CYCLE SPEEDWAY: Successful start for new Dirt Bike Club

Saturday's opening of the Dirt Bike Club with coach Myke Grimes
Saturday's opening of the Dirt Bike Club with coach Myke Grimes

Over 20 young riders join first Saturday session at Bretford

Pictures: Youngsters at the opening of the Dirt Bike Club with coach Myke Grimes

Dave Frith leading the action

Dave Frith leading the action

Clubman’s Trophy winner Dave Frith leading last Tuesday at the Bretford Playing Fields

A new Saturday morning cycle attraction made a highly successful start last Saturday with over 20 young riders turning out at the Brandon Bees track at Bretford Playing Fields.

The Dirt Bike Club, which aims to attract young people to have a go at the fast and exciting sport of Cycle Speedway has attracted backing from British Cycling and the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull Sports Partnership.

Despite dark clouds and persistent rain falling before the scheduled 10am start time, organisers were delighted with the attendance – and they expect numbers to grow over the forthcoming next five Saturdays.

The first event attracted youngsters from Rugby and the surrounding villages. Aimed at 8 to 18 year olds, each session will give new and first time riders the basic skills of the sport of cycle speedway and a chance to take part in racing. Bikes and safety equipment will be provided. All sessions at the Dirt Bike Club are free.

The Brandon Bees track, previously the home of the Bretford Bulldogs team, has undergone complete refurbishment and has now been restored to its former glory after being taken over by the booming Coventry Cycle Speedway club.

Official British Cycling coach Myke Grimes, who supervised last Saturday’s opening Dirt Bike Club, said: “We were dismayed to get to the track last Saturday to find rain falling and we feared for the attendance after all our hard work promoting the opening of the Dirt Bike Club.

“However, it was soon apparent it was going to be a fantastic success when lots of vehicles began arriving – filled with excited youngsters all keen to have a go at what is by far the most exciting cycle sport in the UK.

“They all had a great time and many parents thanked us for our hard work in bringing the track back into use and providing a much needed activity for young people in the area”

The Dirt Bike Club at the Brandon Road track, continues this Saturday (July 16) until August 13.

Coventry based rider Dave Frith was a deserved winner of the highly successful staging of the inaugural Clubmans Trophy at the revived Brandon Bees track last Tuesday evening.

In a hugely enjoyable meeting, held at Bretford Playing Fields set in the rolling Warwickshire countryside, Frith beat a largely equal field representing stalwart club men and veteran riders of the sport.

The Brandon Bees track, reinstated by ex Whoberley Witches rider Rob Hardie, looked resplendent as the riders were introduced on parade. The whole facility had been restored to its best, with the heavily watered track surface lending itself to some superb racing.

Frith, who lives in Coventry but races for Leicester, triumphed against young Coventry rider Dan Drewett in a tie-breaker, after both riders had finished on 19 points.

It was Frith, the 1983 British Junior champion, who set the early pace by taking a hotly contested heat 1 from Drewett, with ex world champion Ray Oliver in third place.

An exciting heat 2 followed, with the returning Joe McLaughlin, back in action after suffering from pneumonia and a blood clot, showed all his experience to win off the outside gate, from a fast chasing Ollie Morris.

The pre meeting dark horse Matthew Hambidge of Coventry, who has shown rapid improvement recently and who started his career on the Brandon track, showed excellent early form to emerge near the top of the leaderboard.

Popular Birmingham rider Paul Timms, Coventry’s Shaun Reynolds, Mick Knowles of Heckmondwike (Yorkshire), together with the ace gating Oliver, all kept in contention for the silverware and provided excellent entertainment for the onlookers.

However, it was Frith and his young challenger Drewett, who eventually finished on 19 points each to tie for first place, with Frith dropping his only point to Timms in an exciting heat 20.

In the resulting race-off, Frith won the toss for grid positions, and took the favourable inside lane. Frith led out of the gate but Drewett mounted a ferocious four lap challenge but the wily Frith held on to win.

Timms took third place on the podium, just ahead of shock merchant Knowles, who had travelled from Sheffield to take part. Oliver was in close attention and he can be very satisfied with his successful comeback season.

It was an outstandingly successful evening at the picturesque Brandon Bees venue and local officials are set to announce further events at the venue shortly, which is also the venue of the new Saturday morning ‘Dirt Bike Club’ for young people.

Clubman’s Trophy - Full result:

Dave Frith (Leicester) 19

Dan Drewett (Coventry) 19

Paul Timms (Birmingham) 17

Mick Knowles (Heckmondwike) 16

Ray Oliver (Coventry) 15

Matthew Hambidge (Coventry) 15

Steve Hodgkinson (Birmingham) 14

Joe McLaughlin (Coventry) 13

Bob Prince (East Park) 13

Shaun Reynolds (Coventry) 13

Josh Hill (East Park) 9

Ollie Morris (Coventry) 9

Adam Tipton (Wednesfield) 9

John Whetton (East Park) 7

Joe Andrews (Coventry) 7

Dave White (East Park) 5

For more information on the Brandon Bees Cycle Speedway club and the Dirt Bike Club, please ring: 07400 993999.