Knight Delivers Sucker punch. BIKE IND SUCKER PUNCH EXTREME ENDURO – Race Report & Results
David Knight MBE put in one hell of a shift at the Bike Industries Sucker Punch Extreme Enduro last weekend as the World Enduro legend from the Isle of Man dominated the gruelling race from start to finish. The Sucker Punch is now in its 5th year and this latest production from Steve Ireland and his fantastic WOR Events team saw the level of extremity raised and cut off time for the riders shortened, thus ensuring a much more brutal and challenging event lay ahead for the hardy competitors. The course had everything you could imagine that a forest Extreme Enduro should have, 11 miles per lap that was taking most riders an hour to complete if not more as each fire road and trail lead to another monster challenge of hills, both up and down along with roots, ruts and rivers everywhere. A 4-hour duration was set on the event with any riders completing 5 laps deemed as Gold finishers, 4 laps was Silver, 3 laps was Bronze with 2 laps being enough to be classed a finisher.
Report by Keith Williams – Images courtesy of CWL Photography
A great format, that with the new tweaks in place for this race, proved to be perfectly balanced for all the skill levels as the results proved. David Knight on his 300 Eurotek KTM was on a mission from the off and his super-fast, effortless style had him making some of the harder sections of the brutal course look easy. Such was the pace of the big Manxman that he completed the set target of 5 laps in 2 hours and 56 minutes. Runner Up and putting in a fine ride was 2 times Sucker Punch Winner, Owain Humphreys. Owain on the CF Racing 350 FX Husqvarna was his usual fast and competitive self and he kept a solid second spot to Knighter for the duration of the race eventually finishing 6 minutes adrift of the 4 times World Champion in front of him. Gethin Humphreys, the younger brother was fresh from getting married last week and was looking to claim his first Sucker Punch Glove after coming so close a few times in previous years. The 250f MRS Sherco rider was chasing down his brother and Knighter all race but a few crashes and a zap in energy levels put paid to his challenge as he took a well-earned 3rd spot overall and a Gold finish albeit 7 minutes down on his Brother. Only 7 riders completed the 5 lap Gold route and all of them dug very deep to achieve it with Charlie Frost (KTM), Aled Price(KTM), Fred Adams (GasGas) and Gary Jenkins (Sherco) finishing in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respectively. Special mention to Jenkins as on lap 4 he was fully submerged in the river and looked like him and his bike where over for the day and swimming had become his new hobby, however within a few minutes of being recovered by a fellow rider he was thundering back down a fire road and chasing that 5th lap Gold finish, determination indeed.
Gareth Leonard finished on 4 laps and a Silver which was enough to make him the Expert Vets class winner with WOR stalwart, Gary Benniman on 3 laps and a Bronze as Runner Up. 3rd spot went to Mark Kirby whom after having had a tyre come of the rim and loosing at least 35 / 40 minutes still managed to crack on and get the Bronze 3 lap score.
Dawson Marriott carried on from where he left off at the recent Tough One’s Little Brother Extreme with a brilliant ride to top the always competitive Clubman class on his GasGas 250 2t by over 20 minutes. Finishing in the top ten overall was a just reward for the likeable, unassuming, Notts based youngster as he continues to improve week in week out. Showing that the events newly designed track and format tweaks where working perfectly, had Dawson as the Winner of the Clubman class on 4 laps and a Silver as did his fellow class podium peers, TT road racing star, Steve Mercer and Will Cornthwaite in 2nd and 3rd place respectively after almost 4hrs of racing.
Gary Morley on his trusty Beta 300 was the man again to beat in the Clubman Vets class as he dominated the class as the only 4 lap Silver finisher and had almost a 50 minute advantage over Runner Up, Lee Allis Smith. Smith is always committed and battled hard to get his finish from 3rd placed Simon Dhar.
Top Over 50 was the evergreen Mark Houson whom showed the same class he did a few weeks earlier at the TOLB with a classy, neat and skilful ride to be on Silver, 4 lap finish, fully deserved indeed. Runner Up Over 50 was Richard Lewis with Paul mckie in 3rd place, all digging very deep to secure getting to the finish.
Sam Jamison made the trip over from Ireland well worthwhile as he topped the Sportsman class with 3 laps to his credit and a 1-minute advantage over Runner Up, Jake Oakley whom in turn had chiselled out a 7-minute advantage over 3rd placed Sam Morris.
Andrew Mills was the best Sportsman Vet from Runner Up Gary Nicholson and 3rd placed Jason Clarke. Mills and Nicholson managed 3 laps each with Clarke on 2.
Ian Jones did 2 laps and that was enough with a 7-minute advantage to win him the Novice class from Josh Terry and Danny Griffiths in 2nd and 3rd spot respectively. Just finishing this enduro for most riders was an achievement in its self and some riders that bravely completed 1 lap in 4 hours where still excited and delighted at the handshake from Steve Ireland at the end, truly proud at what they had just done, emotional and shattered, but joyous and elated at the same time. WOR had the mix just right for everyone and the event was received unbelievably well by 99% of the folk there.
A big well done must go Steve and his Team as they keep producing these class leading events year in year out. Finishing off as always is WOR sending out a massive thanks to the event Title Sponsors, BIKE INDUSTRIES and Paul Mercer for helping in lots and lots of ways to make it happen, along with all the staff, medics, caterers and all involved in the event organisation.
The biggest thankyou though once again and as always goes to the riders for supporting the event in their droves and trusting in WOR Events, without these hardy, battle ready enduro warriors there would be no events like these that’s for sure. WOR now smash into November with the start of the Wulfsport Winter series for solos and Quads (separate races!) on 5th November, followed by The next big Extreme on the calendar, TEAM EXTREME on 19th November and a Timecard Enduro on the 26th November ..Who says the season ends?? Not at WOR it doesn’t!!!.
|11||70||OVER 50||MARK HOUSON||4||03:38:46|
|12||23||EXPERT VET||GARETH LEONARD||4||03:51:17|
|15||61||CLUB VET||GARY MORLEY||4||03:55:21|
|18||24||EXPERT VET||GARY BENNIMAN||3||03:11:52|
|29||62||CLUB VET||LEE ALLIS SMITH||3||03:45:28|
|33||21||EXPERT VET||MARK KIRBY||3||03:53:59|
|35||110||SPORTS VET||ANDREW MILLS||3||03:58:44|
|43||22||EXPERT VET||MARTIN WELLS||2||02:38:55|
|45||114||SPORTS VET||GARY NICHOLSON||2||02:40:40|
|46||73||OVER 50||RICHARD LEWIS||2||02:42:09|
|50||65||CLUB VET||SIMON DHAR||2||02:47:49|
|53||64||CLUB VET||CHRIS THUMWOOD||2||02:56:50|
|54||115||SPORTS VET||JASON CLARKE||2||02:56:56|
|55||112||SPORTS VET||ROB PARRY||2||02:57:00|
|60||71||OVER 50||PAUL MCKIE||2||03:01:38|
|61||51||CLUB VET||PETE FARWELL||2||03:02:25|
|65||101||SPORTS VET||PAUL MERCER||2||03:23:59|
|71||113||SPORTS VET||ANTHONY FOULKES||2||03:33:53|
|74||72||OVER 50||ROB GREGORY||2||03:41:09|
|83||66||CLUB VET||DARRYL MEAD||1||01:14:06|
|92||111||SPORTS VET||NIGEL LYNN||1||01:48:53|
|102||67||OVER 50||BARRY WHITTINGHAM||1||02:57:12|