Well it felt like that to me, as not having had so much contact racing in recent times. The combination of a good entry (around 130), some quick riders and a relatively short and narrow track made it all a bit more hectic that usual.

All that said, the track rode well after yet more rain recently and even though there were some deep ruts it stayed interesting through the day. Whether it was jet lag or some slight intimidation I’m not sure but it contributed to me not having the best days racing. I finished all 6 races but felt it could have gone better. Brake front brake sticking on in race 1 (not correctly positioned after a change of handlebars), clutch lever knocked off by a passing rider in race 2, taken out by Karl falling of the Husky I had lent him (after the Suzuki smashed a piston at Teifiside) [1]. Replaced clutch perch and lever meant slipping clutch in race 4 etc etc. All sounds like a bunch of excuses but I did enjoy myself!

The venue at Bicton is used for enduro and some racing but the Border were not allowed to use some ground and decided against some other parts. Something to think about for next year but a good place to start at what is a promising venue.

A strong Twinshock entry meant the pre78s again running with the Pre74 over 250s and it was all about the start. Sam Weaver took what I think was his first twinshock race win in Race 1, holding off Rhys Edwards also on a Maico. Brother Ben had an off in that race but came back to take 2 seconds behind Rhys to keep his tally of points in the championship high after Rhys had had a few mechanical issues at Teifiside. David Clack on the 500 Husqvarna got a couple of good starts and therefore finished well positioned, only missing out when the tape went with the 15 second board still showing. Travelling companion Nigel Davies edged him points after 3 consistent rides with both looking like strong contenders for the season. Bryan Wilkins must have had bike problems after 4th in race 1 and Anthony Guest, a twinshock regular rode well but is losing points in what is a much more competitive field in 2018. Both meetings so far have seen 30+ riders, which is a real change from the 15 or so at some meetings in 2015-6.

Pre78 regular Alan Woods made it for the first time this season, though when he asked myself and Andy Carter when race 6 was, we pointed at the bikes just leaving the start. He got out for a couple of laps and also scored maximum points in race 3. James Edge was there but bike problems with the 125 Suzuki meant he didn’t race after practice which was a real disappointment after a great display at Teifiside. Tom Wells and Phil Lander are looking to make a season of it and travelled up from West Wales to get points on David Goddard and along with Mark Shaw are forming the core of the pre78 class. With Paul Prosser and last season’s champion Malcolm Herbert not riding the class this season, it remains an open and competitive race. Combining it with the larger capacity pre68 and pre74 is also good.

Mitchell Harris got two wins over Sean Wilkins in the pre68 over 350cc and it looks like a familiar pattern forming for the 2018 season however Sean is riding a lot quicker than his first season and is well ahead of Tom Owen and Vince Hale.

In the pre74 over 250cc, Dan Evans comeback continues of the 400cc Husqvarna , a finely tuned bike built out of the parts bin. Keith Roden scored 3 2nds and with no Rob Jones yet this season it’s open to a wider field. Glyn Drake is also making a season of it on the Yamaha MX360 and scored well at Border. Jack Hibberd, also on a Yamaha made an impact , without his brother this time, but shows what can be done with a Yamaha in the classic classes.

In the pre68 up to 350cc, Mitchell Harris just shaded Tom Owen overall after missing out in one race. Steve Dent made an appearance from Cumbria and picked up points in the championship as did Geoff Taylor, who didn’t make Teifiside because of the date change.

In the pre74 up to 250cc, as in 2017 Kris Winder’s occasional appearance blew the field apart but after blowing up his Elsinore at Teifiside, Ben Weaver stayed 1 place ahead of Dan Evans in each race. The class remains competitive and one of the most popular with points scored to 13th place.

In the pre60 class, Pete Hollinshead managed to lose the stress of dealing with the entries by winning all 3 races. It was a bigger than usual pre60 class with Joe Chell getting the better of his old man overall and getting a 2nd in the last race. Andy Carter got 4th overall after some interesting racing.

In the pre65’s Dai Walker was using his spare bike with a planned ECMO trip to Denmark next week but after chasing Phil Edwards in two races, it was having Andy Carter’s Tribsa on top of him in race 3 that slowed him down a bit. Derek Brice started his season with 2nd overall, another rider who couldn’t make the date change at Teifiside, but looks on good form. Of the two strokes, Andy Davies on the twinport CZ got the points ahead of Bolt Up Husky mounted Matt Morgan, Malcolm Herbert and Karl Stevens. Still no Greeves west of Swindon it seems.

A good competitive days racing, with new and old riders still looking to make this 2018 season one of the most competitive for the Welsh Championship.

[1] He also beat me in race 1, note how I’ve hidden this as a footnote. It is a quick bike.


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