CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT HISTORIC FARLEIGH CASTLE
Words & Photos by Dave Rich
Last Sunday the final round of the 2019 Point-S South West Masters Motocross Championships made its way up to the historic Farleigh Castle circuit. The event was well supported with over 200 riders all keen to ride this field of dreams track. Unfortunately, the day began with a torrential rainstorm just before practice, and qualifying started, and the organisers delayed the start of the meeting. They were told the rain was to ease within an hour and possibly stop. This proved to be the right decision. Practice and qualifying started at 10-30am and proved to be a bit challenging to begin with, but by the time racing was about to start things had dried up quite a bit, and the track was in good condition for some excellent racing in all of the classes.
In the 24MX Expert Championship the Cheddar Mx rider Luke Hawkins, who had plenty of local support had entered the final round with a small cushion in the standings over second-place and his day started well as he set the fastest time in qualifying. But it was his nearest rival Jamie Skuse, on the Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki another local rider, set the early pace in the opening race from Hawkins with Jordan Carter on the Mid West Racing Husqvarna tucked in third. A mistake from Carter on the opening lap dropped him back a bit with his place was then taken by another Tony Maunders Racing rider in the shape of Kelvin Townsend on the Yamaha. Skuse and Hawkins were pulling away all the time at the front on the opening lap with Hawkins hitting the front at one stage. But, Skuse came back to regain the lead until a lap later when Hawkins shot through coming down the hill and got the inside line at the right-hander. Carter had got back in to a rhythm and was clawing his way back up through the field as was wildcard Corey Hockey on the Cheddar Mx Husqvarna who was back from injury and these two produced some really close racing with Hockey eventually finding his way through in to third, but he wasn’t going to catch Skuse who took second behind Hawkins who took the win.
In the second moto again, it was Skuse with the best start from Hawkins with the 250f St Blazey Honda of Ross Kersey this time in third, but this was short-lived as he went down with another rider exiting a right-hander which put Hockey up into third. Skuse was on a mission at the front trying to shake off Hawkins which went on for several laps until on lap four Hawkins made his move getting the better traction exiting an uphill lefthander and hit the front and from there was to go on untroubled to take the win and with it was to clinch the Championship, Skuse finished in second again ahead of Hockey.
The last moto was a bit wet as a small shower had fallen, but that didn’t deter the newly crowned champion Hawkins as he hit the front from the start, ahead of Hockey and Carter. But after not the best of starts for Skuse as he was well down buried in the pack. Hawkins had a clear vision and was to ease away, Carter was to get the better of Hockey on lap two, with Hockey soon to be put under pressure from Skuse who was in a real hurry who eventually found a way past Hockey on lap three and within a lap he was to catch and pass Carter for second, but it was a tall order to catch Hawkins who made it a hat trick of wins ahead of Skuse with Carter coming home in third by a whisker from Hockey.
In the Wulfsport Over 35 Championship things were close at the top of the standings with the return from injury of Wayne Shimell on the TyreMarks Honda, who missed the last round and he needed three good results if he was going to deny the Chedder Mx Honda rider Darren Banwell the Championship. In the opening race it was Banwell who turned the first corner at the front, but then drifted a bit wide which let the 300 2-Stroke KTM of Ben Harmon take the lead, but his lead was short-lived as fellow 2-Stroke rider on the Tony Maunders Racing 250 KTM James Kensington who took the overall at the last round put in a blistering opening lap snatched the lead with Ricky Brown on the CR500 Honda following into second place. Shimell didn’t have the best of starts and was mid-pack for most of the race and seemed to be struggling with the bike. It was later revealed that his handlebar clamps had come loose, which could have been disastrous. Kensington went on to take the win from Banwell with Shimell getting the better of Brown on the last lap taking third.
In race two it was Banwell from the off from Lee Randall-Smith and race one winner Kensington. Smith passed Banwell on the opening lap and led the race for two laps. But a slight mistake let Banwell and Kensington through with Kensington passing Banwell to take the lead on lap four. Shimell was cutting through the pack fast and got the better of Banwell on lap five, then within a couple of laps passed Kensington and from there went on to take the win.
In the last moto, Banwell again had the best start from Smith and Harmon, but at the end of the opening lap, it was Brown at the front after Banwell had gone missing. Brown was to lose the lead to Harmon a lap later, but Harmon’s lead was short-lived as Kensington took over and was soon to pull away and went on to take the win which gave him the overall on the day. Shimell eventually took second which made him over 35 Champion with Harmon finishing a close third.
In the Wulfsport Over 45’s Championship Leigh Williams (or Leapey Leigh as he is better known) had already done enough to become 2019 Champion and luckily for him as he was absent through injury. Also missing was David Ford who had already clinched runner up spot, but the third spot was still to be decided between Neil Stephens and Richard Tapscott. The racing was close as usual with no one standing out, and it was to produce three different winners in the shape of Shaun Brooker, David Hamer and Stephens, but at the end of the day it was wildcard Hamer who was most consistent and took the overall, but it was Stephens who finished second overall, and this was to give him third place in the final standings.
The JCT Developments Junior Championship this one was going to go down to the wire. Kieran Yorke on the 250f Chimney Sweep Services Honda went into the final round with a small points lead from the 250f Yamaha of Daniel Wade. But it was Harvey James on the 250f Foxhayes Carsales / Wright Racing KTM who had set the fastest qualifying time by some margin. Yorke made no mistake in the opening race as he led from the start and with a clear track in front of him eased away to a comfortable lead, but as the race progressed wildcard Jack Booker who was back riding after twelve months off a bike was to close in. Yorke held on to take the win from Booker a close second with Rocky Lethaby finishing third. Race two saw Ryan Davis initially with the lead from Booker and Ryan Harris with Yorke back in fifth. Booker was to get passed Davis on the opening lap to take the lead but moving up all the time was Yorke who was soon in second place ahead of Lethaby who was put under massive pressure from Wildcard Todd Leadbitter who eventually got the better of Lethaby on lap five and was gradually catching Yorke in the closing stages. Booker took a comfortable win from Yorke with Leadbitter a close third at the chequered flag. In the last race, Harris lead from the off from Leadbitter and Wade, but it was a disastrous start for Booker and Yorke who were right at the back of the field. Harris was giving his all at the front to pull away from Leadbitter. But Leadbitter stuck with him, so all eyes were on Booker who was flying up through the pack. By the end of the second lap, he was up into fifth looking to go past James. Leadbitter got the pass Harris on lap three to take the lead and soon up into second after a mistake from Harris was to be James with Wade now in third with Booker breathing all over him. Leadbitter took the win making three different winners on the day. James finished second with Booker a well-deserved third after passing Wade on the last lap, but all the applause was for Yorke who eventually finished in eleventh which was enough for him to be JCT Developments Junior Champion 2019.
In the Junior B class, there was a win for Kona Jenkins in the first race with Marcus Feltham winning the other two.
The Junior C class saw wildcard Tyson Maytom Jones take two wins, but he was to deny a clean sweep by Cory Hawkins who took the other win.
24 MX EXPERT CHAMPIONSHIP:
1 Luke Hawkins (450f Cheddar Mx Honda)
2 Jamie Skuse (450f Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki)
3 Corey Hockey (450f Cheddar Mx Husqvarna)
4 Jordan Carter (450f Mid-West Husqvarna)
5 Ben Butler (450f Tony Maunders Racing Kawasaki)
6 Ross Kersey (250f St Blazey Honda)
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Hawkins (Champion) 585 points, 2 Skuse 554, 3 Kersey 494, 4 Cross 478, 5 Barfoot 458, 6 Kellett 447.
WULFSPORT OVER 35 CHAMPIONSHIP:
1 James Kensington (250 Tony Maunders Racing KTM)
2 Wayne Shimell (250f TyreMarks Honda)
3 Darren Banwell (450f Cheddar Mx Honda)
4 Ben Harmon (300 Cheddar Mx KTM)
5 Peter Bulley (350f KTM)
6 Lee Randall-Smith (450f Honda)
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Shimell (Champion) 592 points, 2 Banwell 566, 3 Kensington 563, 4 Harmon 526, 5 Bulley 510, 6 Randall-Smith 462.
WULFSPORT OVER 45 CHAMPIONSHIP:
1 David Hamer (Honda)
2 Neil Stephens (450f Yamaha)
3 Shaun Brooker (450f Suzuki)
4 Richard Tapscott (450f Yamaha)
5 Rob Lewis (450f Tony Maunders Racing Honda)
6 Wayne Slater (450f Yamaha)
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Williams (Champion) 590 points, 2 Ford 562, 3 Stephens 525, 4 Tapscott 510, 5 Davies 497, 6 Topp 496.
JCT DEVELOPMENTS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP:
1 Jack Booker (Husqvarna),
2 Todd Leadbitter (KTM)
3 Rocky Lethaby (KTM)
4 Kieran Yorke (250f Honda)
5 Harvey James (250f Foxhayes Carsales / Wright Racing KTM)
6 Daniel Wade (250f Yamaha)
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
1 Yorke (Champion) 1668 points, 2 Wade 1655, 3 Townrow 1580, 4 James 1566, 5 Smith 1546, 6 Lethaby 1495.
JCT DEVELOPMENTS JUNIOR B:
1 Kona Jenkins
2 Marcus Feltham
3 Joshua Senter
4 Jordan Hayman
5 Will Matthews
6 Daniel Butler
JCT DEVELOPMENTS JUNIOR C:
1 Tyson Maytom Jones
2 Joe Rowe
3 Sonnie Mee-Harris
4 Thomas Sharpe
5 Jamie Bishop
6 Simon Miller