The little sliders certainly gave the Grasstrack community something to smile about in 2018 with a whole crop of emerging talent coming through the ranks. Grasstrack Banter’s Gareth Bemister talks us through the Youth National Grading List champions with a host of names to watch out for in the future. Auto’s – The Winner is George Colvin
Huge congratulations to young Autos rider George Colvin for topping the National Gradings List for the second year in a row. George switched to a Grasstrack slider machine for 2018 and it’s taken him a while to get used to. But all the time, he’s been banging in the points and managed to defend his Gradings List crown. Colvin didn’t win the most meetings, but he still won 6. Whereas 2018 British Champion Ollie Binns won 8 meetings. However, Binns switch to the Cadet class meant that he missed out on points whilst Colvin kept on banging them in. Binns finished third overall as in second, making a hard charge at Colvin at the back end of the season was Westcountry youngster Oliver Bovingdon. He won 5 meetings himself and looked extremely quick at the end of the season.
With so many talented youngsters in this class, perhaps the numbers being down 1 on last year’s 14 doesn’t really tell the whole story. It feels that there’s a real pool of talent now in our sport’s youngest contenders. Cadets – The Winner is Thomas Vining
Huge congratulations to Cadets racer Thomas Vining, who tops the Gradings List for the first time. As well as notching up points on the beach at his native Guernsey, Vining has been a regular visitor to mainland to take part in Grasstrack up and down the country. He missed out on a British title after some great battles with fellow youngster Cooper Rushen, but with a whopping 16 wins (including 7 wins on the Grasstracks), Vining duly tops the list, with Rushen in second.
The Cadet class, with children between the age of 6-8 aboard geared machines, saw a resurgence in 2018. 21 riders made the gradings list, next to just 13 in 2017. And a real collection of young talent has developed. As well as Rushen and Vining, youngsters Mitchell Bowman, Rico Joyce, Alfie Attoe, Kayden Munday and Ollie Binns all picked up wins somewhere or another. Juniors – The Winner is Cameron Taylor
Huge congratulations to RTS racer and latest Grasstrack star from the Taylor brood, Cameron Taylor, for topping the National Gradings List for a second successive year in the Junior class. Young Taylor hasn’t had things quite go as smoothly in 2018, but he still remains one of the country’s top young prospects. Last season, Taylor won more meetings than any other rider in any other class. He’s not quite managed the same feat this year, but still 13 wins in a season is very impressive tally.
Kenzie Cossey, one of the Norwich New Stars’ rising talents, was also impressive, and fully deserves his second place. Inters – The Winner is Jake Mulford
A huge well done to British Grasstrack’s next big thing, Jake Mulford for topping the Inters National Gradings List for the second year in succession. The youngster has had a big year, experiencing racing on the continent and holding his own against some of the world’s best young riders. He missed out on the British Championship this year in unfortunate circumstances, so topping the gradings list and winning 10 Grasstrack meetings up and down the country must come as a consolation.
Some major young talent were ready to chase Mulford this season. Mickie Simpson was crowned British Champion and fully deserved the accolade. He has been in great form this year, winning 5 meetings. Channel-Islander Dan Clark has also emerged as an incredible talent. He too had a torrid day at the British Championships, but has been there or there abouts all season.
A healthy increase in numbers for our oldest youth competitors. 17 riders appear on this year’s list with a number of new names looking to get into the sport before adulthood hits (and the bills get bigger!) 17 is an increase on 10 from the previous season.
Words by Gareth Bemister
Feature Image courtesy of Mick Jenness Photography