The Brian Stibbs and Jim Rendall award winners were confirmed at the recent Track Racing Committee meeting. For 2019, the two prestigious awards (for 500cc solos and 1000cc sidecars) were decided over four high quality meetings, chosen prior to the commencement of the racing season. The four events were: Battle of Britain (Frittenden), Wimborne Whoppa (Wimborne), British Masters (GTSA) and the Champion of Champions (ASTRA).
The Brian Stibbs 1000cc sidecar winner was Mark Cossar. He used four different passengers on his way to topping the table! His Brian Stibbs award winning feat began with a win at the Battle of Britain, crewed by friend and former colleague Gareth Williams. He then finished second at the Wimborne Whoppa, though he was not beaten all evening. The decision to award Gareth Winterburn/Billy Winterburn with the win was based on winning race times. Robbie Simmons was Cossar’s passenger under the floodlights at Wimborne.
Another second place followed at the British Masters. After a turbulent day swapping bikes and engines, Cossar and, for this event Carl Blyth, were beaten by Winterburn (and Liam Brown) in a very exciting winner-take-all final.
The final round at ASTRA’s beautiful Swingfield Raceway saw Liam Brown now crewing for Cossar after Carl Blyth suffered car problems on his way to Kent! Cossar duly won the meeting with a flawless performance and claimed the Brian Stibbs trophy for 2019.
The Jim Rendall solo award was not so clear cut. After the four rounds, James Shanes and Paul Hurry were tied on points. Hurry had been a late entry to the Battle of Britain, and therefore served as reserve for the day and scored no points. Shanes did not attend the event. The Wimborne Whoppa saw Hurry get a memorable victory over Shanes. But a third place in his following ride saw him slip behind Shanes overall. Shanes claimed a maximum, whilst Hurry was awarded points for fourth overall.
Both riders scored highly in the British Masters, but Shanes was the champion. Hurry finished third and continued to bank the points. In the final round at Swingfield, Hurry rode brilliantly to claim an impressive second place. Shanes had been seriously injured in a racing incident in Netherlands and could not ride.
This left the riders tied on points. Therefore, the decision was made to award Hurry with the victory due to his commitment to entering all four competitions. The National Gradings List has traditionally decided ties in the same manner, so it only seemed fitting to do the same in this case.
So the 2019 Brian Stibbs winner is Mark Cossar (and his chorus of brave chairmen!). And the Jim Rendall winner for 2019 is Paul Hurry.