SIDECAR SPEEDWAY: Mark Cossar wins British title

A rare picture of Mark Cossar not in the lead!  Here he trails Tris Winterburn (on the inside) and Paul Whitelam, but Cossar came through in the end to become British Champion
A rare picture of Mark Cossar not in the lead! Here he trails Tris Winterburn (on the inside) and Paul Whitelam, but Cossar came through in the end to become British Champion

Rugby rider becomes double national champion

Rugby now has a double national champion as the spectacular Mark Cossar won the British Sidecar Championship in Manchester on Saturday night, to follow his recent victory at the 2017 British Masters Grasstrack.

Together with his passenger Carl Blyth, Cossar suffered a major setback in his last heat when his chain snapped at the starting line, forcing him into a last chance qualifier, from which only the winner would progress to the grand final.

Despite the huge pressure as championship leader throughout the four-meeting series, which looked like it could suddenly slip away from him at the very last minute, Cossar brought the house down at Belle Vue’s National Speedway Stadium as he smashed the track record to reach the final four.

Here, he exacted revenge on Nottingham’s Paul Whitelam, who had beaten him earlier in an action-packed evening, overtaking him on the outside to take the chequered flag.

Cossar said: “Snapping a chain and then having to get everything put right in time for the semi was a big challenge, but I loved the big, fast, wide track at Belle Vue, so knew I just had to win that race and then compose myself for the final.”

He added: “It’s been a fantastic year. I must give massive credit to Carl Blyth, my fearless passenger, whose professionalism and commitment is second to none.”

Mark’s younger brother Tom Cossar continued his encouraging progress in the sport by making it through to the semi-finals, whilst Gareth Williams (also from Rugby) as passenger to Birmingham’s Matt Fumarola, had to withdraw from the night’s racing with engine problems after an excellent win in heat 8.

2017 British Sidecar Speedway Championship – Final Standings:

1st Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth 45, 2nd Mick Cave & Bradley Steer 41, 3rd Paul Whitelam & Terry Saunters 35.