Sunday 25 February saw Diss MCC run round one of the 2018 GH Motorcycles ACU Eastern Championship. A clear and frosty morning faced the 188 competitors and the 25-strong championship class were soon at the flowing sandy special test and it wasn't long before the top riders showed their pace in the chilly but sunny morning. Top dog was MX star Luke Parker on the 450 GH Husqvarna showing his intent to focus on enduro as well as MX in 2018 finishing 2 seconds clear of Charlie Evans on his 450 Off-road Experience Yamaha, with another MX rider Lewis Tombs on his 250 Husqvarna in third. Pre-event favourite Jake Nicholls 450 Buildbase Honda got off to a steady, for him, start in fourth but admitted he hadn't walked the test and the top five was rounded out by Jon Hunt on his 300 Beta.
An hour later the championship class were back and the action resumed. Luke Parker made it two out of two with another storming test - this time with Nicholls 3 seconds behind. Evans maintained his pace as third fastest with Tombs and Hunt rounding out the top five. Unfortunately, Evans chance of a top 3 result was dashed with a collapsed mousse before the final lap which as ever at Diss enduros would present a tight final lap to finally sort the result.
Parker rose to the challenge, running clean and taking the Santon victory. Seven riders managed to stay clean. Lewis Tombs stayed clean and picked up the runner up slot with Jon Hunt claiming a well-deserved third place. Jason Morland, 2017 ACU Eastern champion kept his cool and finished in fourth with multi ACU Eastern champion Chris Hockey taking a fine fifth. Only Nicholls managed to clock in a minute early on the tight final check, however, a 20 second start penalty dropped him from second to seventh.
The competitive expert class saw ten riders clean the going but the top five all went one better, all clicking in a minute early on their tight final lap. Ben Murphy put in strongest test times to take the expert victory from Ben Coleman with Henry Yardley taking third place.
None of the expert vets cleaned the final lap but both Michael Ridge and Mark Chapman only dropped a minute with Ridge taking victory from Diss MCC man Chapman. Best of the riders losing 2 minutes was event sponsor Gav Hockey on his 300 GH Husqvarna - after running fastest in the two tests.
In the large clubman class another Diss runner Rob Aldridge, 250 Honda, took victory from Bruno Van Dyke with Ryan Mundell taking third. Stuart Bridges was the only clubman vet to clean his final lap giving him victory from Andrew Peck with Le Saunders in third. In the clubman super vets Diss MCCs Gene Womack took victory with only Gene and second placed Paul Davis running clean.
With a handful of cleans in all major classes Andy Waters and the ever enthusiastic Diss club have put on another successful event with great competition - a fitting start to the 2018 GH motorcycles ACU Eastern championship and with seven rounds in 2018, expect lots more action before riders return to the Diss MCC Muntjac enduro to round out this year's championship.