Race Reviews – 2018
Liam Ashcroft scorched to a full house of race wins in a sizzling season opener for the FGA at Wrekin club’s opening meeting of the year.
Rain plagued the initial opening meeting which was cancelled at the end of April, but conditions couldn’t be different at the Chetton venue last Saturday.
In the Auto Cadets, 2017 champion Ollie Binns stormed to a 7 Ride maximum over Bilbrook’s Harry Fletcher. Binns is clearly one to watch for the future after starting only his 2nd full season in the sport. Fletcher on new machinery improved as the meeting progressed and will no doubt get quicker as we move on during the season.
With only one Cub rider entered for this meeting Billy Budd, he was mixed with the 3 Junior competitors. He was in the mix in all his rides and will surely be another talent to watch for in the future. 2017 Junior champion Sam Hall had a day of mixed fortunes with his preferred machine suffering from gremlins, he had to settle for using his number 2 machine although this didn’t stop him from opening with 2 race wins in his opening two rides however he struggled to get the better of Evesham’s Eli Meadows who went on to win the remaining 4-point scoring rides and the final to take the meeting win 4 points ahead of Hall. Katie Gordon took the final rostrum spot with 2 second places in the heats before a 2nd place in the final. A fine result after a fast slide off in her opening practice.
Like Sam Hall, 2017 Senior Champion Ryan Ashcroft had machine issues in practise and was kindly leant a bike by Eli Meadows Dad, Martin for the day. Having made a bad start in his first race he battled through the field to claim 2nd place behind fast starting Steve Mace. Ashcroft went on the take 5 wins before the final and 2nd place behind his younger brother. The Honours went to Liam Ashcroft this time. With 6 wins in the heats he was top point scorer going into the final and claimed top spot in the championship. Third place with 3 wins and 3 second places went to Shropshire’s Glyn Stanton. Stanton having a fantastic battle with fellow Minsterley Member Martin Adams in their last heat. Adams heading Stanton for most of the race before hitting a neutral gear coming out of the corner allowing Stanton to pinch it on the last lap. Adams went into the final tied with Steve Mace who had his best meeting ever, taking 3 race wins in fine style. Mace put his new form down to a new engine. Taking the last position in the top 6 was Crewe’s Dave Binns who rode consistently with 5 2nd places and one win.
IN the A final, it was once again Liam who took a flawless race win despite the race being pulled back after Mace crashed out on lap 2. Rider of the day, Mace was excluded and would have to settle for 5th place on the day, gifting Adams 4th. Champion Ryan took 2nd place. A fantastic effort on a machine he hadn’t raced before the day began with Adams getting 3rd ahead of Stanton with Binns having to settle for the final position after losing his clutch leaver in the first running of the final.
Round 3 takes place at Alveley near Bridgnorth on 2nd June.
1st O. Binns 36, 2nd H. Fletcher 30
1st B. Budd 36
1st E. Meadows 34, 2nd S. Hall 30, 3rd K. Gordon 26
Seniors (top 10)
1st L. Ashcroft 36, 2nd R. Ashcroft 35, 3rd G. Stanton 33, 4th M. Adams 32, 5th S. Mace 32, 6th D. Binns 31, 7th C How 29, 8th M. Curtchington 26, 9th K. Murfin 26, 10th M. Furley 24
Despite the weather forecast predicting rain showers, the sun was out once again for Wrekin club as they hosted round 3 of the 2018 FGA championship at Alveley, Shropshire. The popular venue produced fantastic racing across the classes.
Oliver Binns extended his championship lead in the Auto Cadets. With race times to match the Junior class, Binns stormed to a 7-ride maximum. Some of the best racing of the day came from Oliver Bovingdon and Harry Fletcher. Bovingdon getting the better of Fletcher for the first 4 heats before an epic duel in Race 21 saw Fletcher make a pass on the final lap. In the last point scoring ride and final it would be Bovingdon who got the better of Fletcher to take 2nd overall. Fantastic racing from two relative newcomers to the sport.
The Cub class was hit by mechanical issues with Championship leader and 2017 champion Billy Budd suffering from electrical issues. Despite all the efforts to get out on track, Budd had to sit out most of the meeting only making one appearance which ended in a no finish. The Ellesmere Port racer will no doubt turn out at the next meeting to claw back points lost. That left the Crewe brothers, Jack & Joe go to battle with Jack also struggling with bike trouble it was left to elder brother Joe to take the win. Joe competing in the same races as the Junior class got faster as the meeting progressed.
Eli Meadows took victory once again took victory in the Junior class ahead of champion Sam Hall. Meadows only dropping one point in his 3rd ride to Hall who made his pass on the last lap. Knutsford’s Katie Gordon had a difficult start to the day when in her 2nd ride, her machine cried enough on the run to turn one. Gordon was kindly leant a machine from Eli Meadows and after taking a race to get used to the different bike she began to push Hall and Meadows following them home into 3rd place.
Once again, it was an Ashcroft battle at the top of the senior standings and, once again Liam rode to a 6-ride maximum in the heats to take top position before the A final. Ryan, who was back on his own machine for this meeting would go on to drop one point to his brother in race 18. Shrewsbury’s Martin Adams would take 3rd overall, dropping 2 points to Colin How and Liam Ashcroft in his 2nd race. Grasstrack veteran Glyn Stanton rode consistently to 4th place with Minsterley’s Colin How improving on his round 2 result to take 5th place after some fantastic elbow to elbow races with Martin Adams and Steve Mace during the day. Mace would once again make the top 6 too, squeezing out Crewe’s Dave Binns. In the A final, Ryan Ashcroft would end a 20-race unbeaten run for his younger sibling to take the win. Riding the wheels off the little Honda, the 2017 Champion slowly edge away from his brother and the rest of the chasing pack to take victory and some consolation. Liam held off Stanton for 2nd with How edging out Mace for 4th. A retirement for Adams on lap one.
The next FGA meeting is Whitchurch Mcc 2-day event at Gresford on the 23rd & 24th June.
1st O.Binns 36, 2nd O. Bovingdon 29, 3rd H. Fletcher 25
1st Joe Crewe 36, 2nd Jack Crewe 5
1st E. Meadows 35, 2nd S. Hall 31, 3rd K. Gordon 21
Seniors (Top 10)
1st L. Ashcroft 36, 2nd R. Ashcroft 25, 3rd M. Adams 34, 4th G. Stanton 31, 5th C. How 29, 6th S. Mace 28 7th D. Binns 27, 8th M. Crutchington 24, 9th M. Furley 23, 10th K. Murfin 20
Whitchurch MCC hosted a weekend of action packed Formula Grasstrack racing last weekend in the glorious welsh sunshine at Gresford, near Wrexham.
Saturday’s event produced plenty of thrills and spills in all categories. In the Auto Cadets it was once again a maximum for Oliver Binns. Getting the better of the improving Harry Fletcher. Billy Budd, the lone rider in the cub class was once again put in to challenge the Junior’s thus giving Budd a maximum. The Juniors saw Championship leader Eli Meadows & reigning Champion Sam Hall drw level on points after 3 wins a piece. Meadows would get the better of Hall in the final to take maximum championship points on the day. Hall settled for runner up with Katie Gordon sshaking off a fall in practise to take 3rd place. FGA newcomer Gino Casale finishing 4th after tying on points with Gordon after 6 rides put unable to beat the Knutsford racer in the final.
In the Seniors, Martin Adams made the most of the Ashcroft’s absence to go through the card unbeaten & taking the A final win to finish off a fantastic day. Crewe man Dave Binns finished runner up to Adams whilst Shropshire’s Colin How put in his best performance of the season with 3rd place. 2018 sensation Steve Mace consistently scored his way to 4th. Hard luck stories for Richy Guest & Glyn Stanton. Guest making a return to the FGA dislocated his shoulder in a fall in his 2nd ride after a 2nd place in his first outing. After receiving treatment from the medical staff, guest retired from the meeting. Shropshire veteran Stanton had a day to forget, having racked up 26 points had a coming together in what would be his final ride of the day, leaving him battered and bruised and a worse for wear machine.
1st O.Binns 42, 2nd H. Fletcher 36.
B. Budd 42
1st E. Meadows 39, 2nd S.Hall 39, 3rd K. Gordon 25, 4th G. Casale 25
Seniors (Top 10)
1st M. Adams 42, 2nd D. Binns 38, 3rd C. How 37, 4th S. Mace 33, 5th M Furley 32, 6th A. Binns 31, 7th M. Crutchington 27, 8th K. Murfin 27, 9th G. Stanton 26, 10th J. Budd 23
With the return of The Ashcroft Brothers Sunday’s event looked like the best line up of the FGA season but was depleted slightly with the withdrawals of Glyn Stanton and Richy Guest due to injury.
In the Auto Cadets in was a repeat of Saturday’s results, with Ollie Binns getting the better of Harry fletcher in all their races. Cub champion Billy budd had a disappointing day by his high standards. Battling with his elder rivals in the Junior class, he made the best start of the day in his 5th race only to fall entering turn 4 and retire from the remaining races.
Evesham’s Eli Meadows continued his fantastic form with a maximum display whilst Sam Hall edged Katie Gordon out of 2nd place by 1 point.
Ryan & Liam Ashcroft were expected to continue the dominance of the Senior class but it wasn’t to be. Saturday’s maximum man Martin Adams would once again claim 1st place, only beaten twice, by the Ashcroft’s on separate occasions. Steve Mace would live to regret his opening ride to 3rd place behind Ryan Ashcroft & Adams. This would result in him finishing 2nd by a point to Adams Overall for what is still a fantastic achievement for the Shrewsbury man. Reigning champion Ryan Ashcroft would be tied on points with younger brother Liam after being beaten 4 times by Martin Adams. Liam would suffer mechanical gremlins in his 4th ride leaving him down in forth place in heat 17. In the all-important A final it would be younger sibling Liam to take the win ahead of day winner Adams who was closely followed home by Ryan Ashcroft. Rider of the day would be Ellesmere Ports Jack Budd who upped his game from the Saturday to finish 6th overall after taking two wins to his name in the heats.
The FGA season continues in a fortnight at Wrekin’s Alveley Venue near Kiddiminster.
1st O. Binns 42 2nd H. Fletcher 36
B. Budd 28
1st E. Meadows 42, 2nd S. Hall 33, 3rd K. Gordon 32
Seniors (Top 10)
1st M. Adams 40, 2nd S. Mace 39, 3rd L. Ashcroft 38, 4th R. Ashcroft 38, 5th D. Binns 37, 6th J. Budd 35, 7th M. Furley 28, 8th K. Murfin 27, 9th A. Binns 27, 10th M. Crutchington 26
Meadows to the Max!
Wrekin BGTC organised Round 5 of the 2018 Formula Grasstrack championship – The halfway point in the calendar.
Returning to the Alveley venue for the 2nd time this year in the glorious sunshine, it would prove to be a meeting of Attrition with several mechanical gremlins forcing competitors to retire from the proceedings.
Ollie Binns continues his domination in the Auto Cadet class beating Harry Fletcher into 2nd place in all 6 point scoring rides. Binns was unable to contest the final due to a family party leaving Fletcher to take the win as some consolation.
Cub competitors Billy Budd and Joe Crewe were again mixed in with the four Junior riders. Budd finding the form from 2017 that took him to the cub title to take maximum points from an improving Crewe.
In the Juniors, Evesham’s Eli Meadows once again made light work of his races by making 7 lightening starts to take a full 7 ride maximum ahead of the smooth riding Katie Gordon. The Knutsford racer getting closer to Meadows as the day progressed. Newcomer Gino Casale, making his 2nd outing ever, was steadily improving as the day progressed, battling with Billy Budd and Joe Crewe throughout the day. Hard lucky story for Junior champion Sam Hall, After following home Meadows and Gordon in his opening ride, suffered a hit to the foot in his 2nd ride and had to withdraw from the meeting.
Shropshire’s Martin Adams would continue his run of dominance in the Senior category. Despite falling in his 4th ride behind Dave Binns coming out the last corner, he still managed to cross the line for 4th place. This would result in him tying for 1st with Binns and John Higham. Higham solving some carburation issues in practice to take 4 wins and 2 2nd places. Championship front runner Liam Ashcroft struggled with speed in his machine but still managed a 4th place overall finish. Minsterley man Colin How was hit by mechanical gremlins too, in his 5 ride, spluttering to a halt on the 3rd lap whilst leading and was unable to come to the tapes for his final outing. This would relegate him to 7th overall. Gloucester’s Mark Furley rode consistently to finish 5th. One of his best performances to date. Keith Murfin & Jack Budd were tied for 6th and it would be Budd who would get the better of the Crew man to clinch the last top 6 spot. Hard luck story for Marcus Crutchington who was one to look out for but suffered two chain offs to put a stop to his day.
Notable absentees from the results would be champion Ryan Ashcroft and Veteran racer Glyn Stanton. Ashcroft retiring from his 2nd ride with a terminal mechanical issue whilst Stanton is still nursing injuries sustained two weeks ago at Gresford.
Round 6 takes place in 3 weeks at Hampton Hall, Whitchurch (28th July)
1st O.Binns 36, 2nd H. Fletcher 30
1st B. Budd 36 2nd J. Crewe 30
1st E. Meadows 36, 2nd K. Gordon 30, 3rd G. Casale 23 4th S. Hall 4
Senior (Top 10)
1st M. Adams 33, 2nd J. Higham 33, 3rd D. Binns 33, 4th L. Ashcroft 30, 5th M. Furley 25 6th J.Budd 24, 7th K.Murfin 24, 8th C. How 22, 9th S. Rowley 22, 10th S. Mace 20.
Despite heavy rain showers during the day, Whitchurch MCC’s Formula Grasstrack was a day of thrills & spills. The rain came twice during the point scoring heats but didn’t stop rider’s from producing some close racing at round 6 of the 2018 championship. There was added prestige to the event with the final winners taking home the Jonathon Rodgers memorial trophies.
Ollie Binns continued his dominance of the Auto Cadet class by getting the better of Wolverhampton’s Harry Fletcher. Binns taking maximum points in all his rides to stamp his authority on the championship & take home the Jonathon Rodgers trophy for the 2nd year running.
Billy Budd would add more points to his Cub championship lead by taking maximum points ahead of Joe Crewe. Both Cub riders were mixed in with the Junior class and both riders were not disgraced.
The Junior class saw Eli Meadows extend his points advantage at the top of the Junior championship table. Meadows dominated the combined Junior and Cub races before going on to win the Junior Jonathon Rodger’s Trophy. Katie Gordon looked to have sewn up 2nd spot until a machine issue at the start of the final point scoring ride left 2nd place to Gino Casale. 2017 Champion Sam Hall was left to watch from the other side of the fence due to a fractured bone in his foot.
Martin Adams would continue his consistent run to still lead the Senior championship with a 2nd place over all. But the glory would go to the experienced Glyn Stanton, who was returning to track action after a heavy fall at round 4. The slow gating Stanton would have to work his way through the pack in most rides to take 4 race wins and 2 second places. The last podium step went to Marcus Crutchington who scored consistently throughout the meeting after making gearing changes before the meeting. Crewe’s Dave Binns finished 4th despite being involved in a big crash in his 5th ride. Whilst leading, Binns slipped off entering turn 4 on the 2nd lap leaving Martin Adams nowhere to go except straight over the top of the stricken Binns. Both Men walked away but Binns was excluded for causing the stoppage. 5th Place went to Andy Binns whilst championship front runner Liam Ashcroft was unlucky with only 6th after 2 races with mechanical issues. Ashcroft would borrow a Machine off team meadows to complete his last 3 rides before the Final.
In the Jonathon Rodgers Senior final, it was Liam Ashcroft who got away quickest to take a tapes to flag victory ahead of surprise runner up Andy Binns who had his best meeting in a long time with Top points scorer Stanton rounding off the rostrum.
Hard Luck stories go out to Shrewsbury’s Steve Mace. Mace has been enjoying a fantastic championship run and looked to continue his form until a first bend incident in his 4th ride left him nursing a bang on the head and several bruised ribs. Tividale’s Ryan Ashcroft looked to have finally shaken off his mechanical gremlins after only finishing one ride all afternoon, He changed Carburettors to cure the problems and take a ‘B’ Final victory.
1st O. Binns 42, 2nd H. Fletcher 36
1st B. Budd 42, 2nd J. Crewe 36
1st E. Meadows 42, 2nd G. Casale 31, 3rd K. Gordon 30
Seniors (Top 10)
1st G. Stanton 40, 2nd M. Adams 39, 3rd M. Crutchington 34, 4th D. Binns 33, 5th A. Binns 31, 6th L. Ashcroft 29, 7th K. Murfin 28, 8th J. Higham 26, 9th N. Murfin 25, 10th J. Budd 24
Minsterley Motor Club hosted the 2nd two-day Formula Grasstrack event of the year last weekend at Lea Cross, set in the Shropshire hills.
Saturday’s meeting was the 7th round of the 2018 FGA championship incorporating the Tom Thomas memorial finals which would provide an action-packed end to the day.
The youth classes were very much “as you were” with Ollie Binns, Billy Budd & Eli meadows taking a full house of victories in the Auto cadets, Cubs & Juniors respectively. Runner up in the Auto cadets, Harry Fletcher, took a nasty tumble in the final point scoring ride but got to his feet to contest the re-run. Joe Crewe rode consistently all day, improving with every ride to take 2nd in the cubs and Katie Gordon’s fast gating saw her take 2nd place from Sam Hall, returning to action after breaking his foot two rounds ago.
In the Senior category the racing was close throughout the field, keeping the spectators enthralled all day long. Three returnees to the formula Grasstrack scene in 2018 would go on to take the top three places. British 350cc finalist Wayne Broadhurst was in scintillating form all day, taking maximum points & the Tom Thomas final too. Phil Thomas was next in line on points behind Broadhurst, dropping 4 points in the heats, he settled for 3rd spot in the final behind the fast charging Broadhurst & elder brother Graham. For Graham Thomas, it was a tough return to FGA action, dropping 5 points in the heats, he was tied with the Ashcroft brothers and Colin How. The Final would be the decider for these 4. With Broadhurst getting away first, Graham Thomas took after him securing 2nd in the final and 3rd place overall. Younger Ashcroft, Liam took 4th place in the final, and 4th overall ahead of Ryan Ashcroft, who has appeared to solve his mechanical gremlins which have destroyed his 2018 FGA Campaign. Colin How rounded out the top 6 with Dave Binns 7th. Championship leader Martin Adams finished 8th after suffering mechanical issues before his 5th ride, meaning he had to borrow machines for his final two rides. Race 6 was arguably the race of the Day. The Thomas brother’s fighting for first and 2nd with the hard charging Ryan Ashcroft trying all he knew to pass them. It was a race to the line with Phil Thomas getting it ahead of Ryan Ashcroft and Graham Thomas having to settle for 3rd.
Rider of the day was undoubtedly FGA returnee Jack Priestley. Jack hasn’t raced for 16 years and went on to take victory from Andy Binns in the B Final.
Sunday’s North Vs. South team event was delayed due to rain during the morning. With a depleted entry the event went ahead. With no more rain, the track improved throughout the afternoon and produced some more superb racing. The North team took the win 191 to the South score of 183 points.
In the individual trophy finals, it was once again Eli Meadows taking home the John Broadhurst Trophy. The Seniors saw Ryan Ashcroft take victory in the Geoff Adams final & once again Wayne Broadhurst won the Minsterley Club Championship for the Derek Pinches Shield.
Saturday Results –
1st O. Binns 48pts, 2nd H. Fletcher 42.
1st B. Budd 48, 2nd J. Crewe 42
1st E. Meadows 48, 2nd K. Gordon 40, 3rd S. Hall 32
Seniors (Top 10)
1st W. Broadhurst 48, 2nd P. Thomas 44, 3rd G. Thomas 43, 4th L. Ashcroft 43, 5th R. Ashcroft 43, 6th C. How 43, 7th D. Binns 39, 8th M. Adams 38, 9th G. Stanton 37, 10th A. Binns 30
O.Binns, S. Hall, A. Binns, R. Southwell, G. Thomas, W. Broadhurst, G Stanton, M.Brookes 191 points
H. Fletcher, E. Meadows, P. Thomas, C. How, R. Ashcroft, M. Crutchington, C. Fletcher 183 points
Martin Adams was crowned FGA senior champion last Saturday at Wrekin Grasstrack club’s rescheduled round 8 at Alveley in Shropshire.
Adams, who was leading the championship from Liam Ashcroft by a meagre 4 points before the final meeting of the season, finished 3rd on the day. Despite tying on 33 points with his title rival, this was enough to clinch the title. To rub salt into Ashcroft’s wounds, Adams relegated him to 4th in the final to stretch the gap overall to 5 points.
On the day, the story was about the Eldest Ashcroft, Ryan. The 2017 champion went unbeaten in the heats but fell whilst chasing fellow 350 rival Wayne Broadhurst in the ‘A’final. Broadhurst making his 3rd appearance of the FGA season took 2nd place on the day but took the victory in the final. Solihull’s Marcus Crutchington took 5th ahead of Glyn Stanton in the A final. Crutchington finishing 7th, taking Dave Binns’ place in the final as Binns couldn’t make the start. Stanton finishing 5th overall meaning he promoted himself to 5th in the championship despite missing two rounds through injury.
Dave Binns’ 6th place was enough to seal 3rd place in the overall championship. A fine achievement considering he started racing in 2017!
In the Junior category, Eli Meadows was once again victorious. Meadows has competed in all 9 FGA rounds and come out with maximum Championship points each time, a brilliant season for the youngster from Evesham. Billy Budd was moved up as a wild card for the final round. Budd had sealed the Cub title before this event and showed his talent against the three junior competitors although his points weren’t counted. Sam Hall Claimed 2nd place officially continuing to build confidence after a difficult season. Hard luck struck Knutsford’s Katie Gordon as she blew up her Honda engine and could only manage 7 points, Relegating her to 3rd overall.
The cub class without Billy Budd welcomed FGA debutant Ethan Childe who went on to take the win ahead of Joe Crewe. Lone Cadet rider Harry Fletcher was mixed with the two cadets and put in a good solid performance.
1st E. Childe 2nd J. Crewe
1st E. Meadows, 2nd B. Budd 3rd S. Hall, 4th K. Gordon
Seniors (Top 10)
st R. Ashcroft, 2nd W. Broadhurst, 3rd M. Adams, 4th L. Ashcroft, 5th G. Stanton, 6th D. Binns, 7th M. Crutchington, 8th J. Higham, 9th A. Rowson, 10th C. Timms
1st O. Binns 150pts, 2nd H. Fletcher 144, 3rd O. Bovingdon 24
1st H. Fletcher 49, 2nd O. Binns 25
1st B. Budd 175, 2nd J. Crewe 121 3rd E. Childe 25, 4th Jack. Crewe 24
1st E. Meadows 200, 2nd S. Hall 188, 3rd K. Gordon 187, 4th G. Casale 31
Seniors (Top 10)
1st M. Adams 188, 2nd L. Ashcroft 183, 3rd D. Binns 171, 4th R. Ashcroft 162, 5th G. Stanton 148, 6th S. Mace 142, 7th M. Crutchington 141, 8th M. Furley 139, 9th K. Murfin 133, 10th J. Budd 125.