Despite a number of setbacks due to mechanical faults which have seen him fail to finish several races this season, off-road biker Harry Eccles has made a good start to his Expert category campaign in the Wirral Off-Road series.

Since recently changing his bike, the 18-year-old has seen his fortunes improve and has consistently finished in the top half of the table.

Harry has beaten some top riders along the way and is currently ranked in eighth place out of the 17 riders in the class.

After winning the Clubman Class last year and earning promotion to the Expert category, the Brandlesholme teen is up against a number of sponsored riders this time around – including two reigning British champions – all of whom receive financial backing from manufacturers and dealerships, which means the level of competition is high.

In March, Harry took fourth place in round one of the Putoline 2014 at Baden Hall in Shropshire with a time of 02:34:12, and last month he was seventh in round one of the Michelin 2014 in 02:10:30.

His father Andy, who runs the Dungeon Inn pub in Tottington, said: “As ever, the struggle is mainly financial for Harry. He has a couple of small sponsors who provide him with free graphics and CHC racing have been very keen with their pricing of his bike.

“But as with all motorsport, it is those with the money that seem to be able to rise to the top. It’s a shame but it is true.”

Last year, Harry’s season ended on a high as he won the Clubman Class in the Wirral Off-Road Events.

Despite again suffering mechanical issues, he was the clear winner having effectively clinched the title with two rounds to spare, achieving two wins and two runners-up slots.

Although he did not finish one event because of a puncture, he found himself 18 points clear at the top of the leaderboard.

Following the last race of the season, Harry entered the under-23 class in the British Championships in Hampshire and finished in an impressive third place.

Anyone interested in helping with sponsorship should contact Andy Eccles on 07572 526603.