Murphy scores back-to-back quad win’s at HydroGarden Weston Beach Race – Saturday Report
The HydroGarden Weston Beach Race enjoyed an outstanding day of racing in Weston-Super-Mare today (October 14) where Stefan Murphy took the honours in the RPG Racing Quad Solo category, while Louis Vincent, Josh Greedy, Sam Nunn, Davis/Ferguson enjoyed victory in the 85cc, 250/125 Youth and Sidecar classes.
The day’s action kicked off in the 125/250f Youth class where Josh Greedy went one better than last year to take victory in the 250 category. While it was last year’s winner Howard Wainwright who took the early lead, a mistake from the Honda rider allowed a consistent Greedy to take to the front and bring him his first victory to top off a strong season for the youngster. Second was Aidan Williams, while Brad Thornhill rounded out the podium. In the 125 category Sam Nunn, who won the final round of the British Youth National Championship in 2017, recovered from an early crash to bring home the win from Aaron Colley and Aaron Patstone.
Next up to attack the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race circuit were the youngest racers competing this weekend with the 65cc class, which was won by event first-timer Louis Vincent who, despite crashing a number of times, conquered the course to take an emphatic win from Ben Mustoe and Shaun Mahoney.
In this afternoon’s highlight event – RPG Racing quad category – it was last year’s 4×4 winner Steve Atkins who blasted away from the start to take the early lead. But a belt failure meant that Atkins was forced to retire early on in the race and a tactical Stefan Murphy, who took his first victory here last year, was able to build a lead at the front of the field and control the race for the duration of the three hours. It was an especially pleasing win as the RPG Racing racer hasn’t contested many events this year, and a nail-biting moment in which the Yamaha pilot crashed in the closing stages of the race meant that Murphy was pleased to bring home his machine at the front of the field. In the Sidecar class the teaming of Davies/Ferguson, who finished second in the British Enduro Championship this season, backed up their 2016 debut win in the class with another superb victory today.
The 2-man quad class was certainly of interest with David Knight MBE and Guy Martin teaming up to compete. Knighter, a six time Weston winner, which includes a quad class win, was quick out of the traps and was holding a podium position in the early part of the race. Martin, who has never ridden a quad before, certainly was thrown in at the deep end. Technical issues would certainly prove a challenge and end their battle for a top result, although the duo enjoyed the experience of racing together. Isle of Man racers James Kerruish and Matt Thorpe took the 2-man quad win, with local-aces Ty and Todd Kellett taking second position, even though they also suffered technical problems. The Downes duo took a podium third.
Finally, the 4×4 class looked like it would be in the hands of Steve Atkins early on in the race, but Sam Clowes took the win, while Katie Hodgson was second and Fredrik Back was third. The action kicks off tomorrow at 10.30 with the highlight solo race beginning at 1.30pm local-time where Jonny Walker, David Knight, Graeme Irwin, and local hero Todd Kellett will be lining up looking for victory, and Guy Martin will also compete aboard a Honda Africa Twin around the spectacular dune course.
Josh Greedy – 250F Youth winner
“I had a good start into about third place. I managed to get up to second and was there for a while, just keeping a rhythm. Howard (Wainwright) was pulling on me a lot but he made a big mistake and he dropped out. I took the lead and kept gaining and gaining time. I finished with a two-and-a-half-minute lead, so it was comfortable. I feel proper good. I do this race every year, so it’s great to take a win.”
Sam Nunn – 125 Youth winner
“I got a good start and came out of the first straight around fourth or fifth. The first couple of dunes went alright, but I had a big crash. I landed in a big puddle and then had to pit for goggles and was way down. I kept on charging throughout to bring home the win. It’s my fifth time racing here and I love it.”
Louis Vincent – 65cc winner
“I came out in fifth and down the first straight absolutely flat out. I came out of the first corner in the lead and I thought there’s still an hour and a half to go and it was so tough it’s ridiculous. There’s mounds, well I don’t know how big they are, but they are huge. A lot bigger than my bike. There’s some massive bumps on the way down and I went over the bars twice. I was happy to get to the end. When I went round the final turn my bike felt like it had a problem, and I’m not sure it would have done another lap. I was literally like oh my god when I got to the end. It’s my first time here, and it feels incredible to win, I’m like speechless. It’s been a great experience.”
James Kerruish/Matt Thorpe – 2-Man Quad winner
“It went well, it was tough out there. We were just being consistent, we’ve done the race every year since 2003, and we teamed up about four years ago. We come here to enjoy ourselves, and we’ll be out tonight for sure. We race back in the Isle of Man, and we’ve been second here a couple of times so it’s nice to be going home with the win this time.”
Davies/Ferguson – Sidecar winner
It’s been fantastic today, we’ve had a reasonably good start, held up by a few quad riders and we thought that was the end of it. We pulled it back and we’re really chuffed. It’s probably one of the hardest races we’ve done for a long time, but it’s been good; the organisers always put a fantastic track together. It was really wet today, but we won last year after a few second places, so it’s been brilliant to back that up with another win. We did a 24-hour race in Australia this year and finished second in the British enduro championship, so it’s a good way to end a busy year.”
Sam Clowes – 4×4 winner
“It’s been a brilliant day and I’m absolutely thrilled to bits. It’s my fifth or sixth go, and there’s a group of us from Exmoor who come together to do it. It’s unfortunate for Steve (Atkins) that he broke a belt, we all changed them and that’s the only one with a problem, but it’s the way it goes. I’ve not had a podium here before, I’ve only been doing it for a few years after injuring my ACL racing motocross. I’m really happy to go home with a win, time to go to the pub now.”
Stefan Murphy – Quad solo winner
“It’s good to have backed up last year and to have taken two in a row. It’s not a planned two in a row because I just came here with the same attitude as last year, to turn up, have some fun, enjoy riding and see what happens. I had a tactic this year that worked, and I rode my race from there. I had a five or six-minute lead at one point and knew I had that buffer to ride without pushing too hard, so I could really enjoy it. Pit stops were great thanks to the crew, Ryan from RPG Racing and all of his family have worked really hard behind the scenes to put together a great bike. I’ve only raced a few events this year due to work commitments and other things, so it’s great to come here and take a win.”