Schwalbe British 4X Series – Round 3 – Harthill, Cheshire
On Saturday, 1st June, the Schwalbe British 4X Series returned to Harthill in Cheshire for round 3 of the 2013 Series. The Phil Saxena designed track has never failed to deliver great racing with races often never decided until the finish line. This track has a sand base so most of the corners are loose and riders are always hunting for grip to carry speed. With a flowing Pro Line section, split berms and huge last turn, the racing was set to be great once more.
With this weekend also hosting the 2nd round of the Schwalbe Euro 4X Series on Sunday, a lot of European riders were present. Tomas Slavik, Felix Beckeman, Hannes Slavik, Martin Neumayer, Mirco Weiss, Helen Fruwirth, Anna Borschig plus many more had all made the journey over to Cheshire for the weekend, and that included them racing in the British round on Saturday.
It was sunny and warm, but the only factor that was a real influence was the wind. There was a really strong cross wind that was causing some problems on the first straight where riders had to jump a 25 foot double and land into turn 1. The decision was made to move the start lower down the first straight so that riders would not have as much speed into the first turn and create closer but safer racing.
At lunchtime the motos got underway. In the women’s race, 16 women had entered the race which was fantastic. (Hopefully there will be over 20 by the next round….) It looked like it was going to be a battle between Katy Curd and Helene Fruwirth. Both were riding fast, but it was Katy who took all the wins in qualifying.
In the small final it was Cara Murray who took the win and the final spot on the podium. In the main final, Katy lined up in gate 1, Helene Fruhwirth in 2, Suzanne Lacey in 3 and Anna Borschig in 4. Katy made her best gate of the day and took a dominating win. There was a great fight for 2nd between Helene and Suzanne, but at the finish line Helene took 2nd, Suzanne in 3rd and Anna in 4th. The women’s racing yet again provided some of the best racing seen all day. 4X riders, enduro riders, BMX and downhillers were all on the gate and this is the sport that puts all these riders on a level playing field. Fantastic to watch and we are looking forward to the class growing even more this year
In the men’s race, 29 Elite riders were entered. Just another sign of the growth of 4X in 2013. Felix Beckeman, Will Evans, Tomas Slavik and Scott Beaumont went unbeaten in the motos. They were all looking fast along with Hannes Slavik, Duncan Ferris and Nate Parssons. In the semi finals, it looked like we were at the 4X ProTour with the world’s fastest 4X riders lining up.
In semi final 1, Boom Boom took gate 1, Tomas Slavik in 2, Duncan Ferris in 3 and Nate Parssons in 4. Beaumont got the snap and led through the first 2 turns. Ferris carried amazing speed in turn 2 and passed Slavik into the third turn but lost grip and ran off track on the exit. Slavik held onto 2nd and moved onto the final with Beaumont.
In semi final 2, Beckeman was in 1, Will Evans in 2, Hannes Slavik in 3 and Dan Bateson in 4. Beckeman made the jump and won start to finish. A great battle in 2nd between the other 3 with loads of passes, but it was Will Evans who took the final spot.
In the small final Dan Bateson took the win and the final spot on the podium with 5th for the day.
So onto the main final. Beaumont was on 1, Beckeman in 2, Slavik in 3 and Evans in 4. Boom Boom made the gate and led the race through the tricky first 2 turns. The RSP riders Slavik and Beckeman battled and this gave Evans the opportunity to power around the outside. He flew into 2nd behind Beaumont. The 2 Brits pulled a lead and they were close all the way to the finish but Beaumont took the win, Evans in 2nd, Beckeman in 3rd and Slavik 4th.Other Harthill winners:
Big Fun (17+) – Ryan Turner
Rippers – Harry Fernihough – DBS
Youth – Ryan Hutchinson – Stealth 4X
Junior – Luke Cryer – Naked Racing
Senior – Mathew Sills
Masters – Stephen Russell
Veterans – Simon Rickett
Full results are here: http://www.british4x.com/results/rd3-results-2013/
The next round of the Schwalbe British 4X Series is in Redhill, Gloucestershire on Sunday 23rd June.
For full details check the website www.british4x.com
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To discuss the series, like www.facebook.com/british4x
Photo Credits: Charles Robertson.