BUMPER CROP OF QUADS AT ECOSSE EVENT THREE

With regular top seeds John Mitchell, David Vass and Lorne Sinclair opting for a different sand challenge at Le Touquet, their places at the Rock Oil Ecosse XC Winter Series, also sponsored by Drysdale Motorcycles and Wulfsport, were taken by notable Northern Irish riders Dean Dillon and Terence Mackin.  

Dillon crossed the Irish Sea to find some pre-season racing action and Mackin was there to test his fitness after an enforced lay off following a heavy crash at the final round of the 2017 British Championship last October.  

Mackin who set the pace for the day, taking the holeshot on the first moto, closely followed by top Scottish riders, Mark Wilson and Michael Brewis. Brewis hoped to repeat his winning tactics from the previous round, warming up by riding in the C-Class solo race but it nearly backfired as, after several tumbles, he started the first quad race covered in wet sand. Undeterred though, by the end of the first lap, he had overtaken both Mackin and Wilson, taking advantage of the lack of traffic to choose the smoothest of lines for a trouble-free win. Behind him Mackin and Wilson were having their own battle and further back, Ayrton Knowles got entangled with Dillon on the second lap, letting the whole field past them before they disengaged. Despite a hard charge to work their way up again, Dillon only climbed to ninth with Knowles a disappointing 12th. A steady smooth ride from Gary Atkinson saw him take a well-deserved fourth, just ahead of an impressive Lawrence Whyte, who hasn’t been seen on a quad for two years. Sixth place went to British Championship regular Michael Robinson while Whyte’s former sparring partner, Nash Singer, got up to an impressive seventh after a start line tangle with the bungee left him trailing the pack.                 

It looked like it was all going Mark Wilson’s way on race two as he took the holeshot and settled down out front, however, Scottish champ Brewis was hounding him, trying to find a clear road past. Mackin and Dillon, were having their own race behind the two Scots and, as Brewis overtook Wilson to take the lead, and eventually the win, the teenager Dillon found a way past Mackin and set his sights on Wilson. Half a lap from the end, Wilson’s defence was finally broken, and Dillon slipped past to take second, demoting Wilson to third. Race two also saw unwelcome action for Whyte whose good start went badly wrong when quad flipped over going into the first bend, setting him down in the sand with a bump. By the time the rest of the riders had ridden round (and over) him, he had to admit defeat and limp back to the pits, his race day over.  Meanwhile, Knowles skilfully picked his way through the roughening terrain to take fifth.

Race three saw young Singer get the holeshot but Brewis was right on his tail and had sneaked past him by the fourth turn. Then, as Singer struggled to hold on to his quad as it bounced across the deep tracks, veteran Mackin got past him too. For some, it was a short-lived race; by lap two, James Murphy had pulled up, as had Dwayne Barnes and then an electrical issue stopped John Peters dead in his tracks. But it was Brewis, looking comfortable in the lead, who made the most dramatic exit half way round lap three, when he suddenly rode straight off the track and into the pits.  A prudent move, it transpired later, when he confirmed a major engine issue which could have ended in disaster, had he continued. Meanwhile, Dillon had got past Mackin to take second and, with Brewis’ early demise, suddenly found himself leading, a position he didn’t just hold, but stretched, finishing almost half a minute ahead of runner-up Wilson. For Wilson and Mackin, their third moto was as tough as the previous ones. The two riders had gone into the final race with a cumulative total of 80 points apiece and again they pushed hard, with Mackin fending off Wilson, right up to the point when the last lap flag went up. A final spurt from Wilson saw him overtake the Irishman in style, to clinch second in the race and, with the sudden demise of Brewis, take overall honours on the day.

Quad Overall

1. Mark Wilson, 2. Terrence Mackin, 3. Dean Dillon, 4. Gary Atkinson, 5. Ayrton Knowles, 6. Michael Borinson, 7. Nash Singer, 8. Robbie Wood, 9. Michael Brewis, 10. Adam Robinson.

Image credit: Peter Greenwood Off-Road Photography

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