Grasstrack Banter Promotions held their first ever meeting - Bantasia 1 - and the first of the 2021 grasstrack season on Sunday 18th April 2021.
A bumper entry and races that saw several British and European take to the track in what was a fantastic meeting.
With track prep carried out extensively in the weeks leading up to the event the track held out and provided a great surface for all 68 races.
Whilst the meeting itself was behind closed doors without spectators, well over 600 people tuned in to the live stream which can still be accessed via the Grasstrack Banter Promotions Facebook page.
The racing itself was fast and furious, with all classes providing entertainment throughout the day.
The 250cc Solos had a number of meetings winners and also included former British champion Graeme Thomas, but it was youngster Cameron Taylor in his first adult grasstrack, won a fantastic A final battling all the way with Luke Harris and Graeme Thomas. All 3 swapped places and led through the race but it was Taylor who triumphed in his first adult meeting after moving up from the Inters.
The 350cc Solos, being run over 4 point scoring legs turned into a battle between Jamie Fenn-Smith and Wayne Broadhurst, with Fenn-Smith riding one his best ever meetings, taking the Bantasia 1 title with 3 wins from 4 rides.
The 500cc Solos had a number of stars take to the line, including multi-masters and European James Shanes, speedways Edward Kennett and James Wright, and Alfie Bowtell making his grasstrack debut. In the final Shanes made the gate and won comfortably ahead of Kennett and Wright. Charley Powell held off Stephen Green and the hard battling Bowtell to take 4th place.
In the Right Hand Sidecars multi-masters champion Mark Cossar with passenger Gareth Williams started off the meeting as favourites and they started off that way with 3 straight wins. Joining them in the final was Marks brother Tom with stand-in passenger Dillon Newton who also won all 3 of their qualifying heats. Matt Fumarola reunited with former passenger also started the day well winning 2 of their 3 legs. Joining them in the final was Joe Sturtridge and Shaun Hoskin who won their opening race of the day and they were joined by a pair of Masters Champions in Paul Whitelam/Richard Webb and Rob Wilson/Terry Saunters. In the final however Mark made a terrific start to lead home brother Tom in a Cossar 1-2. Wilson/Saunters followed in 3rd ahead of Fumarola/Wilson who lifted off the line and was too far back to made a dent.
The Upright solos was dominated by the former Speedway rider Jason Prynne - winning all 3 of his heats and then won the A final over Darren Phillips and Bob Dolman.
The 500cc Sidecars run over 4 legs was won by Vice-European Champion Mitch Godden/Paul Smith. Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown finished 2nd in the opening heat and then 3rd in heats 2 and 3. An injury to Josh meant he wouldn't contest the final heat and they ended up third behind the ever improving James Hartley/Shay Minihane. Shaun Hughes/Louis Bennett borrowed Joshs outfit for the final leg and ended 4th overall ahead of new crew Rich Wenham/Sean Cawley and lady driver Rachel Cox/Scott Gutteridge.
In the Old & New Sidecars, Mark Courtney and Leon Torres took the spoils with 3 wins, but were pushed all the way by Liam Brown and Frankie Courtney who also took a heat win with boths crews battling across all 4 races. Dillon Newton and Willow Jeffrey took 3rd place overall.
The GT140s were dominated by former 250 British Champion Adam Shipp who was absolutely flying aboard his machine. However, the big story was with Former Masters Champion Lewis Denham, making his first grasstrack appearance in years and looked like he had lost none of his speed with a well earned 2nd place in the A final. Steve Newsham battled his way to 3rd in a competitive class. Chris Mackett looked set to trouble the top 3, but a fall on the first corner meant he was too far back to get back to the podium places.
The Youth riders also appeared at Bantasia 1 - Archie Whitelam winning the Auto-Cadet class, ahead of Brayden Blyth, Albie Collier and Stasiu Stevens. Finley Theobald won the Cadet Class.
The Juniors was won by Cooper Rushen, however in his opening ride he made it difficult for himself when he selected neutral off the line, but his determination to get through the pack shone through and won all 4 of his rides. Archie Rolph was 2nd after moving up from the Cadets, with Zak Batey in 3rd.
The Inters Class was dominated by World Champion Max Perry who was flying around the Whaddon Farm venue claiming all 4 wins. Kenzie Cossey finished 2nd with 4 2nd places and 3rd was Austin Riches.
After a mammoth day all 68 races were complete with only a few incidents, and some fantastic racing was had, especially the 250cc Solo A Final.
The club would like to thank all Marshalls, Officials, the many sponsors we had, and Landowners Brian and Joan Lush for their fantastic support in helping stage Bantasia 1.
Roll on Bantasia 2 - follow the club on facebook, instagram, twitter and at grasstrackbanter.com