Wayne Braybrook and his team at RAW Enduro were granted the job of firing the 2024 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship into life for the first time ever.
No stranger to high Profile events, having run two ACU BEC Time card weekends, Braybrook fired himself under the spotlight to stamp the RAW Enduro Brand on the New look UK Extreme Enduro calendar.
Meticulous planning saw many new features added to the already very versatile Hapton venue. During the Saturday track walk many riders commented on the insane (Almost impossible) FXR “Double Trouble” hill climb. Experience is key when planning Extreme Courses, Wayne Braybrook had to draw on all his experience to add a Euro Style section for the UK fans to feast their eyes on.
The AM event for Sportsman, Vets, and the hardy Youth riders, was fired into life by starter Kev Dawson at 9:30, riders had two full hours to attack the super tough Ballbreaker terrain. The stream sections were greasy on Lap 1, by lap 2 the slime was washed away and lap times began to tumble. RAW Team rider Hayden Stansfield topped the Apico Factory Racing supported Sportsman Class just 4 minutes ahead of Archie Walker who placed runner up. Damon Bancroft was delighted with his third place finish with two hours twenty five in the saddle. Fraiser Lampkin overcame a snapped left foot peg to still take the Youth Class win and an awesome runner up overall, despite a long stay in the pits before the finish flag went out.
Chris Dean topped the Vets 50 class on 4 laps completed from Andy Longden and Scotsman Neil Dawson in third. The slightly younger Vets 40 class saw some brilliant calculated riding from all podium visitors, Chris Day Smashed the win on a huge 5 lap tally, runner up went to Grant Gillender from the North East, with RAW Enduro club regular Neil Marshal going back to his roots surviving to take his very own podium pie in third.
With an unplanned longer than usual AM race close down, the PM race was subject to a delayed start. On Safety grounds Clerk of the Course Wayne Braybrook wanted all AM riders back safe before the Super-fast PM race was let loose on a much tougher course.
Just after 1pm the scene was set, spectators grappled to get their own view of the first section of the track, here Super Enduro front runner Beta Mounted Jonny Walker grabbed the holeshot and led the huge field onto Hapton hill for the first lap.
For the entire Race Walker and Mitch Brightmore swapped places and neither rider had a second to rest. Ashton Brightmore ran in P3 and at times was sat literally seconds front the front pair. The FXR Europe Sponsored “Double Trouble” Hill climb saw Lap 1 No assistance for riders, before Clerk of the Course Wayne Braybrook felt assistance should be allowed by staff on safety grounds from Lap 2. Staying in for the entire race, all the fans got to see their hero’s having to literally walk bikes up the Monster hill in a Euro style Spectator zone, and that’s something that hasn’t been available in the UK for many years.
The big leveller in the race this year was Barney Rubbles Rock Garden, sheer volume of riders saw this section of track snarled up as riders mental skills were stretched to the limits, how much can you take was the theme, impossible to simply ride up, riders had to really plan a route and literally push bikes to the peak before some even shouting Yabba Dabber Doo!!!
On the Final lap Walker pushed on to lead up the very last section of course. The “Revine of Doom” section struck Walker hard when his lead over Mitch Brightmore shortened, Mitch took a slightly better line up the last hill to take the victory and become the Ballbreaker Extreme winner by just 10 seconds! Walker was humble and congratulated Brightmore in true fashion despite being hampered by a stricken rider on the last climb. Ashton Brightmore was delighted with his third place and all 3 riders have safe passage to the next Super Enduro this weekend after a tough UK extreme race.
Out of retirement trials Guru Joel Sadler took his Ackalms Beta to a fantastic win in the Clubman class, after being stuck in a bog on Lap 1 for 15 minutes. Hard enduro fan Danny Calkin grabbed runner up just missing out on the win by 2 minutes, with Loan Heycock happy with his first RAW Enduro Podium. With a huge one lap advantage Team Steer rider Lee Sampson took expert class victory from local Ace and MTB top runner Matt Studdard. Top trials rider Dec Bullock placed P3 and was delighted to receive his trophy plate from Beta UK boss John Lampkin. The final class Elite Vets was taken by John Lumbley, with all top 3 finishers on 3 laps it was Ricahrd Wozencroft and Simon Tate who rounded out the podium.
So now the dust has settle on the Ballbreaker Extreme for 2024, already the 2025 edition is being planned. We now have a year to complete works at the Hapton site which will see a revised Barney Rubble Rock garden offering the PM race riders the whole width of the Rock Scree. Braybrook also has a treat for spectators which we held back this year, The Ballbreaker Extreme 2025 edition will see the most nerve-wracking finish that any British Extreme Event has ever seen….. You’ll just have to wait and see what we have planned!!
HUGE thanks to each and every person who contributed the the success of this event. Medics, RAW Staff, Parking Officials, Land Owners, Catering, Event sponsors, UK importers, Teams, riders, and above all the UK Extreme Enduro Fans, you were just awesome!!!
More event coming your way from RAW Enduro, our full list of 2024 fixture will be posted on our website and app this week www.rawenduro.co.uk
Race Report by Raw Media – Images by Matthew Rudd Photography – Highlights Video by Fourzero Media