Over 300 riders, 10 teams and over a thousand family members, friends and officials descended upon Culham Park in Oxfordshire for the annual MCF Team Event and Grand Slam.
Two days and a whopping 35 Motos later and South Somerset were once again taking home the trophy as MCF Team Champions. A well-deserved win but an incredibly hard-fought battle as teams from across the country brought along their skilled club riders to do battle right through from Autos to Adults. Every team gave maximum effort, not only riding their hearts out, but turning up and looking the part…from banners and flags to full kits, wigs and even Minions, MCF teams know how to make sure they stand out!
This year, the MCF made the decision to run our three yearly events all across one super huge and exciting weekend. The MCF Team Event, Grand Slam and Youth League final produced some incredible racing and as ever a great atmosphere, largely thanks to the incredible team-spirit brought by each and every one of our amazing clubs.
With 7 classes and 5 blocks of racing to get through, the weekend was set to be jam-packed from the start! Thanks to TMX, DBR and the Arenacross Tour, we had a whole heap of goodie bags to give out at signing on…including some pretty cool MCF headphones!
Each rider would be completing a maximum of four Motos out of five over the weekend in order to battle it out and take home one of the many trophies on offer. The youth riders were awarded first through to sixth and the adults first to third in the Grand Slam championship. We also had the overall team event awards, whereby we awarded the team who amassed the most amount of points over the weekend. Finally, the MCF Youth League winners were also crowned at this event.
Saturday morning kicked of bright and early, slightly overcast but dry and looking to be the perfect Motocross weather! Following on from the team pictures and practice, the Big Wheel 85’s kicked off Saturday’s action with their first Moto. The track was looking spot on and it was Denny Rapson of 90 Racing MXC who made the most of it taking the win. In fact, 90 Racing seemed to dominate this class throughout all the Motos, having at least one club rider in the top three in every race. The battle of the big wheels continued throughout Saturday with Ben Burridge (also of 90 Racing) taking the win in the following two Motos. Charlie Razzell (Ringwood MX), Harvey Ward (90 Racing) and Brandon Baker (South Somerset MX) all saw the BW podium on Saturday but by Sunday, Ben Burridge was stamping his mark on Culham as he claimed a second and a first in his Motos taking the overall class victory for his club 90 Racing.
Their smaller wheeled counterparts were out next, and a firm battle between Preston Williams (South Somerset), Louie Kessell (Portsmouth MXC) and Luke Williamson (Portsmouth) was on the cards. It was Louie Kessell who took the first two Motos, with Preston Williams settling the score in the last Moto of the day on Saturday. West Coast and Ringwood also featured in the top three SW’s on Saturday, in the forms of James Rowe (who took a second in Moto one) and Vinnie Ray-Guthrie (taking third in Moto three) respectively. Come Sunday and the same three riders got onto the podium for the remaining Motos and the overall results…all be it in a slightly different order each time! With Preston and Louie each winning a Moto, it was Portsmouth who came out on top in the Small Wheels, with Louie Kessell taking the overall.
A definite mixed bag for the Junior 65’s with a different winner each time out in Saturdays Motos, although it was all about 90 Racing and South Somerset with only one top three rider across the whole weekend coming from a different club (Callum Clarke, Portsmouth). Ben Pratt, George Hopkins and Charlie Palmer, all South Somerset riders, took one win each on Saturday, closely followed by Arai Elcock (90 racing), James Barker (90 Racing) and George Hopkins (South Somerset) respectively. The sunshine on Sunday definitely brightened up the day and the racing, as George Hopkins took the overall for South Somerset.
Despite a valiant effort from Ringwood’s Henry Life, the top of the Autos results sheet resembled somewhat of a who’s who of South Somerset. Louis Vincent took the win in both of the first two Motos, with Harrison Greenough rounding up the triple win for the club. An incredibly impressive weekends racing from every single one of the MCF’s Auto riders as the track roughed up. They all rode their hearts out on a track which was not shortened or cut-off at any point…they were riding the exact same track as the adults! And a big shout-out to all of their parents and guardians who must have got a good work-out this weekend running around Culham after them! Unsurprisingly for those watching, it was Louis Vincent who claimed the overall for South Somerset, as he won every Moto he rode in. He’s one to watch for sure!
The Rookie class was an all Portsmouth affair, with Tyron Cleaver taking two wins on the Saturday and Aaron Gordon rounding off the triple for the club with the third. Always an exciting class to watch, the MCF Rookies didn’t disappoint…these guys ride hard and fast, taking on the jumps and corners with ferocity. Aaron Gordon gave his club Portsmouth the overall win in the Rookies, as he finished Moto five sitting first overall in his class.
The adults took to the track and tore it up, showing everyone watching just how serious the stakes are at the team event! In the AMX the battle raged between Michael Ellis of Portsmouth and Corey Hockey from South Somerset. Although the Saturday Motos belonged to the Pompey rider as he took two wins from three, it was in fact South Somerset who took the overall win in the AMX class thanks to the skills of Corey Hockey. In the Open, Joe Clayton from South Somerset began the weekend with some storming rides and was the only rider to make the uphill double, however bike problems during his last Moto on Saturday meant that he ended with a DNF. It was Jake Boyes from North East who proved that consistency is key over the weekend, taking second and third positions in all his Motos to receive the overall.
The MCF would like to thank their clubs for making such an amazing effort, not just at the Team Event, but throughout the year. Grassroots Motocross is looking healthy with the MCF and long may it continue!
Images thanks to Martin Pickard