Last weekend saw the arrival of the SXS Team to Par raceway for the second time in 2016. A slight reduction in the field was clear as the season took its tole on buggies and drivers, but all the big hitters where there with bells on as the Championship battle heats up.
Paul Rowlands and the Par team had made extensive modifications to the circuit and the all-new Joker Lane was a touch of class to an already fantastic track. The weather also looked like it was going to be on side giving us just enough rain to hold down the dust and create a fantastic racing surface, the big surprise was the heat and surprisingly we actually had to water before the day was out, overall the track was fantastic and the weather ideal so off we went racing.
The turbos where given the thankless task of clearing the surface and the early lap times reflected this role. However once the track bedded in then normal service was resumed. Josh Barrett threw down his marker early setting the pole time on only his second timed lap. Paul Rowlands followed him in in 2nd spot but missing Barretts time by over a second as he works closely on his buggies setup focusing this round on suspension. Things will get a whole lot closer in the near future I think as Paul edges closer to the holy grail of setup. Next up was Alfie Hyde in third wrestling with his buggy as something wasn’t quite right an impressive time considering he may have done a lot of the session in two wheel drive. The Fro systems buggy of Mark McCann/Jayne Ind was next up followed in by Jason Rowlands both buggies struggling to nail down a time that reflects their ability but oh how that would change as the day progressed.
The 900s were a much closer affair as the front runners traded lap times for the whole session. Pole was changing by the lap as Colin Hadley and the Lloyd’s battled to secure every tenth the course would give up. In the end Colin Hadley came out on top with the Lloyds having to settle for 2nd. A fantastic achievement considering one is a solo and the other a team. Harry McDonald crossed the line 3rd and looked in great form meaning the top three would flip and change all day, great for the spectators and teams. Daniel/Ian Gibbons scored 4th a solid finish but just unable to bridge the gap to the three front-runners. Claire Avis was next in and the busy schedule was definitely showing as she struggled to ring out her full potential. The break in rounds I think will do lots of us the world of good as several batteries looked to need recharging.
It would appear a shift in the force has occurred, or at least that what it looked like after qualifying. Mark McCann/Jayne Ind shook off their recent bad luck securing pole with an impressive lap time, which would rival any turbo. Shaun/Erin Jenkinson continued their rise through the pack to score 2nd as Shaun’s setup efforts began to pay off. Richard Avis after his recent Bastogne victory nipped in as last of the top 3 followed in by Charlie Simpson and his stand in passenger Oliver Conner. Paul Severen crossed in 5th with Dave Riley 6th making him one to watch for the all new rookie class in 2017. A welcome return for Adrian Loveridge in his fine looking buggy in 7th place as he works towards the long awaited return of Callum in the passenger seat, a day the whole paddock is looking forward to. James Blakey continues his steady progress beating some more experienced racers to 8th place. Miles Radburn/Alister Fenwick in 9th place followed in by Brian Lydon who was on operation bring it home this weekend after some damage to his wallet from the last round. Paul Rowlands the championship leader was out early after mechanical failure blowing the class wide open yet again.
Moto 1 was an impressive start for the pole sitter and Championship leader Josh Barrett as he burst from pole and never looked back. A great first win of the day with a gap of 15 seconds plus to 2nd place. Fast Jas Rowlands showed that patience really is a racing quality as he picked his way through the fields from last to 2nd, well done Jas. Mark McCann/Jayne Ind crossed the line in 5th but somewhere along the way an idea to solve his turbo issues was brewing. Paul Rowlands 4th and Alfie Hyde in 5th both suffered minor mechanical issues taking them just off the pace. This wouldn’t last long.
Moto 2 really was a case of “right place right time” as a damaged drive shaft saw Josh Barrett tumbling back through the pack. Jas Rowlands took full advantage and cruised home to win the moto. Alfie Hyde battled through the pack to score 2nd place as his buggy issues seemed to be rectified or his perseverance rewarded or maybe a bit of both. Mark McCann/Jayne Ind landed 3rd spot suffering issues along with Josh Barrett 4th. Paul Rowlands again seemed to have no luck as he was towed off the circuit with braking issues.
Moto three saw the FRO Systems buggy of McCann and Ind sport its all new cooling solution. They then burst through the pack to secure the win. Well deserved and a long time coming if we are all honest. Alfie Hyde showed why he is a two time SXS Champion chasing home the 64 machine in 2nd place. Jas Rowlands knew that a decent finish was good enough and focused on exactly that crossing the line 3rd, Demonstrating some great racecraft to secure the overall victory. Paul Rowlands and Josh Barrett had a coming together as Josh wobbled on a corner exit both suffering drive shaft damage resulting in 4th and 5th place finishes for the two fierce rivals.
Moto 1 was the perfect example of why Colin Hadley leads the 900 Championship. Starting from pole he burst to the front and managed the race beautifully to secure the race one victory. Meanwhile behind him Robert and Sam Lloyd battled hard to catch the championship leader but to no avail. A strong second for a team buggy Vs a solo. Harry McDonald seemed to be warming to the surface crossing the line 3rd amidst rumour of a move up in class for 2017. Claire Avis missing her normal sparring partner Andy Dare pinched 4th place with Daniel and Ian Gibbons 5th suffering damage that would put them out for the rest of the day. Unlucky guys but the show must go on.
Moto 2 saw Harry McDonald finally get it all together and charge through to take the race win. Colin Hadley in 2nd place was unable to win the moto but grabbed a bagful of points towards the overall, a very wise move. A mechanical problem unfortunately saw the Lloyd boys home in third which was a real shame as the front runners continued to battle it out in every moto. Claire Avis closed off the pack with a solid 4th with every point important at this critical part of the season. With the overall for the day close it was all on the last race.
Race three was all about the joker lane and the great things it brings to racing. Harry McDonald broke away from pole and looked to in control, however Colin Hadley and the Lloyds used the joker lane early on and Harry failed to react. Its was clear that when Harry did joker he was going to drop straight into a battle with the waiting Hadley and charging Lloyd. On his exit Colin Hadley had taken the lead but that was just the start of the drama. Colin Hadley broke away to land the victory but a drive shaft problem for Harry and then a puncture for the Lloyds meant the battle was still on. Everyone watched on as the two buggies battled to cross the line with the punctured Lloyds first to get there. A disappointed Harry squirmed across the line in 3rd with again Claire Avis closing off the pack with a steady 4th place finish.
Moto one saw the confirmation of the shift in the force as Mark McCann/Jayne Ind broke away from pole and converted the pole into race victory. Their recent bad luck disappeared as they celebrated the victory crossing the line. Shaun/Erin Jenkinson made the most of a great qualifying result by converting their 2nd on the grid to a 2nd place finish just unable to close the gap on the flying McCann. Third place was Richard Avis closing off the top three. Paul Rowlands wasn’t giving anything up as the Championship leader ploughed through the field from last to a 4th place finish, valuable points in the bag. Charlie Simpson/Oliver Conner crossed in 5th another solid show from the ever consistent Chicken Man. Paul Severn finished 6th chased in by the one to watch Rookie Dave Riley in 7th. Miles Radburn/Alister Fenwick 8th place setting up some fantastic rookie battles for the new 2016 category. Adrian Loveridge continued to run his shiny new machine but his pace was there to see for later rounds. Bryan Lydon closed off the pack with James Blakey taking a trip to his roof as he flirted with the grip limits of his XP1000. Another one to watch for the future.
A shift in position for the top two! Shaun/Erin Jenkinson secured their first moto win in the 1000 class. They followed Mark McCann/Jayne Ind into the joker lane then Mark left the door open on the inside! What happened next was SXS’ very own Formula 1 incident as both failed to make the corner. Shaun flirted with a penalty and got away with it by the skin of his teeth as the Clerk considered what he has seen carefully. Decisions will not be as lenient in future racers! Richard Avis was again a solid third keeping himself out of bother to secure the points. Next home was Paul Severn followed in by Charlie Simpson/Oliver Conner in 5th. Dave Riley the on form rookie was 6th with Adrian Loveridge settling nicely with his new machine into 7th place. Brian Lydon was the last of the finishers as Paul Rowlands and Miles Radburn both suffered terminal damage from some big air taking its tole.
Moto 3 was all about the overall as it couldn’t be closer. Shaun Jenkinson from pole looked to be having the day of his life until disaster struck and a broken steering arm forced him to DNF. Mark McCann took full advantage as the shift in luck swung his way, winning the moto from 2nd on the grid. Richard Avis remained ever consistent and crossed the line 2nd place with Paul Severn 3rd. Dave Riley again the on form rookie nicked 4th with his partner in crime Brian Lydon the last of the finishers in 5th place. A fantastic days racing from the 1000 class, well done to everyone and unlucky Shaun.
1st Jason Rowlands (#165)
2nd Mark McCann/Jayne Ind (#64)
3rd Alfie Hyde (#171)
1st Colin Hadley (#247)
2nd Harry McDonald (#44)
3rd Robert/Sam Lloyd (#56)
1st Mark McCann/Jayne Ind (#64)
2nd Richard Avis (#77)
3rd Shaun/Erin Jenkinson (#70)
For full results and standings see HERE.
A huge thank you to all the SXS HQ Team for another fantastic event during such a busy calendar time. A special thank to Paul Rowlands and his team for a fantastic venue and amazing event support. Also a huge welcome back to Adrian Loveridge from the whole paddock and we look forward to seeing Callum back at your side where he belongs. Enjoy the break everyone and see you in Kirton for BEC RD4