Jack Rowland, on his Husqvarna TXC250, gave the MPS Racing team reason to celebrate at the final round of the British Enduro Championship as he was crowned 2012 British E1 Enduro Champion.
Organised by the South East Enduro Combine, the Eelmore Enduro was held at the same venue in Hampshire as the first Sprint Enduro of 2012 but whereas for the Sprint the weather was well below freezing at minus 9 degrees, for the Eelmore it was just a little ‘fresh’ with only a hint of ice on the bike seats after their night in parc ferme.
In the days leading up to the event the organising club faced some considerable challenges, losing access to much of the ground the course was originally planned to use. Rather than cancelling the event, a huge effort from the organising committee and club members provided a shortened, but still testing, course suitable for the final of the British Championship.
Jamie Lewis on the TE310 was keen to end the BEC season on a high after his successful Six Days outing and started Saturday in his usual aggressive style. As the rain came down, making conditions very difficult, Jamie kept pushing hard and finished the first day with a very respectable 2nd in E2 and 5th overall in the Championship class.
For Jack, Saturday didn’t go to plan at all. Starting strongly Jack placed 6th in the first test, improved to 5th in the 2nd and then was forced to retire from the 3rd test, finishing his day. Subsequent investigation revealed the bike had drawn water in resulting in a crank failure, the one and only mechanical failure the MPS team has suffered in 2012. The conditions on Saturday proved tough for others too, as Jack was one of three championship class riders to retire with mechanical issues.
Sunday dawned fresh and clear and with no rain forecast, both riders were looking to improve on Saturday. With the benefit of hindsight, Jamie himself admitted he could possibly have pushed harder on the first test as he dropped 10 seconds on eventual E2 winner Daryl Bolter and couldn’t quite make it up during the day. Jamie finished Sunday 4th in E2 and 7th overall.
For Jack, Sunday was a chance to prove his speed after Saturday’s disappointment and he started well, posting 4th fastest overall time in the first test, riding his 250 four stroke hard against larger capacity and two stroke rivals. On the second test Jack didn’t fair quite so well, dropping a few seconds which he fought to make up thorough the day. A strong finish on the final test placed him 5th overall and the first E1 class bike home by a considerable margin.
Jack Rowland, “I’d like to give a massive thank you to all involved at MPS Racing, Husqvarna, my dad Keith and everyone else that has been involved with the team this year. Without your support it wouldn’t be possible”.
Mick Seward, team principal, “Jack has had a fantastic year winning the Under 23 E1 Championship at the Sprint, being part of the successful GB Junior Team at the Six Days and now becoming British E1 Enduro Champion. He has ridden superbly all year and deserves this title. I’d like to thank Jack and Jamie for their efforts this year and would also like to thank all of our team sponsors for the support throughout the season. We’re already looking forward to 2013”.
Meanwhile, Rob Johnson, on the Newcastle Motorcycles Husqvarna TE250 had a mixed weekend at the Eelmore with a retirement Saturday due to crash damage but a much better ride Sunday to take 3rd in the Expert class.
With British championship duties now finished, the next event for MPS will be the Enduroland Stadium Enduro Cross on 10th November at the Beaumont Park, Leicester.