The Astra Grasstrack Club are staging their first meeting of the season at Smersole Farm, Swingfield, near Folkestone on Sunday May 15th
The solo line up of 24 is headed by current World Longtrack and three times European Grasstrack Champion Jannick de Jong plus three times British Speedway Champion and current GP competitor Chris Harris and present British Masters Champion James Shanes. Add to these former European and four times Masters Champions Andrew Appleton and Paul Hurry, British number one Longtracker at present Richard Hall, former Division Two Speedway riders Champion James Wright and track record holder Tim Nobes. The remainder of the field consists of Lakeside Speedway’s Rob Mear, so unlucky at last year’s Masters, Rodney McDonald, Callum Walker, James Hartley, Ben Millichap, Charley Powell, Mark Giles, Martyn Sturgeon, Gareth Hickmott, Andrew Whitaker, Adam Filmer, Mark Baseby, Matt Saul, Warren Atkinson, Jamie Fenn-Smith and Lee Bartlett.
The solos will compete for the Malcolm Simmons Trophy in memory of the Kent raised Speedway and Grasstrack legend who sadly passed away two years ago. In addition to claiming a runner up spot in Speedway’s Individual World Championship Malcolm won gold in the World Pairs and Team Cup events. The trophy will be presented by Malcolm’s widow, June.
Right Hand 1000cc Sidecars also number 24 including current Masters Champions Colin Blackbourn/Carl Pugh, four times winners Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth, double winners Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters and Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott who have also won the title. Biggest danger to these four is likely to come from youngsters Gareth Winterburn/Liam Brown though there are many other top crews including Myles Simmons/Kevin Woodley, young chargers Gary Shearer/Sam Heath, Matt Fumarola/Gareth Williams, Robbie Wilson/Bradley Steer, Simon Heal/Rowland Broomfield, Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler, Will Offen/Nicky Owen and back after injury Andy Gribble/Ben Schofield. Also included are Guernsey Sand Racers Clint Blondel/Ross Young, so promising Tom Cossar/Hayden Evans, Jeff Measor/Ashley Williams, , Simon Beaney/Gareth Bemister, John Hiscock/Terry Madley, Trevor Heath/Kieron Bonner, Tom Marvel/Jon Miller, Lee Jones/Matt Winch, plus a warm welcome back for Trevor Colvin who will be driving Pete Colvin’s outfit with Pete’s son Steve in the chair.The sidecars will race for the Chris Ormerod Trophy in memory of the popular sidecar driver and clubman. Chris’ widow Marie will present the trophy.
We shall also be reviving the 1000cc Sidecar Under 30 Championship with a line up of five as follows, - Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth, Gareth Winterburn/Liam Brown, Gary Shearer/Sam Heath, Tom Cossar/Hayden Evans, Trevor Heath/Kieron Bonner. This race will be first on the agenda and should ensure the meeting gets off to a cracking start.
Also appearing of course will be all the countries top 500cc Sidecar crews as the Astra club stage the first round of this year’s Super Series. Listed to compete are
Also appearing of course will be all the countries top 500cc Sidecar crews as the Astra club stage the first round of this year’s Super Series. Listed to compete are European & British Champions Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown, eight times British Champions and last year’s series winners Shaun Harvey/Danny Hogg, Mitch Godden, who has taken to the class like a duck to water, with new passenger Paul Smith and the often super fast Simon Beard/Ant Goodwin. However those four won’t be able to relax with seasoned campaigners Barrie Bennett/Eifion Hughes, Dave Carvill with young Cameron Godden in the chair, Scott Dunn/Jeni Cossar and Paul Moorcock/TBA. Watch out too for Dan Berwick/Mark Hopkins who had some good results last year likewise all female crew Natasha Bartlett/Ciara Southgate and finally solo convert Aaron & Steve Vale plus more or less complete newcomers Jamie Hogg (son of Danny) with Connor Penhaligan.
For those not familiar with the sport a short video clip is available at Facebook Astragrasstrack.
This year, to add to a real family day out, for children’s entertainment there will be a bouncy castle with slide, an assault course, sumo suits, a bucking bronco ride and face painting. Camping is available from Monday with a bar all day on Sunday. Practice is from 1100am, there will be a parade of riders at 1pm with the first race of 38 due off the line at 1.15pm.
The track is situated off the A260 Folkestone to Canterbury road and will be signposted from the M20 Motorway and the A2. Admission prices are £15 Adults £12 Concessions and children under 14 go free.