Helsby Hero’s! – Formula Grasstrack Round 1 Re-Run 24 Report

Helsby & District JGT Club hosted the re-staged round 1 of the 2024 H&N Supplies ltd. FGA Championship on Saturday at their Morley Lane circuit.

This meeting was due to take place at Whitchurch MCC venue near Malpas in April but due to poor weather, the event was cancelled. With the fixture list already being crowded, the club and the FGA joined forces to run the meeting combined with the June & Arthur Worrall Memorial.

For the E-bikes, it would be a special occasion as the club incorporated the ACU Gold Cup for the class. Lilly Bence was the pre meeting favourite after starting the year off in scintillating form but would have a mechanical failure in her 1st ride whilst in front leaving Kobi Gutteridge to win the race ahead of Jonah Bott. Bott would finish runner up in the remaining 4 Gold cup races, giving him the victory by 2 points from Bence, with Gutteridge finishing 3rd overall. Rory Tippett made his Grasstrack debut and came 4th overall ahead of Noah Bakewell. Bence would be take home the top honours in the FGA round with victory in the final ahead of Bott and Gutteridge.

Alfie Shipp Returned to FGA action after missing round 4 last month to take a solid maximum in the Auto class, the youngster from Diss was untroubled all afternoon. Albie South also made his 2nd FGA outing of the year to take 2nd with Dalton Wright taking 3rd.

Charlie Dowd was super smooth in taking 7 wins from 7 rides to take victory in the Cadet category ahead of Darcy Powell who was making his first appearance in the Cadet class at the FGA.

The Cub class produced some superb racing once again and it was Archie Whitelam who took victory despite dropping 4 points in his 5th ride. Chloe Davis continued her impressive run of form to take 2nd, only 2 points behind Whitelam and Roman Ratcliffe would finish a comfortable third on points. Jessica Cox came home in 4th and clinched 3rd place in the final at her home club’s track. Kaylem Bourne and AJ Bence would finish 5th and 6ht respectively.

Isaac Collins-Bullock continued to improve on his way to FGA Junior class victory with Charlotte Arthur finishing in 2ndplace.

Once again, the Seniors provided great entertainment on a track slightly bigger than they are used to. Wayne Broadhurst and Graham Thomas both tied on 47 points to qualify for the A final. Adam Hawker was in brilliant form, only dropping 2 points to qualify for the A final in 3rd spot. Andrew Rowson continued his superb season to get 4th pick ahead of the returning Phil Thomas who was forced to sit out the start of the season on medical grounds. Colin How, Den Edwards and Anthony Rowson would take the final 3 spots in the winner takes all final.

Graham Thomas would storm to the front, chased hard by Broadhurst whilst Phil Thomas, Hawker, How and Andrew Rowson battled for the final rostrum spot. Broadhurst had no answer to Graham Thomas and settled for 2nd, but the 4 men behind continued their on-track battle, with only a bike length splitting them as they took the chequered flag. Minsterley’s Colin How came out on top, giving him 3rd overall with Phil Thomas holding off the hard charging Hawker. Rowson would take 6th with Den Edwards holding of Anthony Rowson for 7th.

In the Mainstream youth categories, Finley Theobald raced to a fine victory over Archie Rolph, with Archie Whitelam taking 3rd. Ollie Binns and Thomas Vining did battle in the Intermediate class, putting on some superb racing. Binns woud take the top honours ahead of Vining with Liam Cox finishing Third despite a 1st ride tumble.

A Depleted GT140 line up didn’t disappoint with some quality racing between all 5 of them. Broadhurst managed to take 4 wins from 6 to take victory over British champion Ian Clarke with Glyn Stanton riding consistently all afternoon in 3rdplace. Mark Chessall was left with 4th after falling in his 2nd ride and Brandon Gutteridge made a rare appearance to take 5th.

The Club completed 74 races in 4 and a half hours with some competitors having 13 races in the afternoon!

Results

Ebikes (Gold Cup) – 1st J.Bott 50, 2nd L. Bence 48, 3rd K. Gutteridge 48

Ebikes (FGA) – 1st. L. Bence 60, 2nd J. Bott 60, 3rd K. Gutteridge 57

Autos – 1st A. Shipp 72, 2nd A. South 60, 3rd D. Wright 36

Cadets – 1st C. Dowd 72 2nd D. Powell 50

Cubs – 1st A. Whitelam 44, 2nd C. Davis 42, 3rd R. Ratcliffe 38

Juniors (FGA) – 1st I. Collins-Bullock 48, 2nd C. Arthur 35

Seniors (Top 10) – 1st G. Thomas 47, 2nd W.Broadhurst 47, 3rd C. How 37, 4th P. Thomas 42, 5th A. Hawker 46, 6thAndrew Rowson 43, 7th Den Edwards 37, 8th Anthony Rowson 35, 9th M. Crutchington 33, 10th N. Alder 31

Juniors (Youth) – 1st F. Theobald 72, 2nd A. Rolph 60, 3rd A. Whitelam 54

Intermediates – 1st O. Binns 70, 2nd T. Vining 62, 3rd L. Cox 45

Gt140 – 1st W. Broadhurst 68, 2nd I. Clark 64, 3rd G. Stanton 49

Photos by Ross Wharton

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