Gareth Bemister Report Peterborogh 17&18/5/14

Round One

Mark Cossar and Carl Blyth proved just too strong for their rivals in the opening round of the TRSC held at Peterborough Speedway on Saturday. With a backdrop of the BMF Motorcycle Show, the sport of Sidecar Speedway was given an opportunity to show itself in front of new spectators and managed to serve up some decent racing.

Cossar and Blyth, fresh from Cossar’s winter Sidecar Speedway trip to Australia, managed to go through the card of five heats unbeaten. Their closest rivals, Richard Moore and Rob Winspear, were able to win their first four heats, but when the top two crews clashed in the final round of heats, it was all about Cossar and Blyth.

Gareth and Billy Winterburn also looked impressive, managing three heat wins, whilst his cousin, Tris qualified for the final with consistent riding, including two heat wins of his own and some excellent tussles through the afternoon.

One crew not to make the final were the ill-fated Paul Whitelam/Kieran Ivy as this round proved one to forget for the former British Masters champion. After a solid first heat win, the machine came to a holt whilst leading his second ride and an error in a later heat saw the crew heading in-field, again costing them a sure-fire win.

So, to the final and it was the emphatic crew of Cossar and Blyth that once again romped to victory after forcing their way to the front on the first bend. Moore and Winspear had no answer for them, having to settle for second, whilst the Winterburn family had a battle of their own for third, with brothers Gareth and Billy coming out on top.

With some crews struggling with break downs, there were a few races that saw a depleted field. But when four outfits did come to the line, it provided some excellent racing. Hopefully, that view was shared by some of the first-time observers in attendance. And the riders won’t need to wait too long for revenge; the second round was held the very next day.

Round Two

Some controversy followed the spectacular final of the second round of the TRSC Sidecar Championships held on Sunday at Peterborough. Although there was no doubt about the victor, the runners-up spot was not so clear cut.

Mick Cave and Gareth Williams, fresh from their racing experiences Down Under, looked set to take the second place after holding the hard charging Gareth/Billy Winterburn at bay for four laps. But on the final bend, the Winterburn’s lunged up the inside of Cave and contact was inevitable. Although The Winterburn Brothers were the second over the line, the referee had deemed their riding as unsafe and docked them a place, giving a relieved Mick Cave a hard fought second.

The other finalist, Tris Winterburn/Henry Purcell completed a fine weekend’s racing and were never out of contention themselves, constantly looking for an opening when cousins Gareth and Billy ran wide. But it was to be another fine win for Mark Cossar and Carl Blyth.

The current British Champions by no means had it all their own way. They were forced wide on the first turn, allowing the entire field up the inside. But they should tremendous class to ride a wide line and overtake the pack, winning by a comfortable margin.

Another notable performance was from Robbie Wilson and Bradley Steer. The crew go away from the BMF Show with the accolade of the only crew to have scored a win over the Cossar/Blyth pairing. Unfortunately, they had not scored heavily enough to make the final, but a memorable moment for the South Eastern pairing.

Before the meeting took place, disaster struck Round 1 winners Richard Moore/Rob Winspear. On a practice lap, on a freshly watered circuit, Team Skeleton lost control heading into the turn, finding themselves hurtling backwards into the safety fence. Although passenger Rob was able to walk away, Richard Moore was taken to hospital with a suspected broken femur; a real shame for a crew who had looked so fast in the previous day’s racing.

The second day of racing at the annual BMF Bike Show provided a real spectacle for motorcycle fans. The competition returns to the East of England Showground in September and judging by some of the racing in the second round, and with the return of Rod Winterburn later in the season, it is sure to be keenly looked forward to.

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