April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Grasstrack Banter Promotions to host brand new ‘Track Racing Team Tournament

Grasstrack Banter Promotions, the racing promotors who have been developing the ‘Bantasia’ Grasstracks over the last few seasons once again look to bring an innovation to fruition in 2024 as they revive team racing in the grasstrack world. A team of promotors, riders and influencers linked to the sport from around the country and have been pulled together to create the next generation of team grasstrack racing in the UK.

On Sunday 23rd June, at the promotion’s ‘Bantasia Raceway’ in Owslebury, Hampshire, the first ‘Track Racing Team Tournament’ is being planned. Five team managers have been recruited by Grasstrack Banter Promotions to lead five teams to victory at the inaugural event. Discussions and ideas have been taking place to ensure that the event is as accessible to fans as possible, with some big plans to make spectator interaction a key part of the event.

Obvious comparisons of the old ACU Inter Centre Championships will be drawn by fans of grasstrack who have been around the sport for sometime, and there is no doubt that some elements of the format for the event are taken from the Inter Centre, which was hugely successful for many years. Grasstrack Banter Promotions chairman Gareth Bemister is responsible for getting the ball rolling for the new event and coming up with the initial format. He expanded on the comparisons with the Inter Centre.

“We all have fond memories of the team racing that the Inter Centre provided, and I am too young to have seen it in its real heyday. To run the same format with 20 or so teams simply wouldn’t work in today’s climate. However, we have come up with a way to make sure that the spread of riders is more evenly distributed whilst keeping the element of having ‘regional’ teams.”

Teams from the North, East, West, Midlands and South will be branded with team colours, logos and team merchandise all available for both riders and fans alike. Catchy team names will be used for each team as fans from all around the country will come together to support the Northern Knights, Southern Stags, Eastern Eagles, Western Warriors and the Midland Missiles.

“We want the crowd to support their team. In the same way that speedway fans might follow their teams and riders, we want spectators to feel a part of the team and have riders to cheer on in every single race. There are so many races that just pass the average spectator by as they have no vested interest. If you come along to the Team Tournament as a Midland Missiles fan, you will have riders in every race to cheer on and back. You can go and meet your team in the pits and give them words of encouragement. You can purchase a shirt, a hoodie or some other merch in your team’s colours with your team’s logo on. Or you could just turn up wearing the colours of your team. We want the crowd to be involved and have a purpose to watch every race that comes to tapes. I believe that this is a way of doing that.”

The Promotion have selected team managers for each of the five teams who comprise forward-thinking riders, race organisers and knowledgeable grasstrack mainstays. Team managers will be contacting their chosen riders over the coming weeks to put together the strongest teams in the 250cc solos, 350cc solos, 500cc solos, GT140 solos and 1000cc right hand sidecar competitions. There will be a new system for deciding the overall winning team, with the team being awarded the Team Shield. If there is a tie for the overall victory, the tantalizing prospect of an end-of-day ‘super heat’ could also add interest. The identity of the team managers will be released in due time, but riders may hear from them in the coming weeks!

Solo teams will comprise 4 riders (and managers are also allowed to include a reserve), with riders racing in pairs throughout the day. In the sidecars, teams will be built with 3 crews together. All team members will receive at least four races in the day.

There are lots of other plans for the event to make it special, but Bemister is keen to point out that there are bound to be some creases to iron out in the initial running of the event.

“My aim is that this is just the beginning. Next season it is our aim to have another club run a round elsewhere in the country so it becomes multi-round. The ultimate goal is to have five clubs from each of the teams hosting their own ‘home’ meeting, and the winner being crowned at the end of five fantastic meetings. However, this year is going to be the trial, to see how it all pans out. There’ll be rules and regulations that we will not have thought of that will need to be written in. The good thing is we have the right team managers on board who share the same vision as us at this stage- to make the event a success.”

Over the course of the coming months, plenty more updates will be made public as the promotion and managers prepare for the meeting. Teams are currently looking for any financial backers to support with the purchase of race bibs and other ‘extras’ to ensure that the teams look professional. In the meantime, the promotion are busy putting together the finishing touches for Bantasia 3 which will take place on Sunday 5th May at the Bantasia Arena, Whaddon Farm, Owslebury.

Words by Grasstrack Banter Promotions – Feature Image by Mike Wood


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