MATCH REPORT: Chadwick secures Jim Peck Memorial title
A top quality field lined up for the third edition of this event, all in aid of The East Anglian Air Ambulance, and it didn’t disappoint, living up to its billing as the biggest event on the Suffolk CS calendar.
2014 winner Adam Peck took a routine win in heat 1, with the action going on behind him, Charlie Rumbold eventually taking second place. Cody Chadwick pushed Josh Brooke the whole way in heat 2, the Suffolk man taking the win.
Richie Fellgett was excluded in heat 3 for coming across Ricki Johnson excessively, leaving them both in a heap, before the Birmingham rider eventually took the win in the re run. Jonjo Slaughter was excluded in heat 4, before Chris Timms beat good friend Paul Heard to take the 4 points.
As is the tradition with this event, there is a ‘reserve’ race, and this served up just as much drama as the main event. On the first lap, Jason Ashford and Dave Frith had a coming together and the Leicester man was left with a nasty looking gash on his forearm. He was subsequently taken to hospital and ended up having 10 stitches. Ray Pyke won the re run.
Brooke won heat 5, first passing Timms and then catching Peck on the last lap, just having the legs to get around the outside. Defending champion Heard won heat 6 comfortably, Chadwick also following suit in heat 7.
Young Brandon Whetton, racing in his second event of the day, took heats 8 & 9 making full use of his grid 1s to put himself firmly in contention for a podium position, with Peck also picking up a valuable 2nd place from a tricky looking grid 4. Brooke rounded off the half by taking heat 10 to leave himself unbeaten after 3 rides.
Jamie Chittock won heat 11 after holding Heard out of the starts, before the Team GB captain was unlucky in clipping the outside curb and relegating himself to last place.
Chadwick won heat 12 from a fast charging Charlie Rumbold, before also winning heat 13. Peck also taking vital points with a last lap pass on Heard to keep himself in with a shot at the podium.
Ash Hill took an impressive win from grid 4 against Chittock and Timms in the next, before, after several re runs, Whetton inflicted Brooke’s first defeat in heat 15 riding a smart race to keep his own score ticking over.
Lewis Osborne took the 4 points in heat 16, while Peck took another impressive win from his second grid 4 to finish on 16 points. Ash Hill won heat 18, but the big battle was going on behind him.
With Whetton needing to beat Chadwick to force a run off for at least 2nd, the youngster led for 3 laps before the Aussie superstar managed to sneak up the inside and take a vital 2nd place and guarantee himself 2nd.
Osborne took his second win of the half in heat 19, before a crucial heat 20 got underway. Brooke, from the outside grid, needed a second to guarantee a run off for the title with Chadwick.
In the first run Charlie Rumbold was excluded for causing a stoppage and in the re run, despite passing Heard on the outside on lap 2, Brooke had too much ground to make up on Chris Jewkes, and so a run off for the title was needed.
Third place would also need a run off, Adam Peck and Brandon Whetton tying on 16 points. Whetton, in his 11th race of the day, drew the outside grid and was unable to find a way past the experienced Peck, who crossed the line in front to make it 3 successive podium finishes in this event.
Chadwick and Brooke, completing a Team Pedal Power 1-2, then capped the evening off with one of the most action packed run offs in recent years.
Brooke, going from the outside grid, flew out of the starts and managed to beat the diminutive Australian to the first corner. However after a little mistake on entering the second lap, he allowed the Aussie too much room on the inside and Chadwick eventually used his supreme bike handling skills to squeeze in front.
That’s how it stayed despite a last ditch effort from Brooke to retake the lead.
A fitting end to what is fast becoming one of the stand out events of the year. Massive credit has to go to the Peck family and the Great Blakenham club as a whole for the effort put in to make this such a great event.
Thanks also has to go to everyone who donated prizes for the raffle, at last count over £800 has already been raised for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, a vitally important charity which Jim supported year after year.
If anyone still wishes to donate then they can donate straight to the EAAA and reference ‘Jim Peck Memorial’ or contact Adam on 07793272890.