Halo British Downhill Series – Wideopenmag’s Jay Williamson’s race report

Wideopenmag’s Jay Williamson tells us about his first National win at Bringewood.

Bringewood Halo bds #5… what a weekend! I had been looking forward to the race here all year having heard a lot of good things about the track. Having never raced there before I was keen to get on track.

I was surprised on the track walk as it felt a lot longer than other tracks we have raced this year but quickly found out that some sections were super fast so it felt much shorter than it looked. Saturday practice was a lot of fun and with the conditions being really slick it was all about staying on in some sections. I managed to get some good runs in during the morning making the most of the good weather before the real heavy rain showers moved in and me and team mate Rich Thomas decided to skip the last few runs of the day with nice weather promised for race day.

Sunday morning the track was really wet, but soon dried out causing a few sections of the track to be come boggy and hard work when on the pedals. For seeding runs I had made up my mind to sit back a little, I’d learnt from early races in the year in some cases that I had been over doing it in seeding therefore not feeling fresh for race runs. Seeding went well and I got all my lines and just went for getting a clean run down, ended up finishing in 4th which was good enough to know what I needed to do come race runs. Before heading up for my run there was a lot of talking going on about tyres changes with the track drying up, but I made the decision to stick with the Continental Mud King as parts of the track were still a little slick.

My race run went really well right from out of the gate. I had a good top section but made a mistake on the long boggy traverse part of the track, I knew that I was going to have to push hard and get back up to speed to have any chance of a podium.

Coming into the wood section at the bottom of the track I knew I was riding well so just tried to stay smooth and carry speed the best I could. With the table top and finish straight in sight I went has hard as I could….. and ended up taking over the hot seat which was a nice surprise with thinking a podium would have been a good out come.

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The final rider crossed the line and I had just been told that I had taken the win. I could not believe it, it was an amazing feeling to take 1st place! I’ve spent so many years working towards a podium this year let alone taking 1st. Looking back I had planned since Glencoe to step up my game. I placed 3rd at round 3 in Glencoe, then  2nd in Caersws round 4, then now the 1st at Bringewood round 5. I was stoked that it had worked.

I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone for the messages and congrats, and the Woodland Riders group that have done a lot for me and my racing with doing everything they can to get a race scene going in the south west, and trying to challenge and prepare us riders for the big races such as the HaloBDS series.

Thanks to all the Wideopenmag team/ and all the great sponsors we have also –  a special thanks also to team mechanic Chaz Curry who has done yet another great job this weekend with keeping the bikes in top order!

Thanks to Nukeproof, Conti Tyres, Fox Europe, Five Ten, Action Cameras, Unior Tools, TF Tuned Shox, Fenwicks and RoostDH.

Photocredit to Tyler @ Eyesdown / www.AlexTylerPhotography.co.uk