On Sunday Diss MCC ran the GH Mcs. Santon Enduro - round one of the 2020 GH MCs ACU eastern Enduro championship. The organising team really had a challenging time setting the event out with storm Dennis blowing out special test setting out last Sunday. However Andy Waters, the resourceful clerk of the course managed to pull teams together to deliver the event and everything was ready as riders walked the test on Saturday. Despite heavy rain overnight and a vicious shower mid-morning the event on Sunday went like clockwork for the 190 plus riders.At 9:05 the strong championship field were at the special test and the action was under way. Multi ACU Eastern Champion Chris Hockey on the 300 Off-road Tryout Gas Gas was first man on the test and he posted his best time with a stro ng third. However, Luke Parker riding his 450 Matt Pope Kawasaki for the first time in an enduro showed the form that won him the 2019 championship. He set a blistering pace finishing almost 7 seconds ahead of Ben Coles, on his 450 GH Husqvarna. Former ACU Eastern MX champion Shaun Southgate was fourth on the 450 Herts MX Honda with ISDE manager and hugely experienced Daryl Bolter on the 250 Huskysport Husqvarna taking fifth on his first competitive outing after breaking his wrist at last year's Natterjack BEC.
An hour later the Enduro elite were back and Parker was on fire again. On a much ruttier test he pulled almost six seconds more with Bolter showing more of his undoubted speed in second. Ben Cole was consistent in third, again just under 7 seconds behind Parker. Southgate was again fourth with Jason Morland, on the 450 GH Yamaha fifth. A stall on his first test meant he was in eighth overall after the two tests.
So Parker headed off for the remaining four laps almost 14 seconds ahead of Cole with Bolter up to third, Southgate fourth and former ACUE champion Jamie Roper on the 350 Walters Medical, Jim Aim KTM in fifth. However, the final time control requiring the 11 plus mile control to be completed in 24 minutes.
Parker again showed his dominance - the only championship rider to come in with just over a minute to spare. Only Cole, Bolter and Henry Yardley, on the diminutive 125 Marsh MX Husqvarna stayed on time and finished in that order. Southgate, Roper and Hockey took the next three positions, all losing one minute on the final check.
In the strong expert class Sam Davies, 125 KTM was fastest on the first test a second ahead of Adam James, 250 ET James KTM with Matthew Harries, 250 ET James KTM two tenths behind him in third. Harries took top spot on his second run nearly two seconds clear of Jamie Buckingham, 250 Buckingham KTM with Davies just two tenths back in third. This meant Harries was 0.9 seconds clear of Davies after the two tests with Buckingham two seconds behind in third. Sudbury youngster, Jake Roper was fourth and George Yardley rounded out the top five.
Again the last time control would challenge all the experts. No one went clean and just four riders lost one minute. The top three were unchanged so Harries took the victory from Davies and Buckingham in third. James was the only other rider to lose one minute moving him back up to fourth but he was the only rider to almost clean the final check - just missing a clean by a few seconds. Roper was fifth, the fastest of a gaggle of riders who lost two minutes.
Multi ACUE trials champion Julian Harvey, 125 KTM was comfortably fastest on both tests and only he and John Shirt on the 250 Gas Gas stayed clean with Harvey sixteen seconds clear. Event and series sponsor Gav Hockey on his 300 GH / G & B Fin ch Husqvarna took a strong third, fastest of the expert vets to lose a minute on that testing last check.
Diss club rider, Jake Ward, 250 Husqvarna took a convincing victory in the large clubman class. He was the only rider to stay clean and posted the fastest test times. Lewis Holmes took second with Steven Baldock taking third. These were the only two riders to come in with a single minutes loss on the last check.
Paul Hanks was the only Clubman Veteran to stay clean and take victory after winning both tests and again only two riders managed the final control a minute late - with Mark Green taking second from William Lloyd.
In the Clubman Super Vets another Diss man took top honours - Mark Chapman winning both tests then staying clean with another Diss man, Gene Womack, pre65 MX champion taking second from multi ACUE super vet champion Andy Mason in third, with both Womack and Mason the fastest of a gaggle of super vets losing two minutes.
Finally, Timothy Rooney took top honours in the Sportsman class.
So at the end of yet another successful Santon Enduro the Diss club would like to thank all helpers, for their help, before, during and after the event - we hugely appreciate your support. And finally, thanks to the Forestry Commission for use of the forest and of course GH Motorcycles for their continued support.
Photos by Anthony Ridge (click on an image to enlarge)