Round 2 of the Schwalbe British fourcross Series proved to be a tough weekend. On Saturday, the track ran really well. There was some light rain at times but the track was dry and running really fast. The weather forecast was for bad conditions but no one could have predicted just how much rain would arrive through the night and on Sunday morning.
The term 'washout' may seem to strong but Sunday morning was just that. Probably the wettest conditions that any fourcross national has ever had. A real mudfest was certainly on the cards. As ever though, riders picked up their hard tails and got out there on track to start practice. Even though, in places, there were streams of water running down the hill, the riders loved the track. Super fast and technical is Penshurst Off Road Club’s best description and even in these conditions, riders were flying.
The rain however, did cause a slight problem. The compressor for the start gate unfortunately could not cope with the deluge of rain and it gave up. The race organiser was quick to go in search of a new compressor in the nearby towns but to no avail. The team went into action to set up the gate up for a manual start. No lights or beeps, just a completely random gate drop with no indication at all of when it was going to go down. Some riders were a little nervous of how this would turn out but after a couple of tests, they were all loving it. The completely silent and random gate drop added a new dimension to the race and levelled out the best starters in the business. Now it was instant reactions that would get you out of the gate first.
The motos started and sure enough, the sun came out. Immediately the track began to dry and there were some great racing lines. The motos were action packed. Plenty of passing, lots of mistakes and the occasional crash gave some very interesting results. In the elite men's, defending series champion Scott Beaumont and Lewis Lacey were flying. They did not race each other in the motos but both went unbeaten and were looking like the men to watch all day. If anyone was going to challenge them it looked like Scott Roberts or Nathan Parssons.
In the women's race, it was great to see Joey Gough riding. She was looking fast but Emily Horridge and Jess Greaves were pushing her in every moto. Just like the first round at Leamington a few weeks ago, it was great to see such a big entry in the women's race.
On to the quarter finals and the first shock of the day. Nathan 'Natedogg' Parssons was knocked out in a tough race. Clearly gutted with the result, he will be back fighting for a good result at round 2 of the fourcross Protour in Poland next weekend. Beaumont, Lacey and Roberts were all through with no problem.
In the semi-finals it was Beaumont and rookie Issac Mundy who went through from semi final number one. They were to be joined in the final by Lacey and Roberts.
In the finals, the fun category was won by Rhys Jenner and the big fun by Andrew Cooper. The youth race was won by Luke Cryer, juvenile by Christian Corthorn. The seniors was a great race as the two Daves - Richardson and Roberts battled from start to finish with Dave Richardson taking it at the finish line. Masters was won by Gareth Parr and vets dominated by Anthony Fisher
In the women's final, Joey Gough got the snap and led the race into turn one. She went wide and Emily Horridge dived inside to take the lead. On the second straight, Joey got a great drive and moved back past Emily. The two riders battled for the lead all the way to the line but Joey held on to take the win in an awesome final. Suzanne Lacey was third and Cara Murray fourth.
Finally, in the elite men's race, in gate one was Beaumont, on two was Lacey, three Mundy and on the outside Roberts. Beaumont got the snap and led into turn one. As the riders battled bar to bar, Lacey went to the back and Roberts made a great move to come from the outside gate and into second on the exit of turn one. On the second straight the two Scott's really got the horsepower out and moved away. Scott Roberts kept Boom Boom on his toes all the way but Beaumont held on and took the win ahead of Roberts, Issac Mundy and Lewis Lacey.