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SANSOM SLAYS THE SCOTS!

November 13th, 2019.

Round 1, Rock Oil/Michelin Ecosse XC Winter MX Series, supported by Wulfsport and Drysdale Motorcycles, Sunday 10th November 2019


The opening round of the 2019 Rock Oil Michelin Ecosse XC Winter MX Championship, supported by Wulfsport and Drysdale Motorcycles kicked off in fine style last Sunday with packed grids across all classes.


Oli Sansom was unbeatable at the opening round of the Ecosse Winter Series

Some 250 competitors across adult, youth and quad classes turned out to contest the nine sets of three races, all comfortably shoehorned into a packed programme that ran smoothly and ahead of time. Such was the precision-style running of the event that it managed to observe a respectful minute’s silence bang on 11am, extend the length of both adult and youth afternoon races and still finished at 3.30pm. Despite a significant deluge of the wet stuff prior to the weekend, the all-weather track was unaffected, proving to be challenging yet with plenty of passing places to keep things interesting.

The quad side of things was multi-faceted as not only were the fast four-wheelers racing for round one of the Ecosse Winter Series, but also round five of the Quad Racing Scotland Championship and, just to shake things up a little, whoever claimed the first race holeshot was guaranteed a free entry to the next round.

A tight posse rode into the corner of race one and Murray Graham emerged victorious. He had fellow QXoN British teammate Oli Sansom and the fully recovered Ayrton Knowles hard on his heels. Two thirds of the way round the first lap, Graham and his quad parted company in dramatic style when a rut caught him out. He was fine, but a tyre came off the rim in the accident, leaving him to limp back to the pits. Sansom took the lead followed by Knowles and Michael Brewis. By lap three, Brewis passed Knowles to move into second and held it to the finish behind Sansom, with Knowles third.


Back from injury, Ayrton Knowles was in the thick of it at Ecosse and finished third overall

Race two saw three leaders within the first two corners. Brewis, Knowles and Graham all swapped positions more than once on the increasingly challenging track. Sansom sat behind them all, but by the end of lap one he had passed Knowles to take third and was on to Brewis. As Sansom steadily stretched his lead, the closest racing was between Knowles and Brewis, Knowles pursuing the Scottish Champ for six laps before finally getting past when backmarkers came into play. Sansom won, followed by Graham and Knowles.

The final moto again saw Graham take the holeshot and he led the pack before Sansom made a successful pass, guaranteeing his third win of the day. Graham and Brewis held second and third for the duration while Knowles rode a lonely race in fourth.

In the QRS Championship, the battle was between leader Graham and third-placed Brewis. Despite his DNF, Graham managed to retain his lead of the championship, while Brewis moved into second place.
Richie Cornett, who finished ninth overall in the Winter Series opener had the show to himself, taking maximum points in the Over 40s class. In the Adult Supports, Peter MacGregor’s two firsts and a third brought him within 38 points of class leader James Nisbet while JJ Readman got one more point than Davey Nixon, leaving him only three points adrift of third place going into the final round.


Robbie Wood travelled back from Skegness to support the Ecosse event - he finished a creditable fourth overall

QRS Championship standings after five rounds:
Championship: Murray Graham 347, Michael Brewis 287, Gary Atkinson 230
O40s: Richie Cornett 375, Albert McPherson 234, Trevor Humphris 60
Adult Supports: James Nisbet 258, Peter MacGregor 220, Davie Nixon 168

Rock Oil Michelin Ecosse Winter Series R1 overall results
Quads: 1. Oli Sansom 135 points, 2. Michael Brewis 120, 3. Ayrton Knowles 118.

The Ecosse club would like to make a special mention to Sean Doherty who painstakingly watched all starts to determine and award the holeshot prizes, as well as the hard-working 15-strong team of behind the scenes workers, without whom, the event would never go ahead. The organisers also want to thank all riders for leaving the venue relatively litter-free – an important matter when it comes to retaining such great venues for future use.

Images: Peter Greenwood