Saunders rules at Spaxton. Brigwater Grasstrack Den Carter Trophy – Race Report and Results
An excellent club meeting took place once again at Bridgwater’s Spaxton venue. A good entry and plenty of good action on the track made for a good day for both riders and spectators.
Report and Result Images courtesy of Gareth Bemister
Action images courtesy of Tracey Bree of Methanol Moments Photography
Henry Atkins was in dominant form in the 250cc class. On a circuit that he confesses that he particularly enjoys, Atkins led each race from start to finish, putting on a high speed display of talent. Elsewhere in the class, Chris Johnson returned aboard his 2-stroke KTM machine and rode well to finish 2nd. The way he throws the machine into corners is a sight to behold; its a shame we don’t get to see more of Chris throughout the season, as there are very few strokers still running, and the experienced rider knows how to ride it!
Arran Butcher, fresh from his win at the Donut meeting last weekend, looked fast but again made poor starts and had to make up ground. In the final, Tim Greig managed to hold the youngster at bay to claim yet another rostrum and further his lead in the National Gradings. Adam Hawker continues to make huge improvements this year. I’m sure Adam won’t mind us pointing out that he is in great shape this year, and it has made a significant impact in his racing. The Malvern man looked very fast, clinching a win in one of his heats, beating our admin Ben Ilsley in his heat, and again in the final.
Barry Powell was equally as dominant in the 350cc class, taking three wins and then the final. Closest to him was Mark Taylor, who had a steady increase in form as the meeting progressed. By the final, he had the measure of 3rd place rider Wayne Broadhurst, even though Broadhurst had beaten him in an early heat. Taylor did not have enough to make an impact on Powell’s lead. After his long lay off due to injury, Powell is looking better than ever at present. In the battle of the Ashcroft brothers, it was Liam who got the better of Ryan both in a heat and in the final, with Richy Guest splitting the pairing to finish 5th.
The 500cc (Open) solo class was won convincingly by this season’s returnee Charlie Saunders, who looked very fast. Rob Finlow always kept with Saunders but couldn’t get within striking distance. In 3rd, having quite a lonely race all day, was Max Brown. His steady riding gave him a convincing 3rd place. In reality, the battle for 4th was where the racing was taking place in this class. Jason Newitt, Lee Madgewick, Luke Tuck, Jonny Vernam and Lee Charles squabbled keenly over the minor placings all afternoon, putting on some excellent racing.
Kenny Blain looked set to similarly dominate the Pre 75 class until the final heat where Ian Ian Gutteridge put in a tremendous effort to put a stop to Blain’s dominance. Blain had done enough already to win the class, but the two riders put on an absolute classic, swapping and changing places several times before Gutteridge just had enough to reach the line first by a wheel. A great race from these two. Tony George started the day slowly but gradually got quicker as the afternoon went on to claim 3rd.
Whilst Tim Curnock went through the card unbeaten in the Upright class, it looked as though Luke Cox would ride home for 2nd after finishing behind Curnock in the first three races. Then in the final heat, he spectacularly looped his machine, managing to step off the back of it before being dumped on the ground. He avoided injury, but could not avoid scoring no points and losing an almost certain 2nd place. Nigel Coates, who had been riding well all afternoon, capitalised on the missing rider and came home 2nd in the final heat, and 2nd overall.
Local riders Simon Heal and Rowland Broomfield were in terrific form in the 1000cc sidecars. The pairing won all of their heats and then the final without looking troubled.
Race of the day in the class occured in the second set of heats. Kieran Hicks/Robbie Simmons led the heat and were being hounded by both Neal Owen/Jason Farwell and Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler. A fantastic race was cut short when, first, a back marker became entangled with the leading outfits, and then Hicks/Simmons suffered a clutch issue. Mogg/Cutler capitalised on both sets of circumstances to win the heat.
In the final itself, it was travellers from Kent who were doing the overtaking. Will Offen/Sam Black had suffered the frustration of 3 2nd places in their heats. They were able to race their way past Mogg/Cutler early in the final, however, to secure another podium. The young Cornish crew of Hicks/Simmons also got the better of Mogg/Cutler to finish 4th. Due to that clutch problem, Hicks/Simmons had snuck into the final when 5th placed point scoring duo Dave Buckley/Marc Dibsdall had to pull out. The youngsters took advantage of lady luck and scored a deserved 4th.
The old and new class provided more entertainment. After being beaten by youngster Thomas Newton and his uncle Ben Bushell in their opening ride, Mark Courtney and Leon Torres dominated the meeting, winning the remaining three rides. Newcomers Adam Furneaux and Dillon Newton rode solidly all day to pick up 3rd, whilst Gerry Wheeler paired with another former British champion in Lyn Green to entertain the crowds with a nostalgic display.
George Colvin continues his domination of the Auto Cadets this season by making the long journey from Sussex to win the class convincingly. Harry Cutler had to fight hard for his second place as Charlotte Arthur put in some strong performances and looked set for 3rd until her bike stopped in the final heat. Local youngster Regan Smith’s impressive straight line speed also gave Cutler a lot to think about, and young Devonian Rylan French was never far away either. Some good racing in the Autos, but Colvin was in a different class.
The same can be said for Cameron Taylor. The youngster has been flying this year and won every race from tapes to flag. Max Perry was able to be the best of the rest all afternoon, finishing second, althouh he was challenged several times by Aiden Arthur. Some close racing between Arthur, Kelsie Buck, Charlie Palmer, Zak Batey and Max Derrick makes it clear why this class is so competitive at present. Young Isle of Wight racer Archie Cale competed in the opening ride but was not seen again. Hopefully we’ll see Archie back soon.
Another good day’s racing for Bridgwater.