Three days of indoor pump action excitement!
Last week, riders arrived at the NEC in Birmingham to take part in the DMR Pump Track Challenge. The track this time would be provided by Shore Trax so that pump tack racing could be shown in the Cycle Show. Shore Trax pump tracks are constructed from wood and the creation at the NEC was really good. 2 lanes would start from the British 4X start gate. Riders could snap from the gate and pedal to the first pump to gain speed. Then riders would part and head off in opposite directions before hitting a 180 turn and heading back towards each other. The last turn would kick them 90 degrees towards the finish line where they would finish next to each other.
Even though the track would ultimately take just 7 seconds, there was a lot to get right for the riders as every milli second would count.
Riders qualified one at a time with a run on both red and blue lanes. Their fastest time would count and seed the riders into the finals.
Pump track kings Bernard Kerr and Olly Wilkins, British and Euro 4X Series Champ Scott Beaumont and Jack of all trades Lewis Lacey were all entered and would face plenty of competition during the weekend.
With 3 days of racing, there were plenty of close finishes and action for the spectators to enjoy.
So day 1 arrived and the track looked fun. 16 riders turned up and they were making the track look good. In qualifying Chris Smith took the fastest time ahead of Boom Boom, Wilkins and Lacey.
The racing started and the draw pitched Kerr and Wilkins together. Easily the toughest first round you can imagine! Wilkins took it by just 9 thousandths of a second!
In the semi final, Beaumont got the better of Smith and Wilkins beat Lacey to set up the final.
So final time. Beaumont was fast from the gate but Wilkins had amazing corner speed. Who would take it? As predicted Boom Boom got the snap and led. Wilkins made a small slip in turn 2 and Beaumont took it. 0.2 advantage into the second run was a good lead. In the second run, Beaumont again got the snap and took the win and the top step of the podium for day 1. Wilkins was second and Lacey got third.
In-between all the racing the Pro Riders gave Skills sessions to some lucky visitors to the show.
A few more riders arrived on Saturday but they would still be slimmed down to 16 for racing. Boom Boom this time took the fastest time after posting identical times over 2 runs! Lacey was second and Wilkins in third.
At the semi final stage, it was Beaumont vs Smith and Lacey vs Wilkins. Beaumont took both legs to book his place in the Saturday final. Lacey took heat 1 but in heat 2, the combined times after 2 runs we’re identical!! That’s down to thousandths of a second! So a final race off was run. A slip from Wilkins in the second turn was all it took and Laxey was in the final.
Beaumont got the snap but Lacey fought back and took the first race by 0.06. It was edge of your seat stuff watching! In the second race Beaumont rode a flawless lap and took the win by 0.13 – taking the overall by just 0.07 seconds!
Beaumont took the win from Lacey and Wilkins.
This gave Boom Boom 2 wins from 2 days. Could he make it a clean sweep??
So the final day arrived. I’ve got to say it was fantastic racing indoors! The rain outside over the weekend made no impact at all!
Qualifying sprung up a few surprises. Katy Curd, the women’s 4X European Champion put in 2 amazing rides to finish 10th and upset a few of the guys. British 4X Series Champion Suzanne Lacey was also in the mix and finished 15th to qualify. Lewis Lacey was the fastest ahead of Beaumont and a great ride from Tom Gethin to get third.
By the semi finals, it was down to Lacey vs Jordan Lunn and Beaumont vs Kerr. Lacey booked his place in the final with 2 wins and a couple of really fast laps. Kerr took the win in the first round to put Beaumont on the ropes. In the second round Kerr rode a stormer to book his place in the final and deny Beaumont the sweep!
The final was just like every other race – super close. In the first run Lacey took it by just a few thousandths of a second. If anyone could come back it was Bernard. In the second run, a slip by Bernie in turn 1 put paid to his chances. Lacey took it from Kerr and Beaumont in third.
So that was it from the NEC. Fun weekend and we are already looking forward to next year. It is rare to see racing this close but the pump track challenge continues to deliver this entertainment at every venue.
The next DMR Pump track Challenge is in Bristol on November 10th.
Keep up to date with Pump Tack racing: www.pumptrackchallenge.com
Check out www.DMRbikes.co.uk new website for the latest news.