A Lampkin Legend
Winners are a rare breed; such is the strength of their desire to finish in that treasured first position. Then we have the winners who want to break records which, as you would expect, comes with accumulating victories. Dougie Lampkin came to the ‘Scottish’ as a very young child knowing his famous uncles and cousins had competed, with uncles Arthur and Alan taking victories before the winning years of his famous father Martin. He made his first competitive appearance in 1993, taking the Ian Pollock award for the Best Newcomer in 7th position. In 1994 he would take the first victory, followed by more in 1995 and 1996 before committing his riding to the world championship series. In 2008 he started a winning run, taking further victories in 2009 and then from 2012 dominating the event until his latest victory in 2017. His single-mark winning score equalled that of Gordon Jackson in 1961 but Lampkin parted with his on the final day. I think you will agree that the title ‘Legend’ sits very comfortably on the shoulders of the 41-year-old Yorkshireman.
Glorious sunshine was cast over the whole event, including the traditional ‘weigh in’ day and the six days of competition. The event organised by the Edinburgh & District Motor Club Limited received a huge vote of success for all concerned, agreeing that this year’s event had been one of the best for many years. The team who makes it all happen is headed by the Clerk of the Course Jeff Horne and the Secretary of the meeting Mieke de Vos who delivered a superb event, it’s a simple as that. They had listened and taken on board how to take the event forward, and aided by the excellent weather received very few complaints – and quite rightly so.
ACTION ALL THE WAY
The scores had been close all week before Dougie Lampkin went clean on his early day, Thursday, to make his challenge for the 11th victory. As with many Scottish Six Days Trials a new star is born, and this year that title goes to 19-year-old Jack Price. He tried all he could but in truth he knew that Lampkin would take some beating. With no marks lost Lampkin arrived at the Lower Mamore hazards on the final with the record set by Gordon Jackson in 1961 the one to beat. Barring a disaster the victory would be his anyway. He spent a good five minutes checking out the line he would choose, before making his attempt at the final hazard of the group. He was inch perfect around the tight rocky corner in the boulder strewn river and he would gently open the throttle of the machine. He knew his front wheel was off line and took the safety ‘dab’. The two observers had noted it and it went into the scoring book. Lampkin paused at the top of the hazard for a few seconds, no words spoken either during his attempt or after. Showing a truly professional attitude to it all he picked his rucksack up and rode off. Yes that is the trials legend that is Dougie Lampkin, a role model for any aspiring young trials rider.
DAY 1: CLEANS GALORE
The event started in the glorious sunshine as the first of the 275 riders departed from the trial’s base at the West End car park in Fort William. The Mediterranean-like weather was welcomed by everyone involved with the six days of action. The entry would take in 30 hazards on the 66-mile course. Such was the dry conditions that no less than five riders tied for the lead, having all completed day one clean. The defending Scottish Six Days Trial champion Dougie Lampkin (Vertigo) was one of these riders, with his faultless performance matched by local favourite from Kinlochleven and recent winner of the Pre-65 Scottish Gary Macdonald (Scorpa). The 2016 FIM Trial2 World Cup winner Jack Price (Gas Gas) was joined by Andy Chilton (Scorpa) and Jack Sheppard (Beta) as the other early challengers who never parted with a mark.
DAY 2: SO CLOSE
Dougie Lampkin remained unpenalised on day two as he edged himself into a small lead, having shared the top spot with four other riders going into the day. One other rider remained feet-up on the second day of competition and that was Spain’s Jordi Pascuet, who moved into second position overall having parted with a single mark the day before. Teenager Jack Price kept his sights on a first victory with a daily loss of three marks to slot into third place overall. In close company was his even younger compatriot Thomas Minta, who was chasing the Best Newcomer award. He held fourth position in the overall rankings so far and was just one mark in front of the much more experienced duo of Jack Sheppard and Gary Macdonald. A many times runner-up in this event, Michael Brown made his chances of finally clinching a victory more difficult as he slipped further away from the leaders despite moving up to seventh spot overall following a daily total of five marks on the day’s 88-mile course.
DAY 3: ALL TO PLAY FOR
With the sun continuing to shine and an 85 mile course to ride Dougie Lampkin kept his feet firmly on the footrests to record yet another clean performance to continue to hold the lead at the halfway stage of this year’s Scottish. Having come close on other occasions in the past Spain’s Jordi Pascuet continued to pursue his dream of a victory, sitting just three marks back from Lampkin after he added two marks to his total. Whilst Pascuet was using his experience to keep in contention nineteen-yearold Jack Price remained locked on three marks overall with his Spanish rival in third place. Suffolk-based Jack Sheppard mirrored Lampkin’s and Price’s clean performance on the day to move up to fourth spot, on a total of four marks which matched Thomas Minta who continued to impress in his first SSDT. Showing his best riding of the week Michael Brown was one of the five riders to stay clean on the day and remained in touch with the leaders despite sitting in seventh place.
DAY 5: ON TARGET
Closing in on a historic record-breaking eleventh Scottish Six Days Trial victory the former 12-times FIM Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin remained feet-up for a fifth day in succession as the sun continued to shine on his back. Jack Price could be the one to pounce if the leader parted with any marks as Lampkin had his eyes on becoming the best ever rider in the ‘Scottish’ in his quest to remain clean and beat the lowest-mark scoring victory of a single mark set by Gordon Jackson in 1961. In only his second six days trial, Price was putting in a very mature ride as he fought to keep his fellow rival to Lampkin Michael Brown at bay. Jack Sheppard lost five marks but still held fourth position, unfortunately losing sight of a top three position. The top foreign rider Jordi Pascuet parted with just three marks to climb back up the order to fifth position overall. The six days newcomer Thomas Minta remained steady in sixth position, with Scotland’s best performer Gary Macdonald next, leaving fellow Scorpa rider Andy Chilton in eighth followed by Sam Haslam and Richard Sadler.
DAY 4: CONFIDENT
A strong and confident Dougie Lampkin is always hard to beat, and he ended day four having ridden 120 sections without parting with a mark. In a solid display on his early start day, as the riding numbers are rotated on a daily basis, he looked totally focused on a record-breaking eleventh victory and chasing the new record of completing the event parting with no marks.
Thursday is the longest day of the 2017 event, taking in 97 miles, as Sam Haslam used this late starting number to equal Lampkin’s clean ride to move into ninth position. Fellow Gas Gas rider Jordi Pascuet started the day as the overnight runner-up but slipped to eighth place as he added a ten-mark loss to his overall score. In contrast Jack Price moved into a clear second position just five marks behind the much more experienced Lampkin with two days remaining. Price now had a two-mark advantage over Michael Brown in third position who had made good progress up the leader board over the previous two days and was still in contention for a much sought-after victory.
DAY 6: A ONE-MARK WINNER
Forty-one-year-old Dougie Lampkin rewrote the history books as he claimed an unprecedented eleventh Scottish Six Days Trial victory with his best performance ever in this iconic event. Losing just one mark on the sixth and final day, he equalled the feat of Gordon Jackson who finished on the same score back in 1961 on an AJS. He needed just one steadying dab in the second section of the two at Lower Mamore, as his front wheel moved off his chosen line, to run out a clear and comfortable winner after staying feet-up in the other 179 hazards. He was followed home by Jack Price who showed mature composure throughout the week to finish as a very worthy runner-up. A regular on the podium at the event, Michael Brown secured third position as he enjoyed a much improved second half of his week’s riding after he had slipped down the order mid-week of the competition. Brown’s strong riding kept Jack Sheppard off the rostrum, much to his disappointment. Enjoying his six days of riding Thomas Minta rounded off his week in fifth position.
Just look at the 100% concentration in those eyes! Dougie Lampkin gives the hazard a very close inspection, using his photographic memory for every part of the hazard.