Maxxis-Shod Short Track Season Ends with Sell-Out Spectacle
After an exciting ACU British Short Track Championship season, which saw Pete Boast take the victor’s spoils, some of motorcycle racing’s most famous names headed to Essex for the final event of 2009, the Braintree Bonanza on 27 December. Manufacturer Maxxis began its association with Short Track UK four years ago when Triple A Racing, the Manchester-based Maxxis tyre distributor, supplied tyres to a number of competitors. In 2009 all riders used the Maxxis DTR-1 flat track tyre, thanks to an agreement between the organisers and Triple A Racing, who jointly sponsored the series.
“The ACU British Short Track Championship has adopted the Maxxis DTR1 as the series control tyre and this decision definitely played a part in creating the close, action-packed racing we witnessed last season,” says Maxxis International UK’s managing director Derek McMartin. “We are delighted to be associated with Short Track UK and the Braintree Bonanza, which was not only a sell out event, but also attracted some of the biggest names in motorcycle racing, should certainly help to put Short Track racing on the map.”
A non-championship event, the Braintree Bonanza was the first time the sport of US-style Flattrack racing has taken place at an indoor venue anywhere in Europe. A capacity crowd of more than 1,000 packed the Towerlands Centre to see some spectacular action from a star-studded line up which included 2009 Isle of Man winner Steve Plater and Gary Johnson, runner up at the world-famous TT races last year; four-times British grasstrack champion Paul Cooper; Speedway’s Paul Hurry plus Team GB World Cup riders Lewis Bridger and Eddie Kennett, and the cream of Europe’s specialist Flattrack racers.
Aidan Collins – nephew of 1976 World Speedway champion Peter Collins – who finished runner-up in this year’s Short Track UK championship emerged as the top qualifier. He was joined in the latter stages of the competition by Sussex-based former GB Under-21 Speedway champion Kennett, local favourite Hurry, top Flattracker Glyn Pocklington, road-racer Johnson and the highly versatile Rusty Hodgson. Such was the strength of the competition however, that some of the big names did not make it through, including reigning Short Track UK champion Boast, who went out of the running after a couple of falls.
The hugely-anticipated final saw young guns Collins and Kennett go head to head, with the latter holding on to an early lead to take the win. Collins was a well-deserved runner up and Pocklington finished an impressive third ahead of Marco Belli, the three times UK champion and 2008 European master, while crowd-pleaser Johnson finished last but picked up the plaudits as most exciting rider.