Mastering the Clubmans. British Clubman Grasstrack Championships – Race Report and Results
Report and Result Images by Gareth Bemister – Action pictures courtesy of Lawrence Hammonds
Young sidecar driver Tom Cossar and his passenger Wayne Rickards took the all-important winner-take-all final, having had an up and down day. The young crew stormed to two wins in their opening two rides, but then the scoring dried up for them. A solid semi-final ride saw them as the final qualifiers for the final.
The first running of the final was halted when Rob Bradley’s passenger Shaun Simmo Simpson was thrown from the machine whilst exiting the grippy pit bend. The rerun was to be contested without the former Masters champions.
In the re-run, Cossar/Rickards made no mistake, making a good start and taking the lead. Leaders of the first running of the final, Gary Gal Shearer/Sam Heath looked good for a rostrum spot, but their machine stopped. Another crew who had ridden well all day suffered mechanical problems on a circuit that seemed particularly tough on engines. Cornish youngsters Kieran Hicks and Robbie Simmons rode fantastically all day to qualify third for the final, only to suffer mechanical failure in the final. Simon Heal/Rowland Broomfield rode well all day, including winning their semi final, to pick up 2nd behind Cossar/Rickards, whilst Will Offen/Sam Black once again put in a highly consistent performance to finish 3rd.
One high profile casulty of the day was the unfortunate injury of Matthew Fumarola. He and passenger Gareth Williams collided with another outfit whilst leaving the start, and Matt suffered a painful looking injury. With the Midlands crew on such good form, they would almost certainly have been in amongst the top runners had they been able to continue.
In a similar twist of fate, another of the favoured crews, Myles Simmons and Bradley Steer blew a motor in their fourth ride. Having already raced to two 2nds and a win, they were safely into the British Masters but would take no further part in the meeting.
One final crew suffering an engine blow was John Hiscock and Terry Madley. The evergreen crew have been in excellent form in 2017 and will be notable absentees at the British Masters final.
In the solo class, it was a welcome return to Jamie Rodgers. After returning to racing two weeks ago at a club event held by the Pickering club, Rodgers raced to three heat wins before winning the final in convincing style.
Plymouth Devils youngster Callum Walker was in terrific form throughout the day, winning three of his four heats and finishing 3rd in the final.
But perhaps ride of the day should go to local Yorkshireman Andrew Whitaker, who put in a great race to finish 2nd behind Rodgers in the final, making it a Yorkshire one-two.
The top 12 sidecar outfits and top 10 solo riders qualify for the British Masters Championships due to take place at Swingfield on Sunday 10th September.