Former World Speedway number 2 Les Collins was guest of honour at the Formula Grasstrack Association awards evening for the 2017 season last Saturday (20th January). Collins was interviewed by Grasstrack stalwart Brian Curran to kick the evening off and then went on to present the 2017 winners with their spoils.
2017 Champions Ollie Binns (Auto Cadet), Billy Budd (Cub), Sam Hall (Junior) & Ryan Ashcroft (Senior) needed boxes to cart their 2017 trophy stash home with them. But despite their dominance in their respected classes, they had to share the spotlight with their fellow competitors.
Dave Binns (Senior) & Billy Budd (Under 16) were deservedly voted by the rider’s as Rider of the Year in the two categories, whilst Liam Ashcroft made several trips to the stage to claim The Jonathon Rodgers, Geoff Adams, Shelagh Reece Memorial trophies. The FGA Vice Chairman, Glyn Stanton took the opportunity to address the audience whilst collecting the Martin Parry Rosebowl with a speech about how the future of the FGA is in safe hands and will be progressing whilst keeping its heritage.
Highlights of the night go to FGA founders Carl & Sylvia Stanton who received the oldest Formula Grasstrack trophy, The Junior Championship shield dating back to 1974 (winner Mark Wadsworth!). The shield had been used up to 2015 and had become full. The decision was made to award it back to the couple as a show of gratitude for creating the sport some forty-five years ago. Carl paid a tribute to Brian Robinson, who has sadly passed away recently. Brian helped Carl start the Bantam Grasstrack scene and was a dear friend of the sport.
There was a touch of comedy to the evening when Whitchurch stalwart John Higham was surprised by mechanic Carl Liddy with a new award. The Richard Cranium Award (created by Martin Meadows). The reason for the award being that John had “lost” his steel shoe at the Gresford event in July, only to realise he hadn’t been wearing it at all! The 2018 season gets under way on Saturday 28th April at Malpas, Shropshire.
You can view the gallery of the night here.