2014 Season Review (Part One)

After a wet and windy winter the 2014 Grasstrack season’s first meeting was its first casualty, the Bristol meeting cancelled due to the awful weather conditions. The following weekend though, the 30th March, saw two meetings. In the North you had the new LOGA club at an old venue of Much Hoole and in the South the Somerton club. At LOGA the adult successes went the way of Rob Finlow, Andy Mellish and Micky Allen. In the youth Sam Stead, Jolyon West, Sam McGurk and Luke Harrison all won the various classes. At Wincanton, Somerton, the first round of the South West Centre Championship and in what turned out to be incredible an season for two youngsters, James Shanes won the Open Solos and Zach Wajtknecht won the 250cc. Other winners were Mark TaylorLuke Tuck, Chris Mackett. Kent’s Rob Wilson & Terry Saunters took the early honours in the Right-hand Sidecars.

The first two weeks of April were again wiped out through the incredibly bad weather but on the weekend of 20th LOGA managed to run a second meeting at Much Hoole and Maidstone Aces ran at their new venue of Grafty Green.  At Much Hoole winners in the adult classes were Michael Yeadon, David Knowles and once again Andy Mellish. Sam Stead, Kyle Bickley, Max Perry and Sam McGurk took the honours in the youth racing. At Maidstone James Shanes, Matt Etherington and Wayne Barrett took the honours in the Solos, and Masters Champions Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth won the big Chairs. The Lefties went the way of Charlie Ridley & Harry McQuirke. Also on the same weekend, the first European Championship semi-final took place in Balkbrug, Holland. In another rain-affected meeting defending champion Jannick de Jong went through the card before the meeting was called at the end of the heats. Of the English contingent Paul Cooper, Harland Cook and Rob Finlow all made it through to the final.


The last Sunday in April gave us the Sidecar Spectacular at Swingfield under the guidance of the Astra club. Early form was on show again as Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth took the Right-handers ahead of Gareth Winterburn & Liam Brown, and Charlie Ridley & Harry McQuirke beat Will Penfold & Ricky Pay into second. The 500cc Sidecars gave an early insight on how the season would pan out as Josh Goodwin & Liam Brown took on and beat the three-time European Champions from Holland William Matthijssen & Nathalie Stellingwerf.  In the big Solos, Swedish Speedway Ace Peter Karlsson made his debut on a Grasstrack bike. He took the win in style undefeated from the fast chasing James Shanes.

The first weekend of May gave us two meetings with Wainfleet running the Robert Chatterton Trophy and the Bristol club restaging the Calvin Palmer Benefit at Lower Stanton. At Irby in the Marsh, in fantastic conditions for racing, Andrew Whitaker, Bob Dolman, David Knowles, John Hartley took the honours in the Solos and Gareth & Billy Winterburn won the Sidecars. At the Calvin Palmer Benefit meeting the winners were Josh Dingle, Mark Taylor, Mark Collins, Wayne Barrett, Tim Curnock, John Underwood and Simon Heal & Terry Madley. Over in Europe Josh Goodwin & Liam Brown took another win and Richard Moore & Rob Winspear won the Right-handers at Roden in Holland. The following weekend saw the Master of Midshires lose out to the weather. In Europe Andrew Appleton won at Parchim.


Fenland ran a two day meeting on 17th and 18th May, and at Peterborough Rounds One and Two of the Track Racing Championship ran over the same weekend.  At Peterborough Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth the defending Champions, won both meetings at the BMF show. Richard Moore, who had won in Holland just the week before, broke his leg during practice on day two. The Fenland club running the Jon Underwood Trophy Meeting ran the Left-hand chairs as well as the Vintage and youth classes. Amongst the winners were Charlie Ridley & Harry McQuirke in the Sidecars, Luke Tuck in the Vintage and Jack Nelson amongst the youth on show. On Sunday the meeting got underway with a minutes silence for Ian Barclay, the promoter of the famous ‘Ace of Aces’. The winners in each class, in front of Fenlands biggest ever attendance, were James Shanes, Harland Cook, Scott Campos, Giles Dismore, Chris Mackett, Colin Blackbourn & Paul Cooper and Billy Penfold & Sam Black. In the Uprights Andy Gomm won the Jon Underwood Trophy.

Frittenden ran their annual Battle of Britain at Sandhurst Farm on the last Sunday of the month and the winners for 2014 were Harland Cook, Georgie Wood, Zack Wajknecht, Wayne Barrett, Myles Simmons & Kevin Woodley and Martin Cuff & Colin Clarke. All other domestic meetings on the 25th were cancelled. In Europe, Josh Goodwin & Liam Brown got another win, this time in Siddeburen Holland.


Three days later the First Round of the World Longtrack took place in Herxheim, Germany and was won by Dutchman Jannick de Jong. The highest place Brit was Andrew Appleton who went out in the Semi’s.

Domestic Grasstrack was decimated during the first two weekends in June through bad weather but on the continent the First World Longtrack qualifier took placed at Bielefeld, Germany and was won by German’s Martin Smolinski who just hours before was competing in Speedway’s Czech Grand-Prix in Prague.

All roads and ferry’s, led to Guernsey on the 14th for the third SandAce British Championship at Vazon Bay. In the Solos Danny Warwick defended his title and completed a hat-trick of success ahead of Australian Rodney McDonald for a second Championship running. In the big chairs, Robbie Wilson & Bradley Steer took their first major Championship ahead of 2012 Champions Rob Wilson & Terry Saunters. On the continent the Second Round of the Solos European Championship took place at Mulmshorn, Germany and was won by Germany’s Enrico Janoschka. Britain’s own Andrew Appleton finished runner-up. Four days later Glen Phillips won the Golden Roman at Altrip in Germany.


A week later two meetings took place. Cheshire ran the Jim Rowlinson Memorial and Maidstone Aces ran the Bandit. Gawsworth saw the return of Rod Winterburn back on a Grasstrack bike after his crash at Frittenden in 2013. In quite an amazing display he and passenger Liam Brown not only won the meeting but also the dash for cash and were undefeated all day. Jason Handley and Tony Atkin renewed old and friendly rivalry with the former taking the win. Other winners at the Cheshire meeting were David Knowles and Mike Dowling. At Grafty Green the Bandit winners were Mark Baseby defending his title, Georgie Wood, Robin Pilcher and Trevor Clarricoates in the Solos. Paul Whitelam (his first Bandit win since 2010) & Kieron Ivy, Martin Cuff & Colin Clarke, Nick Radley & Abi Radley in the Sidecars.


The last weekend of the month saw meetings at Wimborne and Pickering, and the European Grasstrack final took place at St. Macaire in France. At Wimborne, the now annual ‘Rob King Party Grasstrack’ ran over two days at Corfe Mullen. On Saturday the Vintage and youth classes took centre stage and the winners were Gerald Short, Dave Wright, Chris Mackett, Joe Nicholls, Danny Curl, Cameron Taylor and Max Perry.  The big names were out on Sunday and Mark Baseby won the 500cc Solo class ahead of ‘Ozzie’ Hunter Anderson and SandAce Champion Danny Warwick, and in the big chairs Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth defended their title ahead of Robbie Wilson & Bradley Steer. The 500cc Sidecars was won by Shaun Harvey & Danny Hogg, and in the other classes there were successes for Georgie Wood in the 350s, Jack Nelson the 250cc class, Tim Curnock the over forties, and Eirwyn & Alex Balman won the Left-hand Sidecars. Over in France, Holland’s Jannick de Jong won his second consecutive European title and Britain’s David Howe took an impressive second. Third went to Germany’s Enrico Janoschka.

July to October
Visit Us On Facebook