Grasstrack Banter Promotions, a new Grasstrack racing promotion, are presenting a ‘behind closed doors’ race meeting on Sunday 18th April, and are even providing a day-long live stream so that racing fans can join in with the action. Bantasia 1 looks to be a tremendous start to the 2021 season for both riders at the venue and spectators watching from home.
The meeting will take place at Whaddon Farm, Owslebury, Hampshire and action is set to begin at 12.30pm. A bumper programme of races has been planned, giving almost all grasstrack classes a chance to stretch their legs.
“We have been absolutely gobsmacked by the level of support from the riders for this event,” says GB Promotions Chairman Gareth Bemister, “We wanted to provide riders with a place to race their bikes despite still being in Step Two of the lockdown exit roadmap. So we opened up entries and the riders did not disappoint.”
The riders have taken advantage of the club’s revolutionary new online entry system whereby racers have been able to join the club, enter the meeting and even purchase branded merchandise via a club shop.
The 500cc Solo class is led by multi-European Champion and reigning British Masters champion James Shanes. He will lock horns with a plethora of talented two-wheel grassers on the day, many of whom were racing in the European Championships in 2019. One rider of which is Newcastle Diamonds and Sheffield Tigers new signing James Wright. The former Premier League Riders’ Champion is set to compete on Sundays on the shale for the Diamonds, but will be able to get one appearance on the grass in before switching his attention to the cinders.
Former European rostrum sitter and Eastbourne Eagles star Edward Kennett comes to the tapes for the first time since 2019. Kennett, who has been a revelation on the grass in the last three seasons, will surely begin as a meeting favourite.
From Denmark, Jacob Bukhave continues his fresh interest in Grasstracking by appearing at Bantasia 1. Stephen Green and Charley Powell will come to the tapes having experienced European racing in recent years. Newcomers to the 500cc Solo class, teenagers Jake Mulford and Chad Wirtzfeld look set to light up the sport in the coming years. They will relish the challenge that Bantasia 1 provides and it will be a great yardstick for the emerging youngsters.
The 1000cc sidecar class boasts an equally impressive lineup, with multi-British Masters champion Mark Cossar, along with passenger Gareth Williams, leading the charge. But they will be in great company with two former British Masters champions and superstars of three-wheeled racing Paul Whitelam (passengered by Richard Webb) and Rob Wilson (passengered by Terry Saunters) competing in an 18 strong lineup of ‘big chairs’.
Perhaps one class potentially looking like show-stealers are the 500cc sidecars. Multi-British and former European Champions Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown are set to do battle with their old adversaries Mitch Godden/Paul Smith, with young crews James Hartley/Shay MInihane and Shaun Hughes/Louis Bennett hoping to upset the form book. This could be the class to watch.
As well as the three main classes, Bantasia 1 will feature 250cc, 350cc solos, GT140 Solos and Upright solos, all of which are boasting strong lineups of British champions both past and present.
The Youth classes look incredibly strong, with ten riders in both the Juniors and Inters. World Champion Max Perry will take his first bow in the 250cc Intermediate class, whilst 4x British Champion Cooper Rushen clashes with reigning British Cadet Champion Archie Rolph, runner up Oliver Bovingdon and flying youngster George Colvin in a tough looking Junior class.
The old and new sidecars will also feature, headed by the near unbeatable Mark Courtney and Leon Torres. This is the affordable sidecar class, using air-cooled 500cc engines in old right hand sidecar frames.
The live stream, being provided by Blu Monkey Media, will be available via Grasstrack Banter Promotion’s website www.grasstrackbanter.com or via Grasstrack Banter on Facebook. It is very straightforward to purchase and will be available all day during the event and will still be available after the event. The whole event will cost just £5.00.
As the title ‘Bantasia 1’ suggests, the promotion are hoping that this is the start of series of meetings being promoted, with plans for Bantasia 2 already being discussed.