After several years out in the cold, youth Grasstrack made its triumphant return to the South Eastern Centre on Saturday. Boasting a healthy entry of youth riders in all four classes, as well as an excellent GT140 ensemble, the crowd who’d gathered to witness the rebirth of youth racing in Kent were not disappointed.
The day featured several outstanding performances from certain individuals. In the Junior class, Berkshire’s Max Perry was simply sublime. Coming off the back of three victories in as many weekends, confidence was high for the diminutive 12 year old as he headed into the winner-take-all final unbeaten. But in the all-important final, Perry’s two-stroke machine bogged down on the line and his rivals took off, leaving him with an awful lot of work to do. It was newcomer Corey Stainer who hit the front and set about defending his lead. Perry entered the first bend virtually last but a stunning display saw him round the entire field in the first lap. He’d gone from last to first in one lap and never looked back. Stainer, despite dropping back to fourth, had impressed enough throughout the day to earn Frittenden club’s ‘Rider of the Day’ mantle, sponsored by ‘Clean My Ride’. Channel Islander Thomas Vining, who had been riding steadily all day, fought his way to second place to claim another fine podium spot on mainland. Freddie Fox-Baron had ridden well early in the day, including an excellent heat win. He was rewarded for his efforts with a hard-fought third.
In the Intermediate class, Sam Norris was in devastating form. After winning at Fenland the previous week, confidence was clearly high for the Cambridgeshire youngster. He stormed to four very impressive victories. British Champion Mickie Simpson had no answer to Norris, although Simpson was competing in his first meeting back since breaking his collar bone several weeks earlier.
Another rider in dominant form was Cooper Rushen. The Cadet class and Auto Cadet class were combined and although Auto Cadet Archie Rolph gave Rushen something to think about in their opening race, from there it was plain sailing for Rushen. Rolph dropped a race in the third leg after being beaten by his arch-rival Oliver Bovingdon in their second ride. Despite winning the fourth ride, Rolph’s DNF moved him down to third, giving the win to Bovingdon. This was Bovingdon’s fifth meeting victory of the season. In his first meeting of racing, Harrison Ransom will be delighted with his second place. In the Cadet class, Kayden Munday put in a solid performance to finish 2nd
, and Guernsey racer Lewis Le Blanq claimed third in his first Grasstrack meeting.
The only adult class on offer for the day were the GT140s. The usual highly competitive action saw several different heat winners throughout the day and many close finishes. Throughout the heats, Karl Rushen stood above all others, winning all three of his heats. In the final, however, it was Shaun Harvey who made an excellent start and led Rushen. The multi-British 500cc sidecar champion held Rushen at bay for 3 laps until Rushen managed to build enough speed to round Harvey in the top corner. An excellent race from these two in an entertaining day’s racing from Grasstrack’s budget class.
It was fabulous to see youth racing to return to Kent. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a rebirth in the centre and many congratulations to Frittenden for hosting an excellent youth event on a superb racing circuit. There are so many talented youngsters in the sport at present, and it was good to see them in action on one of the best tracks in the country.