Belle Vue’s Summer Speed Saturday was deemed a huge success by organisers as fans turned out in record numbers in support of Round 6 of the 2017 British Youth Championships.
Featuring 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes, a total of 36 youngsters – one of the largest fields the competition has ever boasted – took to the track at the National Speedway Stadium.
And far from the perception of them as rookies, the confidence exhibited by riders of all ages and experiences was clear-cut and resulted in some truly exciting races from start to finish.
Punctuating the main event was a smorgasbord of other two-wheeled disciplines including F2 Speedway, the vintage ‘Blast from the Past’ riders and some amazing Sidecar Speedway action.
October 14th brings the Grand Final of the 2017 British Sidecar Speedway Championships to Manchester with the action last night just a warm up to what is in store come October.
The night concluded with trophy presentations to the winners of each class; with Harry McGurk winning the 125cc, Leon Flint winning the 250cc and Kyle Bickley wining the 500cc respectively.
Young Lions boss Neil Vatcher said: “I’ve been working with these young guys since 2010 as part of our long-term plan to expand the British Youth Development programme into what it is now.
“Back then, we had only a small number of riders in the championship and to see where we are today, with the quality of riders in all three classes is very encouraging and a pleasure to see.
“Every U-21 competition we’ve entered in 2017 we’ve made every final which in bygone years was a rarity, and that includes at youth level in the 125cc and 250cc classes internationally.
“Leon Flint [250cc class winner] made the 250 European Final and Harry McGurk [125cc class winner] came 4th in the European 125 Final in Toruń. That’s a real achievement for them.
“I’m very excited about the future of British Speedway. The expansion of the Youth Championship to include many promising newcomers means it’s a very bright future for us to look forward to.”
500cc class winner Kyle Bickley returns to action for the Belle Vue Colts this coming Wednesday, August 9th against the Plymouth Devils. Tickets are available at www.bellevueaces.co.
The gap in the Belle Vue’s Premiership fixtures has also been filled by a re-scheduled home meeting against the King’s Lynn Stars this Friday August 11th at 7:30pm.
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Ian Charles