Ending on a high! Maxxis UK Flat Track Championships Round 8 – Race Report
Round eight of the Maxxis 2017 UK Flat Track Championships put on by the DTRA (Dirt Track Riders Association) series delivered an action packed finale at Eastbourne Speedway to conclude a superb season of flat track racing. A fast track and good weather provided the perfect setting for the last showdown of the year.
Images Courtesy of Ian Osbourne
The Pro class final saw Sam Hurst getting a flying start with Aidan Collins and Alan Birtwistle hot on his heels as they hit turn one. Collins pushed hard and passed Hurst to move into the lead. Behind, Birtwistle was also trying to get through and eventually found a gap to move into second. At the front Collins rode a textbook race as he went on take the win. Birtwistle held strong for second, which made him 2017 champion, with Hurst making his first Pro class podium of the year in third.
After a restart in the Restricted class it was James Andrew who led the way with Neil Macqueen and Sean Kelly in hot pursuit. Behind, Grant Martin was making his way through and soon got jump on Kelly to move into third. At the front Andrew and Macqueen started to open up a lead on their competition and battled all the way to the line. Andrew took the win, which also made him series champion, with Macqueen second and Martin third.
In the Vintage class Gary Birtwistle proved unbeatable once again as he got a fast start and moved to front early on. He stayed out of trouble for the win and was also crowned series champion. Anthony Brown rode well for second with David Webb third.
The ever competitive Thunderbike class saw Alan Birtwistle move to the front with Jon Bell and Mike Hill in hot pursuit. Birtwistle pulled away from his competition to take the win with Bell riding well for second and Mike Hill third. A consistently solid season saw Hill crowned champion for the year.
With Martin Mills and Lee Sadler both in contention for the overall title in the Rookie class it was always going to be a competitive race. Mills, Sadler and Westley Agius all came into turn one together. Martin got the edge as he moved into the lead. Behind, Sadler and Agius continued to trade places as the race unfolded. Unfortunately, a crash put Agius out of contention. Fortunately, Sadler avoided the carnage to snatch second with Chris Jenner coming through for third.
Joe Banks got a flying start in the Minibike class and moved ahead as he went into turn one. Chasing hard were Neil Macqueen, who had already sewn up the series championship, and Lucia Aucott. All three moved clear of the competition and held position all the way to the line with Banks taking the win, Macqueen second and Aucott third.
In the Youth Intermediates the race was on between Ted Wilkinson and Jack Bell as both were in with a chance of series victory. With points in the qualifying rounds as well as the final, consistency would be key. Wilkinson won all three races while Bell had his share of bad luck. Bell redeemed himself by winning the final but it was Wilkinson who took the series. In the Youth Juniors Charlie Kelly had a top day acing the final and the series championships. Thomas Hunt took second with Wyatt Hopkins third.