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Bailey brilliant again at Abbotsbury! TBEC Championship Round 3 – Race Report & Results

Bailey brilliant again at Abbotsbury! TBEC Championship Round 3 – Race Report & Results

The third round of the 2023 Trail Bike and Enduro Club of Great Britain (TBEC) championship got off to a flying start on Sunday 14th May, and, true to their usual form, the club officials once again laid out a fantastic course, this time at the newly acquired Abbotsley Arena, a prime 200 acre site in the heart of Cambridgeshire.

Race Report by Roger Allen – Images courtesy of Sharon Barltrop & Kirsty King

The winter format of a single 3 hour enduro now gave way to two 2 hour ‘hare and hound’ enduros, thanks to the extra summer light now available. The generous acreage permitted the team to lay out a relatively long lap of around 22-25 minutes duration.

The Abbotsley terrain was a mixture of fast grassland with ditches, ruts and jumps ready to catch out the unsuspecting rider. These fast field sections were expertly woven in to join the many woodland areas around the circuit, many of them hiding tree roots ready to be exposed by the shifting soil. Despite the lack of recent rainfall, the going was really muddy and slippery for the morning race, the soil already holding a fair amount of surface moisture that proved a challenge for the novice riders. Dan Smith’s #8 Gas-Gas made the early running as route-finder, hotly pursued by the KTM of reigning champ #1 Toby Bailey. These two broke away from the chasing pack of Elite riders with Smith still leading after the first circuit had elapsed. During the second lap though, Smith took a tumble in the slippery mud which enabled Bailey to take up the lead, a position he held until pulling in some minutes before the 12.30pm deadline, having completed 5 laps. E2 Husqvarna rider Paul Hanks #27 had also been turning in some respectable lap times along with Elite veteran and former ‘Wild and Wooley’ victor, Paul Field #25, who was showing complete mastery of the slippery stuff on his GasGas.


The afternoon 2 hour race started in brilliant sunshine. Bailey shot out of the blocks and cleared off, never to be headed. Behind him Hanks and Smith, albeit setting off 1 minute apart, were jousting with each other on the time clock. With the drying track, lap times fell appreciably, enabling Bailey to turn in a fastest lap time of 20 minutes 10 seconds on his opening lap. Next fastest was Smith at exactly half a minute slower. It seemed those lower down the field were enjoying the improved conditions also, with far fewer riders falling.

In the E1 class, Jack Kew #126 forced his Honda up the order to head up his group with a class win. Similarly, Paul Hanks put in some consistent laps to take the E2 class with a best lap time of 21 minutes 15 seconds, just edging out #19 Ryan Brown. In the E3 class #20 Matt Willis clearly took the win with 10 laps completed from the 9 laps of class runner-up Ricky Fisk #719, and third man Edward Harris #135. It was the Beta #180 of Darren Brooker that claimed the ‘Legends’ class win covering nine laps from the eight of Graham Coker #246. As always, the Vets showed their experience with Warren Burbage #474 completing 10 laps and taking the class win on his Beta, with Eagan Bruley #58 as runner up. As you might expect, the Under-21 class was hotly contested between Josh Watson #80 and Joe Jefferies #29 with Watson edging it on time and fewer penalties. In the SV class #302 Keith Townsend gained the same amount of championship points as John Thompson #241, but it was the latter who took the class win with a slightly quicker overall time. Finally, in the Trail class, Simon Densham #32 took the win.

There was no disputing the Abbotsley overall winner though. As the only rider to complete 11 laps and now with three wins from the first three enduros, reigning TBEC champion, Toby Bailey #1, continues the defence of his championship title. It looks like it’s going to be another great year for the TBEC club so why not come along and join us.

Catch up here on DirtHub for the next TBEC round at Ironstone on 11th June. Until then, see ya! RA.