Halstead MCC staged round one of the Eastern Centre Championships, sponsored by Instanda and Stebbings Car Superstore at their Wakes Colne circuit on Sunday.
Held in fine sunny weather, it was great to hear the sound of bikes again, despite no spectators being allowed to watch the action. The club had worked hard to ensure that the circuit was in great condition for racing on the day.
Lewis Tombs was the star of the day, winning all three motos, but racing in all classes was fast and furious in all groups. Following timed practise, the fastest 40 riders made up the premier class, which included 23 experts and 17 junior grade riders.
Race one of the premier group saw Tombs leading, closely followed by Declan Whittle, Shaun Southgate, Luke Benstead and Luke Parker, As Tombs started to pull away, the other four battled throughout the twenty-minute-long race. At the finish, it was Tombs, with Whittle holding off former champion, Benstead, for second place. Southgate finished inches ahead of Parker, and rounding out the top six was Josh Peters on his 250cc Gabriel KTM. Best junior was Sussex visitor, Ollie Beamish, the youngster beat several experts to claim 14th place.
It was Southgate, on his Herts MX Honda, who led the second leg, ahead of Tombs, with Whittle, Parker and Benstead again fighting hard. Tombs took over at the front as the leaders started lap three to record his second win, with Southgate close behind. Benstead and Parker got the better of Whittle, and sixth was Max Broadbelt. Peters was the best MX2 rider in 7th place, and another great ride by Beamish saw him first junior again, in 11th position.
Tombs made sure of maximum points, leading the final leg from start to finish.Once again, Southgate, Benstead and Whittle hotly contested second place until the 2018 champion, Southgate, crashed heavily, putting him out of the race. Benstead took second overall after holding off an in-form Whittle, and Peters had another great ride to take 4th place ahead of Parker. Teenager Beamish had a tremendous ride to claim 6th position.
The support A group saw overall victory going to veteran John Hinz, who won all three legs, and again, racing was closely fought for places. Ben Rocks had three good outings for 2nd overall, with Sam Harwood, Josh Deadman and Sam Cornwell all in the mix in each race.
There were three different winners in the B support races, with Harry Peck claiming overall victory. Jack Whitlam had 2nd, 5th and 6th place finishes for 2nd overall, and veteran Steve Atkins had three decent rides for 3rd. Bill Rothon had bad luck, after a win and 2nd place, a dnf in the third leg ruined his overall chances.
Kawasaki rider, Robert Lock had two wins and a 2nd place to claim victory in the C support races, with Richard Ingram 2nd overall, with a win, 2nd and 4th placing.
The second round of the series will be hosted by the Diss club at their Wattisfield venue on May 9th.
Results at Wakes Colne.
Premier class overall experts. 1st Lewis Tombs Honda, 2nd Luke Benstead Husqvarna, 3rd Declan Whittle Husqvarna, 4th Luke Parker Kawasaki, 5th Josh Peters KTM, 6th Ben Cole Husqvarna
Premier class overall juniors. 1st Oliver Beamish KTM, 2nd Matt Pope Kawasaki, 3rd Ben Parry, 4th Matt French KTM, 5th Arnis Paberzs, 6th Ryan Gardiner.
Support A overall. 1st John Hinz, 2nd Ben Rocks, 3rd Sam Harwood, 4th Josh Deadman, 5th Sam Cornwell, 6th Shane Brown
Support B overall. 1st Harry Peck, 2nd Jack Whitlam, 3rd Steve Atkins, 4th Sam Menzies, 5th Scott Goodson, 6th Mark Relland
Support C group. 1st Robert Lock, 2nd Richard Ingram, 3rd Aidan Weston, 4th Michael Kester, 5th Thomas Clarkson, 6th Billy Hutchings.
Report from Charlie Ralph.
Pics from Chris Carter.