Monday October 14, 2019 at 11:51am
Harry Walker has been racing as long as he can remember, and the Yamaha Zip Racing PAR Homes racer took an emphatic Weston Beach Race victory in in the Quadzilla Quad class last year. The 20-year-old from Reading is back at this year’s event, which takes place this weekend, with the goal of defending his race quad title and we caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to.
Walker’s family is well-known in the quad racing scene, his father raced at the Weston Beach Race for many years with a best finish of second position. Harry regularly competes, having raced in both the British and European motocross classes this year aboard his quad, and the quad-ace is definitely seen as the man to beat having taken the Weston Beach Race crown in 2018 following two podium finishes.
“I raced as a junior at the beach race a few times, I never won it, I was actually leading the last lap and my bike broke in 2014 but let’s not talk about that. I was brought up with it (quad racing) – my dad raced from before I was born. My brother races too and he’ll be in the adults for the first time this year. It’s in our blood, I’ve done it for years, Dad’s done Weston many times and I think he had a second place,” said Walker.
“I’ve had three podiums at Weston now with a third in 2015, second in 2017 and I won it last year. I had a bad first lap last year, but that’s the beach race for you. I think I posted the fastest laptime by around 14 or 15 seconds. My speed was there although we did have a problem with the bike – I had to work for it, it wasn’t easy, but it was good. To win the Weston Beach Race is such a big achievement, it’s such a big race and I’m excited to come back. I actually chose to do it over another event which forms part of a series I’m doing, but Weston is so big and important I really wanted to be there,” continued the Berkshire racer.
Walker works during the week for fellow quad competitor, Stefan Murphy, who won the race in 2017 but will line-up as part of a two-man team in 2019. Walker has re-built his sand bike and is looking forward to getting going again next weekend. However, there’s a lot of competition. Not only is the Weston Beach Race a huge battle of many and machine just to finish, competitors such as Carl Bunce and Paul Winrow will certainly be expected to be in the fight for a podium finish, despite Winrow playing down his goal of a result having been absent from the race for four years] – Winrow said: “I’m 46 and I eat a lot of chocolate, the other guys are half my age.”
Walker continued - “I work for Stefan Murphy in Aviation Detailing – I’ve been doing it for four years now. He’s definitely wimped out this year by doing the two-man (laughs). He hasn’t done much riding though, as he’s been focussing on the business. I don’t think he thought he’d come in and do any good, so he went for the two-man option I believe. It also has saved him a lot of hassle with the bike as he’s not using his own. I know that Carl Bunce is there and Fatty (laughs) Paul Winrow is there so, there’s some good competition. Winrow has eaten a lot his whole racing career and he does eat a lot of chocolate! He might be coming in without lots of racing under his belt, but he’s got a lot of experience and knowledge of the beach, I think he’s won it six times, so he knows his way around there. It’s also Weston and anything can happen. You can have bike problems, the bikes can suck in so much water and trying to get the bike to finish is a challenge. I believe in my riding ability - it’s not going to be easy for sure, but I know I have what it takes to win again.”
When it comes to the feeling heading to the start line Harry said….
“I can’t explain or describe that feeling. There are so many nerves with the adrenaline - you just want to get through that first lap. The dunes are soft, they are challenging to get over, but it’s exciting. There’s so many different emotions and feelings when you go down to the start riding down there on the promenade. Adrenaline is probably one of the main ones. Your heart is beating fast and you’re just ready to go,” concluded Harry.
We’d like to wish Harry all the best in the Quadzilla Quad Race at the 2019 Weston Beach Race, which takes place on October 18-20. If you’d like to join in the fun with the likes of Billy Bolt, Ronnie Mac, Carl Fogarty, Dougie Lampkin, Steve Holcombe and James Hillier visit www.westonbeachrace.com