Quad Champs galore at Ecosse. Ecosse XC Winter Series Round 1 – Quad Race Report & Results
An impressive 17 quads line up for the opening round of the Ecosse XC Winter Series at Dunbar on the south east coast of Scotland. The crowd was buzzing to see not one, but four Scottish National champions on the start grid. Multi-Scottish, British and European champ John Mitchell dusted off his race boots for the first since the beginning of the year, whilst five-time Scottish champ Leon Beda was re-entering the competitive arena for the first time since Pont de Vaux in 2016. These two ‘grand masters’ of the quad racing scene were joined by yet-to-be-crowned 2017 Scottish Nationals victor Michael Brewis together with reigning champ, a four-time holder of the title, Murray Graham.
Report by Jenni Foulkes – Images courtesy of Jennifer Charlton Photography
The deep sandy track at Dunbar was quick to rut up and the quad racers had to work hard to find good lines and places to pass but, find them they did. The racing was fast and hard all day long, with a few surprises thrown in along the way.
In the opening moto, Graham was quick off the line, took the holeshot and was never bettered. Beda finished second. Mitchell was in third place, but stalled early on in the race and found himself at the back of the field. In a challenging first race back, he carved his way through the pack to take a hard-earned eighth. Brewis and David Vass fought hard for third place, with Brewis keeping it pinned across the finish line.
- Graham. 2. Beda. 3. Brewis. 4. Vass. 5. Lorne Sinclair.
The first four away in the second race were the four champs of Brewis, Beda, Graham and Mitchell, with Brewis pulling out all the stops to grab the holeshot. Brewis’ lead didn’t last for long though as an on-fire Murray was quick to reel him in. By the end of the first lap, Mitchell had moved through to third and then picked off Beda before setting off to try and catch Graham. He was right on his tail but dropped back on the final lap. Graham took his second win of the day, whilst 17-year-old Sinclair, who is showing a lot of promise, quietly snuck through to fourth.
- Graham. 2. Mitchell. 3. Beda. 4. Sinclair. 5. Brewis.
Prior to the final moto, Mitchell was heard to say the rougher the better for him and with the light quickly fading, he got his wish. Teenager Nash Singer blasted away from the start line and was into ahead of the pack into the first corner. The holeshot point was a foot further on though, and wily ‘old-timer’ Beda passed the youngster to take the prize. The first couple of laps saw frequent changes in position between Graham, Mitchell, Beda and Sinclair. Early on in the race, Beda spun and stalled his quad which dropped him right back. Undeterred though, he worked his way back up to seventh overall. The money was on Mitchell who was clearly enjoying himself. He sat on Graham’s back wheel and, in a master class of riding the rough stuff, went inside right on the hairpin to pass the younger rider and disappeared into the gloomy distance.
- Mitchell. 2. Graham. 3. Sinclair. 4. Mark Wilson. 5. James Murphy.
Commenting on his return to competitive racing, Mitchell said; “I came to this event to get bike time as I’m training for Le Touquet. It’s the first time properly racing this year and I’m buzzing. I’m impressed at how well run the event is. The club has done a great job – it could rival some of the European events and I’ll be back for the second round in January.”
Equally impressed, Beda will be back for round two and has signed up for the full championship. “I don’t do second, so I’ll be putting in some training in time for the second round!”
- Murray Graham. 2. John Mitchell. 3. Leon Beda. 4. Lorne Sinclair. 5. Michael Brewis. 6. Mark Wilson. 7. James Murphy. 8. Paul Skinner. 9. Nash Singer. 10. John Peters.
Round 2 of the Ecosse XC Winter Series will be held at Dunbar on the 7th of January 2018.