ACU BEC enjoys a Magic Manx weekend!
PRESS RELEASE by Nicky Morson – ACU Press Officer
With the events Parc Ferme in the paddock of the main Isle of Man TT grandstand, the riders awoke to near perfect sunny conditions. Just when you thought the magnificent backdrop of Nobles Park and the Irish Sea beyond could not be bettered, spectators and riders made their way to the TT pit lane for the start. This iconic start line has seen such greats as Agostini, Redman, McGuiness and Dunlop to name a few ply their trade, and today would be no exception as home grown Enduro Legend David Knight took his place on the world famous start line.
At 9:30 am the Manx flag dropped and rider number 2 factory Beta rider Steve Holcombe was first away on his Beta 300RR followed by the rest of the Championship class. The course followed the route of the world famous TT for the first few miles before heading south off road over the sunning Manx scenery. The First test was held at Earystane plantation. As the name suggests the test was within a dense tree plantation on tight single track over tree routes and deep rutted peaty ground. The test caught a few riders out, and this wasn’t helped when the clouds lowered at midday with a short downpour of rain that made the going slightly tougher. Danny McCanney set the early pace on his Husqvarna 250 followed by Steve Holcombe 3 seconds a drift, with the ever improving Jack Edmondson third a further 7 seconds behind. The times improved lap on lap, but still the test took casualties from anyone not giving 100% concentration. The second test was held at Carnagrie, a venue owned by the hosting SMCC club. The test carved through rolling moorland on peaty ground. The fast twisting test held some technical rocky sections, and a ‘bomb hole’ filled with water that had a difficult climb out up a steep rocky outcrop.
Towards the end of the test, within viewing distance of the check was a large tricky double jump with the landing falling away, this separated the good from the very good riders, most of the championship riders took it in one before braking hard to make a turn to complete the test. Particularly impressive was newly crowned World Youth Champion Jack Edmondson on his KTM who rode this section inch perfect on each lap getting some serious air time en route. David Knight hit the ground still accelerating into the turn much to the crowds delight.
First rider back to TT Grandstand was Steve Holcombe followed by a gaggle of Championship rider’s frantically changing tyres in the 15-minute time allowance before returning their bikes to parc ferme for the night.
David Knight “I really enjoyed the course, especially with pit lane being the start for the day. The tight check through South Barrule Quarry and plantation into Cringle was really good, an old style enduro check. First lap was good but had completely changed by the second lap with the way the ground had moved it made lap 2 a lot harder, which was good. I rode as fast as I could but unfortunately, todays test didn’t suit big bikes, very tight and slippery so didn’t have to chance to open it up but was still made good progress on the other bikes so am happy with that. Tomorrows test is a lot different, better suited for my bike with them being more open so I’m looking forward to it”.
Steve Holcombe, current championship leader “I had really good first test and managed to get a good lead but felt I threw it away! Had a couple crashes and with Danny riding on his home terrain he was sure to soon catch up but still enjoyed the event and 2nd is still the 1st loser and so will be taking some positives out of it and am aiming to have a better day tomorrow”
Danny McCanney excelled riding on his home turf “obviously with it being a home race I was really looking forward to it, it’s been my first British enduro of the year and so wanted to be prepared for it and make sure everything went right. Steve was the first through the test and seemed to have better grip but I kept plugging away and started to win a few tests and I felt really good and it was a great feeling having everyone from home cheering me on”.
Despite high winds and the temperature being lower which most riders, felt suited them, Day 2 offered near perfect conditions. A slightly shorter course and the Carnagrie test were ridden in the reverse of Day 1. The club had put in a new test for Sunday, at Archallagan a dense tree plantation with rutted soft going. Riders traversed the plantation before hitting a long heavily rutted straight with varying sized tree roots proving slippery and unpredictable. The championship took around 10 mins to ride but for other classes, many riders struggled with picking a line through the tricky roots.
All in all a cracking weekend held in a welcoming and spectacular part of the world, coupled with the backdrop of the TT paddock and grandstand made for a worthy addition to the 2016 ACU British Enduro championship, we can only hope that the club have enjoyed themselves as much as it seems the riders did and are prepared to run again in the future.