The on-track thrills and spills kicked off today (Saturday) at the 33rd
edition of the RHL Weston Beach Race in Weston-Super-Mare, where Oliver Benton, Sheldon Seal, Dan Lawry and Sam Wilkinson claimed the honours across the classes.
The first race of the weekend was certainly action-packed, as the Youth 125/250f hit the beach to battle it out for the Weston win. While Jordan Eccles was out front for the majority of the race, Oliver Benton overcame a number of small crashes and battles with Eccles, who later dropped down the order, to claim the race win after a gruelling hour and a half of action. Benton reached the chequered flag ahead of Henry Williams in second place and Jed Etchells in third. Oliver Benton #63 – 125/250f solo youth winner “I feel ecstatic. We’ve tried so many years in the past to win and have been disappointed to come up short. We’ve had a few occasions when I’ve been winning and run out of petrol. I came in twice today to double check we had enough fuel, so we were sure we could get to the end. I’ve always wanted to win a Weston Beach Race and with me being 18 it’s my final year in the youth and I’ve done it. I’ll definitely be going out to celebrate tonight.”
Next out on track was the 65cc class, although results for this are currently pending due to an investigation and will be released in due course.
The final and main race of the day was the adult Quad and Sidecar race, which saw one of the largest entries in recent years take to the North Somerset seafront for the three-hour test of man and machine. It was Berkshire’s Sheldon Seal who dominated the race from the very early stages and built up a strong lead ahead of the 2014 winner Carl Bunce and Kieran Power in third position.
In the Sidecar Class Dan Lawry and Sam Wilkinson took the win aboard their WHT KTM on 16 laps, ahead of the Millard brothers, Dan and Joe, who suffered bike problems early on and finished in second. Colin Solley and Gareth Clarke rounded out the podium in third place. The 2-Man Quad class win went to Eagle and Wildman, while Steve Atkins won the 4x4 class. Sheldon Seal – Adult Quad/Sidecar overall winner “I feel good. It got a bit tight at the end as I had a flat tyre – I’m not sure if I hit something in the track or a sidecar or something. I got stuck a few times in the big holes, and it was definitely a really tough track that they built this year, so no complaints about it not being hard enough and it’s certainly great to win.” Dan Lawry and Sam Wilkinson – Sidecar class winners “We’re very pleased. It’s the third time here, and we’ve had troubles before, so it was nice to have a solid three hours and a lot of fun. There was quite a lot of traffic, but the track was pretty rideable, although it got cut up quite badly. We’ll probably have a beer or 10 later to celebrate.” Steve Atkins - 4x4 quad winner “I feel real good and had a lot of fun. I normally do Weston on a race bike, but after five years off I decided to do it on a 4x4. I won it in 2004 on a 4x4, so it’s great to be back and great to take the win.”
After all the excitement and great racing experienced today and the bumper line-up set for tomorrow’s Main Solo race, Sunday’s action is sure to be one not to miss as reigning Weston Beach Race champion Shaun Simpson looks to reclaim his title, whilst World and British Enduro star David Knight also hopes to add to his Weston win tally amongst many others looking to throw in a surprise. Gareth Hockey - RHL Activities Director
“Saturday’s racing has certainly been some of the best we’ve seen in years at Weston. I would say the track is also one the toughest we’ve had for many years. From what I saw all the classes had some good battles, and it was great to see some of the British Youth National riders doing so well in the 65cc and 125/250f youth races, so we’re really looking forward to tomorrow.”