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Leading off… 2022 Ledbury Leader Grasstrack – Preview

Thursday March 31, 2022 at 12:41pm
Leading off… 2022 Ledbury Leader Grasstrack – Preview

It’s all systems go for the 2022 Grass-track racing season as the Ledbury MCC open the new campaign by hosting their ‘Ledbury Leader’ event on Sunday, April 3rd. As usual, the venue will be Sparrington Farm, Pencombe, near Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4SL.

Naturally with this being the first meeting of the year, riders will be very eager and raring to go into action so it should be well worth watching! Sunday’s event features racing for 250cc, 350cc, 500cc, GT140, Upright and Pre75 solo’s whilst the three wheeled entertainment will be provided by 1000cc Right-hand and 500cc Sidecars.

In the 500cc solo’s, four times British Masters Champion James Shanes from Dorset tops the bill with the likes of Chad Wirtzfield, Jack Roberts, Dan Winterton, Arron Butcher, Tom Perry, Tony Atkin and the current 250cc British Champion Jake Mulford, making the long trip from Norwich to join the entry chasing glory. Experienced campaigner Perry also goes in the 350cc class at Penkridge. Despite being a former three times British Champion, Tom faces stiff opposition from the current top two riders on the ACU grading list, John Cox and Wayne Broadhurst. Better known for his exploits on a 250cc machine, Luke Harris also goes in this one.

Talking of the 250cc bash, the top three riders on the 2021 ACU grading list, Tim Greig, Cameron Taylor and Graham Thomas all start at Pencombe so expect some tight, tense and entertaining battles in the race for supremacy. Over in the always exciting GT140 class, Paul Smith tops the bill along with Mark Scopes and Ian Clark. Completing the solo classes are the Uprights and Pre75. Malvern based Darren Phillips, currently number one on the Uprights ACU grading list will be keen to impress his local supporters. His main challengers could well be Robert Dolman, Nigel Coates, Tony Atkin and Dave Hammond.

In what is already promising to be a super 1000cc Right-hand Sidecar class, extra spice as been added by the fact that the entry will also be racing for the Tony Brown Challenge Cup. Paul Whitelam/Richard Webb, 5th in the 2021 British Masters and the Cornwall pairing of Kieran Hicks/Kieron Ivy top the bill. Also in the mix could be Clint Blondel/Jorden Smith, Joseph Sturtridge/Shaun Hoskin and Matt Fumarola/Andrew Wilson amongst others. Returning to the scene of their 2021 ACU British Championship victory, Mitch Godden/Paul Smith will be going all out for more glory in the 500cc Sidecar class at Pencombe. However the entire top five crews on the ACU grading list will also be present so with Shaun Hughes/Louis Bennett, Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown, Jake Geering/Luke Russell and Rachel Cox/Scott Gutteridge in the mix, this particular race for honours is sure to be red hot!!

So, get along to Sparrington Farm on Sunday where practice starts at 10.30am with the first race due off at 12 noon. Admission costs are Adults £12, Concessions £10 and Under 16’s FREE.

Words and Images by Mike Wood

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