The ACU Mini MX Championship 2017 has begun and what a cracking start to the year! Fast paced and exhilarating; we saw brilliant riding from all ages – from the youths all the way up to the Vets.
The weather looked good for the weekend with the sun out for most of Saturday, things couldn’t look better for the opening round. Anticipation and excitement was high and the quality of riding even higher. With such a great turnout, the youth class was shaping up to be a highlight of the day whilst the adult class had to be split into two – intermediates and pros.
The track was in tip top condition with good feedback from the riders after some new changes in the pre-season. Notably a new gap ‘ski jump’ after the whoops along with a technical step up and series of step downs along the final straight. With the dry weather came the dust but this proved no issue for the riders.
What racing it was! Such a high quality from all three classes and a great sportsman like attitude all round meant everyone had a great day. There were a few notable spills with a couple of riders flying over a burm or two – or getting tangled up on the start straight. Notably Chris Codling found himself the villain and victim of accidental comings together; and was run over on the start straight. We even had a TTR go for a swim in a water ditch that then miraculously continued racing. Despite all the dramas though there were no serious injuries throughout the weekend but plenty of smiles and laughs back in the pits. Youth
Our youth class got the show rolling with some close action right up until the end. With riders as young as 6 years old, they attacked the track eager to get their respective seasons off with a win. Every rider showed progression throughout getting faster and faster. Jack Perry has the overall lead with some excellent wins early in the weekend to put his competitors on the back foot. Mickey Bennet is currently sitting in second place after some gutsy riding whilst close behind is Ben Moran in third keeping the leading pair on their toes. Early days yet but the championship is setting up to be a close one between our youth riders. A note to Alex Cheshire who rode brilliantly on Saturday but took a tumble, hurting his wrist; which put him out of Sunday’s racing. We are hoping to see him fit and healthy at the next round at Hilton Park.
We are so pleased and feel privileged to see so many young and talented riders begin the season with us – well done to all who took part! Intermediates
The intermediate class has great promise with competitors showing real guts and determination. The racing was getting closer and closer as the track bedded in and racers found their lines. Mollie Rabbitts takes the lead after 8 blocks of fast and furious racing but Rhys Streeter is hot on her tails taking second place overall; some really competitive riding between these two that should make for an electrifying season to come. Owen Tucker, a new club member, took third place with some excellent riding. Pros
Now to the ‘sharp end’ with our pro class. There was some serious competition lining up at the gates with many riders now veterans in the class and, although friendly in the pits, couldn’t wait to get the bar bashing started. In a dominant show of speed and skill Blaine Blackwell lapped the entire field (with the exception of the top riders) to take overall first place after the first weekend. Ash Gorman, who seemed the only man to be able to keep Blaine honest, showed his fast, consistent pace to come in second with Jesse Hartland very close behind taking a strong third. Given that Jesse is one of the youngest riders at just 16, he is shaping up to be a real talent for the future.
A special note has to be made for Blaine’s pace as he set a new fastest lap and is the only rider to have cleared the step up step down along the back straight – a previously unseen feat. Congratulations to Blaine.
Finally, a thank you to our sponsors and marshals’; without their help the event couldn’t go ahead. We are excited about the year ahead with new tracks on the calendar and some intense racing. Thank you to all who participated and hopes to see even more people at the next round - it was great to see some new faces come along and get involved, welcome to the club! The next rounds are at Hilton Park, Wolverhampton; running with the Lucas Oil Autos Motorcross Grand Prix. For more information visit www.acuminimxchampionship.co.uk
Thanks also to Craig Swales for producing and editing an excellent video of the weekends racing. This can be viewed from our website www.acuminimxchampionship.co.uk/photos-2016/
Report by Wendy England and Cai Jones
Photos by Wendy Rose