Sherco Factory Racing rider Jack Edmondson won seven of the eight tests to take a convincing win in Championship class at the opening round of the 2019 ACU British Sprint Enduro, which kicked off at Bicton Farm in Shrewsbury last Saturday. After his win, Jack Edmondson stated that he felt pretty comfortable on the bike even though the track was very challenging.
Bicton Farm provided a cracking course with a single special test, including the two usual fields, the woods and the addition of the bottom field that runs alongside the River Severn, which really opened up the venue. It was clear that a considerable amount of work had been put in by the Fast Eddy team and Matt, the Farm owner, to get the track into prime condition and with sunshine on Saturday and Sunday remaining dry, the ground was perfect for racing.
The opening sprint at Bicton Farm always attract top quality riders across all classes and this season was no exception with five factory Sherco riders in the Championship class alone.
Jack Edmondson set fast times on the first three runs but faced stiff competition from Tom Ellwood, who managed to take the lead on test four. Edmondson responded to the challenge and got faster on each sprint to take the win with a 15 second margin over Ellwood and his first British Championship round win on the Sherco. Factory Sherco team mate Hamish MacDonald, hot off his success at the first World round In Germany, also had a good ride and improved on his times on each successive test to take third place. Alex Walton took fourth ahead of Mark Roberts in fifth.
The biggest entry came in the Clubman class and saw some very competitive riding. Saul Hirst set the bar early on but was challenged by James Palmer, who was hot on his heels and took five of the eight tests for a resounding win, amassing a 33 second lead overall from Hirst in second place. George Yardley was also in the mix, never far behind the leading pair and was rewarded with third place.
Eight seconds separated the top three in the Expert class with Charlie Chater narrowly missing out on the top spot after losing five seconds on test three, allowing Jack Teale to take the win. Max Ditchfield rounded out the top three. There were just two representatives in the Ladies class; Ellie Cooke and Gemma Holtham. Cooke took the win although Holtham made her work for it after leading the first two tests.
Tobias Sammut was on blistering form in the Sportsman Class, taking seven of the eight tests and over a minute’s lead on second place Lee Brady. Henry Harman was the next closest competitor, 22 seconds adrift in third place. GasGasUK’s John Shirt took the Vets class by storm, with a lead of just under a minute from second place Jamie Jenkins as Anthony Crowe took third in class.
The top three Youth riders were on top form, posting similar times to the Clubman and Expert riders. Adam James took a comfortable win, 41 seconds in front of second place Sion Hughes, with third place Toby Flack a further one minute 12 seconds adrift.
Bicton Farm was a terrific venue to start the British Sprint. Fast Eddy, his crew and Matt the farm owner had worked extremely hard to ensure the venue was at its optimum and were rewarded by relatively good weather and a cracking rider entry, which made for excellent racing.
The ACU British Sprint series moves to Brake Hill Farm, Northants, over the weekend of 13th
April 2019 for rounds two and three whilst the Club Championship will continue at a new venue on the 21st
Thanks to Michelin and Rock Oil for their continued support to Fast Eddy Racing and their events.
Report by Vanessa and Tilde Tighe, Images by Tilde Tighe
ACU British Sprint Rd 1
Championship Jack Edmondson Tom Ellwood Hamish McDonald
Clubman James Palmer Saul Hirst George Yardley
Expert Jack Teale Charlie Chater Max Ditchfield
Ladies Ellie Cooke Gemma Holtham
Sportsman Tobias Sammut Lee Brady Henry Harman
Vets John Shirt Jamie Jenkins Anthony Crowe
Youth Adam James Sion Hughes Toby Flack