Popular Midlands based racer Arran Butcher (pictured) continued his fine run of form around the Smallbrook raceway last night as his consistency in the Island Masters competition over the three rounds saw him ease away from his rivals to secure a fully merited victory.
Alongside his fellow Oxford Chargers teammate Henry Atkins, both riders started with a half lap penalty in their races which proved little obstacle to them as the dominant pair had the crowd mesmerised with a display of fast and aggressive racing that often culminated in last bend passes to secure race victories.
In many ways it was a great shame that Atkins had to miss one of the three rounds and thus could not contribute to the aggregate scoring system in use because there is no doubt that had he been in all three meeting his name could easily have been on the trophy, however it was not to be and as a fitting end to the night the top five scorers on aggregate in the Masters event came together to contest a sponsored ‘Super Final’. ‘Super’ was totally correct as Atkins and Butcher proceeded to deliver a race to savour with Butcher on the outside riding elbow-to-elbow with Atkins on the inside, until Butcher over-cooked things on turn two lap three and slide off, however such was the ferocity of the opening laps and the lead they had created, it allowed Butcher to re-mount and still get home in second place behind his rival.
Runner-up in the Masters Championship was grasstrack regular Harry Gent from Cornwall who was clearly making progress over the course of the three rounds whilst evergreen Dave Hammond was always in the points and a very steady scorer. As those two riders finished on equal points, their final positions were determined by the finishing order in the Super Final. It is also right to mention James Laker who brought his grasstrack skills to Smallbrook and delivered a series of impressive rides be it from the gate or a subsequent 30 metre handicap.
Island Masters Series – Final Aggregate Scores:
Arran Butcher 34, Harry Gent 27, Dave Hammond 27, Henry Atkins 24, Luke Tuck 24, Ian Leverington 14, Nigel Coates 12, Dean Cutler 12, Giles Dismore 10, Chad Wirtzfeld 10, James Laker 9, Jon Freeman 8, Bill Haynes 6, Phil Spencer 5, David Hollingsbee 4, Rob Snow 3, Barry Coates 3.
In the development style challenge between the Wightlink Wizards and the Wightlink Warlocks, the Wizards ran out 23-13 winners.
Wizards – Jamie Sealey 9, Steph Whitlock 4+1, James Laker 6, Sam Peters 4.
Warlocks: – Morgan Williams 9, Anastasia Sallee 1, Harley Freeman 3 (3 riders only).
Wightlink Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop was pleased with another successful week of racing as he said, “Two great meetings completed this week, full of non-stop action to satisfy every taste.
My thanks to all the riders for their co-operation and commitment, to the supporters for coming out in great numbers and to all our volunteers and helpers for all the ‘hidden stuff’ that folks don’t always see. It’s been marvellous family fun. I’m delighted”.