When the second round of the 2018 Michelin MX Nationals British Championship returns to Preston Docks, it will be to a radically rebuilt and virtually all-new track.
This will be the first time the north west circuit has undergone a major revamp of such magnitude. It will follow a total closure, during which time the current track will be totally demolished and sculpted, leaving very little of the former ‘Docks’ site for competitors and fans to recognise.
The plans for the new layout include a downhill start, reverse direction, completely rebuilt jumps, and it will be wider in a lot of places to allow for fast passing.
With round two being held in the middle of May, it is hoped that the weather will be better, which will allow for extra fields to be opened up for parking. Catering, trade stands, clean and tidy facilities, perhaps a beer tent and professional AA road signs will all add to the professionalism of the event.
MX Nationals’ director Paul Irwin, himself a former top-level motocross competitor, said; “We do appreciate that riders like to go to different tracks and, whilst it’s unfortunate that we’ll be running at the same track on consecutive rounds, we really don’t have any choice. When Lyng was ruled out for the opening round, we had two options; go and race, or don’t. The team at Preston Docks were amazingly flexible and pulled out all the stops to accommodate us over the weekend of 7th and 8th April, and it gave riders across all classes the chance to get the championship underway. We were always scheduled to go to Preston for the second round and, with the exciting development plans, can’t wait to get back there. We know how popular the Cadders Hill circuit is, and have been working with Andrew Hay of the Norwich Viking Club to try and squeeze in a round of the Nationals. Sadly, it is just impossible to fit anything in around our current programme of dates, and the ones already on the club’s calendar. However, we will definitely be back in 2019.
“However, I cannot stress enough just how different it will be. Lee McGarry is always one to push boundaries and the redevelopment plans are really ambitious. I can assure all involved that those plans will make it a venue worthy of both national and international championship status. The MX Nationals will be the first event to enjoy the new site – the up side of that is that it will be a level playing field for everyone.
“At the end of the day, we want all competitors to be able to go out, race hard and enjoy it. Happy racers make for great racing and, in turn, happy spectators.”
The second round of the 2018 Michelin MX Nationals will take place over the weekend of the 19th and 20th of May. A two-day weekend pass is just £15 on the gate . Children aged 12 and under go free. Camping is available from Friday onwards for only £10.
Words: MX Nationals Pics: Elliot Spencer