NORTHALLERTON teenagers Charlie Bean and Drew Bellerby were on top form at Lydden Hill, Kent, last weekend when they dominated proceedings in the junior class during the opening round of the Shannon Holdings British Rallycross Championship.
After brilliant performances in the dry and warm conditions on Saturday by both drivers, Sunday’s final was a great season opener and it was Bean who got the best start in his Malis Designsbacked Suzuki Swift. From there he continued to lead as the battle raged behind after Bellerby had taken her joker lap early in the race.
Going into the final lap, 15- year-old Drew made her move into second place then she rapidly closed in on her 17- year-old counterpart, who had taken his joker lap late, and as they sprinted for the line, it was Charlie who held on by the narrowest of margins, taking the chequered flag just a quarter of a second ahead of the Sayers Road Tankersbacked Swift of Bellerby.
Stockton newcomer Jennie Hawkes gave a good account of herself with solid performances all weekend to end up fourth overall, gaining vital experience for the next round.
In the SuperNational class, the physical battle between Tynesider Michael Boak and Welshman Mike Howlin ended when, following a first lap crash that red-flagged the original attempt, the pair clashed again on the restart and both eventually limped home.
Teessider Marty Hawkes lost a wheel from his Peugeot 206 late in the race leaving the similar car of Northallerton’s Guy Corner to claim a battling fourth amidst all the attrition.
Brompton driver Chris Mullen endured a mixed weekend of fortune before bringing his Power Maxed Racing, TAAG and B&C Car Parts Suzuki Swift home in seventh place in Sunday’s Suzuki Swift Series race. It wasn’t the result the 2012 champion was expecting as a broken gear linkage on lap one of the final meant he only had third and fourth gear, hence his lowly finishing position.
Having won the opening round of the series last year, Leeming driver Kevin Procter was hoping for a repeat but after a strong performance on Saturday and leading Sunday’s Supercar final in his Procters Luxury Coaches-backed Ford Focus, he had to settle for fourth place in Sunday’s final.
NORTHALLERTON Enduro rider Robbie Wallace, 16, was competing in the opening rounds of the British Sprint Enduro Championship last weekend aboard his Motoconnection and Putoline Oilssponsored Yamaha YZ125.
Also competing was 15- year-old Neive Holmes, from Leyburn, riding her Motoconnection backed Honda 250 in the Ladies class.
Rounds one and two were held on the same weekend at the prestigious Canada Heights motocross venue near Swanley.
With dry weather greeting the 120-strong rider entry, track conditions were near perfect at the Kent venue.
Utilising the spectacular sandy motocross track and the surrounding woodlands, as well as mixing it with flowing grass fields, the opening rounds of the series proved to be exciting and enjoyable for all riders.
Round one was held on Saturday, with Wallace, who was riding in the Enduro21.com Under 19 youth class, and consisted of seven separate laps of the four mile track. As this is a higher level of competition than he was used to, Wallace was anxious about being competitive but after the first lap and setting a fourth fastest time, his confidence took a boost. Neive also made a good start with a second fastest time in her class.
As the day progressed, both riders improved their times consistently, although Robbie had a couple of minor spills on lap six due to a sudden rain shower making conditions slippery. Nieve finished the day with a fine third place in class after seven laps, whereas Wallace’s consistent ride gave him a fourth place overall.
Sunday saw round two run on the reverse track and both riders continued where they left off the day before, riding with confidence and most importantly gaining experience at this level while improving lap times. With the weather fine and the track consistent, Neive was running third until a poor lap time on lap five dropped her back to a fourth place finish on the day as Wallace repeated his result of the previous day in the youth class.
It represented a good start by both riders in the championship and the next BSEC rounds will be held at Llanbister, in Wales, at the end of this month.