April 3rd, 2020.

Continuing our series of rider profiles, we’re turning the Quad Stuff spotlight on another youth-turned-adult racer. This time we head north and catch up with the British 250cc Open Champ Robbie Wood.

Robbie was six years old when he started quad racing competitively. Brought up on a farm in the Scottish Borders, he has been riding quads since he was two. With a successful ex-works rally driver as a dad (Andrew) who, along with mum Ann held Scottish Rally Championship titles, it was no surprise that competing was in Robbie’s blood and fully encouraged by the family. A quad on a gravel MX track was the nearest thing there was to rallying for young Robbie and, after a visit to Duns to watch a round of the 2010 QRS championship, featuring a top three of Paul Holmes, Leon Beda and John Mitchell, he had the bug.

A somewhat under-powered Lawnflight was Robbie’s first mount. He quickly switched to a ProShark for his first full season in 2012, on which he took the Scottish title in the 50cc Standard Class, as well as both the Scottish and NETT 50cc Modified class titles the following year.

For 2014, his chief engineer/dad built him a hybrid for the 100cc Geared class; a Cobra frame powered by a 85cc KTM. The combination delivered the QRS and NETT titles once again, though not without fierce competition from the late Bobby Carmichael. The following year saw another shift; this time to a Honda-powered EATV and the NORA-MX championship. However, two broken arms in six weeks put paid to that year.

Robbie and family committed to the southern-based championship again in 2016, with Robbie finishing third to Alfie Walker and Luke Berlyn. He went one better the following season, taking second, again just behind Berlyn. 2017 was also Robbie’s first ever trip to Pont de Vaux, where he won the Kids Quads Minime Class on the EATV. “What an experience that was,” he said, “lots of people told us about PDV, but first time out there, with the heat, the buzz, the town parade, and of course the racing, it was just awesome.”

Wood #6 leads the British 250 pack. Image: John Cook

The hotly-contested 2018 season saw Robbie on another hybrid, this time built by multi British and Ulster Champ Justin Reid; a Can-Am frame with Husqvarna engine tuned by Steve Clitheroe Tuning. “I just loved that machine from the start,” said Robbie. “It was brand new and I didn’t know what pace I would be on. The original plan was to have a trial year, but we had to think again after the first double header round.” The anticipated challenges from Alfie and Luke were overshadowed by the arrival of Jack Young from Northern Ireland. The pack battled hard all season with 15-year-old Jack clinching the 250cc Open title from Robbie, two years his junior.

Robbie was finally old enough to take up rally driving in 2019, however, the fourteen-year-old decided to stick with quads and have another go at the British 250cc Open. Robbie and Alfie dominated the class, but Luke was right on the pace, meaning the Scot had to finish and score in every moto. With a fifty-point lead, Robbie did what was needed to win the coveted British crown.

As winter approached, Robbie signed up for the Ecosse Winter Series, riding his ex-Davie Vass Yamaha, prepped by John Pattison at One23MX. “It’s a great series for winter training,” explained Robbie. “To be on the same track at the same time as the likes of Oli Sansom, Murray Graham, and Michael Brewis was great for improving pace. I was very happy to finish third in the series.”

Ahead of the 2020 season, work started to replace the 250 engine in his Can-Am with a KTM SX-F 450, once again tuned by Clitheroe. Together with sponsors Wulfsport, whose racewear he has worn since he began racing, and SORT Oil Racing Technology, it was all looking good for Robbie’s first season racing as an adult. “Everything was ready, we’d just refreshed the machine graphics thanks to Dirtwarz, and I was so ready to go racing!” But … little did Robbie and friend/mentor Richie Cornett know when they set out for the long drive to the Nora-MX season opener at West Meon, Hampshire, a few short weeks ago, that the disappointment of rain stopping play would be so insignificant compared to the situation now.

For the foreseeable future, the only quad Robbie will be riding is the one he uses to feed the sheep, as his career plan to join the family farm has taken a leap forward. Away from quad racing, Robbie most enjoys being outside, doing farm jobs, driving a tractor ,or fitting rally tyres off the tyre truck at Scottish Rally Championship events. If forced indoors, he’ll usually be found tinkering with a bike or piece of farm machinery.

Robbie is still hoping to move up to the Adult Clubman Elite class this year. However, in his usual quiet and reserved way he is saying little about his ambitions, preferring instead to leave the results to speak for themselves. Compare the pace that he and Alfie set on their 250s last season against the Clubman Elite racers though, and there’s every chance that the ‘kids’ will upset a few Elite racers.

Robbie Wood at Ecosse Winter Series. Image: Peter Greenwood

If you want to be featured here in a future issue of T&MX, send your info and images to editor@quad-online.co.uk
About Us
Archive News
© Redcat Marketing Limited.
Privacy Policy