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Rockshocks Classic Trials Championship            Round 1: Congleton and DMCC  12/03/2023 

                                              Report and Photographs by John Dickinson

                                      Congleton and District Motor Club staged a universally praised opening round of the 2023 Rockshocks Classic Trials

                                      Championship on Sunday, March 12, at their excellent Mow Cop venue which had attracted a healthy 150 entries, split

                                      with around 40 Experts and 110 Clubmen.

                                                                                 And to begin at the end, as it were, long time series supporter and Clubman Britshock rider

                                                                                 Mick Grant summed-up the feelings of most competitors perfectly when he declared,

                                                                                "I really enjoyed that - a proper trial...!"

                                                                                The event was of course at the mercy of the weather and the club faithful had to work with

                                                                                the threat of snow and ice warnings but they just got on with it and thankfully were

                                                                                rewarded when Sunday dawned clear and fine.

                                              

                                                                                Conditions were definitely wet and sticky underfoot early on at the hillside venue but a fresh

                                                                                breeze dried out the ground visibly as the day ticked by from the 10.30am start.                                  

 

                                     The usual Rockshock format of 20 sections lapped twice saw all classes head for the

                                     opening section, an easyish climbing track with a final twist for the Experts, which got

                                     the trial underway with the minimum hold-up and maximum smiles

                                    The clockwise lap then took in a variety of hazards typical of Mow Cop with a mix of steep,

                                     slippery grassy bankings and the trademark narrow rocky becks set in deep gullies.

                                    One of the trickiest was the fifth, especially on the first lap before it dried out a bit, a

                                     switchback climb, turn, drop, turn and climb out, on an incredibly slippery steep bank.

                                     There were plenty of maximums and determined threes and eventually even the occasional

                                     clean! Best overall, with just one mark for their two laps were Expert Mono winner Mark Atkinson

                                    on the 320 GasGas and Clubman Britshock runner-up Paul Howells on the Bantam, proving that it wasn’t just brute

                                    power that counted.

                                    The club got the course spot-on for both Expert and Clubman routes with close scoring right down the field.

                                     Atkinson's winning score in Expert Mono was 15 and he was chased home by the Honda TLM260 two-strokes of

                                     regular podium challengers Pete Ruscoe and Roman Kyrnyckyj. Patrick Edwards nailed fourth on the torquey TY350

                                     ahead of Ian Peberdy, out on a very nice standard looking Fantic and not one of his usual self-built beauties.

                                                                               Young Congleton clubman Harry Bowyer ran out a narrow winner in Expert Britshock

                                                                               mounted on the 250 'mini Trophy' Triumph twin, with engine stolen from a Tigress scooter!

                                                                               Harry managed to eke out a two mark advantage over Chris Garlick, bossing his potent 360

                                                                               BSA single, with the 350 Triumph twin of Jim Hough snarling its way to third. The climb at

                                                                               the 11th proved just too much of a challenge for the Britshocks and all amassed a maximum

                                                                               here

 

                                                                               Expert Twinshock saw a Honda four-stroke one-two with reigning

                                                                               champ Miles Jones claiming maximum points on his sweet little 200,

                                                                               his excellent two mark combined effort on the fifth section making 

                                     the difference over Simon Hirst on his TLR250 with Richard Webster the first Fantic home in

                                     third. Hillsborough ace Darren Wasley took fourth after refusing to rev his Fantic 300 on the

                                     climbs as it had just had its barrel re-plated and a new piston fitted. "I am NOT going to seize

                                     it up!" quote Waz.

                                     The Air-cooled Mono class continues to gain traction - no pun intended - with no fewer than 25 entered in the

                                     Clubman class. And bagging the win was Devon's Rockshock star Martin Gilbert who is attacking a new class on a

                                     new bike - a lovely orange Fantic!

                                     Martin enjoyed a clear six mark advantage over the TY Yamaha of Keith Burgess while Mark Whelan made it three

                                     different marques on the podium, just one mark adrift of Keith, on his Honda TLR.

                                                                                 All three Clubman classes were really well supported and equally tightly fought over.

                                                                                 Chris Chell thumped his 310 BSA to a narrow single mark victory in Britshock from Paul

                                                                                 Howells on the Bantam, once again proving that almost any machine can be competitive.                                                                                                                       Danny Littlehales dropped exactly the same number of marks as Paul, 13 apiece, but it

                                                                                 proved unlucky for Danny as he lost out on the tie-break.

                                                                                There was an awesome turnout of Clubman Twinshocks of around

                                                                                60 bikes and it was super competitive right down the order. But at

                                                                                the end of the day it was Martyn Wilmore sitting on top having used

                                     the power of his very special 360 Yamaha to maximum advantage. His loss of just nine marks

                                     was the only single figure score for the day.

                                      Runner-up was all-round ace Derrick Edmondson on his perfectly fettled and tuned TY

                                      Offroad Honda 200 four-stroke. But he only just pipped  east Yorks series regular Dave 

                                      Wardell on a tie-break as Dave matched the score of a round dozen on his little 156 Fantic.

 

 

                                     The Congleton guys and gals have set a cracking standard for 2023 - stand by for Huddersfield Falcons on

                                     Good Friday...!                     

                                      And whilst putting Dicko's report onto the website I couldn't help but drift off to thinking of how it all began, 9 years

                                     almost to the day, we gathered at Mow Cop for the first ever round of the series thanks to these three fellows,

                                     without whom we wouldn't be reading this report now

    

Granty enjoying himself

Class 1 Expert winner Mark Atkinson eases through the

final turn of section 1

Harry Bowyer on his way to a well ridden win in Britshock expert