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DirtQuake VII

As many of you might know, Sideburn no longer owns or runs the event, but I still consult and the familiar DTRA team were on hand to run the racing at Arena Essex. It went without a hitch, and the paramedics weren't even needed to deal with as much as a broken fingernail. That is some kind of record.

The new location caused some consternation when it was announced, but Arena Essex was a perfect venue. The only problem is, the track and land has been sold to developers, so DQ was the first and last dirt track race ever to take place there.

I never take many photos at DirtQuake, because a) I'm normally too busy and B) there are a load of great photographers in attendance, plus an official photographer employed to capture the action and characters, but here are my snaps from DQ VII.

I wasn't expecting to ever see a Vincent Rapide race at DirtQuake, but this one ended up on the podium in IRB (after some hard, somewhat dangerous back straight line-changing in the final). What a wonderful piece of machinery and ride-it-don't-hide-it attitude.

DTRA regular Wag Scott was on the podium in the Ladies class on this neat newly built single.

More smiles in the Ladies class.

Chopper class heroes.

Scooter styling...

John's mutant Lambretta LD fitted with much more modern auto engine.

Very tasty Firestorm in the IRB class

Rebels Alliance brought this death trap that we first saw at the Reilly Rocket launch of Sideburn issue 5, back in 2011!

DQ also hosted the final round of the Indian Motorcycles European Hooligan championship. Grant Martin went into the final leading the title and was in the lead in the final, with Gary Birtwistle in second, until the Sideburn-supported Harley rider slid off halfway through the final, handing the win to Gary Birtwistle, and with it, a brand new Indian.

The racing was hot. My own Sportster's bottom end sounded terminally bad, but I was determined to keep riding, and finished fifth after a race-long battle with Leah Tokelove. She got the better of me this time. my Harley needs a rebuild.

The race result was 1. Gary B. 2. Lee Kirkpatrick 3. Max Hunt

I left Grant for a while, so he could get his head together after the disappointment of sliding out of the title decider, but it was good to see him with a smile on his face.

It was a great day of hanging out with good friends and new faces. Thanks to all who raced and spectated. The hour-long highlights programme is on ITV4 on Wednesday 29th August at 8pm.

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