Every year the British SXS Championship rolls into Northern Ireland and every year the bar seems to rise. Although the conditions stayed true to 2023 in that it rained and was generally miserable, the event and social atmosphere made this event one of the best ever. Its hard to make sense of the community that SXS Racing has become but I guess its one thing we can all look back on and smile. The track build was a challenge as the hillside track was holding water and there were also challenges around spectator safety with the shape of the land. All this solved it was time to get racing. So that’s what we did.
This session was the first time anyone would take to the track. It would also highlight the challenges the drivers faced with the steep climbs and the aggressive off cambers. That said everyone seemed to settle in well. Tom Welbourn set the fastest lap of the session followed home by guest Miguel Prat visiting from Spain, a great result for the Spanish driver in his first short circuit event. Joe Robinson continued his good form after his return to racing taking third place with the other two cars struggling due to mechanical issues Adrain/Callum Loveridge fourth and Paul Severn Fifth.
This race seen the pendulum swing hard on more than one occasion and had a little bit of everything racing. The early laps were dominated by overtakes from the XP Pros of Paul Severn and Tom Welbourn as they battled there way through to first and second. This seemed set to be the race outcome until late in the session when Paul Severn suffered a mechanical DNF. Tom Welbourn took to the front and as if like magic suffered the same fate. The race fell into the lap of Adrian and Callum Loveridge who took full advantage taking the top spot in race one. Miguel Prat stayed consistent lap after lap to secure second spot marking the last of the finishers after Joe Robinsons retirement.
Race two seen the pendulum swing again and the Joker Lane used exactly as it was intended. Paul Severn lad for most of the session but a late and well timed Joker Lane seen Tom Welbourn take the race win followed closely home by Paul Severn in second. Adian / Callum Loveridge hung on to take third beating Joe Robinson in fifth place. Miguel Prat lost time early after getting stuck on a berm but recovered to finish the session marking the last of the finishers. The session seen the overall points thrown right up in the air and it was all down to race three. Let’s Go.
The flag dropped and it started straight away. Again, the high power pros pushed to the front and looked set to stay there until again Paul Severn suffered another mechanical. Tom Welbourn made this count and took to the front of the grid and that is where he stayed winning race three and finishing a great recovery after a bad race 1. Miguel Prat lap consistently holding onto the lead car taking second place ahead of Adrian/Callum Loveridge in third. Joe Robinson crossed fourth and marked the last of the finishers. A great day racing for the Pros, proving that mechanical sympathy is as important as driver ability. Well done everyone involved.
Open Pro Overall
1st – Adrian / Callum Loveridge #17
2nd – Miquel Prat #52
3rd – Tom Welbourn #74
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Tom Welbourn
Clerks Driver of the day – Tom Welbourn
This was always going to be interesting, and it didn’t disappoint. Andrew Postlethwaite pinned his name to the top of the time sheet and then suffered a mechanical failure. Sitting P1 and watching from the side lines he manged to hold on the lead. Simon Grantham was the first of the smaller cars home in second place chased in by third place Mike Proctor. Class leader Nick Barker seemed to struggle only able to take fourth in this a very competitive session. Pete Haran was the next of the cars home in fifth and Wayne Harris marked the last of the finishing cars in sixth spot. The grid was set.
This class has been great all year and this weekend was to be no different. Close racing and great friendships are the way in this class and again it delivered. Simon Grantham jumped to the front and battled through to the race win chased hard by Mike Proctor in second place. Pete Haran bumped through the pack to third in a solid race chased home by Nick Payne in fourth spot. Wayne Harris was steady away but solid throughout crossing the line a consistent fifth ahead of friend Nick Barker who seemed to be struggling somewhat. Andrew Postlethwaite didn’t finish the session making his day an uphill battle. Race two was on.
Race two seen a switch at the front as Mike Proctor took the race win. Nick Payne pushed up the field in strong performance to take second with the carnage of a beached car on the track taking its toll on many of the others. Andrew Postlethwaite came up from the back to grab a more acceptable third ahead of Wayne Harris fourth. Pete Haran and Simon Grantham were two of the beach boys who dropped laps whilst stranded on track only manging fifth and sixth respectively. Nick Barker suffered a DNF in what was a session of carnage but a joy to watch. It was all on Race three.
If Carlsberg done starts, then this would be the one. The lower placed fast cars pushed deep into the first corner mixing the pack from lap one. Simon Grantham pushed hard early and popped up in P1 and that is where he stayed. It wasn’t all plain sailing as Mike proctor pulled a dive up the inside on the last corner in a bid for the race win that cost him the race and a steering rack in the process. Clean racing and great fun to watch. Wayne Harris built on a solid day crossing the line a solid second bagging strong points towards the overall. Nick Harris recovered somewhat into a more familiar third beating Pete Haran in fourth. Mike Proctor limped across the line to score valuable overall points in a wise move for sure. Another great day’s racing for a new but popular class so well done the Vets.
1st – Simon Grantham #101
2nd – Mike Proctor #13
3rd – Wayne Harris #44
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Simon Grantham
Clerks Driver of the day – Mike Proctor
1000 Rookie Class
This class was missing a few names so the opportunity was there for everyone to grab important points. This showed in qualifying as Richy Scott pinned his name to the top of the timesheets late in the session. Harley McGuffog found some strong form putting himself on the front row for race one beating off visitor and newcomer Barry Donaghy. Rianna Harris had a great session beating some the classes top guns to fourth place with Tom Butterfield chasing her home in fifth. Next up was Joe Chilvers in sixth holding off Jack Barker in seventh. Newcomer Eli Lister crossed the line eighth with Brad Price and Jess Barker closing off the grid.
Race one confirmed what qualifying had already told us. Richy Scott bolted at the front and never looked back taking the race win in style. Harley McGuffog lost places early, but a genius joker lane seen him back up to second ahead of third place Barry Donaghy. Tom Butterfield jumped to fourth as Jess Barker fifth charged up the field from near last in a great drive. Joe Chilvers chipped away but couldn’t really improve on sixth spot. Rianna Harris consolidated seventh place ahead of Eli Lidster eighth as Brad Price and Jack Barker closed of the grid.
This race seen the cards shuffle again but not for the race leader. Richy Scott continued to dominate the class with another solid win strengthening his grasp on the overall for the weekend. Barry Donaghy bagged another solid second as Jess Barker again jumped up to third after starting race one dead last. Harley McGuffog remained consistent in fourth holding off the normal front runner Tom Butterfield in fifth. Rianna Harris again scrapped away taking sixth chased home again by Eli Lidster seventh with Joe Chilvers and Brad Price the last of the cars on the lead lap. Race three was et up nicely.
Just when everyone thought they could call this class this race happened. Richy Scott bolted again, and the race win was his. Harley McGuffog nailed the Joker Lane again to take second place building on a great day of driving. Eli Lidster seen the river part for him as cars dropped like flies and he took his opportunity to grab third place ahead of Jack Barker fourth. Tom Butterfield seemed to struggle in the conditions all day and race three was more of the same, fifth place for Tom. Rianna Harris was the last of the cars over the line in sixth topping off a great day of racing in the rookie class. Well done everyone.
1st – Richy Scott #112
2nd – Harley McGuffog #22
3rd – Barry Donaghy #10
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Harley McGuffog
Clerks Driver of the day – Richy Scott
Jesters Hat – Harley McGuffog
1000 Pro Class
Like every race weekend in the Pro class, you never quite know if one track will any driver. Although sometimes the margins are minute sometimes the effects are massive and this weas one of those weekends. Henry Proctor battled on lap after lap and late in the session grabbed himself the pole spot. This would have been Henrys first top spot in the class and set up a day that some almost couldn’t believe. Polae was his but what could he do with it. Second place went to one of the more familiar names in event host and championship contender William Buller. Third place Kevin Haran held off fourth Tom Fletcher by less than a second in this one of the tightest classes ever. Louis McGuffog was next in fifth and the first of three cars all on the same second Chris Place sixth and George Hales seventh. The grid was set for race one and this one had everyone’s attention.
The answer to everyone’s question was simple. Yes, Henry Proctor could build on his pole position. The 222 car bolted from the start and never looked back leading every lap of the race and dominant win for the youngster. Kevin Haran took second place almost attached to Tom Fletcher after the number 59 car dived down the inside late in the race. Some paint was defiantly swapped but a great piece of racing to watch. George Hales moved up to fourth in a solid drive beating William Buller in fifth as Louis McGuffog closed of the grid as the last of the finishers. What a race.
Race two seen the confidence grow as Henry Proctor seemed unstoppable. Another dominant win leading every lap once again as the competition looked on. Tom Fletcher moved up a spot to second in a less dramatic fashion this time with William Buller pushing up to third. George Hales in fourth place remained solid and marked the last of the finishers in this battle of attrition. Race three was set up. Could Henry garb the clean sweep?
The answer seemed obvious and watching the performance never seemed in doubt. Three races and three wins for Henry and the lead of every lap of the day. What an achievement. Tom Fletcher consolidated in second adding valuable points to his championship lead. William Buller again seen third unable to break into the top three whilst holding off George Hales fourth. Chris Place marked the last of the finishers marking the end of a great day’s racing in a super competitive class. What a day.
1st – Henry Proctor #222
2nd – Tom Fletcher #59
3rd – William Buller #32
Fastest Lap Bonus Point – Kevin Haran #53
Clerks Driver of the day – Henry Proctor #222
The SXS Team would like to thank everyone who made this weekend amazing especially our host William Buller. There are so many people who played a part in making this weekend special and they know who they are. Thank You, you really are a huge part of what makes this series special to so many people.
Team SXS Xx