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RILEY GRAHAM BREAKS THROUGH FOR A MAIDEN WIN IN A VERY DRY 2018 24 HOUR TRIAL
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RILEY GRAHAM BREAKS THROUGH FOR A MAIDEN WIN IN A VERY DRY 2018 24 HOUR TRIAL

RILEY GRAHAM BREAKS THROUGH FOR A MAIDEN WIN IN A VERY DRY 2018 24 HOUR TRIAL

 

HISTORY MADE AS MARK LAUNER & TYSON ROHRLACH WIN THE OPEN SIDECARS AT THE 2018 24 HOUR TRIAL

 

The 2018 24 Hour Trial, run over the weekend of July 14 & 15 out of the Kapunda Harness Racing Facility was certainly a ‘dry argument’, with riders and passengers facing 4 laps of a 200 kilometre course that was desperate for some rain, with some glad it didn’t hit during the event and some doing a rain dance between laps to settle the dust!

 

OPEN SOLO & OUTRIGHT;

In the Open Solo class, the battle for outright honours was a battle between last year’s winner, Todd Barry, and runner-up, Riley Graham, with Todd shooting for 24 Hour History and 5 wins in a row to equal the record of Peter Milsteed and Shane Diener, while Riley was going all out to make up for a rookie mistake in 2017 that cost him a rookie win!

Riley definitely had the bit between the teeth though, and nothing short of a DNF was going to deny him this year as he led all 4 laps to come home the (provisional) 2018 Champion by a ‘comfortable’ 456 points, with Todd finishing in 2nd position as he had no answer to Riley’s speed. 

Such was the pace of these two great riders, and the effort they were both going to win the event, their lap score for lap 3, the worst of the night laps for riders in relation to the course, the time of the morning, the cold and tiredness, was faster than their lap 2 scores, which in the 24 Hour Trial is quite rare indeed!

As much as seeing history made is a great thing, all congratulations should go to Riley for breaking through for his maiden win, and after what was a superb ride through the night in the very dry conditions, with sometimes the dust being worse than fog after the sun went down!

Rounding out the podium was former 2 time winner, Sean Throup, making a return to the event after time off and showing he has lost none of his speed and was followed home by Rowan Pumpa in 4th and Brett Haydon in 5th, and yet another top 5 finish for one of the 24 Hour Trial’s most famous families!

As usual the Expert riders dominated the top 10, but a huge shout out needs to go to Jamie Banks, who was the leading Clubman rider home, finishing in an excellent 9th position outright, with Connor Buckby and Jesse Roseler the next best Clubman riders in 12th & 17th positions respectively.

Shout out also to Anthony ‘Ant’ Diener, riding his brother, Shane’s, 24 Hour winning bike from 20 years ago, which slowly lost gears through the night, with, from all reports, Ant riding just over a lap with only 5th gear, which, to finish 16th outright in the dry conditions was no mean feat indeed!

Also worth a mention in the de-brief of the event was the 23rd position outright recorded by Cameron Donald, who had never seen, let alone ridden a reliability trial before, and especially when he is more used to racing around the Isle of Man on bitumen – in daylight!

Also crossing disciplines for the weekend and getting a maiden finish in his first ever reliability trial was Grant Stephen from the AJS Trials Club, cruising his XR Honda through the night, a fair change from ‘splatting’ his Gas Gas trials bike against rocks! 

On the old bikes, which punting them through the bulldust through the night would have tough going, 2 riders in the class managed to cross the finish line, with Sean Heidenreich (a maiden finish) and Adam Toolan getting their TT & XT Yamahas home! Just proves that the old bikes will still last if you treat them well!Riley Graham

 

OPEN SIDECARS;

Since the 36 Hour Trial held in 1951 it is recorded that only 2 sidecar riders and 1 passenger have won this event more than 3 times, riders David Manuel (8) and Ron Ophel (6), and passenger, Tony Tscharke (7) – and 2018 sees a new rider and passenger added to this most exclusive 24 Hour Trial ‘club’ as Mark Launer & Tyson Rohrlach record win number 4 as a team!

The 2010, 2014 & 2016 Champions had the bit between their teeth from the start, and drawing #2 to start behind the 2017 runners-ups Hec Evans & Shaun Buckley gave them a target to chase, and it was an advantage they used to full effect to lead all 4 laps and record a historic victory! 

With Mark & Tyson creating history, it meant a 2nd placing for the second year running for the team of Hec & Shaun, with the 2 time winning rider (Hec) quite likely to come back in 2019 even more determined to notch up that 3rd win, with the final podium position filled by Shaun Blenkiron & Nathan Saegenschnitter, with ‘Blenks’ already making his 2019 goals known after now finishing 2nd and 3rd with ‘McGuyver’ in the all-nighter!

4th place went to the rookie (sidecar) team of Dan Plowman & Shane Judd, with the expert solo boys finding their feet on the Brad Hunter owned machine more and more as the event went on, and with them finishing in front of 2 time winning rider, Darren Winter, with Lachlan Greenhalgh on-board, it certainly made for perhaps the rookie ride of the event in 2018!

 

 

 

2 time winner, ‘Fast’ Fred Weckert started the 24 Hour Trial for the 40th time in 2018, becoming just the 2nd person after Neil Russack to record a 40th start in this famous event, and for over the 30th time, Fred notched up a finish, this time with Damien Nash in the chair, and the smile at the finish was shining through his dust covered face!

6th place in Open Sidecars was the team of Colin Simpson & Sam Weichert, a second and third generation sidecar team, with Colin the son of Roger and Sam the grandson of 5 time winner, Dennis Weichert, and it was during the 1970 & 80’s that Dennis & Roger competed as a sidecar team, but back then it was a Weichert riding and a Simpson as passenger!

In the lead up to the 24 Hour Trial in 2018 the spotlight was shone on ‘Women in Motorcycling’ and the 9 ladies that were going to start this year, well, 7 out of the 9 rode into the Kapunda Trotting Track on Sunday morning to record a well-deserved finish, and if not for a broken chain and a dead mousse, it could well have been 9 from 9! 

So, a huge congratulations to Kristy Schultz & Ayla Plowman in 9th, Lisi Phillips 10th, the ‘Ladies Legends’ Barb Greenhalgh & Caroline Wilksch (11th & 12th), Melissa Rogers (13th) and the visiting Victorian, Melissa Foot, who with hubby Justin, finished their first attempt at the 24 Hour in 15th position!

 

A huge congratulations must go to the 24 Hour Trial Organising Committee for again running a superb event, especially in somewhat trying course conditions, all of the Clubs and supporters that ran controls, route checks, safety checks and/or worked as course controllers and officials throughout the event – it would be impossible to run this famous event without your support!

 

Roll on 2019 and what will be the 87th running of SA’s most famous motorcycling event, which will also be the 95th anniversary of the first 24 Hour Trial being run in 1924.

 

Please note: Results are still marked as provisional at time of publication.
 

 

 

 

 

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