THE STAGING of the biggest Cycle Speedway event in the Rugby area for 40 years has been hailed a great success – and there were shocks galore on-track with the fledgling host club providing two age group category champions.
Heavy overnight rain gave way to a fine sunny day as the biggest local entry list for 40 years assembled to battle for the honour of being Coventry & District champion in under-8, under-11 and under-16 finals at Bretford Playing Fields on Sunday.
The revived Brandon Bees track, at the idyllic rural Brandon Road venue, looked in superb condition and the youngsters in the under-8s final were first to take centre stage.
They put on a splendid show, with many racing in their first major event and first shock of the day soon unfolded when pocket dynamo Louis Westhead, a product of the hugely popular `Dirt Bike Club` at Brandon this summer, raced to four qualifying heat victories to reach the grand final.
The seven-year-old scorched from the outside gate in the final to post a stunning win. He beat the hard chasing pre-meeting favourite Jude Willcockson and Finn Yousen, both of the Coventry club.
There was an even bigger surprise in the under-11s final when Brandon Bees newcomer Jony Middleton stormed to victory just 10 weeks after taking up the sport.
Rugby Free School pupil Middleton, who was mounted on a brand new machine, left all his opponents trailing in his wake to score a superb win with the 11-year-old beating many riders with vastly more experience in the final.
Wyatt Jacobs (Coventry), who had raced unbeaten in the qualifiers, took second place overall whilst the stylist Jack Reynolds, also of Coventry, took the bronze medal.
The host, Brandon Bees club, almost made it an incredible hat-trick of champions with teenage starlet Cameron Gill just missing out after briefly leading the under-16s final.
Jimmy Wassall of Coventry, recovered brilliantly after a first heat fall to win in an explosive meeting full of thrills and spills.
Wassall crashed spectacularly in heat one, also bringing down Ollie Morris. This left the flying Ben Wells to race unchallenged to the chequered flag.
Wassall`s championship hopes appeared to be in tatters as he forlornly made his way back to the pits, however he rallied to score 11 points to reach the final alongside the previously unbeaten Wells, Gill and top girl racer Sammi Marsh (Coventry).
In the deciding final, it was the dashing Gill who briefly led but Wassall powered to the front and held on for four laps, despite the constant attention of Wells, with Gill in third place.
Twins Owen and Lee Gregory, from Rugby, and local whiz-kid Tom Savage, from Brandon, were also in the thick of the action and performed very well against much more experienced opponents.