jamie Morgan, 5 James Bevan, 6 Joe Ruby. Masters British Championship:
1 Ed Davies, 2 Ant Barrett, 3 Darren Bridge, 4 Clint Eagle, 5 Mark Stepney, 6 Chris Murphy. Masters B:
1 Trevor Humphris, 2 Matthew James, 3 Andrew Willcock, 4 Richard Clark, 5 Pat Carr, 6 Marcus Knight. EVO:
1 Mark Smith, 2 Pat Carr, 3 James Murphy, 4 David Nixon. No other finishers 250cc ACU British Championship:
1 Bailey Edwards, 2 Lawrence Whyte, 3 Ayrton Knowles, 4 Harry Carmichael, 5 Tom Chell, 6 Josh Waring. 250 Open:
1 Bailey Edwards, 2 Lawrence Whyte, 3 Jack Holmes, 4 Ryan Spratt-Wyatt, 5 Josh Waring, 6 Martin Adamson. 250 Modified:
1 Ayrton Knowles, 2 Harry Carmichael, 3 Tom Chell, 4 Dafydd Davies, 5 Jacob Woodward, 6 Bradley Cockrem. 250 Standard
: 1 Harry Ruby, 2 Oliver Martin, 3 Daniel Hares, 4 Elysha Crane, 5 Declan McKenna, 6 Joseph Jukes. 250 Stock:
1 Shanice Mott. No other finishers 100 Group Overall:
1 Catrin Davies, 2 Marcus Sprason, 3 Woody Jackson, 4 Alfie Walker, 5 Dylan McKenna, 6 Shelley Smart. 100cc Geared:
1 Catrin Davies, 2 Marcus Sprason, 3 Alfie Walker, 4 Woody Jackson, 5 Dylan McKenna, 6 Bobby Carmichael. 100 Modified:
1 Shelley Smart. No other finishers