Riders & Spectators travelled from across the country on Thursday evening to the 2014 HTM Off Road EnduroCross event, held in the picturesque village of Glenarm. Many that travelled had heard the news during the week that four time world enduro champion David Knight was making the trip over from Isle of Man to compete, a rare treat to see Knight in action on Irish soil. The increased hype certainly showed with spectator attendance estimated to have broken the 1000 mark for this exciting off road spectacle.
The promoting Carrickfergus Club had learnt from 2013 and constructed a improved, more challenging EnduroCross course that saw the racers navigate their way over truck tyres, concrete pipes, rocks and plenty of log combinations.
After practice & heats it was clear to see who the front runners would be in the Expert Class with Knight faultless but also looking competitive was multiple British motocross champion, Gordon Crockard. Crockard, late replacement for Paul Edmondson was looking to use his experience racing in the American GNCC series to topple the big Manxman.
It was Knight (Knighter.net KTM) that took the win in Expert ‘A’ Final race one ahead of Jordan Scott (HTM Husqvarna) and Charles Stuart (CCM TM) who had a close battle throughout. Crockard crashed out over the tyres early on and finished a lowly seventh.
Next up was the Dalriada Festival Head to Head Races, where the top eight expert racers went head to head in a knockout style dash for cash that saw Knight again taking victory in the final in front of Charles Stuart. Jordan Scott was applauded off track after a big crash in his head to head clash with Crockard after the Newtownards man managed to separate his AC joint, break a rib and take a fair knock to the head ruling him out of the remaining expert race.
The last Expert Final was arguably the best race of the night with the local crowd getting right behind local man Crockard who got away with Knight from the start. The pair stayed close for most of the race and just as it looked like the Crockstar was lining up a pass, he got caught up with a lapped rider on the concrete pipes giving Knight a few seconds advantage. The gap was just too much to claw back in the few remaining laps so Knight took the win, Crockard was second and Steven Smyth (Just MX Husqvarna) rounded out the top three.
After interviews with the infamous Roy Neill, both Knight & Crockard made time for the many EnduroCross fans, signing programmes and getting pictures taken with some of the kids which was nice to see.
The Carrickfergus Club moved to thank sponsors and supporters for their help & support after a very successful event and highlighted the need for help to run events of this stature. “We would like to thank firstly the Dalriada Festival for allowing us to be part of the festival week again in 2014. Thanks must also go to Larne Borough Council, HTM Off Road, MTA Process Components along with the club members that helped build the track and run the meeting. Without this backing, it would be very difficult to run an event of this size & showcase our sport to the public.”
No official plans have been confirmed yet to run EnduroCross again in 2015 but if the bumper crowd is anything to go by, there is a very good chance it’ll be back bigger and better again next year.
HTM Off Road Expert A Class Overall
1. David Knight – 50 pts
2. Charles Stuart – 38 pts
3. Gordon Crockard – 36pts
HTM Off Road Expert B Class Overall
1. Paul McMinn – 50 pts
2. Harold Crawford – 44 pts
3. Josh Caldwell – 40 pts
MTA Process Components Clubman A Class Overall
1. Roy McGarvey – 50 pts
2. Barry Kennedy – 44 pts
3. Stuart Couples – 40 pts
MTA Process Components Clubman B Class Overall
1. Jacob Henry – 50 pts
2. Gerard McLoughlin – 44 pts
3. David Doherty – 40 pts
Dalriada Festival Head to Head Challenge
Winner - David Knight
Report by Ryan Denney | Images by Colin McIlhagger