Tuesday March 6, 2018 at 2:47pm
Hookwood Trials Club at Hookwood Trials Centre, West Horsley, KT24 6EA will be the place to be this coming Saturday as we start the 2018 trials championships. There are a few changes of rules and riders on new bikes which will all unfold from 9.30 am on March 10th. First of all, the changes in rider classes. There will be four classes in the 2018 Solo Championship events, namely “Championship”, “Masters” “Expert” and “Elite Youth” The Championship Class will ride the primary route through the Sections. The Masters Class will ride 50% of the easiest Championship sections and 50% of the hardest Expert sections. The Masters Class, Expert Class and Elite Youth will have alternative routes where appropriate, which will be clearly marked using different coloured markers. One thing that remains the same is that the course will remain at 3 laps of 12 sections. Hookwoods is a compact course which lends itself to spectators being able to keep up with all of the action. So, on to the riders. The Number 1 plate will be held by Jack Price who won the title after a season long scrap with Jack Sheppard in 2017. Price remains aboard a Gas Gas while Sheppard has changed from Beta to Sherco. The Peace brothers Dan and Jack also remain with Gas Gas whilst Toby Martyn from made a big move by going from Vertigo to the 4 stroke Montesa. Another change sees Iwan Roberts swap from Beta to TRS and of course we see the return to the Brit’s with James Dabill a many times winner of this series. Add in new riders at this level with Oliver Smith, Hugo Jervis and last year’s A class Champion Billy Green along with top runners Andy Chilton, Dec Bullock, Alexz Wigg and Tom Minta it is likely to be a good day. Last year’s Expert winner was James Fry who gained the title on the last day of the 2017 series. He is back as is Richard Sadler, Dan Thorpe and Guy Kendrew all of whom know how to win. There is plenty to watch in this class which also has entries from Emma Bristow and S3 champion Luke Walker. The new masters group sees Tom Affleck and Ross Danby in their ranks and the Youth Elite who ride the Expert route has a strong look to it.