Second Hurran win for Welch - but it's a close call

Results

Report by Ben Falconer

SOME of the elite national riders who make a special trip to the annual Hurran Trial were missing but it was none the worse for that and ensured a photo finish for the top podium spot.

Rob Warner led Simon Welch by two marks after the first lap of 21 sections, but Welch added his name to the trophy named after Gloucester florist Alfred Hurran a second time, by losing five less on the second lap around Ebworth woods.

The event is steeped in history, with former winners including Johnny Draper, Tony and Malcolm Davis, Sammy Miller, Dennis and Steve Saunders, Mark Kemp, Adam Norris, Alexz Wigg and Sam Haslam, and the 2012 edition proved a classic worthy of the names on the trophy.

The National Trust and the Gloucester and Cotswold club work together to preserve the future of the event and the glorious woodland it is held in, but that didn't stop the steep muddy banks becoming a battleground for man and machine.

The event was the last centre championship round to be run under the "no stop" rules, before reverting back to "stop allowed" next year but all riders rode with forward motion at the forefront of their minds. Momentum is at a premium at this classic southern trials venue, and Warner had his Montesa 4RT on the rev limiter several times to post a first lap score of 21, two better than Simon Welch.

They pretty much matched each other mark for mark, but the biggest gap between them formed on section six, Tim's Bottom, where Simon Welch posted a five and a dab, and Warner two fives. In an event where physical fitness comes in to play and sections deteriorate, Simon managed to go against the flow and on the second lap, matched Warner's first lap score, ensuring victory by three marks.

Tim's Bottom was one of the more demanding sections, and only Kurt Brain, who posted 28 on his first lap, cleaned it twice. Becky Cook managed a clean, as did fellow Isle of Wight rider Chris Stay. His all-action style sometimes paid off, and on other occasions ended with a five but he entertained an appreciative gallery by taking the "no stop" rule quite literally. Ben Skinner managed just 23 on the first lap but fell away slightly on lap two. Barry Husband and Joel Edwards were the only other riders to manage a sub 30 mark first lap.

Another former winner, Steve Workman, kept his score below 100. This year's annual trials outing just a stone's throw from his home village was aboard the new Jotagas 300. Nathan Pekala finished a clear winner of the clubman/expert route, featuring the easier expert sections and harder clubman hazards. He made up for losing three fives, compared to Terry Payne's miserly pair of maximums with an impressive number of clean rides.

Best clubman Tom Pike proved that precise throttle control is more important than riding a bigger bore bike, and aboard his Gas Gas 250, was the only rider not to card a five all day. The club would like to thank all the observers who turned out, and the National Trust, for making the event possible.

Results

Hurran Trophy: Simon Welch, 300 Gas Gas, 44 marks lost.

Ramstedt Trophy: Rob Warner, 250 Montesa, 47.

Harper Trophy: Ben Skinner, 300 Gas Gas, 54.

First Class: Kurt Brain, 280 Gas Gas, 61. Barry Husband, 270 Beta, 66.

Best G&C Member: Matthew Welch, 250 Montesa, 105.

Clubman/Expert route best performance: Nathan Pekala, 250 Beta, 55.

Best intermediate: Terry Payne, 280 Ossa, 67.

Second intermediate: Stefan Walters, 250 Beta, 73.

Best Youth A: Ben Hayes, 125 Gas Gas, 87.

Best Over 40: Mark Talbot, 250 Beta, 101.

Clubman route best performance: Tom Pike, 250 Gas Gas, 34.

Best Novice: Phil Marsh, 250 Gas Gas, 59.

Best over 50 intermediate: Dave Morris, 300 Jotagas, 61.

Best over 40 novice: J Orchard, 250 Beta, 78.

Best Youth B: Tom Culliford, 125 Sherco, 84.

Best Youth A: Luke Payne, 125 Gas Gas, 104.