Euro Vets - Round 4 - by Neil Magee

To say the least, this was long drawn out affair with 40 qualifying heats, an age to sort out the finals (with the chance of an ice cream for some - tho not flag marshal Daniel Wharrier), then another hour or so finals.

But it was worth the wait for Ashie Patterson. He must be proud as punch as he continued his superb form so far this season, coming from the back to make the Over 60's A-Final, then riding to 2nd place in that as he rode past Dave Baxter and Paul Dyson in another thriller. I think Mrs Patterson was well impressed too and hope she enjoyed her day out.

Terry Kirkup will be disappointed after losing points with an exclusion in his 2nd ride, that always putting him up against it, he not quite having enough to make the A-Final.

Jim Graham had to pedal like crazy fast on the pacy Cookson circuit, he still on his Cramlington set up with his gearing still, but was making some good gates and looked to have enjoyed himself.

Of the 'younger' lads, newcomer Simon Watson was the pick, he looking like he had ridden for years as he gave some of the sports very best riders plenty to think about. He looks like someone who can go straight into our first team and score big points and had a lot of people talking in the pits, wondering who on earth he was and where he had come from to be that good!

Andy Amos-Adams will have learned loads from this meeting, enjoying the track and upping the pace with every ride, he finished with a good third place in his final ride, showing what he had taken on board and remaining determined as ever.

Neil Magee gated on Andy as they met first time out, again enjoying the meeting but not prepared to stick the front wheel when it mattered (i would rather have no crashes than a couple of extra meaningless points thanks !) - Thanks also to Andy for riding safely in the race where we met, he was always very close on my inside going into that 3rd bend, but never dived in !

As expected Jason Keith was our star at over 40's level, being the only rider to beat the eventual A-Final winner. He nearly qualified for the big race too, but dropped from 2nd place in his semi-final qualifer as Norman Venson stormed through past him. Jason finished in style however with a fast and clear win in the B Final.

And finally, tk's bit on the bottom:

The Vets was another great if somewhat drawn out contest with competitors from all over the UK as has become the norm for the Euros now. I managed to pick up a gate exclusion when some dipstick kid in the park behind the track dropped a scooter just after "orders", not an excuse but it left me in a daze as I don't get that many (none!) and at that point I became a somewhat disinterested participant, knowing my chance of reaching the Final had gone. However, Jimmy and Ashie kept plugging away, the latter in particular showing tremendous form and going on to clinch second in the A Final, a brilliant show as Ash continues his great run of success since he bought that spanky Archie.

I hate to harp on the same theme, but as Neil commented above, there was another treat in store not just for the Geordies but also the rest of the competitors and crowd when our new "boy" Simon appeared in the Vets with the rest of us Old Fogies. Of course he was now a real veteran of ONE proper match so we expected some fireworks! What he did though surpassed all expectations, even getting away first in one race, but his sheer speed and willingness to throw it into the corners on this totally alien shape and surface were great to watch, and drew plenty of positive comment from the other side of the fence to make it a super show all round from our fleet of newbies.

I should mention that Rob Mawhood invited us for a pie and pea supper before coming home but the call of the chippy won the day. Unfortunately I have to report that my chips were not up to scratch so I'm moving the Wetherby Whaler down to 7 points after this latest visit.