Honey Series rd 4 2013 Race Report

The Gravity Project series never fails to deliver, with sunshine in abundance, banter of the highest level and a new track thrown in to the mix this was to be another awesome days racing.

Race photos: Big Mac Photography Mud Fockers

The track for round 4 was set at the back of the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Built by the QE collective the track had lots to offer for all levels and had a good run time but a nasty push back up. Due to the amount of entry’s and the length of the course it was also decided that the normal 3 runs would be squashed down to two. I was happy with that.

So what was the track like? The start would see you fire of a wooden start ramp with you banging up a few gears as you got moving and up to speed. Once moving it was a leap out onto and over the first fire road. A good amount of riders and spectators would gather here and shout and encourage the riders to get it on or get back on if you hit the deck as a few did. Next up a few rocks and a jump into a loose long left hander with a tree stump in the middle, a few different line choices could be had here, with most opting for the high line as this would give you a good entry and exit from the next right hand berm.

Out the berm and your faced with a jump followed by a left hand wiggle and onto the “new” bus stop. This was put in to slow down what was previously an incredibly fast bit of track. A few reasons here. 1: It was scary fast in the right conditions and the tree at the end of it wouldn’t move if you hit it. 2. It would give the locals something new to think about. As it happened it gave everyone something to think about and was a hard corner to get right. Get it wrong and your speed was zapped or worse still you'd be on the floor. Moving on its a little jump into a quick left,right, pick up some more speed over a tree stump jump and it's another quick, left, right. A few peddles on and you have some doubles or a mini table top which ever was your line choice. Once over the jump it was another rock garden into a right hand berm that then hit a left on a small rise that gave another couple of line choices down towards the tight wooded section.

This was another place that had a really tricky corner, it got me every time that's for sure. I'd get a good line into it but just not control my speed enough to hold the line and would either pause braking to late or drop a little low and miss the line to carry the speed.  Once past this is was tight, twisty, rooty and it even had some steps in. This section was the slower part of the course but one where time could be made in the right hands. Out of here and we have the second road crossing, another haunt for the mass of riders and spectators. Over the road and it was a jump into a swooping left, then a swooping right, over a mound, a jump and a kinda big double that was just as fast to roll as it was to jump if you had the speed. So how did everyone get on?

Veteran: Graham Goodyear: Mud Fockers piped to the post but bagged a respectable second.

1. Alistair McLean  1:27.90
2. Graham Goodyear Mud Fockers  1:28.76
3. Dave Lane  Mud Fockers 1:29.30
4. Joe Killner Aston Hill / Lovely cycle works 1:30.15
5. Paul”A” Evans Gravity Project / Labyrinth 1:30.43
6. Michael York Gravity Project 1:31.12
7. Mark Wooldridge Mud Fockers 1:31.50

andy gardiner
Masters: Andy Gariner: Gravity Project / Labyrinth.

1. Andy Gariner Gravity Project / Labyrinth 1:24.24
2. Paul Webster 1:24.29
3. David Raybould 1:25.76
4. Chad Thomas 1:26.05
5. Adam Hoskins 1:27.09

Youth: Oli Evans

1.Oli Evans 1:25.85
2. Mathis Ingram Stoughton Downhill and Cheese products 1:33.92
3. Barnaby Sutton 1:37.67
4. Henry Flower 1:38.61
5. Jamie Byrne 1:40.17

Junior: Laurie Arthur: Mulebar

1. Laurie Arthur Mulebar 1:24.82
2. Tom Thain 1:27.27
3. Macaulay Friend Whisper Bikes / Team Bull Track 1:28.10
4. Ryan Fielder 1:34.72
5. Harvey Watson Race Spec 1:37.54

brett wheeler
Senior: Brett Wheeler: Ram Bikes / Muc Off

1.Brett Wheeler Ram Bikes / Muc Off 1:22.43
2. Anthony Jones UK Bikepark / BTR 1:22.56
3. Barry Dunstan Bull Track / Shere Clothing 1:22.94
4. Ben Taylor Crosspoint Collocation 1:23.10
5. Joe Winston Supernova Cycles / Schwalbe  1:23.65
6. Dan Sibbick Gravity Project / Alias 1:23.98

arthur frankie
Women: Arthur Frankie

1. Arthur Frankie 1:51.01
2. Sarah Jane Archer 1:54.06
3. Lucy Newman Fix Distribution / Aston Hill 1:54.02
4. Rebecca Booth Geared Bikes 2:01.70
5. Tracy Butler 2:13.02
6. Jenni Everson 2:14.58
7. Farah Ahmed Geebeebee Media 2:21.60

jed stanton
Hardtail: Jed Stanton

1. Jed”i” Stanton 1:29.55
2. Patrick Boxall 1:30.42
3. Matt Wakefield 1:30.68
4. Dan Locks D&D Cycles 1:32.34
5. Scott Fitzgerald QECP Trail Collective 1:32.48

e: Jack Miller: UK Bikepark

1. Jack Miller UK Bikepark 1:31.95
2. Robert Thomas Gravity Project / Labyrinth 1:32.08
3. Riley Jenner BTR 1:35.57
4. Alfie Killner  Aston Hill / Lovely cycle works 1:36.13
5. Ed Richardson  Stoughton Downhill and Cheese products 1:37.76

As always there is a lot of media floating arounf the Internet, below we have a pre track ride with Gravity Project's Paul Evans

Paul Evans giving it the berries. This was pre course change.

A neat little vid capturing some of the days racing.

As for the event, personally I loved it and so did the 140+ riders. This was almost twice the amount seen at previous races with people even being turned away, it was also a BDS weekend so a really good turnout. Stunning weather always plays apart as does a brilliant track, great people, awesome banter and of course the Mud Fockers race team.

If you’ve not been to a Gravity Project race yet, get yourself to the last one as it makes a return to the Quarry with a fresh and challenging track to finish this years series.

Gravity Projects band of merry men preping the new course.

Big thanks to Big Mac Photography for the use of images, what to see more, click here! Well done to all the GP crew and marshals for keeping us safe.

Last off, funny story, around 15 years ago a dude in his early twenties attended what was to be his first ever downhill race, with just a bike (GT RTS) and an old bucket crash helmet and no idea what to expect, the young man signed up and made his way to the top. On the way up he watched some of the racers practising. This was a massive eye opener as the riders darted through the woods like nothing he had seen before.

On arriving at the start post with no idea what he had just entered, the young man with just his bucket lid and bike looked down to find he had a flat tyre. This put a stop on the day before it had even started, frustrated and upset this meant no racing. In hindsight this was probably a good omen, with no course practise, no idea and no pads it would have been a recipe for disaster. The day was then spent watching as the downhill bug slowly seeped into his skin and those racers turned out to be the likes of Rob Warner and Steve Peat. At this point Steve's race truck was nothing but an old VW camper. The good old days hey! Fast forward 17 odd years later and that downhill bug is still under the skin and this time he got to ride. Where did he finish? I finished 3rd.