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Harris and Shanes take podium honours as they qualify for FIME Grass Track Final

Friday July 8, 2016 at 1:58pm
Harris and Shanes take podium honours as they qualify for FIME Grass Track Final
A crowd of over 1000 spectators was present to witness a night of classic racing at Tayac for the Semi Final 1 of the European Grass Track Championship.

There were high expectations of qualification for the final on French heroes Stephane and Mathieu Tresarrieu’s shoulders. However there were several riders who had other ideas, particularly Chris Harris from UK and Henry van der Steen from the Netherlands.

After two rides each Chris Harris led the standings with two quality tapes-to-flag wins whilst the Tresarrieu brothers had 8 points Stephane and 9 points Mathieu. Dutchman Steen had also 8 points.
Then the drama for Chris Harris began. During his second ride in heat 5 his engine had a severe oil leak. His pit crew then worked frantically, removing the sick engine and fitting a spare one.
All appeared to be going as planned for him to be ready in time for his third ride but when they started the spare engine suddenly blew-up, leaving him without any motorcycle.

He was unable to take his third ride in heat 9 but obtained an engine from a French tuner present at the event and his pit crew set about removing the blown motor and fitting another one. At heat 10 Harris appeared again and raced to a sublime win earning a total of 15 points from 3 wins ensuring his place in the A Final and therefore qualification to the final round regardless of the result.

Having finished top of the standings from the qualification heats with 17 points, Stephane Tresarrieu had the first choice of gates and elected the outside gate 6, which gave him the faster outside run in turns 1 and 2. Sadly it all ended in disaster for the popular Frenchman as on turn 2 on the second lap he collided with the air fence, resulting in his disqualification. In the re-run his brother Mathieu Tresarrieu kept the home fans cheering as he roared to a sublime tapes-to-flag win with the ever threatening Chris Harris keeping him under pressure for all 4 laps and would safely finish second on the night and qualify for the final at Swingfield on the 11th September.

In the Semifinal 2 of European Grass Track Championship held in Mulmshorn (Germany) it was Dirk Fabriek who took the victory in front of a good sized crowd in a spring-like temperature. He reached the B final with 13 points and then was defeated by Dutch De Jonk. But in the final he zipped from the yellow trap in front of all his rivals.

It was an entertaining meeting, with plenty of good racing and drama and it was stopped for almost 15 minutes for a short downpour after heat 12. The Runner-up was young British star James Shanes after a brilliant display. After two wins in his first two outings he dropped a couple of points in his remaining heats. He was defeated by the in-form De Jong during heat 8 and by eventual winner Fabriek in heat 12. Then in the final he was outgated by Fabriek who raced to an almost untroubled victory.

Zach Wajtknecht from England also deserved a mention for claiming one heat win and reaching the A final.

The line for the FIME Grass Track Final at Swingfield on the 11th September is as follows

1 Hynek STICHAUER ACCR Czech Rep

2 Christian HULSHORST DMSB Germany

3 Dirk FABRIEK KNMV Netherlands

4 Josef FRANC ACCR Czech Rep

5 Theo DI PALMA FFM France

6 Andrew APPLETON ACU Great Britain

7 Mark HELMHOUT KNMV Netherlands

8 Gabriel DUBERNARD FFM France

9 Jannick DE JONG KNMV Netherlands

10 Martin MALEK ACCR Czech Rep

11 Stephan KATT DMSB Germany

12 Zach WAJTKNECHT ACU Great Britain

13 Stéphane TRESARRIEU FFM France

14 Chris HARRIS ACU Great Britain

15 Romano HUMMELL KNMV Netherlands

16 James SHANES ACU Great Britain

17 Henry VAN DER STEEN KNMV Netherlands

18 Mathieu TRESARRIEU FFM France

19 Lars ZANDVLIET KNMV Netherlands

20 Mitch GODDEN ACU Great Britain

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