Not that often you see father and son in the same race, Sunday 15th April we saw two proud fathers with their sons. Jason and Coben Ashford for Great Blakenham, Ed and Harry Ridley for Hellingly Lions
Sat 7th April
Martyn, Ed and Harry Representing the Lions at Great Blakenham
Three races gone, two to go and on 6pts an A final spot was looking a bit distant, but undeterred Harry had the favoured gate 1 in his 4th race and promptly went out and won it. This changed things dramatically as Harry was now on 10pts, so an A final spot was now possible. In his final race of 5, on gate 2 for the second time, Harry needed another race win and others results to go his way to make the A final. Not to be though, he finished in second spot with 3pts to end up on a total of 13pts and a place in the B final. At the business end of the meeting for Harry he took his place on the gate and finished a noteworthy second spot which is his best result to date, GOOD STUFF FROM HARRY and looking forward to much, much more to come.
THE LIONS ROARING BACK INTO ACTION FOR 2018 SEASON THIS SUNDAY.
Hellingly Lions are returning to track action this Sunday (25th March) with a South East and Eastern Div 2 fixture away to East London in Canning Town, 2o/c start.
A big welcome back to the saddle for Daniel Welch, the Lions vice Captain. Daniel is captaining the team because Div 2 match restrictions means that Jesse Moore (Captain), Martin and Neil Hollebon would each incur a 15 point penalty should Lions management (Brian Davidson & Barry Carpenter) decide to use one or more of the 3.
Joint Manager Barry will be taking charge of the team while Brian is taking a sabbatical for this match. Brian (AKA Biscuit) has been overseeing the Lions training over the recent (albeit weather restricted) few weeks and will undoubtedly have passed his thoughts over for the best way to use our squad for this match. Steven Archer and Jim Cox will fill the other two heat leader roles with both looking to continue their progress made over the last 2 seasons. Second string rider Jamie Morley and the youthful energy of Ethan Page and George Morley filling remaining positions in the 6 man starting line-up in the 16 heat match. Veteran Edward Ridley is expected to be in the squad and no doubt Barry and Biscuit will be looking for him to pass on his many years of experience (including GB veteran International experience gained only 4 months ago in Adelaide) to what is a very youthful lions line-up. This first match will be a good test for most of the Lions team who have struggled to get some laps in due to this wet Winters weather and the 'Beast From The East' causing the Lion's Den Lower Dicker Raceway to remain un-rideable for longer than normal or anticipated. Let's go Lions!
Just in case anyone doubts the heritage of current Lions people, how about this shot dragged kicking and screaming from under Percy’s bed. Kevin - Biscuit - Barry Weaver - and a 6 stone Percy! The first three you can believe! Taken over a half century ago!!!!
On show for the first time was Harry Ridley looking very much part of the Lion’s crew in his new racing colours, complimenting them with his brand new bike and certainly looking the part. Harry kicked off his 5 ride campaign with a good 2nd place and 3pts from gate 2 in his first ride. That alone was no mean feat as Great Blakenham is one of the biggest and quickest circuits in the South East League.
His second ride was off gate 3 but like the rest of the Lions, Harry has been short of racing laps this early in the season and ran a fourth place with 1pt. Race 3 for Harry meant he was on gate 4 and probably down to lack of racing experience he collided with one of the opponents and ended up in 3rd place with 2 pts.
Following the Junior racing, it was now time for the older members to do their stuff with Harry's racing done and dusted. Ed Ridley and Martyn Hollebon also made the trip to Great Blakenham to race and hopefully teach Harry a few do's and don'ts on the track. This was to be Ed's second meeting as he was in the side at East London which had to take defeat on the chin, but to be fair he scored a paid 15pts so can feel proud of the fact he certainly did his bit. Back to today's event in which both Ed and Martyn have entered the over 40's veterans section. Competition in this section was as always fierce, but nevertheless Ed done enough in his heats to earn a place in the B final which he promptly went out and won, which no doubt pleased Harry as well. On to Martyn's effort which was very much an eye opener. Having not had a lot of opportunity to put in competitive racing as yet and only managing a couple practice sessions, things looked pretty cool after his qualifying heats. With 4 of his 5 races done and a points tally of 14 (three race wins and a third), a place in the A final was very much on the cards. Martyn made the final easily but probably run out of steam, lacking in fitness as he finished in 3rd spot with home rider Jason Ashford taking the honours. With all the racing completed for the day all three of the Lions can be proud of their efforts and prepare to return to the same venue on the 15th April to take on Great Blakenham in Div 1 & 2 League Matches.
Lion Cub Harry
Young Harry Ridley is all set and ‘roaring’ to go for the 2018 Season. Harry has the advantage of having his own personal Coach and mentor, his Dad, the long serving and vastly experienced Lion Eddie. Harry will be competing in the Youth and Junior Regional and South East Grand Prix’s (first round Saturday 31st March) as well as the Suffolk Junior League. Sat on his new Phoenix machine, by the expression on his face, Harry means business!
Sat 28th April
Somersham S.E. GP
All roads were leading to Somersham, a small village in Suffolk just outside Ipswich, for round 2 of the East and South East grand prix. The Lions had five team members taking part; Ed and Harry Ridley, Martyn Hollebon, Ethan Page and Isaac Westwood and racing conditions were not at their best with consistent drizzle and cold wind. As the track is not in constant use, the surface was to say a bit sticky in places.
First up on the racing programme was Harry in the U/8'S.
Heat 4 on gate 4 was Harry's first race which he led easily for 3 laps until the last bend when he was passed, but still managed to finish second securing 3 points. He went on to score two more second places and a third to end up with a total of 11pts. This was enough to give him gate 1 in the B final which he finished in second place.
Next up was Ethan and Isaac in the U/14'S event. With five riders finishing on 13 pts sadly for Isaac he was the one to miss out on the A final. The reason being Ethan and Isaac did not race in round 1 and Ethan had already beaten Isaac earlier in today's races. Ethan was overjoyed to win the A final to become U/14 champion of the day.
That completed all the racing for the juniors, so now it was time for the old boys to race in the over 40's veterans with Martyn Hollebon and Ed Ridley. With only 5 riders contesting this event both the Lions easily progressed to the A final with Martyn off gate 1 and Ed off gate 3. By now the track had become rather tricky being somewhat drier on one straight and a slippery quagmire on the other. Martyn leapt out the start and rode a steady sedate race to become champion and Ed finished in third place after being passed by Gary Brown of Hethersett.
19th May, BJYL round 3.
Young Harry Ridley and his dad travelled to Hethersett in Norfolk for the BJYL round 3.
It was another warm and dry day causing the track to be hard and slippery. Hethersett is a short and tight oval with fast corners.
First to race Harry in the under 8’s
In Harry's first race he was on gate 3, made a good start and held 2nd place for three laps until the leader made a slip, Harry took advantage of it presenting him with a win and 4 points.
In his next two races Harry didn’t fare so well, having a 4th and 3rd leaving him on 7 points after 3 rides. His following heat was from the favoured gate 1. Although he made a fast start he didn't quite make the first corner leading but held a good 2nd place which put him on 10 points and making the B final. He drew the unfavourable gate 4 but did well to come 3rd giving him 12 points overall.
It was Dads turn next, with only 4 vets turning up he was guaranteed an A Final.
Scoring 13 with three 2nd’s and a race win Eddie did well to try and keep ahead of Paddy Webb but slipped up came a close 2nd in the A Final.