Gary Birtwistle has been on the DTRA scene for a few years now, initially following the success of his brother, the former British dirt track champ Alan.
At first Gary raced his own Honda 450, and then his own single BSA in the Sideburn Vintage class. Following that he was enlisted by Ducati and the Bike Shed to race their Hooligan Scrambler, while also being sponsored to ride the Evolve 450s in the Pro Class. All the while he won races and championships.
The next step was start his own Dirt Craft riding school, which helped bring him to the attention of Royal Enfield, who were looking to both launch their Slide School concept in the UK (after setting up schools in India and the USA), and enter a two-rider team in the DTRA on their full factory Royal Enfield Twin FTs.
Having a team like Royal Enfield in the DTRA pits has given a lift to the whole UK scene. They're not the only team to have dedicated mechanics, but they have more that the rest. Still, they tread lightly. There's no sign of them trying to change things to suit themselves, or influence proceedings, or throw their weight around in anyway. They come, they race, they take a load of photos and video, they help other racers with tools when they can, they go home. It's good having them around.
At the moment, the gorgeous Twin FTs of Birtwistle and his team-mate, Paul Young, compete in a new Twins class, and are so utterly dominant, I fear they are scaring off any possible opposition. Most new classes in the DTRA take time to grow, but they always do grow. I hope the same goes for the Twins class.
Currently, the Twins race in and among the single-cylinder, framer Thunderbikes, and a few of the Thunderbike front runners dogfight with the Enfields. It'll be interesting to see which way the DTRA Twins class goes in the near future.