Bevan part of 24 hour race team
Team Keitch ATV – consisting of four local quad racers – Chris Keitch from Dunkeswell, James Bevan from West Hill and Ami and Jack Price Draper from Plymouth, all riding Keitch Suzuki LT-R450 quads – took up the challenge of the 24 hour, non-stop quad race in Guilberville, France, last weekend.
They were the first English riders to take part.The 5km track consisted of 3km of woodland, the rest of the track being open fields and a tarmac section – a good flowing track.
After a siting lap, the race started at 4pm Saturday with a Le Mans start. Jack Price-Draper moved up from 23 on the grid to ninth by the end of the first lap. He held the position and changed with Chris Keitch after an hour. Chris was surprised at how much the track had deteriorated in just an hour, but took the team up to sixth position, swapping out with Ami Price-Draper. Ami felt under pressure, but rose to the occasion and handed over after an hour to fourth rider James Bevan – still in sixth place.
They maintained their position even when Ami had the first night session, the pits being the only floodlit part of the track. With very little or no sleep, all four riders and the pit crew got through the very difficult night-time hours with Jack and James managing to put in some even faster laps and move the team up to fifth.
As the sun started to come up the team were fourth. The next four hours were the hardest, with each rider overcoming sleep deprivation and mental and physical fatigue on a now horrendously difficult track, up to three feet deep in places.
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On hour 20, the team started to think tactically. If they tried to push too hard for the third, just one mistake could lose all we’d worked so hard for. Despite easing the pace, our riders still managed to increase their lead and secure fourth.
Ami was chuffed to win the trophy for the highest placed lady rider and the rest of the team were invited to join her on the podium to celebrate.
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Caroline Keitch said: “We were overwhelmed by the welcome we received. One team even gave us a bottle of champagne to toast our success.”