Photo: BMR / Ian Bush
The years of hard slog put in by Peter Boast with Short Track UK, Anthony Brown with the DTRA and of course Sideburn have raised the profile and popularity of Flat Track racing to such an extent that as well as the DTRA organised National Championship, this year has also seen a summer long, five round, single venue championship hosted by BMR Racing at the popular Rye House speedway track.
This meant that throughout the summer between the DTRA & BMR we've had the chance to race every fortnight. BMR kept the format simple with just five classes: Expert, Inter, Novice, Vintage and Minibike, with many riders opting to ride in two classes. Entry numbers were fairly small, made up mostly of DTRA regulars which gave the events an intimate and exclusive atmosphere.
Vintage Cake Club Photo: Peter Koren / Erin Dyer
Low rider numbers also meant more track time for everyone, with time to fit in 2 x 10-lap practice sessions, 3 x 8-lap heats and 12-lap finals for every class. It also had the advantage of leading to unhurried programmes and a relaxed vibe. One got the chance to watch all the other classes race and there was plenty of time for the social side of things.
For my own part in the Vintage Class, I had lots of exciting, fun races at every round and it was well worth the six-hour round trip I made for each meeting.
Photo: Andrew Davis
More than anything else, I proved to myself that races can be won on old style tyres, which was a matter of great personal satisfaction. [John doesn't say it, but he won the Vintage champoinship. Congratulations! GI]
So hats off to BMR Racing, Steve Jenson, Gordon Devonshire, Gerald and the rest of the Rye House crew for providing us riders with another opportunity to race and have a blast. They have shown that there is a market for hosting flat track races and that they can be financially viable. So much so that they are running a winter series too.
Now if only some of the other track operators could follow the example set by Rye House. I know Scunthorpe Speedway have included a flat track class in their 'run what ya brung' meetings for a while and hosted their own DirtQuake type event this summer, which is adding momentum up north [Scunthorpe run a winter series too. GI].
Lelystad Speedway have set the ball rolling (wheel spinning?) in Europe with their Hells Race series, training days and other events.
The scene can only grow, can't it?