It was Chris Birch and Karl Power all the way to the chequered flag at the opening round of the Kawasaki Sandpit Woodhill Two-man series recently.
With rain falling in the build-up to the race, the Woodhill sand was in perfect riding condition and provided ample traction and great race lines.
The event attracted more than 270 senior riders, which came as a pleasant surprise to all involved.
First up was the junior and ladies races with a couple of dark horse’s showing there true race pedigree, Liam Draper got off to a blinder and he and team-mate Tom Buxton never looked back walking away with the win in the 12-13yr class and a second place over all from the team’s of Botica/Parker and Richie/Marsden.
Overall junior victor was Sam Mobberly showing a clean set of heels to the rest of the field in the junior solo, followed by the ever-reliable Tom Brian and the young Iron-lady of enduro, Phoebe Hill. The ladies class had a good turn out showing that the girls can get amongst it too. The team of Felicty Nieuwenhuyzen and Fiona Munday took out the ladies class followed by teams Henderson/Fawcett and Grey/Rawlinson.
With the juniors finished and all smiles it was time for the big boys (and girls) to line up. The rumours of Chris Birch (pictured above) and Karl Power teaming up proved to be true as well as a huge talent packed field early in the first lap motocross ace Ethan Martens showed some pace but later crashed out of contention much to partner Matt Watson’s disappointment. The KTM team of Power and Birch went about stamping their authority early on posting blinding lap times with the hard charging Husqvarna XC aces Sam Greenslade and Gary Almond on their heels at times getting close enough to smell blood. Third place had an unusual situation arise with a tie between the team of young blood Mike Skinner and Callan May and the hard charging Shane Macdonald and Luke Urhle smashing out lap times that came down to even overall time. Birch and Power took the honours and posted an extra lap on the field
The clubman race had its excitement too with state side import Daulton Atterberry and Jono Hill taking the flag from Jason Fox and David Salmons followed by Lance Fitzpatrick and Gareth Hamblyn. Novice was owned by Alex McKenzie and Carl Vierioka who checked out and won by a huge margin from Aaron Barton and Rupert Coppins. In the Ironman class Heath Howlett proved he was still a contender taking honours from young gun Dion Sheely. Julie Greenslade and Caleb Van Dragt took mixed from XC team Mark Penny and Ilana Wilks. Vets was a talent packed feild with Stephen Tapling and Eddie Migstand taking the top step from Craig Brown.
Next round is August 30 in the northern blocks of Woodhill Forest. Get out there and have a go, the event is aimed to reach the masses, from novice to pro.
For more info and results from 1st round visit www.thesandpit.co.nz
Words by Brendan Abel
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com