Italian Marco Belli and Lincolnshire’s Pete Boast were the big winners in the first US-style half-mile dirt track in the UK for over two decades.
The most inclement of mid-June weekends did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds at Aaman Valley in South Wales, marvelling at the first sight on these shores for many a year – not since Kenny Roberts rode at a half-miler at Haldon in Exeter back in the late 1970s - of multi-cylinder machines exceeding 100mph going into the heavily-banked corners of a US-style half-mile flattrack.
With such speeds, the loose-surfaced cinders and a variety of machines stretching from Richard Atkins’ 125cc Yamaha right up to Steve Hazell’s legendary 1200cc Harley Sportster with only a back-brake in operation, the power-sliding and passing was of quite breathtaking proportions.
The Harley-Davidson Thunderbikes event for the real monster machines proved a particular winner with the crowds with victory going to current series leader Peter Boast mounted on a 650cc Suzuki v-twin. But this was only after a monumental handle-bar to handle-bar battle with his old adversary, Harley’s own Marco Belli.
In the main Short Track event there were thrills and spills aplenty. Top British Speedway rider Andrew Moore – he rides for title favourites Swindon in the Sky Sports Elite League – was a high-profile casualty when he suffered a big crash in his third ride in the qualifiers trying to manoeuvre past Boast on one of the Amman track’s sweeping bends.
A suspected broken thumb put the Lincoln man out of the meeting and is a major blow to his overall title aspirations.
And that’s especially the case as series leader, the Italian Belli took advantage of another rival’s misfortune in the Grand Final to strengthen his grip on this year’s STUK championship.
Honda-mounted Glynn Pocklington had bettered the Varese-based speedster in the heats but crashed heavily in the Final with Belli the main beneficiary of the re-started race.
Behind Belli, the most titanic of struggles ensued with Yorkshire’s Steven Hall on his KTM prevailing for his best-ever STUK championship round position and the ever-improving Victor Bull a surprise third
In the CCM Junior Cup, Burton-born teen, Tom Wooley cemented his grip on the inaugural event for 12 to 15-year-olds (all mounted on identical 230cc youth flattrackers provided by the Preston-based company) with a third consecutive round victory.
Finally, there was four-wheeled action too: with the high-powered Quads seeing Alan Hooker from Lincolnshire steering his 350cc Banshee to success to move into to second overall in the race for the Welbourns Short Track Quads championship.
Silkolene Short Track UK Championship Round Three
1st Marco Belli (Kawasaki)
2nd Steve Hall (KTM)
3rd Victor Bull (Yamaha)
4th James Heaton (Husaberg)
5th Pete Boast (Suzuki)
6th Tim Greig (Honda)
Harley Davidson Thunderbikes Round Three
1st Pete Boast (Suzuki)
2nd Marco Belli (Harley Davidson)
3rd John Lee (Honda)
CCM Junior Championship Round Three
1st Tom Woolley
2nd Ben Clews
3rd Alf Hyde