Ledbury MCC ACU British Upright Grasstrack Championship, 23 September 2012

Pictures: Ron Hinsley/www.grasstrackimages.co.uk


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Report: Ben Falconer

A PERFECT set of rides in anything but perfect conditions saw Chris Still leave the opposition standing to be crowned the inaugural ACU British Upright Grasstrack champion.

Three wins in three heats was enough for the Kent rider to take his first national championship title, in an event cut short by heavy rain at Leddington, near Ledbury on Sunday (September 23).

With the band of rain which washed out Britain approaching fast, organisers Ledbury MCC sensibly shelved the support classes, did away with the rider presentation and the interval, and later cut races from four to three laps in order to get a credible result.


With no knockout phase due the weather, riders' heat totals decided the result, and only Still scored a perfect three from three. A mix-up in the pit box saw Wayne Barrett and others take to the line of the swooping Orlham Farm track a heat early. He duly won it but was excluded, and didn't go out in the next heat which he was listed for, won by Still.

Barrett, from Weston-super-Mare, won his next two heats, and the third was a strong candidate for performance of the day. Losing his goggles to the heavy flying mud on turn two, he almost stopped to clear them, then set off in a successful pursuit of victory from near the back of the field.

That's to take nothing away from Still, however, who stayed upright and out front in all his three heats and beat hotly-tipped heat winner Neville Tatum in his second heat. Tatum enjoyed a close battle with John Priest in the second round of heats, and both finished joint fourth overall with Tewkesbury's Gerald Short.


Tim Curnock bagged second overall with two wins and a third, and Hereford's Calvin Palmer was third overall with two wins and a fourth. The 350cc class was all about Short, who appeared to be circulating faster than on his 500cc bike. Three wins from three starts saw him crowned champion.

Anthony Worrall and Richard Warry battled for the 250cc class, with Worrall's two wins to Warry's one giving Worrall overall victory. The track surface held up well but most heats saw riders sliding off in relatively minor spills.


Sadly the inclement weather meant spectators were deprived of the chance to see top modern bike riders Tim Nobes, Harland Cook, Charley Powell, Tom Perry and Charlie Saunders in race action. They got a glimpse of what might have been, in practice, and only the 250cc class went out for one round of heats.