Tuesday, 12 April 2016

DTRA Round 1 Report: Rye House

The first DTRA race of 2016 was the biggest ever UK short track race (except for the Dirt Quake two-dayers that we hold with the DTRA). The meeting was split into two, with self-contained morning and afternoon sessions. Juniors, rookies and minibikes ran in the morning. Pros, restricted, vintage and Thunderbikes got on track at 2pm.

Rye House has a new owner and is under-going renovation. The DTRA seemed much happier with the new regime and the track was well prepared and looked after during the meeting. In the past, the previous owner would dump 1000 litres on it halfway through the meeting and totally screw it.
One result of the track being looked after was a very safe meeting. I didn't see the medical staff called once.

There were a ton of new riders in all the classes and some of last year's top restricted riders moved up to the Pro class. The DTRA has introduced a B Final for the Pro class to encourage those without a realistic chance of making the final to enter the dwindling Pro class in the knowledge they'll get three heats and a B Main. The B Main also acts as a last chance qualifier (LCQ) with the top two from the B Main qualifying for the A Main. There was a slight mix-up with the race order of this meeting so the B Main riders went straight from their ten-lap B into the 10-lap A Main without a break. That was a bit of a poisoned chalice, meaning they had to race knackered against the best amateur riders in Europe. The DTRA will sort that for future races.

The race attracted riders from Italy, Germany, France and Belgium, 12-15 foreign riders in total.
Thanks to the DTRA volunteers for all they do for the sport. They were working for ten hours on Sunday, plus travelling time, to make the event run as smooth as an oiled eel. GI
Sean Vukovic entered his very first dirt track race on his Survivor Customs CCM Rotax and won the Thunderbike class ahead of a strong field. Ross 'The King' Herrod was second, Survivor Mike Hill was third.
Want a potential race winner for £3500-£4000? Talk to Mike at Survivor Customs.
Frenchman Frank Chatokhine, #5R, came back to the series after missing much of last season and bossed the ever-growing Vintage class. We featured his Metisse Triumph in Sideburn 17.
17-year-old Ollie Brindley #24, hasn't had an off-season. over winter he has raced both Superprestigios and a bunch of Florida races, plus spent two weeks with AMA Pro Johnny Lewis. He followed the hard-charging current champ, Aidan Collins, for a few laps before finally making a pass stick and then he cleared off. Aidan came in second, Alan Birtwistle (aka Moto Ninja) came a good third. 
Vintage class rookie John Harrison looked like he'd been parachuted in from 1974. He is one of many riders who lost their dirt track virginity at Dirt Quake and now are racing in the DTRA.
Another is Ross Sharp, one of the Bike Shed MC full-time staff. Ross bought a used DTX bike last year, did a few practices, entered the Rookies and won first time out. A very confident rider.
Alessandro Rossi from Deus Milan bought Jason's gorgeous Wood Rotax (that we have a blueprint of for all the Wood Rotax fans out there) and flew in with his family for a weekend of motorcycle fun.
James from Hard Luck Tattoo is another graduate from the University of Dirt Quake. He raced two classes and was smiling like a loon every time I saw him. 
And me? I missed the Eastbourne practice because of bike problems at the Rye House practice the week before, then didn't get the bike working properly until the Friday before this race. It ran like a dream, but I forgot I only wanted to leave that rear tyre on for the pre-season practices and turned up to the first race with a worn Maxxis DT1. Better riders than me could cope with worn rubber, but I need all the help I can get. This photo shows ambition getting the better of talent. Still I made the Thunderbike final, stayed on two wheels all day and had a lot of fun. 

The next race is at the MCN Festival, Peterborough over the weekend of 14-15 May and Colin Edwards is racing with us! G

Photos: Ian Roxburgh

1 comment:

Stevie Coles said...

Loved that track!, looks perfect in the photos.
Great to see the series thriving!!!.