Hard enduro ace Mitch Harper made a tough sport fraught with random outcomes look like an easy trailride when he dominated the weekend’s enduro-cross races at the high-profile Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race in Adelaide.
The 24-year-old Victorian on the MotoGC Husqvarna FE350 featured prominently in Friday’s and Sunday’s Enduro-X support events, but dominated the weekend’s crowning two-wheeled event, the New Holland Enduro-X Cup on Saturday.
Harper fought off four challengers in the head-to-head one-lap battles to stamp his authority early, then went on to win all three Enduro-X Cup motos, raising the glass Enduro-X trophy in the company of runner-up Toby Price and third placed Husqvarna charger Lachy Stanford.
“I'm pretty stoked,” said Haaker. “I haven't done that much racing in the last couple years, so it's pretty good to win an intense race against those top boys.
“I won one on Friday, all three yesterday and one today after Palmer crashed in front of me and his rear guard ended up going through my spokes, so I came from last to about fourth, and then I won that last one. It was a great weekend.”
Price placed as runner-up despite poor starts…
“My starts let me down a little bit and I had to try and come through. But all the boys were riding really fast.
"To finish second on the main night was pretty cool, and I'm stoked to come away with podiums in both disciplines.”
Price podiumed in the V8 season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide
Stanford kick-started his own approach to the off-road racing season in vigorous style, nailing down five podium finishes in total across the weekend…
“I didn't know what to expect coming into it, because I've never been the best enduro-X rider. The first race wasn't the best but as the weekend went on I just got better and better. It was an awesome weekend for our sport.”
Final Result: 2016 Enduro X Cup
1. M. Harper 75, 2. T. Price 62, 3. L. Stanford 56, 4. P. Boyle 56, 5. J. Smith 47, 6. I. Long 42