John Mitchell gets off to a flying start at Drumclog
Championship win just 200 yards away!
It was the home round this weekend for John Mitchell as the Honda QRA ACU British Quad MX Championship entered round seven in the Scottish town of Drumclog. Having attained an incredible 49 point lead over the competition, John who rides a ATV World / Yamaha YFZ450 could technically take the title of British number one and achieve glory in front of the home supporters.
Sunday morning saw the qualifying round take place as riders and their quads got to grips with the recently revamped Drumclog circuit. ATV World team manager Martin Fletcher was initially concerned for John as he was taking antibiotics after suffering from a viral infection. The circuit at Drumclog was physically and mentally demanding, with high jumps, drops and heavy ruts. John got the fastest lap followed by Jason Macbeth and the Dutchman Ingor Ten Vregelarr.
John Mitchell on his ATV World / Yamaha YFZ450 taking the Holeshot in race one.
John Michell takes first place, Paul Winrow second and Leon Beda in third.
Race One John started race one by taking the holeshot and 20 seconds in, had made a 3.5 second lead. By lap three he was overtaking the back markers and creating a stunning lead over the rest of the pack. John made it look easy as he passed the finish line 35 seconds before Paul Winrow and Leon Beda, who was having an excellent afternoon. John now had his sights firmly set on clinching the championship in the next race. Because of the lead over Paul Winrow, if he was to finish in front of the current No.1, he could finish the title race one round before the end of this season. Everybody knew this and the atmosphere in the crowd was electric.
Seconds after John overtook Paul in race two.
Race Two With the thought of victory only 25 minutes away, John must surely have felt under pressure as the flag went down for the start of race two. After the third corner John found himself in fifth with Paul riding an incredible first lap, pulling away from everybody. But, the pressure didn’t show and John began taking place after place and got himself into second. By this time Paul was about six seconds ahead and everybody knew an enthralling battle was about to take place.
Over the next four laps John chased Paul until they were neck and neck. John then saw his opportunity and came off the racing line to overtake Paul on the corner as Paul was behind a back marker. The home crowds were delighted as John again began to take the lead. With the last few laps remaining John was at least 18 seconds ahead and making his way towards breaking another season record.
John pulled away from Paul Winrow and held a commanding lead.
From the pits, John is told he only has one more lap to go. Disaster strook 200 yards from John becoming the new British Champion. See you all at Torrington!
Unfortunately on the last lap, it wasn’t a broken record but a broken tie rod end ball joint as John landed awkwardly from a big jump. He managed to steer the quad to within 200 yards of the finish line before getting it stuck in a corner. With everybody already at the finish line to cheer John home, it was Paul Winrow who came across the line first. But he didn’t stop to celebrate, Paul’s instinctive good sportsmanship kicked in and he rushed to help John straighten his wheel. John managed to guide his quad over the line and claim 7th. A crushing end to such a dominant afternoon of racing but as John’s father George said: “These things happen!”
John now has to get 10 points from 50 available at the Torrington circuit on 1st October.
Thanks again for all the support from sponsors who along with their outstanding products have helped John reach an unprecedented 11 out of 14 wins this season.