Rain stopped play at the 9th round of the 2023 Formula Grasstrack championship sponsored by H & N Supplies Ltd at the new venue in Pontesbury, Shropshire, which held up well despite persistent rain for most of the afternoon and was enjoyed by riders and spectators alike.
Organisers aimed to complete the first 4 legs before assessing the conditions and deciding on the rest of the meeting and despite getting most of the 4th leg complete, a fall for Lucas Astley in the Auto cadets 4th leg was enough for the clerk of the course to abandon the meeting. Astley was ok but for a bruised leg.
In the E-bike category, it was newcomer Jonah Bott who managed to take victory over 2022 Champion Lilly Bence. Bott won 2 rides to Bence’s 1. 3rd place went to Dalton Wright who is still holding on to 1st place in the championship.
Despite the wet conditions, The auto cadets put on a superb display of racing. Dakota Wright’s 2 race wins and a second place were enough to clinch victory whilst the rapidly improving Kaylem Bourne excelled in the wet to take 2nd overall and take a race win. Lucas Astley would finish 3rd and local Grasstrack newcomer Harry Stealey came home in 4th. Toby Cossar started off strong with a 2nd and a 3rd but a fall in his 3rd outing relegated him to 5th whilst Alfie Shipp only managed a 6th place in leg 1 before withdrawing from the meeting.
Charlie Dowd made his FGA Cadet class debut and showed no signs of being a stranger to the Grasstrack machine taking victory in the class whilst battling with cub rider’s Jessica cox and Roman Ratcliffe. AJ Bence rode consistently to take 2nd place and is showing more confidence on his Grasstrack bike.
Finley Theobald was a class above in the Cub category and could quite easily have been a force to be reckoned with in the Senior class! Theobald would take 4 race wins whilst championship leader Logan Price was comfortable 2nd place. Roman Ratcliffe made his return to FGA after missing round 8 and was enjoying the wet conditions to take 3rd whilst Jessica Cox was a consistent 4th place.
It was a depleted Junior line up due to Maz Alexander and Max Derrick withdrawing. Derrick suffering with Covid (Get well soon!). Joe Crewe held of his brother Jack to take the win whilst Isaac Collins-Bullock kept upright and rode steadily to 3rd place. Mechanical gremlins prevented Liam Cox from completing a ride despite showing signs of challenging for the win.
Wayne Broadhurst continued his dominance of the Senior class and barring any miracles, looks set to be crowned champion for the 3rd year running. Broadhurst took 4 straight wins to take victory whilst Kevin Gwillam was only beaten by Broadhurst to take 2nd overall.
Young charger Max Broadhurst and veteran champion Graham Thomas were unable to be split, Both taking 2 wins and 2 seconds and as they hadn’t met, had to share 3rd place. Mark Scopes would be left rueing a fall whilst leading in his 4th outing, he managed to remount and finish 3rd place which was enough to tie him with Phil Thomas, but Scopes 2 wins to Thomas’s 1 was enough for the Woodbridge man to seal 5th. Thomas would be pleased with 6th, enough to see him move level with Sam Hall for 2nd in the championship. Hall came home in 7th place whilst Adam Hawker continued his FGA consistency to finish 8th. Glyn Edwards made his return to FGA action and would take a race win on his way to 9th overall with local man Colin How rounding out the top 10.
The final round takes place this Saturday at Hampton Hall, Malpas SY14 8JS and it is expected to be a big line up with the usual championship contenders entered. For more information, find us on Facebook or visit www.formulagrasstrack.com
Race Report by Ross Wharton
Ebikes – 1st J. Bott 23, 2nd L. Bence 22, 3rd D. Wright 18
Autos – 1st D. Wright 23, 2nd K. Bourne 21, 3rd L. Astley 16, 4th H. Stealey 13, 5th T. Cossar 13, 6th A. Shipp 3
Cadets – 1st C. Dowd 24, 2nd AJ Bence 21
Cubs – 1st F. Theobald 32, 2nd L. Price 28, 3rd R. Ratcliffe 24, 4th J. Cox 20
Juniors – 1st Joe Crewe 32, 2nd Jack Crewe 28, 3rd I. Collins-bullock 18
Seniors (top 10) – 1st W. Broadhurst 32, 2nd K. Gwillam 31, =3rd G. Thomas & M. Broadhurst 30, 5th M. Scopes 29, 6th P. Thomas 29, 7th S. Hall 28, 8th A. Hawker 27, 9th G. Edwards 26, 10th C. How 26.