500CC NEWS 2018 

THAT'S ALL FOLKS FOR 2018

That's us at the 500cc Sidecar Association done for 2018 and we would like to thank everyone for making it such a great

season for us this year. Thank you to the committee and the sub-committee for their hard work and commitment. Thank you to the riders, on-track and off-track volunteers and not forgetting the fans that have supported our two meetings.

A big thank you to landowner Andy Green for the use of the land and buildings, it's a great location and the track is getting better and better every meeting.

 

We will let you know when our AGM is taking place where we will get together to start planning for 2019.

 

Shaun Harvey - Chairman

 RIDERS TAKE A RACING BREAK TO PROMOTE AT THE

FESTIVAL OF WHEELS

Since our last meeting back in June our club members have been racing all over both the UK and Europe. But over the weekend of August 4/5 some of our riders and club members took a break from the serious stuff. At the invite of GT140 rider Karl Rushen who organises Motor Shows and other events both in Essex and Suffolk we went along to promote Grasstrack Racing to the unconverted.

A fantastic event which as you can see from the pics had everything for the petrolhead. Cars, Bikes, Monster Trucks, Tractors, Trucks and sideshows including the amazing Wall of Death...there really was something for everyone.

Obviously the riders couldn't race but they still put on a brilliant display to showcase what a exciting sport we are all involved with. Fast starts and lots of engine noise was the key to pulling in the crowd and within minutes of the bikes firing up the arena was surrounded by impressed onlookers. From young to old the club had some great response from many who hopefully have taken the bait and will attend a local track near them soon.

Thanks Karl Rushen for inviting us and thanks to everybody that either demonstrated or helped out over the weekend and we hope you will have us back next year.

THE CLUB PLAYS HOST TO A FABULOUS BRITISH FINAL AS GOODWIN/BROWN MAKE IT TITLE NUMBER 6

 copyright Lawrence Hammonds

THURSDAY JUNE 21st

The poetic irony was not lost on many on Father’s Day Sunday at the British Championships, as 500cc Sidecar former European Champions Josh Goodwin and Liam Brown won their sixth British crown, equally the tally of Josh’s father Lester. The day, which saw Britain’s best 250cc and 350cc solos, 500cc and Lefthand sidecars do battle on a near-perfect racing surface, produce some fantastic racing from the very first race.

For Goodwin and Brown, it was by no means plain sailing. The duo under-performed by their high standards in the qualifying heats, managing just the single heat win in their final qualifying heat. Mitchel Godden and Paul Smith looked to be in devastating form, storming to four wins out of four in the qualifying heats. The qualification heats didn’t just see riders into the final, but carried the added impetus of qualification for next year’s European Championships. The top two outfits from the qualifying heats would see them being seeded directly into next season’s Championships final meeting, with 3rd to 6th qualifying for the all-important semi final. With their immaculate showing in the heats, Godden/Smith made sure that they’d be at the Euro Final in 2019. The other crew to do so was host club members Shaun Harvey and Danny Hogg. The 8x British champs were in excellent form, winning two and finishing runners-up in their other two races. Once qualification was over, mindsets quickly diverted back to the task in hand of becoming British champions.

Goodwin/Brown made an excellent getaway from the on-track start, and fended off all challenges. Simon Beard and stand-in passenger Phill Rowlands rode solidly to finish runners-up after some hard-fought dices throughout the programme. Godden/Smith have every right to feel aggrieved with finishing 3rd in the final after performing so well in the heats. A collision during the race saw Shaun Harvey/Danny Hogg leaving the circuit, putting paid to any chances of them winning a ninth title.

Some of the most spectacular racing was seen in the two solo classes as both boasted arguably the best lineups for many years. The 250cc solo class was once again dominated by youngsters as Plymouth Devils speedway rider Henry Atkins went through all of his heats and the semi-final unbeaten. His closest rivals heading into the final were another two of Grasstrack’s hottest prospects; Luke Harris and Charlie Brooks. Both of them had scored up impressive heat wins throughout the afternoon, though Brooks had hit the deck hard in one of his heats. Another notable performance came from a racer at the other end of the race-experience spectrum. 1992-1993 British Champion Graham Thomas had been in amongst the top scorers all afternoon, as had another previous winner, 2004 champion David Knowles.

The final served up a bonefide classic. It was Atkins who led out of an incredibly tight first bend, with Harris giving chance. A mistake exiting the pit turn allowed Harris to gain ground and pass Atkins before a determined ride by the young Devonian saw him regain the lead and defend his British title. Charlie Brooks was never too far from the action in 3rd, with Graham Thomas finishing 4th.

Equally as enthralling was the 350cc class. In the heats, it was an old campaigner doing all of the winning. Former European Champion and British Masters champion Paul Hurry was in tremendous form. He won all of his heats, including some excellent races with Tom Perry, whom he met three times, including the semi-final. Perry looked to almost have the better of Hurry at times, but the wily campaigner was always able to do enough to hit the finish 1st. The only other rider to go through the heats and semi-final unbeaten was defending champ Rob Finlow. The Midlander looked in great form and had fans licking their lips at the prospect of seeing him join the Hurry/Perry foray in the final.

The final provided plenty of controversy. The first running of the final saw a fall in the first bend as all of the riders leapt for the same piece of Essex turf, skittling each other other. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and all eight could return for the re-run. Then the real drama struck. Maximum man and arguable favourite for the title, Paul Hurry broke the tapes. The inevitable happened and Hurry was excluded from the re-run. Many in the crowd were severely disappointed as a potential favourite left the action.

With Hurry gone, the stage was set for a blockbuster between Tom Perry, vowing to recapture his 350 title, and Rob Finlow, striving to defend his title. Another close first turn ensued, but it was Perry who emerged in the lead. He rode well to lead the pack home, claiming his 3rd British title. Finlow tried hard but could make no in-roads on Perry and had to settle for 2nd this year. Kentish racer Mark Giles finished a strong showing by finishing 3rd in the final.

The Lefthand class provided drama of its own. Sadly, with several key members of the Lefthand fraternity on the injury list, and Joe Butcher/Michael Chittenden suffering terminal mechanical problems in practice, the field was depleted to just 6 outfits, all desperate to win a British title. Due to the rules of ACU championships, the event would still be decided over a straight final, therefore racers rode to get a higher pick of gate positions in the final.

In the final, top-scorers Martin Cuff/Colin Clarke led away from the tapes before contact occurred between their most likely rivals (and another former British championship crew) Tony Penfold/Carl Bell. Sadly, the incident gave Penfold/Bell quite a deficit to make up, leaving Cuff/Clarke to storm home to claim their 2nd championship as a unit and Martin’s 5th title. Penfold/Bell were able to make it back up to 3rd before being excluded from the results for removing their outfit from the parc ferme. Passenger Carl Bell had picked up a nasty injury in the first bend melee and all were keen to leave the field. A sad outcome for the crew who were the only ones to have beaten Cuff/Clarke all day. Rob Heath/Kyle Fish, who’d had a torrid day through the heats, made sure that they made amends in the final by finishing runners-up, with a delighted Chris Berwick/Kayleigh Booth being bumped up to 3rd after the exclusion.

Two weekends of Championship Grasstrack and two weekends of some of the best racing seen for years. The 500cc Sidecar Association presented a terrific day’s racing (and consider that only 6 weeks ago they’d ran their Eastern Centre Championship event at the same venue). The Champions’ names go into the record books now as well look forward to the rest of the season. Congratulations to the club, the riders, but most of all to the new British Grasstrack Champions for 2018.

 

Thanks to Gareth Bemister for this superb report - top man

RESULTS

250cc Solos
1st Henry Atkins
2nd Luke Harris
3rd Charlie Brooks
4th Graham Thomas
5th Chris Johnson
6th David Knowles
7th Russell Little
8th Ollie Stanford

 

350cc Solos
1st Tom Perry
2nd Rob Finlow
3rd Mark Giles
4th Barry Powell
5th Andy Mellish
6th Wayne Broadhurst
7th Dave Mears

 

Left Hand Sidecars
1st Martin Cuff/Colin Clark
2nd Rob Heath/Kyle Fish
3rd Chris Berwick/Kayleigh Booth
4th Alex Balman/Mark Hopkins
5th Billy Penfold/Dan Woodbridge
EXC Tony Penfold/Carl Bell

 

500cc Sidecars
1st Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown
2nd Simon Beard/Phill Rowlands
3rd Mitch Godden/Paul Smith
4th Aaron Vale/Ciara Southgate
5th Barrie Bennett/Eifion Hughes
6th Shaun Harvey/Danny Hogg

CHELMSFORD PREPARES FOR THE BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS

Thursday June 14th

The 2018 ACU British Grasstrack Championships take place in Chelmsford this Sunday. The event is being organised by the 500cc Sidecar Association and a top class field lines up for what will be an afternoon of high-speed, wheel to wheel action.
Being the 500cc Sidecar Association the focus begins on the 500cc International Sidecars and what a event it is promises to be. This is the class with the most at stake as there is not only the British Championships, but the event is also the qualifier for the 2019 European Championship. Both Final and Semi-Final places are available with the top two seeded automatically into the final. The reigning champions Josh Goodwin and passenger Liam Brown are looking to make it four years in a row. They have dominated the Championships since 2015 and will probably start as most people’s favourites to be standing on top of the podium again at the end of the day. But Mitchel Godden/Paul Smith, who have not been seen in action in the UK this season, will also be a major contenders having had some great results in Europe this season. The have been knocking on the door for the past two seasons. Can they take that next step this weekend? It’s going to be a fascinating battle between all the crews. Don’t write off eight-times champions Shaun Harvey/Danny Hogg who are on home soil as are young chargers James Hogg/Scott Goodwin who surprised all with a podium in 2017. That’s what makes this class so exciting, the experienced crews against the up and coming crews all hungry for a place on the podium and a little trip to the European Final. A strong line-up of the twelve best crews in the UK all gunning for glory.
And if that hasn’t wetted your appetite for a day at the races, the two solo classes are equally exciting. In the 350cc the 2017 Champion Rob Finlow is back to try and emulate his success from last season. But Midlander Tom Perry will be looking to make amends for missing out in 2017 having won the class  twice in 2015/2016. Speedway commitments stopped him from taking up his space last season but he jumped at the chance of one of the two wildcards this year. The other wildcard in the 350’s is former European and Masters Champion Paul Hurry. He has always supported the class and will be sure to want to add the title of British 350cc Solo Champion to his already impressive CV.
Last month the club played host to the Eastern Centre Championship. The winner on that day was Mark Giles who heads this season’s grading list. He was chased all the way by Dave Mears and brothers Liam and Ryan Ashcroft who will all find last month’s track time very useful. Add to the list Andrew Whitaker, Andrew Mellish, Wayne Broadhurst and Mark Taylor and once again we have a strong line-up, with the winner worthy of joining such names as Alf Hagon, Peter Collins, Chris Pusey, Chris Morton, Steve Schofield, Joe Screen…the list of grasstrack/speedway legends just goes on in the list of former 350cc British Champions.
Probably the strongest class in depth on two-wheels at present is the 250cc Solos. As in the 500cc sidecars the class has an interesting mix of both young chargers and experienced campaigners. Henry Atkins as in all classes will be trying to keep his hands on the championship trophy for a further twelve months. But the seventeen year-old from the West Country will be in for some tough competition from Eastern centre champion, 16-year-old Charlie Brooks from Diss in Norfolk. Both riders are sharing their racing time between the grass and the shale and are equally at home on both surfaces. Both are very fast but so are David Knowles and Tim Greig who have so much racing experience with track craft to match. Others to watch are Luke Harris and Adam Hawker who has been really improving this year, again as in the 350cc solos strong field of of over 20 riders.
Last but by no means least is the 1000cc left-hand sidecars. This is the first time they have visited Chelmsford and although the field is a little depleted after a couple of nasty recent crashes, these 1000cc monsters will certainly add even more excitement too what is already an exciting event. Heading the line-up is last years British Champions Richard Webb. And Bradley Reynolds. Martin Cuff/Colin Clark and Joe Butcher will be pressing them all the way. With the absence on Will Penfold/Ricky Pay after there big Frittenden crash the Penfold family will be represented by Tony Penfold/.Carl Bell and Billy Penfold/Dan Woodbridge. Again as with all classes the winner is difficult to pick in this line-up of quality racers.

Who will join the list of Champions and forever have their names etched in British Grasstrack history?
Don’t miss it…this Sunday, over 40 Championship Races starting at 1pm.
 

LINE-UP

​500cc Sidecars

3      Josh Goodwin / Liam Brown
4      Simon Beard / Ant Goodwin
7      Barrie Bennett / Eifion Hughes
9      Mitchel Godden / Paul Smith
11    Chris Neame / Luke Russell
47    Tony Dart / Mark Hopkins (Reserve)
65    Natasha Bartlett / Curtis McAlinney
68    Dan Berwick / Josh Russell
72    Shaun Harvey / Danny Hogg
73    James Hogg / Scott Goodwin
77    Shaun Hughes / Louis Bennett
118  Scott Dunn / Karl Hocaniuk
152  Aaron Vale / Stephen Vale

 

250cc Solo

8    Adam Hawker
10    Tim Greig
11    Ollie Stanford
16    Charlie Brooks
22    Phil Thomas
26    Luke Harris
27    Martin Hollingsbee
29    Henry Atkins
32    Nick Irwin
42    Chris Johnson
64    David Knowles
69    Chris White
78    Anthony Sales
82    Ben Ilsley
91    Russell Little
116    George Fenner
174    Brandon Gutteridge
182    Giles Dismore
305    Mark Collins
314    Graham Thomas
501    Ben Worrall

350cc Solo
1    Tom  Perry
6    Rob Finlow
7    Andy Mellish
12    Martin Adams
17    Andrew Whitaker
19    Dave Mears
26    Mark Giles
28    Max Pankhurst
29    Henry Atkins
32    Jamie Fenn-Smith
45    Ryan Ashcroft
61    Chris Ward
67    Laurence Barber
77    Barry Coates
83    Liam Ashcroft
86    Paul Hurry
91    Patrick Crook
158    Wayne Broadhurst
161    Tom Davis
170    Mark Taylor
184    Steve Pearce
821    Barry Powell              
886    Phil Rowlands


1000cc Left-Hand Sidecars

01    Richard Webb / Bradley Reynolds
7    Alex Balman / Mark Hopkins
18    Rob Heath / Kyle Fish
25    Tony Penfold / Carl Bell
68     Chris Berwick / Kayleigh Booth
93    Joe Butcher / Micheal Chittenden
125    Billy Penfold / Dan Woodbridge

128    Martin Cuff / Colin Clark

 

WRITTLE FULL OF EASTERN PROMISES- THE RAIN STOPS AND THE SUN SHINES

TUESDAY MAY 22

Pouring rain on the eve of Eastern Centre Championships meeting on Sunday was not enough to dampen the spirits of the 500cc Sidecar Association as they hosted an excellent club meeting in preparation for their British Championships event next month. The racing surface, although inevitably being affected by the rain the day before, still held up well and produced fantastic racing across many classes, as racers entered in their droves.

 

Perhaps the strongest lineup of the day was seen in the 500cc Solos class. Edward Kennett, having been resting since damaging his knee at Swingfield last month, looked in tremendous form, winning his first two rides. But the injured knee began to flare, and Kennett was forced to throw in the towel after just two rides. European champ James Shanes won the other heat of the big solos, before crashing in his second ride. Australian Alex Davies took two wins, after placing second in his first ride. Shanes duly won the final heat. The points scored in the heats would be added to points scored in the final to decide overall winners. James Shanes, after his accident earlier in the day, won the final with a fantastic ride, leading home Alex Davies, with last week’s winner Charley Powell finishing 3rd. But because of that fall, Shanes finished 5th overall on points, and Davies had done enough to win overall. Experienced Kent racer Martyn Sturgeon had put in several consistent rides to finish 3rd overall.

 

The 250cc Solos were dominated by Charlie Brooks, whilst Mark Giles and Dave Mears once again tussled over the 350cc event...Giles once again came out on top. This rivalry is sure to rage throughout the year.

 

The 500cc sidecars boasted a good lineup, but it looked like British champs Josh Goodwin and Liam Brown would have the edge. They won all of their heats and led the final, but mechanical problems would stop them. Simon Beard/Ant Goodwin were able to capitalise. Beard/Goodwin, having never finished lower than second (including a heat win of their own), took the meeting win outright by winning the final. Aaron Vale and Stephen Vale, fresh from a great ride in Ludinghausen midweek, rode solidly to finish 2nd overall, and 2nd in the final. Goodwin/Brown’s 3 heat wins were enough to secure 3rd.

 

Liam Brown teamed up with Colin Blackbourn as, once again, he performed double duties. His luck, however, was much more in his favour in the ‘big chair’ class. Blackbourn/Brown won all of their heats. Blackbourn has looked in good form this season. Some great battles raged behind them, with Tom Cossar/Wayne Rickards taking their new cross-plane set up to 2nd place, beating Rob Wilson/Bradley Steer in two out of the four races. Clint Blondel and Kev Bennett made the journey from the Channel Islands and put in some good rides, narrowly missing out on 3rd place via countback.
Eastern Centre racer Stephen Green won the Upright class convincingly, with Midland Centre racer Tim Curnock being forced to follow him home in all four heats.

 

Once again, the Eastern Centre led the way with Youth Grasstrack racing, having excellent lineups in all four classes. The Auto Cadets (the youngest of the children racing) looks very competitive this season. Last week’s winner at Ledbury, Harry Cutler, could only manage 6th this week as the other children got to grips with their machinery. Ollie Binns looked very impressive, winning his second meeting of the season. 
Another Channel Islander, Guernsey’s Thomas Vining won the cadet class as he continues to make waves in the sport. He beat British Champion Cooper Rushen, who is looking quicker and quicker since stepping up classes.

 

Cameron Taylor returned to winning ways, beating all of his adversaries in every heat. He led Norwich New Stars regular Kenzie Cossey convincingly, with Vinny Smith, Zak Batey and Ashton Vale all scrapping over 3rd.
Finally, the older boys in the Intermediate class put on a good show. But, once again, nobody could match Jake Mulford. His closest rival, Sam Norris rode well to beat Aidan Arthur, who is still getting to grips with the bigger class.
Finally, the GT140 class saw a former British Champion dominate the event. Adam Shipp used to compete in the old ‘moped speedway’ events in the Eastern Centre, which this new GT140 class has evolved from. He returned to his roots to win the event, leading home Chris Mackett, who was the only other rider to win a race in the round robin event. This class seems to be growing weekly, with this meeting attracting 14 racers, including plenty of names from the past!
 

RESULTS

​500cc Sidecars
1. Simon Beard/Ant Goodwin
2. Aaron Vale/Stephen Vale
3. Josh Goodwin/Liam Brown
4. ShaunHughes/Louis Bennett
5. Barrie Bennett/Eifion Hughes
6. Tony Dart/Wayne Powell

 

1000cc Sidecars
1. Colin Blackburn/Liam Brown
2. Tom Cossar/Wayne Rickards
3. Rob Wilson/Bradley Steer
3. Clint Blondel/Kevin Bennett
5. George Penfold/Ryan Barker

 

500cc Solo
1. Alex Davies
2. Charley Powell
3. Martyn Sturgeon
4. Stuart Mears
5. James Shanes
6. Matt Saul

 

350cc Solo
1. Mark Giles
2. Dave Mears
3. Ryan Ashcroft
4. Liam Ashcroft
5. Steve Tideswell

6. Rich Wenham

 

250cc Solo
1. Charlie Brooks
2. Tim Greig
3. Adam Hawker
4. Ollie Stanford
5. Russell Little
6. Ben Isley

 

GT140
1. Adam Shipp
2. Chris Mackett
3. George Fenner
4. Carl Hard
5. Murrie Collins
6. Karl Rushen

Auto Cadet
1. Ollie Binns
2. Rico Joyce
3. Archie Ralph
4. George Colvin
5. Joshua Allen
6. Harry Cutler
7. Oliver Bovingdon
8. Luca Whitelam
9. Jaden Ketteringham

 

Cadet
1. Thomas Vinning
2. Cooper Rushen
3. Jesse James
4. Alfie Attoe
5. Logan Ketteringham
6. Mitchell Bowman

 

Junior
1. Cameron Taylor
2. Kenzie Cossey
3. Vinny Smith
4. Zak Batey
5. Ashton Vale
6. Austin Riches
7. Max Derrick
8. Kara Griffin
9. Archie Cale

 

Inters
1. Jake Mulford
2. Sam Norris
3. Aidan Arthur
4. Dan Clark
5. Christopher Mackie
6. Danny Curl

THE 2018 EASTERN CENTRE CHAMPIONSHIP TAKES PLACE THIS WEEKEND

WEDNESDAY MAY 19

Grasstrack Racing is back next weekend at the 500cc Sidecar Association’s venue at Kings Farm which is situated close to Hylands Park in Chelmsford.
The club has two championship events in 2018, the first of which is on Sunday (May 13th) The club are the organisers of the 2018 Eastern Centre Championship and an exciting afternoon of high-speed action gets underway at 1pm.
More than 100 competitors have entered this prestigious event in both Sidecar and Solo classes and with more than 40 races on offer an exciting afternoon of close, wheel-to-wheel racing is in the offing for all race fans. Members of the club have been working hard turning this grassy field into a well-prepared 450m oval, preping the track to create the best possible racing surface for all.

From the 50cc powered solo machines in the youth auto-cadet class right through to the 1000cc powered sidecars, the 170bhp monsters that have got to be seen to be believed.
Topping the bill in the Solo class is the current British and European Grasstrack Champion James Shanes who is currently in Germany racing in the World Longtrack round. Shanes has a busy schedule as he also races speedway during the week, combining both grass with the shale action up to five days a week. One late entry to the line-up is Edward Kennett another of speedway’s GB Elite that shares both disciplines.
All classes are full and the action gets underway from 11am with practice followed by the racing. 48 races are programmed for the afternoon a full list of riders can be found below.

Entry is only £12 for adults and Under 16's come in free as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Programmes are £2 and we have hot food, ice creams and a beer tent to make sure you don't go thirsty of hungry whilst watching the action on the track.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

THE COUNTDOWN TO THE EASTERN CENTRE CHAMPIONSHIP IS UNDERWAY

SATURDAY 28th APRIL

The track team are busy working on the track getting it into tip-top condition in time for our first meeting of the year at our Chelmsford venue. And we have had to close entries after a massive influx of riders keen to get some track time after a wet start to the season. All classes are full and it's going to be a full day of racing on May 13th.

We also have flight crew and volunteers from the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance in attendance. As many of you know we had a unplanned visit from the helicopter at our last meeting in October. We are pleased to say young Archie who was airlifted to the Royal London on that day has made a full recovery and has entered on May 13th. So during the interval we will be asking the youth riders to do a helmet colllection to raise funds for this much needed service.

Back to the racing, we have ten different classes in action including both sidecars and solos, youth and adult. Over 100 entries and the phone hasn't stopped even though the FULL notice has gone up. A complete line-up will be announced next week so keep an eye on this website and social media, it's a meeting you don't want to miss.

IT's time to get to work!

February's arrived and it's time to start preparing for our two big meetings we are organising this season at our Chelmsford Racetrack. Two big championship meetings to look forward to with the Eastren Centre Championship in May, followed by the British Championships in June.

The work has already begun with the creation of two posters which you can see on this site and this Saturday (February 10th) it's our first work party day at our track. Yes it's probably going to be cold but it's got to be done and I'm sure we'll have a fun day. Look out for the picture on our Facebook Page and on this website.

Also why not download our latest February copy of Sidetracked the 500cc Sidecar Association Newsletter.

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