Dramatic finale to Enduro season
There was excitement, suspense and drama at the sixth and final round of the G H Motorcycles/Husqvarna/ACU Eastern Enduro Championship held at Butley, Suffolk, organised by Woodbridge Motorcycle Club.
With three of the class titles having already been won, all eyes were on the other three classes and one of these was the Expert Class where Kevin Palmer (Diss) was leading Myles Saunders (Sudbury) by five points.
However, it was Ryan McDonnell (Sudbury) who won the first Special Test with Saunders second, Dan Willis (Stowmarket) third and Palmer was further down the field.
Saunders won the second Special Test, with McDonnell (2nd), Willis (3rd) and again Palmer further down the field.
Willis won the third Special Test with Saunders second, McDonnell third and Palmer in fourth spot.
At the start of the fast last lap, Palmer was in seventh place and Saunders in second, giving Saunders an eight-point advantage on the day and the title within his grasp.
Fortunately for Palmer, Alex Walton’s (Sudbury) machine broke down earlier and Palmer moved up to 6th place. During the final lap Willis and Palmer were together and paced each other finishing with no penalty points which gave Willis the win with Saunders second, also with no penalty points.
It looked like the title was going to Saunders, but when Ross Taylor (Diss) and Tommy Clark (N & S Juniors) finished they were a minute late thus receiving 60 penalty points which pushed Palmer up to fourth place behind McDonnell. The provisional results gave Saunders a four-point advantage over Palmer at this event but 40-year-old Palmer takes the Expert Class title by one point.
There was another battle in the Clubman Class where James Barker (Sudbury) had a four-point lead over Lee Monger (Sudbury) and these two had fought tooth and nail over every round.
On the day, Barker won all three Special Tests and as hard Monger tried to better Barker he made silly mistakes which lost him precious seconds which George Eustace (Sudbury) took advantage of, finishing 2nd on the day behind Barker and ahead of Monger. Barker takes the 2017 Clubman Class Title with Monger second and Eustace third.
Paul Davis (Sudbury), who lives and works in The Netherlands, made a rare appearance in the Clubman Super Veteran Class and was overall leader after the three Special Tests with Andy Mason (Sudbury) second and Graham Mays (Sudbury) third, with these two battling for the 2017 title.
Everything changed on the last lap. Davis and Mays received 60 penalty points while Mason was clean, giving him the win on the day, with Davis second and Mays third.
Mason won the Class title for the fourth year running.
Jason Morland (Halstead), who had already won the 2017 Championship Class, won the first and third Special Tests, but dropped his machine in the second Special Test losing 11 seconds, which was enough to give Ben Clark (Halstead), who is half the age of Morland, the win on the day, with Rick Roper (Sudbury) third and Tim Rose (Diss) fourth.
Michael Ridge (Stowmarket) 2017 Expert Veteran Class Champion again won the class with Paul Spurgeon second and Gavin Hockey third.
Dean Curry (Sudbury), who had already won the 2017 Clubman Veteran Class title, won the three Special Tests overall but suffered 120 penalty points letting Kevin Gore (Norwich), who only suffered 60 penalty points, take the win, with Lee Saunders in third place.