You’re possibly familiar with the high flying acrobats that perform spectacular and seemingly impossible stunts, whilst riding a motocross bike at indoor arena cross events. The skill, timing and bravery of the riders are to be admired. These same talents can be observed when you add an extra wheel or two onto the bike and stick it outside on a dirt track. Sidecarcross and Quadcross aren’t as clean or as glamorous as their indoor counterparts, yet, they’re equally as impressive to watch. The riders and sidecar passengers hang off their bikes in an effort to try and tame what often resembles a rodeo bull.
The picturesque Desertmartin motocross track, near Magherafelt, was the location for round 1 of the British Sidecar and Quad Championship, with competitors traveling from all corners of the UK and Ireland to compete at the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club run event. It was, however, local riders that were to feature in each of the three races in each category, to the delight of local spectators who only had to put up with the odd light shower that rolled in from the Sperrin Mountains.
The Lisburn based sidecar pilot Gary Moulds and passenger Steve Kirwin won races 1 & 2, and finished the day with a third in race 3 to top the leader board. Current champion Stuart Brown and Joe Millard ended up in second spot with the local team of Neil Campbell and Craig Parmenter in third but sharing the same point’s total. The Portsmouth crew of Brett Wilkinson with Dan Chamberlain won race 3 giving them fourth position overall in the championship ahead of round 2 in May.
Mark McLernon, Leon Rodgers and David Cowan kept the local supporters cheering when the quads were on track, Hillsborough based McLernon having the best day of the trio with a win in Race 1 followed by third and a second. It was Paul Holmes from Harrogate who topped the championship standings with two wins and a second place, followed by McLernon with Reading based Carl Bunce in third spot and David Cowan from Banbridge in fourth.
After an excellent days racing with only a few minor incidents, both championships now return to the mainland. Will the local teams, that make the long journey to the UK, be able to maintain their run of form as the season progresses? It will be interesting to see.
Images by Autosportpics.com