The Auto Cycle Union (ACU) has confirmed its partnership with Dave Willet of the X-Bladez Club and will collaborate with him and his crew on projects planned for the Kent-based Sellindge MX and other facilities.
The ACU is committed to facilitating seamless operations and fostering a conducive environment for all motorcycle sport activities. The organisation will support Willet and his associates in their endeavours to operate premium practice and training days and become ACU-registered coaches.
Willet and Co played a pivotal role in successfully placing a number of the UK’s talented youth motocross riders on the world stage last year, firstly in Romania at the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship and then in Belgium for the Coupe de l’Avenir.
While Willet was the front man, it was thanks to the efforts of his valued team, sponsors and, of course, the parents who shared their wealth of experience in race craft and training, to support the young racers. They all worked together to develop the youngsters’ on and off-bike talents and encouraged them to act in a professional manner while representing their country. This clearly made an impact with the ACU.
Sonia Goggin, the ACU’s Motocross Commission Co-ordinator said; “We look forward to supporting Dave and his support network every step of the way, to achieve outcomes that benefit the sport in the UK.”
Commenting on this important step forward, Willet added; “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with the ACU for our new plans. This partnership aims to achieve outcomes that will greatly benefit the off-road sport community.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide facilities that will introduce new concepts, making it easier for beginners to enter the sport. Additionally, we will be offering a variety of training opportunities under ACU affiliation.
“We are confident that this collaboration will bring positive changes to off-road sport in the UK, and we can’t wait to get going.”
Pictured: Dave Willet and team are passionate about nurturing the UK’s motocross fraternity.
In line with many organisers of large scale events, the Apico 2-Stroke Festival featuring the Red Bull Pro Stroke National heavily relies on the support of both local and national partners in order to successfully run its race meetings.
As plans for the 2024 Festival at Sellindge MX in Kent start to take shape, long-term partner Ovenden Plant Hire has renewed its relationship with promoter Dave Willet for the eighth edition of the event.
“It’s amazing to have Ovenden continue its support.,” said Willet. “The firm has been with us from the very beginning. Ovenden is a family-owned, Kent-based company with over 45 years’ experience in plant hire, haulage, contracting, and much more and the team behind it truly loves motorsport. It’s fantastic to have them on board in 2024. They’ve been such an integral part of making this event possible, and we couldn’t have done it without them. They’ve literally helped shape the event and venue.”
The 2024 Apico 2-Stroke Festival will be held over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of August at Sellindge MX, Kent which is located between Ashford and Folkestone.
Pictured top: 2019 Apico 2-Stroke Festival – #15 Bradley Wheeler, ACU British Open 2-stroke Champion and #91 Nathan Watson – who was picked for Team GB in the Motocross of Nations that year.
The Red Bull Pro Stroke National is set to be back with a bang in 2024, bigger and better than ever.
Running alongside the Apico 2-Stroke Festival weekend at Sellindge MX track in Kent, on Sunday the 18th of August, the Pro and Pro-Am event will see both MX1 and MX2 riders race against each other at the same time, on the same track. While this will make an epic spectacle for spectators, the competitors will have the reassurance of both classes being scored separately.
Festival promoter Dave Willet believes the Red Bull Pro Stroke National provides an important platform for UK racers to test themselves and put themselves in front of heavyweights within the sport. For example, Conrad Mewse deputed on a KTM450 against Tommy Searle in 2022, and upcoming young gun Billy Askew stepped up as a youth rider to compete against the adults and won the MX2 class, highlighting his skills to Red Bull in the process.
Willet outlined his thoughts; “While, like most, I am a believer in the 125 2-Stroke class as a stepping stone into Europe, it would be rash to discount MXGP as the pinnacle of the sport. Our aim is to offer a way to help develop our riders and the sport in the UK to help younger riders get on the world stage.
“Also, in 2023 the Red Bull Pro Stroke National was up there in terms of offering big prize money, perhaps the biggest for a single event in the UK. That’s important too and is an incentive that will continue.”
Pictured: Billy Askew at the 2023 Apico 2-Stroke Festival. Image credit: Adam Duckworth Photography.
The recently-launched official ACU Apico 2-Stroke Festival British 125cc 2-Stroke Championship will kick off at Hawkstone Park in March 2024, when the Fastest 40 takes to the iconic motocross track near Shrewsbury.
The 2024 Apico 2-Stroke Festival partnership with the Fastest-40 will see an eight-round, ACU-sanctioned British 125cc 2-Stroke Championship. The Festival at Sellindge in Kent in August will include a Saturday/Sunday double-header, providing two rounds of the series. The Fastest-40 will run the other six rounds on a nationwide basis.
There are few motocross racers who don’t relish the chance to race at Hawkstone. The chance to race and to rip up the famous Hawkstone Hill is an opportunity not to be missed. And, for some of the fastest youngsters in motocross, getting to mix it with several 125cc vets in a full 40-rider line-up, all fighting for a British title, on such a challenging track, will be a dream come true.
The ACU Apico 2-Stroke Festival British 125cc 2-Stroke Championship schedule is as follows;
Round 1 – March 30th – Fastest 40
Round 2 – April 20th – Fastest 40
Round 3 – May 11th – Fastest 40
Round 4 – June 1st – Fastest 40
Round 5 – July 6th– Fastest 40
Round 6 – August 17th – Apico 2-Stroke Festival
Round 7 – August 18th – Apico 2-Stroke Festival
Round 8 – September 7th – Fastest 40
“With some of the fastest youngsters in motocross sharpening up their skills for this championship, it’s going to be ultra-competitive, especially when you add-in some of the 125 veterans,” said Apico 2-Stroke Festival promoter Dave Willet. “I’m sure the atmosphere will be off the scale, and I can’t wait to see 40 riders in the main race battling right the way through the field.”
The ever-popular annual Apico 2-Stroke Festival has sealed a deal with the newly-renamed Fastest-40 Championship, previously known as the MX Nationals, to include and enhance the official ACU Apico 2-Stroke Festival British 125cc 2-Stroke Championship.
The 125cc 2-Stroke class has been a passion of the Apico 2-Stroke Festival organiser Dave Willet, a former 125cc 2-Stroke British Champion and avid campaigner, for the ‘almost-forgotten’ MX two-stroke category.
Willet launched the 2-Stroke Festival in 2017 with unwavering support from off-road parts and accessories distributor Apico Factory Racing, and it has increased in rider and spectator popularity.
The Festival format has expanded from its original two-day event to a new three-day format planned for a weekend in August 2024. And now the 2024 Apico 2-Stroke Festival partnership with the Fastest-40 will see an eight-round, ACU-sanctioned British 125cc 2-Stroke Championship. The Festival at Sellindge in Kent will include a Saturday/Sunday double-header, providing two rounds of the series. The Fastest-40 will run the other six rounds on a nation-wide basis.
The idea of the series is to provide an open platform for all 125cc two-stroke riders, whether they are youngsters with aspirations to shine on the world MX stage, novice riders getting out on the track for the first time or veterans getting back in the saddle.
Fastest-40 Championship organiser Paul Irwin explains: “I’m really excited to be working on this concept with Dave Willet.
“Our goal is to create a championship for 125cc two-stroke riders as a stepping stone to the official FIM European EMX 125 series. Riding a 125cc machine can be incredibly challenging, but we believe that introducing this championship series will help ease the transition up to the European series.”
Dave Willet, Apico 2-Stroke Festival promoter, added: “I’ve always believed that 125cc two-strokes should be given more exposure, with the potential for more talent to be discovered and developed. I’m really happy that Paul and I have come together to create a clear path for the next generation of riders.
“With our combined resources, I’m confident we can make a real impact in the UK and Europe.”
Further details will be posted soon.
Pictured: Paul Irwin (left) and Dave Willet (right) shake on the new collaboration.
The team behind the Apico 2-Stroke Festival featuring the Red Bull Pro Stroke National has confirmed its biggest-ever rider support for its 2024 three-day event.
Promoter Dave Willet and long-standing partner Dylan Brown of Apico Factory Racing have agreed a £15,000 deal for the increasingly-popular summertime race weekend which has become a firm fixture on the calendar for riders of all abilities, whether just-for-fun or fast-paced and competitive motocross.
The extended collaboration is expected to open the doors to the many high-end brands distributed by the Burnley-based trade firm, delivering more opportunities for rewarding riders across the ranks.
Commenting on the significant prize pot, Willet said; “Ever since my first event, one of my main concerns has been to support those who support us. After opening the event up to more riders and classes at short notice last year, I quickly realised I need to try and give back to more riders. Dylan and his partner Anna have been brilliant over the years and recognised I need the type of investment that will allow us to achieve just that!”
Speaking on behalf of the Apico team, Brown added; “Anna and I absolutely love coming to the Festival each year. Witnessing the riders and spectators enjoying themselves and the positive energy that comes with it is really inspiring. We feel it’s the best event to give back to the motocross community and, as such, we take great pleasure from being in a position to increase our level of support.”
The hugely successful Apico 2-Stroke Festival, featuring the Red Bull Pro-Stroke Nationals, will return to Sellindge in Kent in 2024, with the promoter announcing plans for it to be the biggest yet.
For 2024, the Festival will extend to three days and will continue to celebrate the joys of the two-stroke, but will continue with its development programme of embracing the many different fun aspects of motocross. An August weekend, which will be confirmed in the next few weeks, is pencilled in the diary.
Friday will have a heavy focus on youth racing, with plenty of track time on the main Sellindge track for youngsters mounted on 65cc-plus machines.
Two-stroke riders and Clubman classes will have the opportunity to shine on Saturday and Sunday with several ACU British Championship titles up for grabs. And, as in previous years, the gate will drop on Sunday for the Red Bull Pro Stroke Nationals – a firm fixture on the UK MX race calendar – where there’ll be a substantial prize purse, with healthy payouts across the board.
Looking ahead to what is anticipated to be a busy 2024 season, organiser Dave Willet said; “We’re putting together a winning package that promises to be an amazing weekend for all involved. By running over three days, we can provide plenty of track time for all levels of rider, and with support from the likes of Apico Factory Racing and Red Bull, alongside many other partners, we can ensure the riders are rewarded for their efforts. Our Youth racing will follow the EMX format, and our Try Out Experience will also be extended.
“Join us for the Apico 2-Stroke Festival featuring the Red Bull Pro Stroke National and help create some unforgettable memories. We look forward to seeing everyone at Sellindge next year.”
More information will be available soon. Check out the 2-Stroke Festival’s social media and website – 2strokefestival.com.
Image: Both Apico and Red Bull will return in 2023 to support the ever-evolving 2-Stroke Festival. Image credit: Adam Duckworth Photography.
The hugely successful Apico 2-Stroke Festival, featuring the Red Bull Pro-Stroke National, returned to Sellindge in Kent last weekend, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd of July.
Over 300 riders, including reigning and former British Champions, rocked up for the event which featured packed start-lines and non-stop action across a two-day celebration of all old-school style two-stroke motocross and modern-day four-stroke racing. It included ACU British Championship status for the 2-Stroke 125, Open, Evo and Super Evo classes. Its Over 40s Open 2-stroke attracted a packed field and, the Red Bull Noughties welcomed riders with machines from 2000 to 2008. The programme also included youth classes catering for 125, 250F, BW and SW85s.
Energy drinks giant Red Bull is once again supported the Festival over both days, with the Red Bull Pro-Stroke National Clubman MX1/MX2 and the Red Bull Pro-Stroke National, with classes for Pro/Expert MX1 and MX2.
With serious prize money and top-quality products up for grabs the racing was tight and competitive across all classes, giving the record Festival crowd plenty to cheer.
Saturday’s schedule was cut short due to a heavy dump of the wet stuff. The decision was supported by all riders as, thanks to the pre-event preparation and overnight maintenance, the track was in prime condition for the full set of racing on Sunday.
Conrad Mewse, Josh Gilbert and Tommy Searle were the ones to beat in the Red Bull Pro-Stroke National MX1 group. Mewse won both races in convincing style with Gilbert taking the runners-up slot and Searle third in both. Brad Todd was fourth and Martin Barr, who also contested and finished third overall in the British Open Two-Stroke Championship, was fifth.
In his adult debut, youth MXY2 star Billy Askew, is proving to be the one to watch. Having won the first Youth 250F race on Saturday. He fired out of the gate to go second and first and take the Red Bull Pro-Stroke National MX2 overall on Sunday. Dylan Walsh was second overall with a third and second and Josh Spinks, with an opening moto win followed by a sixth, rounded out the podium. Dylan Woodcock finished fourth, followed by Ollie Beamish in fifth.
On the British Championship front, Glenn McCormick cleaned up in the ACU British 125 Two-Stroke Championship with three wins from three starts. Young Wal Beaney took a third and two seconds and Rob Holyoake a second and two thirds. Twenty-seven riders packed out the grid for this popular group which saw former MotoGP race winner Bradley Smith take a solid fifth.
The ACU British Open Two-Stroke Championship was won by local rider Raife Broadley with a fourth place and two wins. Josh Coleman was runner up in all three races with MX1 Apico-supported Martin Barr topping off a busy and productive weekend with a seventh, fourth and third to secure third overall. The opening race of this British Championship class on Saturday was won by Matt Bayliss with Josh Coleman second and Tommy Searle, having a bit of fun and enjoying the sounds and smells of the smokers, in third.
Completing the British Championship classes were the ACU British Evo groups with combined Evo and Super Evo classes. Another local rider Steve Bixby made the British Evo his own by taking all three wins in the Evo Championship. Jon Barfoot went three-two-two to take second and Scott Allen’s sixth, second and fifth earned him third overall. From the world of Quad racing, Sheldon Seal was the runner up in Saturday’s first race. The British Super Evo saw the top three take the same finish positions in each moto with Josh Spinks, who was on fire having also secured third overall in the Red Bull Pro Stroke Nationals MX2, victorious in first place. Rob Holyoake, backing up his British 125 2-Stroke third place with another British podium placing in second and popular Welshman Glen Phillips in third.
Elsewhere in the Apico 2-Stroke Festival field, the Over 40s was won by Michael Chesney with three wins, followed by Paul Moore and Mike Allport. The Red Bull Noughties also had a clear winner with Charlie Nudds taking the honours, Josh Mayo second and Tom Brown third.
Sticking with the Red Bull featured classes, over 40 riders raced the mixed Pro Stroke Clubman MX1 and MX2. Ben Lambert, Paul Barrand and Chris Chapman completed the MX1 podium while Rheis Morter, John Waghorne and Connor Disano took the top steps in the MX2 class.
On the Youth scene, with over 60 riders booked in for the Youth 125 and 250F, the classes were split into A and B groups with qualification on Saturday deciding the grids. The 125 A class was won by Levi Saunders with Travis Laughton second and Max Corke third. Riding in the same group, the 250F was won overall by Liam Bennet, with Jake Cappa second and Reece Hall third. Billy Askew took the win in race one. Blake Monks, Jamie Taylor and Shane Woodsford were the 125 B top three.
The big-wheel and small-wheel 85s rode were out on track together. In the big-wheels, Charlie Richmond took the first two wins and Jamie Keith the third. Robbie Daly posted three third place finishes. The small-wheels was won by Ralph-Jay Holloway with triple wins, Harley Ince was second and Mason Doe third.
In a first for an ACU-supported national motocross event, some 60 junior riders across Autos A and B, Electric E4 and Electric E5, alongside Revvi balance bike 12” and 16” models had a blast on a purpose-built track where they could contest their own races safely away from the main arena. This an area Festival promoter Dave Willet intends to grow and will be working closely with manufacturers and major players within this expanding industry.
Commenting on the seventh successful running of the Apico Two-Stroke Fesitval featuring the Red Bull Nationals, Willet said; “It’s been an absolute insane month. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready and while it’s been a lot, it’s been so worth it. I can’t express how much I appreciate all the patience and support we’ve had from everyone.
A big thank you to all the individuals, sponsors, and supporters who have helped us out. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be able to bring these events to life. I’m such a big supporter of UK motocross and I’d love to see our island become the go-to place for all things on two wheels.”
The Lee Dunham Racing (LDR) experience will attend the Apico 2-Stroke Festival at Sellindge, Kent, this weekend, July the 22nd and 23rd, offering tuition and try-outs on a small range of Kawasaki motocross bikes from the extensive LDR training range.
The taster lessons will be run using Kawasaki KLX140 small wheels (age 10-15) and KLX140 big wheels (age 13-plus). They are suitable for novice riders and those who want to improve their riding skills. LDR will offer professional coaching to help beginners get started with the basics of off-road riding, such as understanding the motorcycle, its components, and how to approach riding.
For riders who have already caught the motocross bug, and are already competing, the LDR sessions will offer guidance on how to take their riding to the next level.
LDR will be on hand throughout Saturday and Sunday. Booking in early each day is advised to secure a slot.
Commenting on the LDR initiative at this year’s Apico 2-Stroke Festival, promoter Dave Willet said; “We know getting started on a dirt bike can be a little intimidating, so we’re offering a safe and comfortable environment for beginners and new riders to enjoy the experience. Lee is an expert and will guide riders through every aspect of off-road riding, dishing out a whole load of confidence on the way.
“We look forward to seeing huge grins when visitors to the Festival either get on two wheels for the first time or improve their riding skills!”
A pay-on-the-gate option is available to spectators, but money-saving advance tickets can be bought online right up until 6pm on Friday, 21st July – BOOK HERE.
Pictured: Lee Dunham was on hand to help Team GB at the recently held FIM World MX Junior Championship.
The seventh running of the Apico 2-Stroke Festival featuring the Red Bull Pro Stroke Nationals gets underway this Friday, the 21st July. The gates to the Sellindge track in Kent will open at midday on Friday for competitors to pitch up, park and get ready for a weekend of fun in the sun and enjoy a packed schedule of uber-hot racing.
With the best part of 300 Pro-to-Youth riders signed up for the event, the early entry time will be welcomed by riders travelling a longer distance as well as for those who like to be organised and get set up well ahead of race day.
The best of British MX will contest the Festival classes with Tommy Searle, Conrad Mewse, Josh Gilbert, Dylan Walsh, Josh Spinks, Martin Barr, Dylan Woodcock, Ollie Beamish, Callum Mitchell, James Dunn, Brad Todd, Micheal Ellis, Glenn McCormick and Jordan McCaw all in the mix. Top road racer Bradley Smith is also racing and, while taking a short break from World Superbikes, Scott Redding will be at Sellindge in a team manager role to his Shredxtv 125cc riders Brad Jones and Josh Daniel.
Youth MXY2 star Billy Askew will, in his adult debut, go up against the pro riders in the weekend’s Red Bull Pro Stroke Nationals, and is sure to give team-mate and mentor Searle a run for his money!
On the youth front, and fresh from contesting the FIM World Juniors, Robbie Daly will contest the BW85 class going up against the likes of Charlie Richmond and Jamie Keith.
Saturday’s schedule will start at 9am with the first ACU British Open 2-Stroke Championship class practice. Twenty-minute practice sessions will follow for all classes with the BW/SW85s out last. The racing will kickstart with the ACU British 125 Open 2-Strokes at 11am.
Sunday’s timetable will also start with a 9am 25-minute practice session for the Red Bull Pro Stroke Nationals MX1 and MX2. The practice block will host 10-minute sessions for the rest of the classes, finishing at approximately 10.35am. Sixteen classes which are guaranteed to provide non-stop race action will follow.
Spectators will be spoilt for choice with so much to watch and are advised to rock up early to enjoy what is anticipated to be the best weekend of motocross racing in the South East this summer.
A pay-on-the-gate option is available to spectators, but money-saving advance tickets can be bought online right up until 6pm on Friday, 21st July – BOOK HERE.