Meeting Reports 2012
 

 

SWeGA Grasstrack 8th April 2012
Gareth Bemister

 

The circuit which is to play host to this year’s Masters Qualifier looked in fine shape for SWeGA’s first meeting of the season at their new venue in Thorverton. The track was hard and very slippery during practice, challenging both solo and sidecar riders to begin with. Even though the circuit provided a challenge, it still looked a superb grasstrack circuit. A rolling bump coming up the home straight gave a chance for several sidecars to become airborne during the day. If the circuit is in the same condition for the Qualifier, there is sure to be some great racing.

Race 1 (Solo Open)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Melksham, 3rd. McLusky, 4th. Cresswell, 5th. Hodgson, 6th. Quintrell, 7th. Drew, 8th. Weeks, 9th. Whitelam Jnr, 10th. Cunningham, 11th. Ricky Gregory
The slippery conditions from practice were still evident in race one as Alex Cunningham slid off on the first turn. There were no mistakes from Josh Dingle who stormed away to an enormous victory. Second place was hotly contested as Scot Mick McLusky struggled to keep within the confines of the circuit once to often, allowing ‘Rocket’ Rod Melksham to slip up the inside.

Race 2 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Goudge/Goudge, 2nd. Gribble/Schofield, 3rd. Warren/Wilkes, 4th. Stoneman/Broomfield, 5th. Syms/Foley.
The slick conditions created a great spectacle in a crowded first bend as local crew Clive Stoneman/Rowland Broomfield took the whole shot, only for James/Dave Goudge to come past them completely sideways and storm away to a win. Whilst holding second, disaster struck Stoneman/Broomfield as the machine lurched sideways coming onto the final lap, a puncture being the cause. The Goudge Brothers look mighty quick aboard their machine, complete with new white colour scheme.

Race 3 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Owen/Rickards, 2nd. Mogg/Cutler, 3rd. Heal/Madley, 4th. Sturtridge/Farwell, 5th. Stace/Little, 6th. Pearn/Whitelam
Another spectacular first bend for the sidecars as the whole pack, led by Neal Owen/Wayne Rickards charged into the turn. Finding no grip, they all slid wide apart from Mick Stace/Gareth Little. Stace, mounted on a speedway bike, tucked underneath the pack and came out of the turn in second, headed only by the Welsh crew of Owen/Rickards. Sadly, Stace/Little didn’t have the pace to hold position and slid back through the pack. On their first race of the season, Neal Owen/Wayne Rickards looked a force to be reckoned with, pulling spectacular wheelies coming over the finish line.


Race 4 (250cc Solos)

1st. James Shanes, 2nd. Ilsley, 3rd. Shanes Snr, 4th. Ball, 5th. Randall, 6th. Anderson, 7th. Power, 8th. Tizzard, 9th. Slade
For a moment at least, young James Shanes was led by father Jon. A flying start from Shanes Snr saw him and Ben Ilsley lead into the first bend. The super quick youngster Shanes dived between Ben Ilsley and his father and led out of the first bend and disappeared from sight. It was evident from this point that he was not going to be caught today. A good race ensued for 3rd as Jon Shanes, Gary Ball and Michael Randall battled right to the line. Ilsley rode a lonely race a long way in front of the battle for 3rd, but not looking likely to catch the flying James Shanes.

Race 5 (Autos/Cadets)

1st. L. Dummett, 2nd. Bree, 3rd. Williams, 4th. Derrick
Fast trapper Jack Bree led into the first turn, but Leo Dummett (who was racing in the Cadet class) stormed past on the back straight. Disappointment for the other Cadet, Chad Wirtzfeld who’s machine packed up coming off of the line. He came to a halt half way up the straight and could not move his machine.

Race 6 (350cc Solos)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Powell, 3rd. Quintrell, 4th. Drew, 5th. Sandford
A good first lap of racing saw Barry Powell clamp Josh Dingle down on the first bend and lead up the back straight. Dingle stamped his authority on the class however, rounding Powell and winning by a country mile. The young Cornishman looked in stunning form. Good to see local rider Max Sandford back on a bike again.

Race 7 (Juniors)

1st. Brennan, 2nd. Phillips, 3rd. Dummett, 4th. Atkins, 5th. Anderson, 6th. Walker
A great start from Callan Phillips allowed him to dictate half of the race, making Tom Brennan work very hard to get past. Eventually, the super quick Brennan got by and sped away, leaving Phillips to come home a good second.

Race 8 (Uprights)

1st. Barrett, 2nd. Cox, 3rd. Palmer, 4th. Harris, 5th. George, 6th. Snow, 7th. Spencer, 8th. Sherman, 9th. Wheatley, 10th. Arthur
It was immediately obvious from this heat that short of mechanical failure, nobody was going to beat Wayne Barrett today. He was in a class of his own in the Upright class. Therefore, the race was going to be for second and it was hotly contested between Calvin Palmer and Steve Cox. The chase continued right to the line where Steve Cox managed to get a nose in front of Palmer.

Race 9 (Inters)

1st. Harris, 2nd. Walker, 3rd. Wajtknecht, 4th. Williams, 5th. Anderson, 6th. Bulley, 7th. Crook
The Intermediate riders equalled one another as they spread out fairly quickly, neither managing to make a move on the other. Luke Harris, Callum Walker and Zak Wajknecht all looked super fast, but made no errors so followed one another around at high speed for four laps. Problems for Patrick Crook as he came round the last bend with his silencer hanging from his machine, eventually losing it on his warm down lap. Clerk of the Course, Adrian Croft managed to return the object back to Crook’s pit crew before the youngster had got himself back to the pits!

Race 10 (Solo Open)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Melksham, 3rd. McLusky, 4th. Cresswell, 5th. Hodgson, 6th. Quintrell, 7th. Whitelam Jnr, 8th. Weeks
More tragedy for Kiwi Alex Cunningham as he again comes off on the first corner. As Josh Dingle ran away with the race, the battle was again for second as Mike McLusky and Rod Melksham again locked horns. Once again, McLusky ran wide coming out of the tight top corner on the last lap, allowing Melksham to pass him for the runners up spot.

Race 11 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Owen/Rickards, 2nd. Goudge/Goudge, 3rd. Stoneman/Broomfield, 4th. Warren/Wilkes, 5th. Heal/Madley, 6th. Stace/Little
The clash of the first heat winners was won this time by the sweet sounding V-Twin Godden. Both Goudge and Owen gated together, but the latter was willing to push a little harder and run wide in the first bend, whilst The Goudge Brothers opted for a slower, tighter line. Owen/Rickards gamble paid off as they got away from the Cornish brothers. Again, some spectacular wheelies from Neal Owen proved his confidence on the day.

Race 12 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Mogg/Cutler, 2nd. Gribble/Schofield, 3rd. Pearn/Whitelam, 4th. Sturtridge, 5th. Syms/Foley
The first run of this race was stopped after the tapes were broken. All were allowed in the rerun. Again, the tight first bend caused problems as Joe Sturtridge/Jason Farwell collided with Terry Pearn/Ben Whitelam hard, almost causing Ben Whitelam to fall from the machine. He clung on and the two followed their assailant home in 4th, only for the clerk of the course to rule Sturtridge’s first bend as ‘dangerous riding’ and reversing the two crews positions. Paramedics attended to Ben Whitelam in the pits, who was battered and bruised from taking the brunt of the impact. Sturtridge immediately apologised for his error. While all the drama happened further back, Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler won comfortably.

Race 13 (250cc Solos)

1st. Shanes Jnr, 2nd. Shanes Snr, 3rd. Ball, 4th. Randall, 5th. Tizzard, 6th. Anderson, 7th. Slade
Another huge win for James Shanes as he eased home for his second victory of the day. Things weren’t so straight forward for Shanes Snr as he battled for four laps with former 500cc Sidecar man Gary Ball, finally taking second place for the first ever Shanes 1,2.

Race 14 (Autos/Cadets

) 1st. Dummett, 2nd. Bree, 3rd. Derrick, 4th. Williams
Another good start from Jack Bree, leading into the first bend, only to be taken once again by Leo Dummett on the back straight. Jordan Derrick got the better of Perry Williams this time.

Race 15 (350cc Solos)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Powell, 3rd. Quintrell, 4th. Drew, 5th. Sandford
Another good first lap as Barry Powell again made a quick start but just couldn’t hold off the in form Dingle for more than a lap. This time, Josh Dingle came past going into the first corner on lap two and won by a considerable margin.

Race 16 (Juniors)

1st. Atkins, 2nd. Phillips, 3rd. Dummett, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Walker
Tragedy struck young Tom Brennan. Whilst leading comfortably, he lost control of his machine coming out of the first bend on lap 2. He was unhurt, but took no further part in the meeting. After leading the first heat, Callan Phillips was keen to stamp his authority on the class after the departure of Tom Brennan. But it wasn’t too be as Henry Atkins rose to the occasion and fought off the hard charging Cornish youngster right to the line.

Race 17 (Uprights)

1st. Barrett, 2nd. Harris, 3rd. Palmer, 4th. George, 5th. Spencer, 6th. Snow, 7th. Cox, 8th. Wheatley, 9th. Sherman
The race was again for second. This time Calvin Palmer found himself locked in battle with Colin Harris for the first part of the race, and again found himself having to settle for third. Steve Cox, who rode well in the first heat, found himself well down the order in this heat. But Barrett looked simply unstoppable.

Race 18 (Inters)

1st. Harris, 2nd. Walker, 3rd. Wajtknecht, 4th. Williams, 5th. Anderson, 6th. Bulley, 7th. Crook
Again, the top three showed sensational style to follow one another round for four laps and terrific speed. But it was really all decided after the first bend.

Race 19 (Solo Open)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Melksham 3rd. McLusky, 4th. Cresswell, 5th. Hodgson, 6th. Drew, 7th. Quintrell, 8th. Gregory, 9th. Weeks, 10th. Whitelam Jnr
The dust was the main talking point for this race. It had become gradually more dusty as the meeting went on, but by this point, it had become dangerous. Coupled with the strong wind, the dust was travelling down the straights, meaning that riders were coming off of the last corner and not being able to see the straight at all. Even Josh Dingle was slowing up, squinting through the dust. Thankfully, no incidents occurred and the club immediately acted upon the situation, watering the track.

Race 20 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Stoneman/Broomfield, 2nd. Heal/Madley, 3rd. Sturtridge/Farwell, 4th. Syms/Foley
The track watering (which was very necessary) made the circuit incredibly slippery. All sidecar outfits were giving another two laps practice to familiarise themselves with the change in conditions. As the chairs hit the bend, no caution was shown by Simon Heal/Terry Madley, storming round a thin dry line on the outside. Seemingly comfortable, their bravery became their downfall as the Steer Yamaha locked up coming out of the pit bend, allowing Stoneman/Broomfield to sneak past for a fortunate win.

Race 21 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Owen/Rickards, 2nd. Goudge/Goudge, 3rd. Pearn/Whitelam Jnr, 4th. Warren/Wilkes, 5th. Stace/Little, 6th. Mogg/Cutler
Paul Whitelam Jnr took over passengering duties from injured younger brother, Ben for Terry Pearn. Perhaps conditions leant themselves even more to the Godden now and Neal Owen/Wayne Rickards won by a comfortable margin. Dave Goudge was working very hard on the back of his brother as the talented pair struggled to get the power onto the greasy surface. Nobody struggled more than Joe Mogg and Jake Cutler, who pirouetted on the last corner. Ten out of ten for style, but it allowed everyone past and Mogg took the last place by pushing over the line.

Race 22 (250cc Solos)

1st. Shanes Jnr, 2nd. Ilsley, 3rd. Ball, 4th. Randall, 5th. Shanes Snr, 6th. Anderson, 7th. Power, 8th. Slade
After missing his second ride through an electrical problem, Ben Ilsley provided the most entertainment for the heat. After an appalling first bend, Ilsley set about pulling himself through the field. He rode from 6th to 2nd, taking a wide line all the way. A clumsy looking error from Graham Tizzard saw him fail to finish. He lost the back end coming into the final turn and span to a halt.

Race23 (Autos/Cadets)

1st. Dummett, 2nd. Bree, 3rd. Wirtzfeld, 4th. Derrick, 5th. Williams
This time, Jack Bree managed to lead Leo Dummett for two laps before being overtaken by the Cadet rider. A great piece of bravery from young Perry Williams, who had both feet off the foot pegs, charging out of the last bend. Perhaps he fancies himself as a future Manfred Poschenreider!

Race 24 (350cc Solos)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Drew, 3rd. Quintrell
Only four riders came to the line for this 350 heat and it was uneventful until Barry Powell unfortunately lost control coming out of the first bend, and found the fence on the back straight. Thankfully, he returned to his feet but his DNF had lost him the runners up spot in the class.

Race 25 (Juniors)

1st. Phillips, 2nd. Dummett, 3rd. Atkins, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Walker
A good win from Callan Phillips here, who had returned to the form that he had shown in the first heat.

Race 26 (Uprights)

1st. Barrett, 2nd. Harris, 3rd. Palmer, 4th. Cox, 5th. Spencer, 6th. Wheatley, 7th. George, 8th. Snow, 9th. Sherman, 10th. Arthur
There were two battles in this heat to try and keep up with! A battle for second between Colin Harris and Calvin Palmer was concluded when Harris pulled off a fabulous last turn. He came into the bend with the throttle wide open, rounded Palmer and held it on the stop to the line. Whilst this battle continued, a four way dice ensued between Steve Cox, Phil Spencer, John Wheatley and Tony George. Well travelled Wheatley was going much better in this race, but couldn’t find a way past Phil Spencer.

Race 27 (Inters)

1st. Harris, 2nd. Walker, 3rd. Wajtknecht, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Bulley
Another disaster for Patrick Crook, coming off on the first corner. This time, Callum Walker led into the first bend but Luke Harris found his way up the inside in a lovely move coming out of the first bend. From then on , the boys again matched one another for speed and the race became rather processional.

Race 28 (Solo Open )

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Melksham, 3rd. McLusky, 4th, Cresswell, 5th. Gregory, 6th. Quintrell, 7th. Hodgson, 8th. Whitelam Jnr, 9th. Weeks, 10th. Cunningham
A first corner which looked a bit hairy from Mike McLusky, almost losing it on the slippery surface. Josh Dingle did not struggle with conditions and tore away from the opposition once again. A much better ride by Ricky Gregory, still building confidence after his horrendous accident at Collier Street in 2010. After being warned several times, Darren Drew fell afoul of his riding style and was excluded for running outside of the confines of the circuit once too often.

Race 29 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Goudge/Goudge, 2nd. Mogg/Cutler, 3rd. Sturtridge/Farwell, 4th. Stace/Little
Problems on the start line for Mick Stace/Gareth Little who twice crept onto the start tapes and had to move back. Even bigger problems however for Neal Owen/Wayne Rickards. After popping an enormous wheelie half way down the start straight, they came grinding to a halt on the second lap while holding 3rd. As Owen came closer to the crowd, it was evident that the chain was off of the Godden. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the spectacular Goudge Brothers, who were completely sideways coming out of the pit bend. They really were at the point of no return before finding grip from somewhere and regaining control without being collected by the chasing pack.

Race 30 (1000cc Sidecars)

1st. Stoneman/Broomfield, 2nd. Heal/Madley, 3rd. Warren/Wilkes, 4th. Syms/Foley, 5th. Pearn/Whitelam Jnr
After the drama of the previous heat, the second sidecar heat was relatively uneventful. A good win by Clive Stoneman/Rowland Broomfield was enough to make them second highest point scorers. Terry Pearn/Paul Whitelam Jnr again struggled with conditions, allowing Phil Syms/Sam Foley through.

Race  31 (250cc Solos)

1st. Shanes Jnr, 2nd. Ilsley, 3rd. Ball, 4th. Shanes Snr, 5th. Randall, 6th. Anderson, 7th. Power, 8th. Slade
Again James Shanes stormed away, but a better start from Ilsley allowed him to stay closer for at least two laps. Another great tussle developed between Ball, Shanes Snr and Randall, this time Gary ball came out on top.

Race 32 (Autos/Cadets)

1st. Dummett, 2nd. Bree, 3rd. Wirtzfeld, 4th. Williams, 5th. Derrick
The drama of this race happened in the first few feet as Chad Wirtzfeld went sideways and across the entire pack off of the line. He managed to lead into the first bend, but was quickly overtaken by Leo Dummett and Jack Bree.

Race 33 (350cc Solos)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Powell, 3rd. Drew, 4th. Quintrell
Only four starters again and they followed one another around for four laps. Josh Dingle looked incredibly fast.

Race 34 (Juniors)

1st. Phillips, 2nd. Dummett, 3rd. Atkins, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Walker
This race was relatively uneventful in a class that had been ferociously contested since the favourite had been eliminated after a crash. Another good win for Callan Phillips


Race 35 (Uprights)

1st. Barrett, 2nd. Harris, 3rd. Palmer, 4th. Spencer, 5th.  George,  6th. Snow, 7th. Cox, 8th. Wheatley, 9th. Sherman, 10th. Arthur
Another good midfield race in the Upright class. This time, Colin Harris got away from Calvin Palmer but behind them, a great dice between Spencer, George, Snow, Cox and Wheatley took place. This time, Phil Spencer won the battle in a brilliant ride.

Race 36 (Inters)

1st. Harris, 2nd. Walker, 3rd. Wajtknecht, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Bulley
Another high speed procession by these talented riders.

Race 37 (Solo Open)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. McLusky, 3rd. Melksham, 4th. Drew, 5th. Cresswell, 6th. Hodgson, 7th. Weeks, 8th. Cunningham, 9th. Quintrell, 10th. Whitelam Jnr
As Dingle again shot away from the pack, the best racing was seen further down. This time, Darren Drew’s riding style saw him passing emphatically. Although he was still struggling to stay on the circuit, he was super fast. While looking good in fourth, Ricky Gregory pulled out of the race. Mike McLusky made no mistakes this time, getting the better of Rod Melksham.

Race 38 (Uprights)

1st. Barrett, 2nd. Harris, 3rd. Palmer, 4th. Spencer, 5th. Snow, 6th. Cox, 7th. Sherman, 8th. Arthur, 9th. Wheatley
Wayne Barrett took his fifth win in a class that he never looked challenged in. Further down, again some great racing was witnessed. Phil Spencer, who was getting quicker with every lap, pushed Calvin Palmer right to the line, but couldn’t quite force his way into the top 3.

Race 39 (Autos/Cadets)

1st. Dummett, 2nd. Bree, 3rd. Wirtzfeld, 4th. Williams, 5th. Derrick
Another win for Leo Dummett who took the Cadet class with a flawless victory. And another good second for Jack Bree, giving him the Autos win.

Race 40 (350cc Solos)

1st. Dingle, 2nd. Powell, 3rd. Drew, 4th. Quintrell
Another victory for Josh Dingle saw him take the overall victory with a flawless display.

Race 41 (Juniors)

1st. Dummett, 2nd. Phillips, 3rd. Atkins, 4th. Walker, 5th. Anderson
A brilliant race in the final Junior race. Jack Dummett, Callan Phillips and Henry Atkins all swapped places several times, with Henry Atkins looking the most likely winner, after leading for three laps. However, Jack Dummett had something to say about that by producing a superb display in the last lap,getting round both of his rivals. Callan Phillips inflicted more misery upon the early leader, by plugging away on the inside and passing on the last bend.

Race 42 (250cc Solos)

1st. Shanes Jnr, 2nd. Ball, 3rd. Shanes Snr, 4th. Randall, 5th. Tizzard, 6th. Anderson, 7th. Ilsley, 8th. Power, 9th. Slade
James Shanes sewed up his second win of the season by winning this final heat emphatically once again. A great ride from Gary Ball saw him unchallenged for second. Ben Ilsley pulled himself up to third before pulling up with problems and finishing well down the order.

Race 43 (Inters)

1st. Walker, 2nd. Harris, 3rd. Wajtknecht, 4th. Anderson, 5th. Bulley
Callum Walker managed to get the better of Luke Harris in this last heat, Harris knowing that second would still see him winning the class. Although the racing in this class was not particularly close, the top three showed tremendous speed and style all day.

Race 44 (1000cc Sidecar Final)

1st. Goudge/Goudge, 2nd. Stoneman/Broomfield, 3rd. Heal/Madley, 4th. Sturtridge/Farwell, 5th. Warren/Wilkes, 6th. Mogg/Cutler
Favourites for the final, Neal Owen and Wayne Rickards were forced to pull out of the final after damaging their gearbox. The problems were possibly linked to their huge lift coming off of the gate in their last heat.

This left the other favourites, the Goudge Brothers, to live up to expectation in the final. They did not have it their own way. The other in-form crew, Clive Stoneman/Rowland Broomfield led into the first bend but were persuaded to move over by James/Dave Goudge who led for the rest of the race. The last bend saw the Goudge Brothers run wide, giving Stoneman/Broomfield a chance to sneak up the inside. On the run to the line, James/Dave Goudge just had enough to keep a nose in front. Further back, another spin by Joe Mogg/Jake Cutler saw them finish last after holding fourth. They were challenging Simon Heal/Terry Madley for third when the rear tyre failed to find traction leaving the pit bend, sending them infield. A good win by James/Dave Goudge sets their season up nicely.