Pete Boast wins Christmas Shorttrack

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Peter Boast won the Silkolene Shorttrack UK Christmas Cracker meeting at Scunthorpe Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

The event promoter and Shorttrack UK Thunderbike champion made light work of heavy conditions with his works Suzuki 450 to claim his second successive Christmas Cracker victory.

Overnight frost melted just before practice on the 285metre speedway oval started and the moisture turned the track into a glutinous mess.

Boast said: “We tried the track on Boxing Day (Friday) when we were setting up and it was absolutely perfect. But the overnight frost seemed to bring every bit of moisture to the surface made the track virtually unrideable. For anyone on conventional dirttrack tyres (that look like intermediate road racing tyres.) there was no grip at all.”

Several riders like Boast, were lucky enough to have the option of fitting a trials rear tyre (more like a speedway tyre) and motocross front tyre which gave both grip and feel in the terrible conditions. Those without, including some of the country’s top shorttrack and speedway men, simply struggled.

Track staff worked frantically after practice, scrapping several inches of dirt from top surface, in a bid to produce more suitable racing conditions but it was only later in the meeting that the dirt dried out enough to provide enough grip for the bikes shod with dirttrack rubber.

Despite problems caused by the weather, there were some memorable races top thrill the 500 crowd, including road race heroes John McGuinness and Ian Hutchinson, plus speedway legend Sam Ermolenko, who braved the freezing temperatures.

Boast said: “This wasn’t shorttrack racing as we know it but hopefully the fans weren’t too disappointed with the show. We knew it might be muddy but no one expected it to be this bad. But at least it dried out enough towards the end for the lads on dirttrack tyres to give everyone a glimpse of what our series is all about.

“My speedway knowledge helped me out this afternoon. I was using the berm of dirt that had built up on the edge of the corners to get extra traction and it certainly paid off in the final.”

While Boast won the main event, 15 year old Tom Woolley took the ‘Rider of the Night’ award for his stunning full-lock antics. The double Shorttrack UK Junior Champion was rewarded with a factory CCM 450 ride at Scunthorpe but the bike only came with the option of dirttrack rubber.

But having his first-ever outing on the big 450 didn’t let that bother him and he produced several spectacular rides at the end of the evening, pulling feet-up, speedway-style, full-lock broadsides in every corner.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin