SOUTH AFRICAN MX VETS SHINE
Images by Silverline Tools, Global ASP UK, Rob Henry
This year’s VMXdN Vets event staged at the legendary UK Farleigh Castle track is said to be one of the wettest and muddiest ever to run in the UK, so much so that a number of heats were cancelled, while in the vet’s class the heats were reduced from 4 to 3 due to the rain.
The star studded 4 man SA team of past SA multiple National champions, Springboks and a World champ consisting of Ryan Hunt, Tony Riddell, Andre David and Grant Langston all had their own problems competing on the older pre-83 motorcycles. All of them had stalling problems, some had clutch issues and the mud and water certainly did not help.
The compulsory older machines were also not what the guys were used to racing which was another issue but that was the rule for this event.
The South African Silverline Tools, Global ASP team did themselves proud with Ryan Hunt finishing 3rd overall for the weekend. Despite numerous stalls and mishaps he still managed good results in all 3 heats. Andre David also did exceptionally well but also had his problems. A massive off the line wheelie when his clutch failed (see image attached) put him a good way back in the field in heat 2, but he still managed an outstanding 11th overall amidst the huge international line up. Mr consistent and the oldest of the team, Tony Riddell, also had his problems and managed a 29th overall.
Ex world champion Grant Langston was going well and set for a good result but a huge crash saw him T-Bone a rider who threw it away in front of him putting him out of contention. He unfortunately finished well down the field in 54th place.
The team were supported by Cradley Kawasaki in the UK who were their spanner team for the event keeping the machines in working order. The team all agreed without these guys they would never have achieved much over the two days.
“These technical issues could well have cost us an overall win as all of us had similar problems at the starts and out on the track, plus 1 disqualification and Grant’s big crash putting him out of the 3rd heat,” said Ryan Hunt.
“We were all looking really good in the practice and the qualifying heats and it certainly looked like we could pull off some great results. Of course the huge field of 60 riders on a rain soaked track made for some tough racing, the thick slippery mud and the rain never let up and all this did not help things. We knew we would have rain as it always rains over there so we expected some rain and a wet event, but no one expected quite that sort of weather. But that’s motocross. At the end of the day it was really good fun and we all enjoyed it … especially as we beat the yanks,” said Hunt.