Masterful. British Masters Grasstrack Championship – Race Report and Results
The pinnacle of British Grasstrack assembled in the Kent countryside at the weekend for the biggest Grasstrack event of the year, the British Masters which pitches the finest 500cc Solo talent against each other, and the most talented 1000cc Sidecar crews in the land.
Result images courtesy of Gareth Bemister – Action Images courtesy of Darren Nokes.
With a varied mixture of Clubman qualifiers, the top racers from 2016 and a few wildcards thrown in to spice it up, there were enough star names in the line up to attract a good crowd for the staging club Astra. Due to deteriorating track conditions the 4th leg of races was scrapped, meaning qualification to the final was decided by a combined score from 3 heats and the Semi Finals.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme in our Grasstrack coverage that we write about the winning exploits of Dorset based Solo racer James Shanes, as he has pretty much conquered all before him home and abroad this season and with another stunning performance he took the Masters title for the third win of his career. Another former Masters winner, Veteran Paul Hurry put in a tremendous performance for second, whilst Poole Speedway ace Edward Kennett has shown a new found liking for the green stuff with third. Another convert from the shale James Wright was 4th in the final with Paul Cooper in 5th. Young Charlie Powell rode well for 6th position in the final with another veteran racer Richard Hall in 7th with Adam Ellis making a rare grass appearance in the UK suffering a DNF. One of the main Star attractions Chris Bomber Harris had a day to forget crashing out in his first race then suffering mechanical gremlins as did Steve Boxall who didn’t even make the first bend of his first race. A surprise non qualifier for the final was World Long Track stalwart Andrew Appleton who finished down the order in 10th after the points were totaled up.
All eyes were on the Mark Cossar and Carl Blyth crew in the 1000cc Sidecars as they looked to continue their stunning run of form whereby they are yet to be beaten this season. In a fairytale performance Cossar and Blyth run riot over the opposition again, making up for losing out in the two previous season’s to take the title with an undefeated performance putting their names up there with the former legends of the sport such as Roger Measer and Steve Smith. The remainder of the Sidecar podium was almost a Winterburn takeover with Rod and Billy Winterburn claiming 2nd position in the final after qualifying in 4th with Gareth Winterburn and Liam Brown in third. After qualifying in third with two race wins, Paul Whitelam and Alan Elliot would have been disappointed to come 4th and miss out on a podium position., whilst double race winners Colin Blackburn and Carl Pugh came 5th with Rob Bradley and his replacement passenger Terry Madley retiring at the back.
In spite of the weather the Astra club put on another tremendous meeting which well and truly showcased the best of British Grasstrack.