Wallace takes a fine tenth place amid wintry conditions on debut

GOOD DEBUT: Robbie Wallace in action at Tong

GOOD DEBUT: Robbie Wallace in action at Tong

First published in Sport

NORTHALLERTON enduro motorcycle rider Robbie Wallace took part in his first Fast Eddy Extreme Enduro event at Tong near Bradford last weekend and came away with a superb tenth place overall despite the wintry conditions.

Riding his Moto-Connection UK Team Yamaha YZ125, the renowned difficult event took place regardless of six inches of snow followed by heavy rain which made the course tricky.

Wallace was riding in themorning event in the youth class in effect breaking the course in for the expert and pro riders whose race started after lunch.

The youth and clubman’s two-hour race started at 10am which had to be delayed by half an hour after difficulty getting vehicles into the car park due to the muddy conditions. The race was flagged away by Paul Edmondson of Fast Eddy fame, riders starting on groups of four, Wallace starting on row 11. Other local riders were Bedale’s Mike Gilby and Sam Kozyra from Northallerton both on row 10.

After a quick press interview on the start line, 15-year-old Wallace was under way, trying to stick to the lines decided after walking the track the previous day. The woodland track was very wet and boggy making for a cautious start and on arrival at the first serious obstacle which was a two feet deep river crossing followed by a steep hill climb across tree routes, struggling riders were being helped bymarshals and held up following riders, including Wallace although he ascended the climb with help from the marshals carried on his way.

After one lap Wallace pitted to remove his water proof top and adjust his levers which had been twisted on the first lap.

Lap two was going well until Robbie hit a tree root at speed which dislodged his chain forcing the chain off the sprocket.

Unfortunately with no spectator assistance at this point Wallace lost ten minutes getting his chain back on.

Underway once more and feeling the strain after one hour of racing across rocky climbs, deep water, big drops and fallen tree obstacles, Wallace was getting back on the pace. Pitting on the next lap for a new set of dry gloves, he was beginning to enjoy the event although well down on class leader Mike Gilby.

The next lap saw Wallace’s chain come off again losing him more time. Coming up to the two hour mark, Wallace neared the finish and slowed so as to avoid an extra lap. Happy with a finish on an extreme enduro, Wallace claimed an impressive top ten finish as Mike Gilby took the class win with also a fifth place overall after an excellent ride.

AFTER being presented with his championship trophy the previous evening, Yorkshireman Mark Asher, from Wakefield, started his Ironman Karting title defence with a hard-fought but very narrow victory over Teesside title rival Colin Peacock, from Ingleby Barwick.

The end result didn’t tell the whole story as eventual thirdplaced finisher, Redcar’s Ste Allan, had the pace to put him on pole position, set fastest lap and be under half a second off what would have been his maiden win.

The race was so tight that the top ten finishers were covered by just 9.3 seconds and the top six by a slender 1.5 seconds.

This was the 50th race ofthe Stockton Motor Club Championship since its introduction in 2005 and it did not disappoint.

A greasy track added to the interest of the landmark event and Allan took his second pole position from Asher and Warren Clough from Norton.

Allan made a good start and held the early lead but could never get the break he needed to make it stick eventually overhauled by Asher and Peacock with a constant pack of drivers in attendance he was at one point bumped to fifth and chased hard to retake the lead. The front three battled race long and it was Asher who claimed his seventh victory by just 0.351 seconds.

Other notable results were a solid fifth for Teessider Bob McKenzie just ahead of series debutant Vernon McCallum, from Bradford, Redcar’s Ahmed Sabir was in fine form in seventh after dicing with another newcomer Ryan Norris.

Another closely fought championship is in the offing and racers are still welcome to join in, information can be found at www.stocktonmotorclub.co.uk/karting.

BLACKPOOL tonight will be reverberating to the sound of rally cars as the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally gets under way with plenty of the region’s crews in action on the two-day event.

Last year’s winner Tony Bardy, from Scotch Corner, along with Whitby co-driver Neil Colman, will lead the field away in his recently rebuilt Nissan Sunny but will face one of the strongest fields ever assembled on the event, including Kevin Procter from Leeming and Northallerton co-driver Dave Bellerby who took the win in 2011 in their Subaru.

The Ford Escort of Darlington duo Paul Swift and David Cox will also be in action as will the Bishop Auckland pairing of Chris Anderson and Chris Thirling (Ford Fiesta).

Whitby ace James Ford is behind the wheel of his Subaru with co-driver Steve Hartley whereas the 4WD brigade is bolstered by Pickhill’s Geoff Simpson and Mick Johnson (Mitsubishi) and Darlington pair Jonathan and Alison Trenholme (Subaru) Sinderby’s Bill Bates and Kari Bosworth (Peugeot 106) head over to the west coast, as does the Barnard Castle quartet of Alistair Hutchinson and Sinje Dykes (Renault Clio) and Mark Thompson with co-driver Phil Kenny in their Peugeot 206.

Darlington driver Kev Tennick and Hartburn co-driver Ian Jackson will also be in action in their Peugeot 205.

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