It was great to see so many riders supporting the practice day hosted by the Nora MX team at the Grittenham track near Chippenham in Wiltshire.
There were very few events in 2020 after the initial COVID lockdown. Then the new national restrictions were introduced in November and this meant racing stopped for the second time across the UK.
Now lockdown is easing it has been possible to host COVID secure events with no spectators, although riders and mechanics are allowed to bring their family bubbles, with social distancing in place.
In preparation for their 2021 Quad and Sidecar championship, Nora MX were quick to organise a practice day to help teams to get fit for the upcoming season.
There was a huge amount of support with four quad and two sidecar sessions.
The day was well organised, like a full race day really, but with no races, it ran smoothly with no issues, and a large amount of officials and marshalls to help out, all watched over by Clerks of Course Richard Shaw and Bradley Skeates.
In the quad class there were four sessions:
- Pro / Pro Am and Clubman Elite.
- Masters (A&B), Clubman and Inters
- 250 Open and AC
- 50cc Auto, 100cc Auto and Open
By splitting riders into groups based on ability, it really helped to keep the sessions at a suitable speed, and actually in the fastest two classes there were a few battles going on. It was great to see some of the countries top Teams blasting round the track.
The pro/elite quads class was a great chance for the top quad teams to prepare for championship action with Carl Bunce, Harry and Alfie Walker, Zac Orchard, Dean Dillon, and Sheldon Seal all making the most of the four long training sessions.
Some riders had transponders but not everyone, so timing was provided just for those trying to improve lap times.
It was great to see so many girls in the sessions and also a well supported kids group. These are the champions of the future and having a safe practice environment can only help them improve. Kids had additional track support with dads and mechanics around the track to help keeping the kids moving.
There was initially going to be just one sidecar class but when more than 30 teams entered they were split into two groups with many sidecar GP Teams in attendance all working hard to improve their fitness level ready for the new GP season. Stuart Brown / Josh Chamberlain, George Kinge / Steve Kirwin, Jake Brown / Joe Millard, Brett Wilkinson / Maxime Cuche, and Gary Moulds / Lewis Gray all getting ready for the GP season with the re-scheduled first round planned for May.
We did not really see what they were capable of with a mixed ability out together and putting together fast laps was difficult. That did not stop anyone having a great day, and by the third session the passenger swapping had also started, which is lots of fun to watch.
There we also many new teams with novice or young drivers that were preparing for their first season together, being amongst the top uk sidecars will provide help and support.
Generally, it was good for the race teams to get some track time, blow off the cobwebs, and prepare for the upcoming race season.
Nora MX club owner Richard Shaw said “A great day enjoyed by all we set out to bring quad and sidecar families together for 2021 season and we got back far greater than we anticipated. Thanks to all my Nora MX team for the support and making it happen. Looking forward to welcoming everyone at our events”.
The Nora MX championship will start later in April with a ten round Quad Championship, Sidecars will also be invited to seven of those rounds.