Round 3 of the 2013 Spank Industries Dirt Wars series was scheduled to be held at the world famous NASS festival in Somerset but with just a month to go before the event we were informed that the festival would not be having any dirt jumps. That was a real blow as it was one event that we really looked forward to every year and as last years event was a complete wash-out, the decent summer weather the UK is experiencing at the moment meant that it was set to be a great year for NASS. But it just wasn't meant to be so we went on the search for an alternative venue and PORC (Penshurst Off-Road Club) in Kent was chosen.

It had been two years since Dirt Wars had been to PORC but we knew that the place was more than up to the job, with both a big Pro line & a smaller AM line that had been used for great events in the past. The super hot weather meant that it was hard work for both riders and crew putting on a comp in a quarry with not much in the way of shade but luckily the ez-ups helped give everyone a bit of a break from the summer sun.

Whether it was something to do with the scorching weather or the choice of venue, we didn't have as many Pro/Elite category riders turn up as usual. But on the flip-side of that we had a record turnout in Open/AM with 22 riders all wanting to make the final and win themselves some prizes! With such a large number we decided that it would be best to split Open qualifiers into two group, sandwiching the Pro qualifier in the middle and taking the top 5 riders from each group into the final. Again the Northern crew made the trip down, as did the Essex boys & of course the Kent based Team 7 riders were present and correct. It ended up being many of the usual riders who impressed the judges enough to secure a place in the open finals but a few new faces such as Ollie Green & Callum Hosie, both repping from the South West, managed to squeeze themselves in there too. Olly Parker was also back & looking dangerous!

With 10 riders in the Pro category at the beginning of the day we only had 7 make it into qualifiers after Clinton Johns & Tom Reynolds both took spills in practice; Tom's actually turned out to be a broken radius, so respect to Tom for chilling all day in the sun & best wishes on a quick mend. Adam Williams also wasn't feeling it with a combination of the heat and previous injuries making him sit this one out. The standard was so high in Pro and Spank UK's rider, Freddy Pulman, who had been sending some of the biggest flat spin 360s couldn't hold it down as cleanly as he had in practice. Transition/Terminal 1's Rob Welch also got knocked out of contention in quallies even tho he was consistently sending back flip transfers from the Pro line, into the AM and finishing off with 720s - so this was a clear testament to how well everyone else was riding!!

As the second group of open riders had only just had their qualifier, the finals had to be flipped round and we kicked off with the Pro category. The judges had decided to try something new this time round and would only give a score to runs that were fully completed and ridden away from - this does kinda have some merit to it but was quite controversial to say the least! However this did leave Smuggling Duds rider Ryan Nangle with a score of 0 in the finals as although he was the only rider to 360 the step-down at the start, he didn't manage to hold together a run through the whole line. In the end it was Identiti's Daryl Brown that took first place with a comfortable lead over Matt Jones in second. Daryl just bossed each run with clean execution and a high level of technicality. Only 1 point separated Matt from DMR's Ray Samson in third - some people thought it should have gone in Ray's favour as he did look more composed through the line but Matt's huge superflips sealed the deal.

1 - Daryl Brown - 52
2 - Matt Jones - 45.5
3 - Ray Samson - 44.5
4 - Wig Lewington Booth - 40
5 - Ryan Nangle – 0

With two riders from the first Open qualifier group tied for fifth place there ended up being 11 riders put through to the Open final. PORC is a familiar and well used spot by a large number of the open riders and this soon became apparent in the way everyone brought their 'A-Game' to the final! The rule of no points unless you finish the line caught out both Callum Hosie & Olly Parker, even though Ollie was the only rider to 360 the smaller line's set up jump & was sending some lovely looking midset twists. It had to be the closest fought Open final we've ever had with two people tied in 6th, only 2 points separating 5th & 3rd as well as the top two riders also landing on the same score. In the end it went down to two of the judges giving Tom Cardy a higher score and it was another win for team Essex! Team 7's Sam Hunnisett rode really well for second with midset 360-whips and a much more composed style than normal but Tom Cardy's mini flips on the setup just edged him infront. 3rd place went to Andy Crawford with some great 360 variations putting him one point infront of Jack Ambler, who was just one point ahead of Edinburgh's Danny Stewart in 5th.

1 - Tom Cardy - 42
2 - Sam Hunnisett - 42
3 - Andy Crawford - 37
4 - Jack Ambler - 36
5 - Daniel Stewart - 35
6 - Joe Simkins - 31
Kerry Pert - 31
8 - Ben Nolan - 26
9 - Jamie Ledson - 21
10 - Olly Parker - 0
Callum Hosie – 0

Best trick comp saw almost all the riders jump on their bikes as it was being judged on the last jump of the sets which had a nice mulched out landing. We saw body varial attempts, riders going for 360 double whip to xups, others looking like triple truckdrivers were on the agenda but in the end it was Olly Parker who after a few attempts nailed one of Damian Devlin's signature tricks, the Sausage roll; an invert barrel roll thing that just looked crazy. Big props for him for taking the Slam69 best trick after not doing as well as he should have in the final.

So that was another round wrapped up and what a beauty it was. It was a treat not to be worrying about rain heading our way or damp conditions on the trails and it certainly made a nice change from the previous two rounds. It was really refreshing to see how many Open category riders there are willing to comp it out and use Dirt Wars not only as a way to show off their skills but to develop further and push their riding to the next level. Lets hope it continues this way!

The next round will be confirmed in the next week or two but keep the last couple of weekends in August free...


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