May 31st, 2019.

Cromwell Trucks ACU British Quad Championship, Rounds 2 & 3, Tandragee and Tinker Hill, Northern Ireland

Words: Malcolm Beattie
Pics: Maurice Montgomery

Some of Europe’s best quadcross racers arrived in Northern Ireland last weekend for a double header of the Cromwell Trucks ACU British Quad Championships at Tandragee Motocross Park on Saturday 25th May, followed by Sunday at Quad Racing Ireland’s home circuit at Tinker Hill near Newry.

Mark McLernon was in dominant form at rounds 2 & 3

Mark McLernon produced a perfect weekend with six wins from six starts on his home ground in a display of domination that must have left his competitors scratching their heads as to how he can be beaten.

McLernon set out his stall on Saturday at a perfect Tandragee MX Park, with a qualifying time 1.5 seconds faster than reigning champ Paul Holmes, he then proceeded to holeshot every race and win from gate to flag. Behind him in race 1, Holmes managed to tangle with Dafydd Davies and ended the weekend in Craigavon Area Hospital with severe bruising to his lower back. Twenty-year-old Harry Walker justified his recent visit to Tandragee for an Ulster round by finishing a fine second, with 17-year-old NI native Dean Dillon taking third and collecting his first British Championship podium.

Race 2 was a calmer affair with McLernon running away with the win and veteran racer Justin Reid making the most of a good start to finish in second, and George Callaway third.

McLernon again disappeared over the horizon in the third race, chased again by Walker while behind him, Dillon and Reid enjoyed a spot of dicing for the last half of the race. It was a real case of youth versus experience, with the exuberance of youth winning out for the final podium place when Dillon launched an attack at the quick downhill lefthand hairpin and collected his rival in a racing incident, Dillon got his quad fired up before Reid and completed a fine day’s racing with two locals on the championship podium. Walker, Dillon and Murray Graham completed the Under-21 podium.

The circus moved further south the next day to the border city of Newry for round three. Overnight rain certainly helped the track surface and kept the dust down just enough to complete the day’s racing.

Justin Reid enjoyed a scrap with Dean Dillon

It was a case of déjà vu for the spectators as once again, McLernon was in a class of his own. In race one he led home Graham and Walker, and in race two he led home Walker and George Callaway. Having enjoyed good results in the first day’s racing, Dillon was down on his luck when he had to contend with a broken frame, whilst ling in third in the first race, and a reamed out hub in race two cost him points. His savvy mechanic, ex MX GP spanner man and dad Nigel, ensured that he finished both races with just enough laps completed to score points.

Race three showed what might have been for Dillon, with a superb third, whilst a titanic battle between McLernon and Walker kept the crowd on their toes for the whole 20-minutes-plus-two-laps. The two were never more than 0.6 of a second apart and actually finished the race 0.3 seconds apart at the line. The only time McLernon was headed all weekend was when Reid grabbed the last race holeshot and led for a lap and a half but, just as the crowd were looking forward to a three-way battle, Reid disappeared out in the country and reappeared a lap later missing a rear wheel as his axle had snapped. The multi British and Irish champ free-wheeled his was to the end of the race to score points, which could well be vital at the end of the year.

Dean Dillon took his first-ever British QX championship podium at Tandragee


Round 2
1. Mark McLernon 75, 2. Harry Walker 60, Dean Dillon 58, 4. Justin Reid 56, 5 Murray Graham 48, 6 Carl Bunce 40

1. Harry Walker 72, 2. Dean Dillon 69, 3. Murray Graham 60, 4. Dafydd Davies 51, 5. Lorne Sinclair 50, 6. Thomas Chell 46

Round 3
1. Mark McLernon 75, 2. Harry Walker 62, 3. Murray Graham 49, 4. George Callaway 46, 5. Justin Reid 46, 6. Carl Bunce 45

1.Harry Walker 72, 2. Murray Graham 61, 3. Lorne Sinclair 58, 4. Dafydd Davies 51, 5. Dean Dillon 52, 6. Thomas Chell 47
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