Luke Benstead stars in the Richard Fitch Memorial meeting at Wakes Colne

Luke Benstead, winner at Wakes Colne. SOPHIE BRINKLEY

Luke Benstead, winner at Wakes Colne. SOPHIE BRINKLEY - Credit: Archant

The annual Richard Fitch Memorial motocross event took place at Wakes Colne, in Essex on Sunday, hosted by the Halstead club in memory of their club rider who tragically lost his life in a racing accident 12 years ago.

The meeting saw a good entry of riders, included a round of the Eastern Evo series. The 13-race programme was held in warm sunny conditions, and the Halstead crew had worked tirelessly in the days leading up to Sunday, pumping water onto the circuit to combat the dust.

After the timed practise sessions, the riders were segregated into their three groups for the remainder of the day, with sixteen year old Suffolk youngster, George Grigg-Pettitt, setting the fastest lap times to have first choice gate pick for the first group A race. It was Luke Benstead who stormed to the front though, chased throughout by Grigg-Pettitt, leaving South African, Brad Woodroffe and Norwich’s Ben Cole disputing third place. Behind them, Brad Tomlin just held off his Halstead club mate, Jason Morland, for fifth.

Race two saw Grigg- Pettitt trying his best to stave off the challenge from Benstead, but the Cambridgeshire rider moved to the front for his second win, although Grigg-Pettitt kept within striking distance throughout the fifteen minute long race. Woodroffe was third again, from Cole, Morland and 16-year-old St Albans youngster, Tom Grimshaw.

Benstead took his third win in leg three, this time chased by Woodroffe, with Grigg-Pettitt passing Morland after ten minutes to claim third place. Grimshaw finished fifth on his smaller engined bike ahead of Diss club member, George Ellis.

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Veteran Lee Keyton was the overall winner in the group B races with a win and two second places, and James Barker took two race wins for second place. Ipswich Kawasaki rider, Shaun Grimwood, was the overall victor in group C, with two wins and a second.

The meeting also included a round of the popular Eastern Evo series for pre 1989 two stroke machines, and series leader, Brad Tomlin, on his potent JK sponsored Honda had two race wins on the day. The Canvey Islander easily won race one, chased by the high flying 2016 champion, Jordan Pasquale, with Glen Bixby holding off South Midlander, Rob Mead. Race two saw Tomlin struggling in the pack with bike problems, allowing Pasquale to take the win from Bixby and Adam Gordon. Tomlin brought his ailing bike home in ninth place, which cost him the overall win on the day.

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In race three, Tomlin had sorted out his bike problem, and took the win from Pasquale. Mead got the better of Bixby and Jacob Chambers to cross the line in third place.

The final race started with the traditional fireworks, which was the signal for the riders to run down to the start line to jump onto their bikes, although there was a lot of friendly pushing and shoving before they mounted. Brendon Mayers was the first rider on his machine , and led until he made a mistake at the bottom end of the circuit, allowing Grigg-Pettitt to take over. Local star, Jason Morland, chased hard, but Grigg-Pettitt held on for the win, an indication that he will be a threat in future to the established Eastern riders. Tomlin, on his modern bike, was third, from the consistent Ben Cole and George Ellis. Mayers recovered to sixth place ahead of young Suzuki rider, Josh Keeble.


Eastern Evo’s overall. 1st Jordan Pasquale Honda, 2nd Brad Tomlin Honda, 3rd Glen Bixby Honda, 4th Rob Mead Suzuki, 5th Adam Gordon Honda, 6th Jacob Chambers Honda

Allcomers group A overall. 1st Luke Benstead GH Husqvarna, 2nd George Grigg-Pettitt Lings Honda, 3rd Brad Woodroffe Husqvarna, 4th Jason Morland Jim Aim KTM, 5th Ben Cole Herts MX Honda, 6th Tom Grimshaw Yamaha.

Allcomers group B overall. 1st Lee Keyton Yamaha,2nd James Barker KTM,3rd Billy Middleton, 4th Sam Boydell Honda, 5th Ryan Harrington-groves Kawasaki, 6th Chris Keeble KTM

Allcomers group C overall, 1st Shaun Grimwood Kawasaki, 2nd Alex Claydon Husqvarna, 3rd Kevin Friend Yamaha, 4th Kieren Hibble Honda, 5th Shaun Griffiths KTM, 6th Thomas Claydon KTM

Richard Fitch trophy race. 1st Grigg-Pettitt, 2nd Morland, 3rd Tomlin, 4th Cole, 5th George Ellis Husqvarna, 6th Brendon Mayers Husqvarna.

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