Wallace makes light work of muddy conditions

IN THE MUD: Northallerton's Robbie Wallace in action during the fifth and sixth rounds of the British Sprint Enduro Championship

IN THE MUD: Northallerton's Robbie Wallace in action during the fifth and sixth rounds of the British Sprint Enduro Championship

First published in Sport

Wallace racks up the points in the mud

Northallerton motorcycle Enduro rider Robbie Wallace was competing rounds five and six of a wet and muddy British Sprint Enduro Championship last weekend at Tetbury in Gloucestershire, riding his Motoconnection, Putoline Oils and RFX sponsored Yamaha YZ125.

Round five was held in challenging conditions after heavy rain the previous week and during the day whereby Wallace was riding in the Enduro21.com Under-19 youth class, which consisted of seven separate laps of the five-mile track. Starting the first lap under a cloudburst, Wallace made a quick start but soon came across stranded riders getting stuck on the boggy hillclimbs making the task more difficult.

He recorded a third fastest class time. With conditions so difficult, consistency was crucial but as the day wore on the track deteriorated and his times were getting slower. However, after a quick pep talk from dad, Duncan, prior to the last stage, Wallace set a cracking lap time to clinch third place on the day with many riders claiming it as one of the hardest ever BSEC events.

Round six saw a dry start as the action kicked off and Wallace was determined to collect a third or better to consolidate championship points. Although the track was initially as muddy as the day before, it dried as the day wore on. This suited the faster riders. Wallace’s consistency shone through with a string of third fastest times consolidating third place on the day to give him his first podium finish at a British Championship round.

The results have now moved him up to second in the championship with the next outing being round five of the RideOffRoad Northern Championships at Hatcliffe in the North Lincolnshire Wolds this Sunday.

LEEMING businessman Kevin Procter was in action last weekend when he ventured over to the Caribbean to take part in Sol Rally Barbados and came away with a superb seventh place.

With regular co-driver Dave Bellerby unable to make the trip, his replacement was former single-seat racing driver Philip Hopkins, who is relatively new to rallying.

The pair were soon up to speed on the three-day event whereby Procter, who returned last year for the first time since 2009, started climbing the leaderboard after a cautious start. By the end, the pair had elevated themselves up to seventh to replicate last year’s result meaning Procter has six top ten finishes in Barbados, his best being fourth in 2009, which can be added to fifth in 2007, ninth and highest-placed European crew in 2005, as well as fifth and highest-placed overseas crew in 2004.

AFTER more than 40 years, it looks like being the end of the road for Ripon Motor Sport Club’s Riponian Stages Rally which will not run in 2015. The club committee informed the organising team recently and despite provisional plans being in place, the planned date of early February has now been withdrawn.

It follows a number of years of financial struggle with increased costs of hiring the forest roads, insurances and other permits, coupled with the financial crisis, which has seen many competitors either retire from the sport or compete less. The minimum numbers for the event to break even have not been reached in recent years and it seems RMSC are not prepared to run the event at a loss in future.

The event struggled to achieve major championship status in recent years, mainly due to other events being established around the date and also because of strict planning rules as to when the forests around Helmsley could be used, namely not from April to September, meaning a winter date was always necessary.

This is the latest in a string of previously popular events in the Yorkshire forests to be lost over recent years including the Kall Kwik Rally, the North Humberside Forest Rally and others such as the National Breakdown, Mintex and Cartel rallies, all of which were part of the British Championships.

With the popular Roger Albert Clark Rally not visiting Yorkshire this year, only the Trackrod Rally in September and the Malton Forest Rally in November are the only events remaining in the region.

THE Motor Sports Association and everyone in the motor sport community are devastated by the terrible events last weekend on the Jim Clark Rally. The families and friends of those who have lost their lives and of those who have been injured are in all our thoughts.

Police Scotland is now in control of all aspects of the investigation into the two accidents and both the police and hospital authorities will issue further bulletins when they can. Everyone waits anxiously for some better news of those who have been injured.

As with any serious incident, these accidents will also be subject to full enquiries by the MSA to ensure that any lessons are learned to assist in the constant drive to provide the highest possible safety standards at all motor sport events.

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