• Nick Lester

Tidworth Freeride Root 1 Series - Round 1

So this is the start of my race season. After what felt like the longest, darkest, wettest and coldest winter since Jon Snow went north of the wall, we finally had some amazing weather and some racing to do.

For those that don't know about the Root 1 Series, it's a grass roots, three race series held at Tidworth Freeride, and it kicked off with the opening round on a track called Sick Note.

The same happened last year, only this year the track had a new top half, and what a difference that made. A fast and flowy top half in to a rooty and sometimes tight bottom section, nothing big or scary, but a lot of fun and an ideal way to get introduced to downhill racing.

So the early morning start was made easier by beautiful weather for the track walk, which showed us that over the couple of days of practising before had taken its toll in places and the track "evolved"...and it would do a bit of more of that throughout the day too .

After signing on and getting my number board it was time to get some practise in, and after my first practise run I wasn't feeling too good .I messed up some lines and the stone cold brakes woke me up a bit too .

Second practise run was a lot better, everything felt good and I was ready to lay down a blinder for run one. Typically, the first race run was a blinder too, putting me in fifth and helping the confidence levels a lot. I knew there was a corner I could make some time on, and the bottom couple of berms could help me out if I stayed off the brakes, so being on run 2.

After a refuel and a brief chill I was ready to lay it down again, so with a leisurely push up to the stop and some last minute line checks I was ready to go. By this point the track was pretty blown out and getting seriously dusty, and a couple of corners looked a bit sketchier but it was all good, and as I got my count down to go, I took a big breath and went for it.

It felt good, it felt fast and it felt like it was an improvement. The timing screen told me a different story and I was fractionally slower, and I'd been nudged in to 6th.

Initially I was a little disappointed but I quickly realised that 6th was pretty good, I was 6 secs off the winner, and I was in one piece - all was good!

Check out the GoPro footage from my first run...

So that was my first race of 2018 done and, literally, dusted. It was a brilliant day, and an extremely well run event, to say I'm looking forward to round two is an understatement, but before that, I have Conquer The Cliff at the end of May to prepare for, so expect to hear about that one too.

#NickLester #TidworthFreeride #Root1Racing #downhillracing #downhillracingdorset #royalracing #mudhugger



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