Tuesday July 16, 2019 at 4:22pm
The annual Richard Fitch memorial meeting, now in its 14th year, at Wakes Colne, was well supported by around 150 riders at Sunday's event, hosted by the Halstead club.
The 13-race programme included round three of the Eastern Evo series for pre 1989 machines, and three groups of allcomers on modern day machines.
In the first evo race, local ace, Jason Morland, soon took control on his 500cc KTM, chased by Alex Hornsby and Brett Fisher. However, Morland retired at the halfway stage, leaving Hornsby to take the win from Fisher and Milton Keynes rider, Mike McClurg. Morland won leg two, chased by Fisher, but first race winner, Hornsby, could only manage to finish in eighth place after battling through the pack.
The third leg saw Brett Fisher leading from the start, and despite a spirited challenge from Morland, it was Fisher who took the win, and overall victory on the day.
Following timed qualification, the allcomers group A, which consisted of all of the experts and fastest junior grade riders, saw some great closely fought races in three moto's.
Race one saw Eastern champion, Shaun Southgate and Ben Cole fighting for the lead, chased hard by Declan Whittle, Ipswich teenager, Ryan Allison and Harry Clark. Southgate started to increase his lead, but Cole was under pressure from Whittle, who moved into second place on the fourth lap, but at the finish, Allison managed to pass both Cole and Whittle to claim second place. Clark maintained his fifth place, despite a closely fought battle with local ace, Jason Morland.
Race two was certainly the best race of the day. Cole led lap one with Whittle holding off Southgate, Harry Clark, Adam Day and Reece Martin in a frenzied, high speed race. Whittle took over on lap three with Cole just managing to hold off the challenge of Southgate, and just behind these three, Day had passed Clark, with Allison also looking threatening. Whittle then made a mistake on the fourth lap, dropping him down to third place behind Southgate and Cole, but Allison's race ended with a puncture, putting him out of contention.
Southgate led for three more laps, and looked in control, but Whittle had other idea's. He stormed past Cole and gave chase, and as the leaders started the final lap, closed dramatically on Southgate, and when the pair overtook either side of a couple of backmarkers, it was Whittle who found the faster line to snatch victory.
The third group A race saw Southgate back in command, leading throughout, with Whittle holding off Cole for second place. Allison rode well for fourth, ahead of Clark and Martin. Morland, riding in his seventh race of the day, was battling through the pack, only to retire on the final lap when he was struck in the face by a trackside rock.
The overall win in the B group went to Ross Young, with Halstead's Mark Relland ahead of the consistent Phillip Waldron. Group C was a family affair, with Gareth Robertson taking the overall win with two wins and a second place. His son Jake was second overall, with John McDonald taking third place.
The Fifteen minute plus one lap Richard Fitch trophy race saw the traditional Le Mans type start, with all forty contenders running down the slope to their machines, and first away was Southgate, who led all the way. Allison rode well against the established expert regulars, to claim second place, chased by Cole, who won the trophy in 2018, Whittle and Morland.
Gill and Chris Fitch again provided the excellent trophies at the presentation, with Southgate the new proud owner of this fine award.
Richard Fitch Trophy.
1st Shaun Southgate Herts MX Honda, 2nd Ryan Allison GH Husqvarna, 3rd Ben Cole GH Husqvarna, 4th Declan Whittle Lings Husqvarna, 5th Jason Morland GH Yamaha, 6th Adam Day HMC Husqvarna
Group A overall.
1st Southgate, 2nd Whittle, 3rd Cole, 4th Allison, 5th Harry Clark Aim KTM, 6th Reece Martin Husqvarna
Group B overall.
1st Ross Young Honda, 2nd Mark Relland Honda, 3rd Phillip Waldron Yamaha, 4th Aaron Smith KTM, 5th Lee Scott Honda, 6th Jedd Wheatley KTM.
Group C overall.
1st Gareth Robertson KTM,2nd Jake Robertson KTM, 3rd John McDonald Honda,4th Darren Stone Honda, 5th Russell Brown Honda, 6th David Homan Husqvarna.
Eastern evo's overall.
1st Brett Fisher Honda, 2nd Alex Hornsby Honda, 3rd Mike McClurg Honda, 4th Glen Bixby Honda, 5th Jason Morland KTM, 6th Matt Coles Honda
Report from Charlie Ralph