Kennett makes flying return! Frittenden Flyer Grasstrack – Race Report and Results
Sadly, several nasty incidents marred what was otherwise another great day’s racing at the superb Frittenden Raceway in Kent on Sunday, as they staged their Frittenden Flyer alongside the South Eastern Centre Championships.
Race Report and Result images by Gareth Bemister – Action Images courtesy of Mick Jenness Photography
Two 1000cc sidecar crews, Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters and Gary Shearer/Bradley Reynolds were involved in a crash, leaving several of the racers suffering injuries. And no sooner had action restarted, yet another dreadful looking incident occurred as two Upright riders left the start line. David Hollingsbee looped on the start line, leaving Adrian Harden with nowhere to go but into the stricken machine, throwing him dramatically over the handlebars. The air ambulance was called to the scene, meaning that a lengthy delay ensued. Naturally, our thoughts and best wishes are with all of the fallen riders from the day.
However, in between these dramatic scenes, some excellent racing took place. In the 250cc solo class, Russell Little continued his good form to win all three heats to claim victory in the class, winning his first South Eastern Centre title. The 350cc class was eventually won by Mark Giles after yet more tussles with Dave Mears. Mears had the better of the heats, but Giles did what was required in the final.
The 500cc solos was won by Edward Kennett, who looks to have lost none of his class since an arm injury ruined his 2018 season. Martyn Sturgeon looked like he might trouble Kennett early in the final, before Kennett disposed of Sturgeon, winning the final convincingly.
The 500cc sidecars produced several talking points of note. In one heat, Natasha Bartlett lifted on the start violently, throwing passenger Curtis McAlinney from the machine. Bartlett, though, failed to notice that she was passenger-less and continued on. Remarkably, Bartlett was able to win the race from the back despite leaving her ballast at the start line. The rules state that two riders must be aboard the outfit, therefore a disqualification followed.
The final produced a real classic between arguably two of the best crews that our country has ever produced. Mitchel Godden/Paul Smith led the final, but were absolutely hounded by British champions Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown for four hotly contested laps. This was a great race and well worth a watch if you get a chance.
The 1000cc Righthand sidecar final produced a great win from Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott, who looked to be in great form. Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh could do nothing to stop Whitelam/Elliott. Tom Cossar/Wayne Rickards managed to claim 3rd, keeping their slender lead over Blackbourn/Pugh in the National Gradings List. Matt Fumarola/Gareth Williams were once again in good form, winning a heat and finishing 3rd in the other.
The Upright class was enhanced by a smattering of foreign racers, but none could match the speed of our very own Bob Dolman. Dutchman Martin Cazemier was closest to him, finishing second. The insertion of overseas riders in the class certainly added plenty of interest and hopefully will be repeated in the future.
After a day witnessing so many horrific accidents, the whole arena held their breath when Welshmen Alex Balman/Tim Phillips inexplicably crashed heavily in a Lefthand Sidecar heat. Despite landing very hard in the fastest part of the circuit, sighs of relief were felt when both rider and passenger were able to walk back to the pits. The class was eventually won by Rob Heath/Kyle Fish, with Steve North/Steve North Jnr producing their best result to date with an excellent second.
Although not all of the racing was able to be run, the Frittenden club once again produced a tremendous racing circuit and a Grasstrack with that ‘big meeting feel’. Congratulations to the club, but our thoughts are once again with the fallen riders. May they all have speedy, pain-free recoveries.