PACE-SETTER: Benny Russell in action on Sunday in the season's first Natural Terrain at Turkey Beach.
PACE-SETTER: Benny Russell in action on Sunday in the season's first Natural Terrain at Turkey Beach. Katrina Browh GLA190218BENNY

Ben rustles up top win

MOTORSPORT: Gladstone District Dirtriders Club rider Benny Russell used all of his experience to negotiate a tricky track at the Natural Terrain at Turkey Beach.

Russell collected 102 across three races in which he finished second, first and first in the Senior Open class to edge out Tyson Baxter by three points.

"It was good and a little bit different from the usual layout and the Natural Terrain had no jumps and it was pretty much a flat track, but with a few little bumps here and there," he said.

"It was good for a bit of a change from the normal tracks."

He said he enjoyed the 'battle' with his mate Baxter and added the result was 'pretty much what I expected'.

A major reason for that was because he started riding motorbikes at the age of five years back in Tom Price in his home state of Western Australia.

"I raced all through there until 2002 when we moved to Gladstone and have raced all over Queensland since then," Russell said.

He has a much bigger challenge later this year in the Red Centre.

Finke in mid June will be his third event in what is one of the hardest desert races in the world.

"I was out there in 2016 and 2017 and I loved it and it had a good atmosphere and it's well organised," Russell said.

"In second I ended up third in class one and 34th outright and last year I ended second in class one and 36th outright.

"I'm aiming for top 20 and hopefully first in class one this year and we'll see how I go anyway."

GDDRC secretary Julie Maeyke said the riders loved the Natural Terrain event.

"The feedback from the Natural Terrain was great and the track was awesome," she said.

"A bit of rain Friday made for perfect conditions and everyone enjoyed a new format and something different to the usual motocross race day.

"A number of new members joined the club and all riders are keen for the next Natural Terrain to be held."

That will be held on Sunday, April 1.



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