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RACE REPORT: Arenacross UK 2024 Finale, Wembley Arena

RACE REPORT: Arenacross UK 2024 Finale, Wembley Arena

So the dust and the track has been cleared away from the 2024 Arenacross UK Tour, and whilst all Championships are unique, this one will go down as being something quite historic.

Words: Ben Rumbold. Images: Arenacross UK

As you’ll no doubt have heard by now, the Stark Future team brought in Jack Brunell, one of the most experienced racers in the Arenacross line-up, to race their all-electric Stark Varg alongside former 250 East AMA Supercross Champion Justin Bogle, and to start with at least, young British charger Eddie Jay Wade.  And after ten years of trying, Jack not only won his first ever Main Event in the series at the Manchester opener, but through sheer consistency and solid speed when it was needed, took the title of Arenacross British Champion for the very first time.  The historic element to it was that for the first time in any motorsport Championship, worldwide, an electric machine had beaten traditional combustion engines win a series.  Stark Future Founder and CEO Anton Wass came to Wembley and produced a special golden axe for Jack in recognition of his achievement.

Gold at last: an incredible moment for Jack Brunell, who brought the title home for Stark Varg in thee 2024 British Arenacross Championships.


As Jack said in the post-race Press Conference, he “didn’t feel good at all in practice as I was putting so much pressure on myself, but when the gate drops a different rider comes out!  After the heat races I knew I had a good chance of being on the podium tonight without taking too many risks.”  He qualified only 8th fastest as the returning Frenchman Cedric Soubeyras pipped Spaniard Jorge Zaragoza by a quarter of a second, with his Dirt Store Kawasaki teammate Thomas Do in 3rd.  Hang on, though, wasn’t Cedric supposed to be in India?

Dirt Store Kawasaki’s Cedric Soubeyras ended up winning the last two rounds of the series.

“The organisers there decided to disqualify me from the last race, which was completely against the regulations as there was no warning, no procedure for that”, said Cedric about his clash with Jordi Tixier at the second round of the Indian Supercross League, “so I gave them a chance to call me and explain their decision before I committed to going there this weekend, and they didn’t call me so I got on the phone to Matt again.”  No doubt that promoter Matt Bates was happy to have Cedric back onboard after many of his star riders had hurt themselves through the series.  He must have winced, however, when Soubs collided with Adam Chatfield over the finish line jump during the opening lap of heat one, and hit the ground hard!  “Oh no, another one!” was what he admitted to saying later.

Cedric himself felt that his night was over as he landed in a heap, but he got up unscathed and the bike was straight enough to continue.  His charge through the pack to fourth was something to behold with serious whoop speed truly firing him past many on the tight and narrow circuit.  Justin Bogle, the most likely to deny Brunell the title with the double points on offer in Wembley, cruised to an easy win ahead of Do and Chatters himself, who is yet again threatening to retire 11 years after winning the inaugural Championship.

Justin Bogle looked fast but it was destined not to be his night.

Heat two saw Brunell out front early ahead of Zaragoza, back on a Stark but this time in FUS Marsh Geartec Racing colours as a stand-in for the injured Harri Kullas.  Dylan Woodcock also charged through the pack to catch the two Starks, forcing Zaragoza to make a move on Brunell that left the red plate holder firing into the tuff blocks down the start straight! Despite wiping out three blocks, a floor-based spotlight and nearly a photographer, Jack stayed upright and finished 3rd as Woodcock fell just a second short of Zaragoza at the finish.  A friendly word was exchanged on the whoop section after the finish between Jack and Jorge, who have trained together in Spain a lot in the last few months… “I said to him well done, but I also said ‘listen Jorge I thought you were riding with our team, so you gotta move over!'”

Jorge Zaragoza was on the pace at Wembley!

German import Paul Bloy, on a K-Tech S-Tech KTM 350 SX-F, holeshot the third heat but quickly yielded to the flying Bogle, who looked to be sailing to victory when he got it all wrong on the jump before it turned onto the start straight! Woodcock again charged through to claim the win, whilst a marshall picked up the Stark and unwittingly launched it into the wall! Bogle did remount and pulled the coolest move of the night by pulling a wheelie and twisting the bars to straighten them while the front wheel was up there! Meanwhile, Bloy had got into a scrap with the other Stark of Frenchman Yannis Irsuti and made a sweet pass to take 2nd on the last lap and punch the air in celebration at qualifying directly to the Main Event!

Heat Four was holeshot by the remarkable 250 of Chris Bayliss before Zaragoza nipped past quickly, then Soubeyras and Brunell followed him through.  Cedric hunted down Jorge and took the lead on lap six, never to be caught again.  Do also got past Bayliss and joined the top three in the Main Event.

The Head-to-Heads, with the longest start straight of the whole Tour, were absolute belters compared to some of the tamer races we’ve had this year. Luke Burton pulled a shocker by beating Justin Bogle, who then pulled in and was done for the night!  Jayden Ashwell beat Elliott Banks-Browne after EBB hits the gate and nearly caught back up, then an absolute bar-banger between Charlie Putnam and Ashley Greedy had the crowd in raptures!  They collided in the first corner, both sprawling in the Tuff Blocks at the end of the start straight!  They both re-mounted at the same time and collided again in the next corner!  Greedy stalled and Putnam celebrated with pelvic thrusts that would have had parents covering their kids’ eyes!
Ben Clayton then won another proper bar-banger against Chris Bayliss. In the Semi-Finals, Luke Burton & Jayden Ashwell both headed into the Tuff blocks at the end of the start straight, but a Union Jack-kitted Luke stayed up to progress to the final and looked up at his rival on the way to the finish line.  Ben Clayton then won a close one against Charlie Putnam to join him!
In the final, after cutting tight into the first corner and hanging tough, Ben Clayton got through to the Main Event and was absolutely ecstatic!

Ben Clayton was a happy qualifier through the Head-to-Heads in Wembley!

Ash Greedy, after seeing his brother Josh clinch the ProAm Championship, cleared off in the LCQ to get to the Main ahead  of Banks-Browne and a scrappy Putnam who just held off Burton!  But there was no sign of Bogle,  who decided that he had rang his bell just that little bit too hard. “He sat down next to me and told me ‘dude, I’m not gonna ride, this is your night’,” said Jack at the Press Conference. “He’s such a cool guy, not a typical American that we expected, he’s got time for everyone and we’re a proper family at the test track.”

Brunell brought it home in front of his ecstatic home crowd!


Soubeyras left nothing to chance with a screaming holeshot in the final as Jack got right up there in second.  Woodcock and Greedy were right there but couldn’t match the speed of Zaragoza, who eventually hunted Jack down to claim second place as the Brit was just holding steady to wrap-up the series.  Woodcock held off Do for 4th and they were the only riders unlapped by the flying Soubeyras.

We’ve done it! Jack starts to celebrate as a genuinely happy Jeff Perrett moves in for the interview!

Finally Jack could celebrate as he brought it home, and the Stark Future crew were suitably overjoyed as well!  They still had work to do though, swapping the bodywork to bedeck Jack’s bike with golden number one plates (still incorporating his #155 number) and the gold#1 t-shirts were spread around.  It was an emotional time for everyone, and a brilliant end to a crazy tour.

Matt Bates revealed that they would be running an event “overseas” at some point in September, so look out for more information on that one, and Jack will be back with  the Stark to defend his crown in 2025.  Who will be there and what shape will the series take? That is all still to be decided but for now we all send Jack our profound congratulations for a stunning season, and we hope he sits back and enjoys the fact that he is the 2024 Arenacross British Champion!