February 6th, 2019.

Sheldon Seal made history at Le Touquet on Saturday when he recorded one of the best ever finishes by a British competitor in the 22-year history of the quad race.

Seal’s second place, 1m 49s behind the winner Matthieu Ternynck, has only ever been bettered by Paul Winrow, who won the race 18 years ago riding as part of a two-man team.

Throughout this year’s gruelling two and a half hour race, Seal was embroiled in a massive three-way battle with French stars, Ternynck and Romain Couprie, with each rider leading multiple times.

The result was only settled on the 12th and final lap when first Couprie’s hybrid Yamaha blew up on the straight and then Seal had to do a drive-through pitstop, allowing Ternynck to make a small break.

All riders are obliged in the French Sand Championship to make two pitstops, regardless of whether they need fuel or not.

“To be honest there was so much going on in this race that it felt like it was only ten minutes long!” said Seal, who has contested every round of the six-race French Sand series for the last two winters. “And after all that hard work, it feels amazing to finally get a podium finish in the Championship.“

Seal, who moved up to fourth overall in the Championship after Le Touquet, now says he is even more determined to try and win the 2019/20 series, which will start in October.

From now though Seal plans to take a rest from quads. Instead, he will focus on solo trials after he and fellow quad riders John Mitchell and David Vass had entries confirmed for the Scottish Six Day Trial which starts on the 6th of May. Seal will then come back to four wheels to start preparation for Pont de Vaux in August.

Only three other Brits made the top 50 in the 355 strong field at Le Touquet. Carl Bunce was 13th, Harry Miller 25th and young Scot, Lorne Sinclair, 48th.

Victory in the two-rider team category went to Brits James Bevan and Tom Roch who finished in 52nd, just four seconds ahead of the team of Tom Chell and Dafydd Davies!

In the overall points, Couprie’s last lap demise ended his outside chances of taking the title, ensuring that Antoine Cheurlin was crowned French Sand Champion for the first time.

Results: 1 Matthieu Ternynck, France (Yamaha) 12 laps. 2 Sheldon Seal, GB (Husky YFZ) 12. 3 Antoine Cheurlin, France (Yamaha) 12. 4 Jeremy Forestier, France (Yamaha). 5 Randy Naveaux, Belgium (Yamaha). 6 Mike van Grinsven, Holland (Honda).

British: 13 Carl Bunce (Yamaha) 11. 25 Harry Miller (Yamaha) 11. 48 Lorne Sinclair (Can-Am) 10. 52 James Bevan/Tom Roch (Yamaha) 10. 53 Tom Chell/Dafydd Davies (Yamaha) 10. 70 Laurence Stopps (Yamaha) 10. 71 Jamie Morgan (Honda) 10. 104 Simon David (Can-Am) 10. 109 Graham Guy (Can-Am) 9. 117 Katie Hodgson (Can-Am) 9. 124 Gary Fisk (Can-Am) 9. 147 Ben Russell (Yamaha) 9. 153 Stuart Marley (Can-Am) 9. 193 Derek Burns (Can-Am) 8. 216 Richard Freestone (Can-Am) 8.

British not classified: Oli Sansom (Yamaha) 10 laps. David Vass (Yamaha) 6. Ben Morgan (Honda) 3. Harry Walker (Yamaha) 0.

Final French Sand Series Championship Points: Cheurlin 722, Forestier 683, Couprie 585, Seal 565, Mazzeoleni 525, Van Grinsven 521.

Pictured: Sheldon Seal (33) battles for the lead with Romain Couprie at Le Touquet on Saturday. Photo: Anthony Brebant