Huge Weekend of Grasstrack – Here’s whats happening!
After the brutal disappointment caused by last weekend’s horrendous weather, Grass Track fans have plenty to get extremely excited about this coming weekend, with wall-to-wall Track Racing action all over the country.
Report by Gareth Bemister – Feature image courtesy of Mick Jenness
Starting on Saturday afternoon, Fenland Grasstrack Club present the ACU British Youth Grasstrack Championships for 2018. All of Britain’s top youngsters will be in action at the superb Cambridgeshire venue. Heading the Auto Cadets (the youngest class of Grasstrack) will be Sussex-based lad George Colvin. Having topped last year’s National Gradings List, he looks like doing the same again this year. However, the one thorn in Colvin’s side this season has been Ollie Binns, who has notched up several meeting victories over Colvin this year. With 9 children entered in this year’s competition, the youngest racers look healthier than they have for several seasons.
The Cadet class is the next age up, and it looks, on paper to be a close affair. Last year’s Auto Cadet champion Cooper Rushen made the step up to the Cadets in 2018 and has been in excellent form, winning several meetings. However, a threat has travelled overseas in the form of Sand Racing expert Thomas Vining. The young Channel-Islander has limited experience on the Grass, but has already managed to win meetings on the mainland, including a win over Rushen earlier in the season at the Eastern Centre Championships. Add into this mix Norwich New Stars talented racers Mitchell Bowman, Rico Joyce and last year’s Gradings List topper Alfie Attoe, and the class is looking highly competitive.
Moving up the age brackets, the Junior class has plenty of talent on offer too. Last year’s Champion Max Perry will really have his work cut out to defend his title. Surely the favourite amongst them is Cameron Taylor? He won nearly every meeting he entered last season, but the British Championships just slipped away from him. He’ll be eager to make amends for this, and he has hit the meeting in form, winning two weeks ago at Ledbury. This season, however, it is another Norwich New Stars undergraduate, Kenzie Cossey , who leads the National Gradings coming into the meeting.
In the oldest event in the youth, the Intermediates (on 250cc machines for the most part), Jake Mulford looks set to defend his British crown. He has, once again, proved himself one of the country’s hottest young talents at present. But he too must contend with a threat from the English Channel in Dan Clark. The Sand Racer has gathered plenty of Grasstrack experience in the last few seasons to pose a real threat to Mulford. Could the Channel Islanders go back with two British titles? One other rider in great form is Lincolnshire rider Mickie Simpson. Son of former British Masters Champion passenger Shaun, Mickie has had lots of speedway experience in his formative years, but recently has got himself going on the Grass once again. He took an impressive win at Ledbury two weeks ago and could be the rider to take the fight to Mulford on the day. A line-up of Adult GT140s will support the youngsters in what has shaped up to be a great day’s racing.
After the dust has settled on the Youth scene, three lads who would have been taking part in British Youth Grasstrack Championships themselves several years ago join forces to try and bring home the FIM ‘Don Godden’ World Team Longtrack Championships. Chris Harris, James Shanes, Zach Wajtknecht, all regulars on the British Youth Grasstrack scene in their boyhood, join with Anglo-French racer Adam Ellis to form Team GB. Racing starts at 19:30 our time and can be seen live on YouTube. Plenty of updates will be found on Grasstrack Banter as the meeting progresses, along with live updates from team boss Mitchel Godden. More information can be found out about this event by following these links:
So onto Sunday, and once again Grasstrack is abundant up and down the country. We shall start geographically North and make our way down the country!
If you find yourself in the North of England this Sunday, you definitely should pop to Pickering’s 4th Club Grasstrack of the year. So far this year, the club has already hosted a comeback for injured rider Paul Cooper, and an adult debut for teen-starlet Kyle Bickley. Expect more surprises on Sunday. Details can be found on the poster or on Pickering and District Motorcycle Club’s Facebook page.
Heading South, the Fenland Club open up their second day of racing for the South Midland Centre Championships. Heading the line-up there will be New Zealand Speedway ace Bradley Wilson-Dean. With just two Grasstrack meetings to his name, Wilson-Dean has already proven that he can mix it with the very best the country has to offer. He put in a tremendous performance at the Master of Midshires event earlier in the year and, but for a lost cut-out, he looked like he might push for the podium. His Grasstrack journey continues at Fenland on Sunday. Excellent fields of riders in all classes are on offer, including solos, sidecars and the youth riders putting in another day after their British Championship meeting the day before.
And for the Southern fans, GTSA return to their superb Dig Dog Lane venue to host the ‘Dig Dog Dash 2’. The circuit was in fine condition earlier in the year for the British Clubman’s Championships and produced some fantastic racing. Expect more of the same on Sunday as several top names come together. Local riders Mark Giles and Dave Mears have been at loggerheads all season long. They clash once again on Sunday, each hoping to outdo one another. The Lefthand Sidecars are racing for two trophies in the same day; the John and Bob Penfold trophy and the Ernie Penfold trophy- two names synonymous with Lefthand Sidecar racing. They will actually have two separate finals to award these two prestigious trophies.
Paul Hurry leads a good 500cc solo lineup, with Andrew Whitaker, fresh from his excellent top 6 spot at the Masters a few weeks ago, travelling down from Yorkshire to take on Hurry. The 1000cc Righthand sidecars brings together once again the two young crews who’ve been entertaining crowds up and down the country- Tom Cossar/Wayne Rickards and Kieran Hicks/Kieron Ivy. Last time these crews met at Dig Dog Lane, it was Cossar/Rickards who came out on top. The young Cornishman and his Kentish passenger will want to turn the tables this weekend, but both crews must overcome experienced campaigners Paul Whitelam (teaming with Bradley Reynolds for this weekend) and Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters, who once again, proved that they are one of the countries very best by putting in a determined performance to grab 4th at the British Masters.
More details of all of the weekend’s events can be found on Grasstrack Banter (if you do a bit of scrolling, you’ll find all the line-ups as well as other details). If you aren’t planning on travelling to Morizes, France on Saturday night, be sure to tune in online and support our lads. With so much on offer, there really is no excuse to not get your backside trackside this weekend! Even the weather is playing ball this weekend! Wherever you’re heading, have fun and stay safe!