This weekend, the 2011 Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship get under way at Saints Well in Mid Wales (February 12/13). The stage is set for what is certain to be an exciting and hard fought series opener. In the Elite class defending champion David Knight (KTM) is back for more sprint action where he will not only go up against his two closest challengers from ’10 – Greg Evans (KTM) and Daryl Bolter (KTM) – but also newcomers to the championship Tom Sagar (KTM) and Paul Edmondson (KTM). And with top British motocross racer Tom Church (CCM) also putting himself in the mix things are set for an electrifying opening two days.
A total of 20 riders are entered into the Elite class with tough competition guaranteed throughout. Joining the regular Elite regulars will be last year’s top Expert class riders Aaron Poolman (KTM), Ollie Moyce (Kawasaki) and Tyson Maytom-Jones (Husaberg). Also joining the class is Gavin Houson (Husaberg), Matt Ridgeway (Yamaha) and Mark Roberts (KTM).
Competition for the top spot in the Under 23 class, which last year saw some of the series’ closest racing action, will undoubtedly be close. Manxman Alex Rockwell (Husaberg) is back more experienced and more determined than ever and will likely see his closest competition coming from countryman Daniel McCanney (Gas Gas). With both riders showing impressive speed during their rookie enduro season in ’10 neither rider will be willing to settle for second best second time around. Joining Rockwell and McCanney will be Ashley Wood (KTM), New Zealander Jason Davis (Husqvarna), Jamie Paget (Kawasaki), Lewis Belfield (KTM), Brad King (Gas Gas), Matt Moffat (Gas Gas), and Neil Chatham (KTM).
The newly introduced Under 19 class has attracted plenty of talent with 22 aspiring stars of the future all hoping for success. Joe Jones (KTM) and Joe Deakin (Husqvarna) will take to the start as early favourites but with Frazer Norrie (Husqvarna), Jordan Scott (TM), enduro newcomer Jack Roland (Husqvarna), Stuart Owen (Yamaha) and wild card rider Jamie McCanney (KTM) all keen to show their worth racing will be every bit as close as in the Elite and Under 23 classes.
With last year’s top Expert class riders moving into the Elite class for ’11 Oliver Hart (KTM) could well be the rider to beat. Robert Lynn (TM) returns to defend the ES1 title he won last year while the series welcomes the competitive return of Wyn Hughes (Husqvarna). Although competing ‘just for fun’, with his many years of experience Wyn will undoubtedly be looking to challenge the class youngsters in much the same way Paul Edmondson will in the Elite category.
The ’11 BSEC championship begins where its predecessor ended – Saints Well in Mid Wales, the place where last year’s champions were crowned. Saints Well will be given a major facelift and will host a course radically different to ‘10. The majority of the circuit moves beneath the shelter of the adjacent forest that regulars of the Welsh Two-Day will know well. By delving deep into the Welsh forestry, the course will be a traditional fast-paced enduro loop creating a ‘true to its roots’ start to the Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship.
Jonty Edmunds – BSEC Events Director: ‘The start of the ’11 BSEC series is something that all involved with the organisation of the championship have been looking forward to. Starting in early February means the event will have come around very quickly for a lot of people, but with the Muntjac Enduro just around the corner it’ll be great to see who’s up to speed so early in the season. With new riders having joined the series competition in all classes will certainly be close. It’s fair to say that any rider that’s looking for success will have his work cut out this year. With last year’s top three Elite class riders – David Knight, Greg Evans and Daryl Bolter – being joined by Tom Sagar and Paul Edmondson, and wild card rider Tom Church, the series opener’s definitely going to be an exciting two days.’
John Collins – ACU Trials & Enduro Chairman: ‘A huge amount of work has gone into preparations for the ’11 BSEC series and with an expanded championship and considerable depth of talent in all classes it’ll certainly gearing up to be an exciting championship. What’s great to see is that new riders have come to the series in all classes. In particular the newly introduced Under 19 class has proved very popular and competition to win among the youngsters will be as fierce as in any class. Everything’s set for a great series.’
Directions: Rounds 1&2 of the Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship will be signed from the A483, approximately one mile north of Llanbister. After turning off the A483 follow indication arrows to the event. Postcode: LD1 6PT
Entry Fee: Adults £7.50, includes complimentary event programme. Under 14-year-olds free.
General Info: Racing will start at 9.00am both days. Catering and toilet facilities will be available on site.
About the BSEC
The Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship is the UK’s newest off-road motorcycle race series, promoted and organised exclusively by GMC Events Ltd. Enduro is one of the world’s longest standing off-road motorcycle disciplines, the motorcycle equivalent of car rallying. Sprint enduro is an exciting new rider, spectator, and media friendly discipline that delivers simple to understand, day-long, enduro racing action. The series caters for the best enduro talent in the UK. The BSEC is governed by the ACU – the internationally recognized National Governing Body for motorcycle sport in the British Isles (less Northern Ireland).