CYCLE SPEEDWAY: Shocks as Brandon Bees riders top the podium

Coventry Under 8s with their trophies (from left) Jude Willcockson (Coventry) 2nd, champion Louis Westhead (Brandon Bees) and third placed Finn Yousen of Coventry.

Coventry Under 8s with their trophies (from left) Jude Willcockson (Coventry) 2nd, champion Louis Westhead (Brandon Bees) and third placed Finn Yousen of Coventry.

Coventry & District champions crowned at Bretford track

The staging of the biggest cycle speedway event in the Rugby area for 40 years at Bretford Playing Fields last Sunday has been hailed a great success – and there were shocks galore on-track with the fledgling host club providing two age group category champions.

Under 11s on the podium (from left) Wyatt Jacobs (Coventry) 2nd, champion Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees) and third placed Jack Reynolds (Coventry).

Under 11s on the podium (from left) Wyatt Jacobs (Coventry) 2nd, champion Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees) and third placed Jack Reynolds (Coventry).

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. The meeting was sponsored by Inspire Insurance.

The revived Brandon Bees track, at the idyllic rural Brandon Road venue, looked in superb condition. The circuit has been lovingly refurbished in the past six months by former rider Rob Hardie. Special spectator facilities had been laid-on in a gala afternoon for the resurgence pedal sport in East Warwickshire.

Youngsters in the under 8s final were first to take centre stage, cheered on by parents and relatives. They put on a splendid show, with many of them racing in their first major event.

The first shock of the day soon unfolded. 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.

Top Under 16s (from left ) Ben Wells (Coventry 2nd, champion Jimmy Wassall (Coventry) and third placed Cameron Gill of Brandon Bees.

Top Under 16s (from left ) Ben Wells (Coventry 2nd, champion Jimmy Wassall (Coventry) and third placed Cameron Gill of Brandon Bees.

The seven-year-old scorched from the outside gate in the final to post a stunning win. He beat the hard chasing Jude Willcockson – the pre meeting favorite – and Finn Yousen both of the Coventry club.

Coventry Cycle Speedway Under 8s Final

Sponsored by Inspire Insurance

Point scorers:

Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees) on his way to winning the Coventry under 11s final

Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees) on his way to winning the Coventry under 11s final

Louis Westhead (Brandon Bees) 16, Jude Willcockson (Coventry) 16, Autumn Smith (Coventry) 14, Lincoln Collins (Brandon Bees) 13, Finn Yousen (Coventry) 13, Alex Cunningham (Coventry) 9, Leo Brown (Coventry) 8, Alex Jones (Coventry) 7, Alfie Brown (Coventry) 7, Shivam Patel (Coventry) 6, Dylan Savage (Brandon Bees) 5 and Ruary Hughes (Coventry) 5.

Grand Final: 1 Louis Westhead (Brandon Bees). 2 Jude Willcockson (Coventry). 3 Finn Yousen (Coventry).

There was an even bigger surprise in the Coventry under 11s final when Brandon Bees newcomer Jony Middleton stormed to victory – just 10 weeks after taking up the sport.

Mounted on a brand new machine, Jony left all his opponents trailing in his wake to score a superb win. The 11-year-old beat many riders with vastly more experience in the final. He showed brilliant race tactics around the tricky Brandon Bees track.

Cameron Gill of Brandon Bees (inside) leads Coventry`s Jimmy Wassall (centre) and Ben Wells in the Coventry under 16s final.

Cameron Gill of Brandon Bees (inside) leads Coventry`s Jimmy Wassall (centre) and Ben Wells in the Coventry under 16s final.

Jony, who attends the Rugby Free School, raced through his qualifiers before lining up on grid two in the final. With tension rising, he jetted from the start to lead all the way to land a brilliant victory.

The speedy 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. Both riders are destined for the sports highest honours at their current rate of progress.

Coventry Cycle Speedway Under 11s Final

Sponsored by Inspire Insurance

Point scorers:

Wyatt Jacobs (Coventry) 16, Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees) 15, Jacob Slezak (Coventry) 14, Jack Reynolds (Coventry) 13, Lewis Middleton (Brandon Bees) 12, James Morris (Coventry) 11, Lewis Fry (Coventry) 9, Adam Butler (Brandon Bees) 8, Thomas Pearson (Brandon Bees) 7, Liam Jones (Coventry) 6, Harry Hibbert (Coventry) 5 and Sarah Butler (Brandon Bees) 4.

Grand Final: 1 Jony Middleton (Brandon Bees). 2 Wyatt Jacobs (Coventry). 3 Jack Reynolds (Coventry).

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 U16s final.

Jimmy Wassall of Coventry, recovered brilliantly after a first heat fall to win the Coventry under 16s final 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, Brandon Bees hotshot Gill and top girl racer Sammi Marsh (Coventry).

In the deciding Grand 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.

Coventry Cycle Speedway Under 16s Final

Sponsored by Inspire Insurance

Point scorers:

Ben Wells (Coventry) 16, Cameron Gill (Brandon Bees) 13, Sammi Marsh (Coventry) 12, Tom Savage (Brandon Bees) 11, Ollie Morris (Coventry) 11, Jimmy Wassall (Coventry) 11, Owen Gregory (Brandon Bees) 10, James Bridge-Wilkinson (Coventry) 7, Jacob Clifford (Coventry) 9, Lee Gregory (Brandon Bees) 8 and Amy Baynes (Brandon Bees) 5.

Grand Final: 1 Jimmy Wassall (Coventry). 2 Ben Wells (Coventry). 3 Cameron Gill (Brandon Bees).

Meanwhile, the Dirt Bike Club continues this Saturday (24th September) at the Brandon Bees track in Bretford Playing Fields (CV23 0LA). For more information on the Brandon Bees Cycle Speedway club and the Dirt Bike Club, please ring: 07400 993999.