VMXdN - Farleigh Castle - Steve Knight takes to the Podium.  (Sep 5, 2016)

The 2016 Veterans Motocross Des Nations took place this this past weekend at the legendary Farleigh Castle circuit. The natural track, running along the banks of the river Frome, once again looked in fine fettle, but the rain threatened did make an appearance and changed proceedings dramatically, shortening the race schedule by one race. Nevertheless, even after halting the meeting after the first block was completed on Saturday, Sunday's race program ran as clockwork, albeit on a very wet, sticky and fatiguing track.

The TM UK team were at Farleigh Castle for their 4th consecutive year to support long time TM UK sponsor, Kleenrite Specialist Cleaning Services' owner, Steve 'The Dog' Knight, on his original 1982 TM Racing 125cc Twinshock 'Pre 83' class machine.

After a good qualifying session, where 'Dog' set the 10th fastest time in his group, it was soon time for the racing to commence in the '3 class combined' races. Sporting a field of over 50 entrants on a 'staggered' start, it was all action in the first turn few turns of the races, with 'Dog' in the thick of the action. With the rain beginning to fall during race 1 of the Pre 85's, the track became treacherous, a solid ride working through traffic, as well as contending with the conditions saw Dog take a great 7th place in class. The relentless rain put a stop to proceedings for the day after block 1, after hours of rain during Saturday afternoon and evening the continuance of the meeting looked to be in jeopardy as the track became waterlogged. Sunday would be a new day.

With a cloudy sky still greeting us on Sunday morning the threat of more rain loomed, however some great work by the organisers did see the track rescued to the point that it was rideable, although now having to miss out the legendary 'steps' in the wooded area as they were impassible. The heavy mud and slippery surface certainly made conditions tough for man and machine and as the racing began for day two the level of difficulty was witnessed. Bikes and riders, fallen, or failing, littered the circuit throughout Sunday's 2 race schedule. In race 3 (2 having been missed due to conditions) 'Dog' got a great start and got that leg hanging out, balancing the bike and trying to keep momentum on the hills in a bid to just keep moving forward. A great push by 'Dog' saw him come thru the field, passing his stricken competitors he kept the old TM wide open and came home in a well earned 4th place in class. The final race of the day again saw Dog get a flying start and in the thick of the action from the get go. With the track now forming a drier line it was certainly less 'heavy', but the cut-up nature of the course still made it incredibly hard work on the old bikes. once again a determined ride saw 'Dog' battle his way through the mixed class field where he took another great result, 5th in class. Survival of the fittest paid off and with 3 good finishes, where others failed in the terrible condition of race 3, saw 'Dog' take his best ever result at the event and a trip to the podium celebrations to take 3rd overall in class. If ever a saying was more apt, then Steve Knight was certainly ''a dog with two dicks'' !!........... pardon the expression!.

Adrian Lappin, riding Nick Craigie's 1982 TM Racing 125 Twinshock - the same model as 'Dogs', also competed at this event. Adrian, a regular 'Evo' rider, put in some flying laps and banged in the results. Adrian ended his three races with a 3, 2, 11 scorecard after a small technical issue in the final race left him nursing the bike home to take 4th overall in his class.

A big well done to 'The Dog, Adrian, all the competitors, the organisers, friends, families and of course the sponsors, that make this one of the most enjoyable events of the racing calendar.

Thanks, TM UK .

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