Rhodes Minnis in Kent
Rhodes Minnis in Kent

Motorcycle Grasstrack racing takes place on a flat oval track usually constructed in a large grassy field.

It is similar to Speedway with races usually taking place over 4 laps from a standing start. Unlike Speedway, which has 4 riders per race, Grasstrack racing can have many riders in each heat and the circuit is normally longer allowing higher speeds.

Grasstrack has three solo classes, 250 cc, 350 cc and 500 cc together with three sidecar classes; left-handed 500cc and 1000cc (racing anti-clockwise) and right-handed 1000cc (racing clockwise).

Ex-Speedway World Champion Mark Loram in grasstrack action.
Ex-Speedway World Champion Mark Loram in grasstrack action.

Many well known Speedway riders such as previous world champions Peter Collins and Mark Loram started their racing careers in Grasstrack. Some Speedway riders continue to take part in national Grasstrack meetings when their schedule permits.

 

     The British Grasstrack season usually starts in early spring around the Easter holidays and runs through the summer/autumn months culminating in with the Bonfire Burnup traditionally held on the first Sunday in November.

1000cc sidecars in Masters action!
1000cc sidecars in Masters action!

The pinnacle of the domestic Grasstrack season is the British Masters Championships. This official ACU championship is where the British champion is crowned in the mainstream 500 cc solo and 1000 cc right hand sidecar classes.

 

For the remaining classes the British Championship Final is the highlight of the season.

European 500cc Sidecar champions William & Nathalie Matthijssen
European 500cc Sidecar champions William & Nathalie Matthijssen

In Europe the same sport is often called Long Track racing. This is exactly the same setup as British grasstrack which has tracks normally around 600–800 meters in length, but is held on the continent with tracks up to 1000–1200 meters in length and with speeds reaching 90 mph – 100 mph.

            The European scene is limited to the 500cc solo class and the 500cc sidecar class, although the 1000cc sidecars do sometimes venture across the channel to race in demonstration events.