At the recent Dirt Track Racers Association prize giving, the DTRA's chief, Anthony Brown, shared the good news of a new dirt track being built in England. The new oval will be part of the historic Mallory Park circuit in Leicestershire. We asked Anthony for more details.
SIDEBURN: This is unexpected good news, why do you think Mallory Park is interested in introducing a dirt track to their facility? ANTHONY BROWN: The guys at Mallory park run an annual event called the Bike Bonanza that incorporates Parade laps on classic bikes, an auto jumble and classic trails, and they are looking to expand the event and give it a festival feel. We got talking and agreed we would work together to run an experimental event over the weekend as a round of the DTRA flat track nationals Are the DTRA helping to create the track? Yes, as we get more experience in track development, we can draw on the skills within the DTRA to create tracks that work. We will aim to get something down, so it can sit and weather for as long as possible before the event. It is not a brand new track, as I can remember as a kid seeing grasstrack racing on the same piece of land, so it's more like of a comeback. When are you hoping the first practice day will take place? I expect that for now the first day we use the track will be race day. I am not expecting to hold a practice before the event. But let's see. Never say never. Do you have a DTRA race date scheduled? Yes the race will take place the weekend of the Mallory Bike Bonanza on 15-16 July. It's a full-on weekend with live bands and plenty of stuff for all the family so we are hoping it will be a cracking weekend.
What is the timetable between now and then? Mark out the track in February. Build the track in March (weather permitting). Settle and tyre pack as much as possible until July.
What can you tell us about the design, length and physical location of the track? We are planning to use the material on site to create the surface, so it will be a natural track with a little clay in the base. It should be a little shorter that Greenfield and perhaps slightly rounder. The field falls away slightly, so it may run downhill into a slightly banked corner depending on how much dirt we are able to dig from the centre green. How long does it take for a new track to become established? Time is the key with all these tracks and that is why it's so hard to build good pop up tracks. Our climate doesn't help here. We need just the right amount of moisture over the next few months to stand the best chance of getting it right. I expect that the first meeting we hold will be far from prefect. Track prep is something that is developed over time. We would really like to be asked back to Mallory in the future and hope to develop a long-term relationship. For that to happen we will need our riders to be on their best behaviour and make sure that our bikes are properly silenced, and we have zero impact on the surroundings. Could it be as good as Greenfield? If we all put in the effort anything is possible Who do you have working with you on the project? Obviously, we are working closely with George Pickering from Greenfield along with James O'Hara, Tim Aucott and myself. and of course anyone else that reaches out and offers. The guys at Mallory will be involved in the build of the track for sure What does a new dirt track being built mean for the sport in the UK? Tracks are disappearing at an alarming rate in the UK and some speedway track owners are very difficult to deal with. I like building long-term relationships with our partners in the DTRA and I see the way forward for the UK sport being collaboration with other sports and events. So with all that said it's very early days for this project at the moment, but it could be really great for everyone involved. Our goal is to enjoy a new race meeting in 2023 and see what happens from there. What can DTRA riders do to help with the project.
Encourage their friends to get along to Mallory for the event in July and lets have a great weekend of racing and hanging out with racers from other disciplines
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Join the DTRA (these things dont pay for themselves and we are self funding with the events we run).
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