British Masters Grasstrack Qualifier – Event Guide and Preview
The British Masters Qualifier, the official gateway to the Grandest Stage of Grasstrack, takes place this Sunday! All details on the poster! It is one not to be missed. Here are 11 frequently asked questions about this prestigious event that we can clear up heading into this all-important meeting.
Report by Gareth Bemister – Action Images courtesy of Darren Nokes
Is it the British Clubman’s Championships?
Not this year. The title has been removed in favour of keeping the event’s focus as a qualifier for the British Masters. There are plans to reinvent the British Clubman’s title in the future as a separate entity.
How many solos qualify for the Masters?
Of the 24 entrants in Sunday’s meeting, only the top 8 finishers from all six rides will see a clear path to the Masters itself.
How many sidecars qualify for the Masters?
Of the 21 entrants, only the top 10 outfits will qualify for the Masters.
How are finishing positions determined?
Finishing positions, and therefore qualifying places will be determined by points scored throughout 4 qualifying heats, 2 semi finals and a final. The winner of the final will not necessarily be the winner of the meeting.
How were riders chosen for the Qualifier?
Riders who scored points on the National Gradings List in 2018 were invited initially. Once the riders from the list had all been invited, any gaps available were offered to riders of known ability.
How are wild cards chosen for the British Masters?
At the completion of Sunday’s Qualifier, 4 solo riders of known ability will be chosen by the ACU and 4 riders of known ability will be chosen by the organising club. In the sidecars, 2 wild cards may be chosen by the ACU. The only way a rider competing on Sunday may receive a wild card is if they are of known high ability and have suffered machine trouble or injury which has hampered their progression into the British Masters. Competitors who compete at the Qualifier but have a bad day, don’t suit the conditions or pull out with no viable reason will not be considered for wild cards.
What if a rider is injured or can’t compete in the British Masters Qualifier due to a prior commitment?
If riders of European standard are already committed to racing elsewhere on the day of the British Masters Qualifier, they may apply for a wild card to either the organising club or the ACU.
My favourite rider is James Shanes. Why isn’t he competing?
The top 8 solos from last year’s British Masters are already seeded into this year’s British Masters. The top 8 solos last year were: Zach Wajtknecht, James Shanes, Paul Hurry, Andrew Appleton, James Wright Andrew Whitaker, Tom Perry and Tim Nobes. The top 6 sidecars seeded through are: Gareth Winterburn, Mark Cossar, Rod Winterburn, Rob Wilson, Rob Bradley and Colin Blackbourn. They will all be directly seeded to the Masters in August.
How many races will there be?
There will be 28 qualifying heats for 500cc solos and 1000cc sidecars. The top 12 sidecars and top 16 solos at that point will race in 2 semi finals each. The day will end with 2 finals with the top 8 solos and top 6 sidecars competing. The day will also be supported by youth racing. Some of the country’s best young stars will be in action.
I love the 500cc sidecars. Will they be racing?
The British Masters is a championship for 1000cc sidecars and 500cc solos. The country’s very best 500cc sidecars will clash at the British Championships at Writtle, Essex on 7th July.
Why is the British Masters so important?
It is the absolute pinnacle of the season for the sidecar riders. And the biggest domestic title on offer for the solos. It also acts as a gateway into European and World Championship events for 2020.