MOTORSPORT: Cossar narrowly misses out on sixth title

Mark Cossar (right) at the 2018 British Masters with passenger Carl Blyth
Mark Cossar (right) at the 2018 British Masters with passenger Carl Blyth

Rugby rider has to settle for second in British Masters Championship

1,000cc Sidecar Grasstrack

At a truly gruelling British Masters Championship in Cheshire, Rugby’s Mark Cossar narrowly missed out on winning the title for a record-equalling sixth time.

On the big, rough and bumpy circuit near Congleton, Cossar fought three titanic battles with eventual winner Gareth Winterburn – suffering a defeat in Heat 12 but gaining revenge in a nail-biting semi-final.

In the grand finale, Cossar lifted out of the start losing valuable ground in a blockbuster of a race, but soon fought his way through from fifth to third. Under pressure, Colin Blackbourn (in second) lost his passenger Carl Pugh, but try as he might, Cossar couldn’t catch Gareth Winterburn, partnered by Liam Brown.

“In the tough conditions I struggled all day with the lightweight frame of my bike,” said Cossar afterwards. “Carl and I spent too much time with a wheel in the air coming out of the corners. I know we did all we could – and will be back next year to fight for the title again.”

Tom Cossar produced another encouraging display, beating former Masters Champion Rob Bradley on his way through to a commendable place in the semi-finals.

Next stop for Mark Cossar is Belle Vue, Manchester on Saturday, October 13 when he switches from grass to shale for the fourth and final round of the British Sidecar Speedway Championship, for which he is the defending champion, currently ahead by just one point.

2018 British Masters Result: 1st Gareth Winterburn & Liam Brown, 2nd Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth, 3rd Rod Winterburn & Billy Winterburn.