Welcome to this latest Cuttings.
Capel 22nd/23rd September: Our Last Race of the Season
This is our last race meeting of the season. At the time of writing, the format will be a progressive endurance race on the Saturday with fun races on the Sunday. For up to date details look on our Facebook page. Don’t forget, there is also the End of Year Awards and BBQ Party on the Saturday evening. Entry is free. Fancy Dress theme this year is Pyjama Party !!!!
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our last meeting for this year.
Club Logo: There have been on-going discussions about replacing the existing club logo for something a little more up to date. However, we are hoping that instead of replacing it, someone can design a new logo which will complement the current logo.
If you are one of those who would like to see the club with a new visual identity, then put your artistic flair to the test and design us a logo. The brief is simple. Anything goes. As a bit of encouragement, we are going to run it as a competition. It is open to everyone of any age, and will be judged in 2 categories, those under 14 years, and those above. At this stage, we cannot guarantee that the winning design will be adopted, but the prize in each category will be a hoodie in the winner’s design.
2018 AWARDS: Both the British Championship and World Championships have now been completed. Congratulations to all the winners. Listing below:
British Championship 2018:
Group 2: Mike Cresswell
Group 3: Sean Tanswell
Group 4: Gary Botting
World Championship 2018:
Group 2: Mike Cresswell
Group 3: Sean Tanswell
Group 4: Bob Koedinger
12 Hour Winners: Team Les’ Lux Pussies
Special congratulations to Sean Tanswell for winning both the British and the World titles in the same year for the first time.
As is always the case, my race reports tend to focus on the winners. However, I have to stress that a lot of exciting racing goes on all down the grid order and it is difficult to know what to highlight. Apologies if you feel your efforts have gone unnoticed. If you would like to put your perspective on any race or event, please just write it in an email, however small, and I’ll endeavour to add it.
12 hour 2018: As reported in the last edition of Cuttings, Neil Morris offered us the use of 2 of his fields to hold this year’s 12 hour race. The days leading up to the 12 hour were very hot, and those who helped to prepare the race field worked in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, most of the time in full sun as there was very little shade on offer. In spite of this, by Friday evening the field was almost ready. A BBQ was put on for racers and others already camping in the field, and on Saturday morning, the rest of the teams arrived to create that very special atmosphere which the 12 hour is famous for. Each pit displayed a banner which showed the team’s name and race number, the number being in the group colour making it easily identifiable by the crowd. The effect was stunning, and very professional. Our thanks to Andy Balham for supplying the banners.
There were over 40 entries and most finished the race. The track was watered for the final time between the qualifying session and the warm up lap, making the start of the race very exciting for the watching crowd as 40 plus mowers hurtled towards the first bend, but very muddy in places for those racing.
Northerners Kick grAss, #1, led the race from the start. All was right with their world as the laps racked up. Slowly but relentlessly they increased their lead throughout the night until the gap between them and the second best team was over 11 minutes.
Northerners’ Kick grAss have won this race for the past 5 years and there was no sign of this year being any different.
BUT, with only 25 minutes of the race remaining their world turned upside down. From the PA came a very excited but agitated voice of commentator Jake Sanson, when he realised that team 1 hadn’t passed race control in their allotted time. They had broken down.
Now the race took a dramatic turn. The second place team, Les’ Lux Pussies from Luxembourg, needed to turn their 11 minute deficit into a lead before the Northerners came back out from the pits. If they could do this, they would then have a chance of staying ahead and snatch victory.
However, the problem for team #1proved to be terminal and there was enough race time left for Les’ Lux Pussies to pass and then extend their lead over Northerner’s Kick grAss by 8 laps.
Congratulations to Les’ Lux Pussies who achieved a total of 430 laps in 12 hours which equates to 559kms or 347 miles. Although not a record, a very impressive win.
Commiserations to Northerners Kick grAss. To add insult to injury they ended up with a DNF as they weren’t able to cross the finishing line under the mower’s own power. Still, there’s always next year.
As in all races, the focus is normally on the leaders, but there are individual battles fought all down the grid and all through the night. One such battle which was the group 2 battle which raged until the final flag between The Knight Riders, #61, and The Battle of Britain Mow-morial Flight , #62. The Knight Riders won by only 4 laps.
Special mention to team Lux Lady. This team, also from Luxembourg, consisted of just one lady, and she managed to cover a staggering 127 laps. Well done; it puts my team to shame as we completed less laps with 3 drivers.
Although the attendance through the gate was not as high as hoped, the event itself was a great success, especially among those racing, as the track was on relatively smooth ground. Thanks to Phoenix Motorcycle Training for sponsoring the event yet again. Because the 12 Hour costs increase every year, sponsorship has become a vital part of this event.
Thanks to the committee and everyone who helped set up before the race and clear up afterwards. We are all volunteers who just want to make each race as
successful as it can be.
Overall Winners: Team Les’Lux Pussies
1st 430 laps Les’Lux Pussies
2nd 410 laps Going Commando
3rd 405 laps The Chirotractor
1st 400 laps R&M Racing
2nd 396 laps Mower with Attitude
3rd 393 laps Mow Fear
1st 272 laps Knight Riders
2nd 268 laps Battle of Britain Mow-morial Flight
3rd 149 laps EJH Racing
Corsley Show, Warminster 26/28th August
This show replaced our usual late bank holiday meeting in Axbridge. Although the show was held on the Monday only, we raced on the Sunday and Monday.
Our allotted space wasn’t as large as promised as the separate paddock area was commandeered for overflow car parking. However, we all squeezed in and set up a smaller than ideal track, the layout dictated by a manhole cover in a critical place. Normal British summer weather had now replaced the long hot dry spell. That bubble had burst the Wednesday after the 12 hour.
On Saturday most people went to Longleat wildlife park as that was nearby. Early morning drizzle, then heavy showers on the Sunday made the track conditions very difficult. Although we were meant to put on an all-day display, it was decided to run just the 4 championship heats to save the track being ruined for the Monday when the paying public arrived.
In both groups 2 and 4 the British Championship had been decided the previous meeting, but in group 3 the contest was still in full swing, the main protagonists being Stuart Johnson, (current champion),on 297 pts, Sean Tanswell on 318 pts and Dean Fuller on 328 pts. With Dean on holiday, his slender 10 point lead looked very precarious even though the other two had to drop their 4 worst points.
Often the wet favours different people and machines, and so it proved. Billy Kavanagh won the first heat with Stuart 4th and Sean a lowly 5th. In the second round Sean found his rhythm and finished in 2nd place, while Stuart struggled and finished 5th.
Taking into account dropped points, Sean ended the day on 328 points, equalling Dean’s final tally, with Stuart 11 points adrift on 317 points.
On Monday, the track dried out quite quickly due to the sandy nature of the soil, and with a large crowd along the fencing racing continued throughout the day. We managed to squeeze in 5 rounds of heats and an animal race before we had to stop so that the engine noise wouldn’t disturb the vegetable judging. It obviously takes a lot of concentration to judge vegetables. Dan Jones was commentator of the day, entertaining the crowd with his exhilarating account of the races as they unfolded.
As for the group 3 championship, Sean took 2nd place in the first heat with Stuart a close 3rd. This increased Sean’s lead to 14 pts, and although Stuart raced as though his life depended upon it and won the final heat, Sean only needed to finish which he did, (actually finishing in 2nd place), and the title passed from Stuart to Sean. There was a little tear on Ian’s face as Sean crossed the finishing line, possibly remembering the first time he became the group 3 British Champion. A proud moment indeed.
Congratulations to Sean for becoming group 3 British Champion for 2018.
Final British Championship Standings 2018:
454pts Mike Creswell
313 Graham Tibbenham
197 Peter Reeves
364pts Sean Tanswell
357 Stuart Johnson
328 Dean Fuller
454 pts Gary Botting
304 Dean Goodman
257 Dan Jones
Corsley Show Weekend Results:
1st Paul Johnson
2nd Peter Reeves
3rd Graham Tibbenham
1st Stuart Johnson
2nd Sean Tanswell
3rd Richard Johnson
1st Les Pantry
2nd Dean Goodman
3rd Gary Botting
World Championships 2018 Essex:
After last year when rain turned the world championship track and paddocks into a quagmire, we moved the venue to Essex where we were guaranteed to be able to race whatever the weather.
We have raced here for many years thanks to landowner John Harvey. When he died last year we were very grateful that his daughter, Serena, was willing for us to continue the tradition.
This venue has been the home of the horn race and the roundabout, but both had to be shelved this year to make way for the frantic heats that are the hallmark of the world championships.
Although we got off to a later start than scheduled, in front of the small but enthusiastic crowd, the heats came thick and fast with 11 rounds being achieved by the end of the day. There was even time for the first relay round of the Toowumba Trophy. The race was organised slightly different this time, with one mower from each group in a team, each mower having to complete 5 laps before passing over the baton to the next driver.
Monday was a repeat of Sunday’s format with another 11 rounds completed. The second round of the Toowumba Trophy then followed, the day’s racing finishing with the European Tractor Cup race.
As seems to be the way with the world champs, whoever manages to reach the first corner first, inevitably wins the heat. Even so, racing was fast and furious across all groups, providing the crowd with a whole day’s entertainment, but none more so than the titanic battles between Mark Rozzer Rostron and Bob Koedinger in group 4. Bob was able to fire his mower off the line like a bullet, his ability to read the starting lights uncanny. Rozzer was always very, very close behind Bob as they hurtled around the track like demented dervishes, and although Rozzer invariably put in the fastest lap in most of the heats, the opportunities to overtake were rare and so had to settle for 2nd place.
In the Towumba Trophy, Sunday’s winners, team Ian Ratcliff, Rob Rowland and Richard Atherton were pipped at the post by team Sam Ratcliff, Mark Rostron and Billy Kavanagh as we cocked up one of our change overs.
The European Tractor Race is a 20 minute race, with the grid order the reverse of the final result positions from the world champs. So, this year the field was led by Les Pantry followed by the other 10 tractors, Mark Rostron starting from the back as Bob Koedinger had to catch his ferry home. Slowly but surely the faster tractors caught and passed Les. Richard Atherton was the first to pass Les and take the lead on lap 8. He managed to hold on to it until lap 18 when Mark passed him to take the lead. Rich then retired through exhaustion which brought Dan Godden, who started in 10th place, up to second. Mark m anaged to lap everyone except Dan. Half of the field retired before the end of the race. Mark Rostron finished in 1st place, Dan Godden 2nd, Carl Andrews 3rd, Les Pantry 4th, James Weaver 5th and Andy Rostron 6th.
Finally, thank you to everyone who helped in any way to organise the World Championship Weekend especially our junior members. It requires several more people than normal to organise us racers and to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Occasionally, those of us who race forget that without the small army of volunteers doing things behind the scenes, we cannot race.
World Championship Results:
1st 220 pts Mike Cresswell
2nd 180 Reg Funnell
3rd 156 Sam Ratcliff
1st 211pts Sean Tanswell
2nd 194 Billy Kavanagh
3rd 179 James Pawley
1st 220 pts Bob Koedinger
2nd 200 Mark Rostron
3rd 183 Dan Godden