Location: East Park Cycle Speedway, Wolverhampton
Event: 3 June 2012
On Sunday, East Park held the first of two meetings on the day, the British over-40s and over-60s individual championships.
The weather was again really drab with constant rain falling all night. When club members arrived at 9.30am to start setting up for the big day the rain was still falling. East Park's track manager Gary Draisey set about getting the circuit ready to race on while other members started erecting tents as it looked as if the rain was set in for the rest of the day.
The first match to take place was the over 60s with a full 12-man line up. The furst four riders took their positions on the grids - John Whiting one, Bob Prince two, Mick Aris three, Colin Wheeler four. Despite the bad weather the racing was fast and, at times, very hard with all the riders showing what they may have lacked in speed was made up with some very good tactical racing.
The first race finished with a win for Bob Prince who was chased all the way home by Mick Aris with the other two riders not far behind them. It was to prove a crucial race.
As the meeting progressed the rain kept falling but far play to all the veterans. They all kept pushing for every point. It can be said that the referee Al Bentley did not have a lot to do other than get wet as all the riders were true sportsmen.
The meeting finished with a win for a very fit Bob Prince on 20 points ahead of Mick Aris on 19 points and Colin Wheeler on 18 points, a very close one/two/three.
British Over-60s Individual Championship result
Bob Prince (Birimingham) 20, Mick Aris (Wednesfield) 19, Colin Wheeler (Southampton) 18, Terry Kirkup (Newcastle) 17, John Whiting (Bury) 16, Fred Rothwell (Pedalsport) 15, Dave Baxter (Edinburgh) 14, John Murphy (Edinburgh) 13, James Graham (Newcastle) 12, Ian McKinlay (Edinburgh) 11, Chic Mackie (Edinburgh) 10
Absentee - Les Stevens
Referee: Al Bentley (West Midlands)
When the track had been sorted after 19 heats of racing, it was time for the next match the over-40s. A 16-man line-up was scheduled, however with three riders not making the meeting, in stepped Dave Meanley of Wednesfield to fill one of the spaces.
By now all the riders, even though just starting, were soaked. Even with a tent in the pits for cover they all just wanted to get close to the fence to see the racing.
The tapes went up and it was clear from the first race this was going to be a faster affair than the first meeting. Even in the pouring rain these riders flew around the East Park track. Then as the other riders took their turn, the racing got faster. To say these riders are now veterans, there was no quarter given with a few riders taking heavy falls while pushing for positions.
This meeting finished with a win for Chris Turner on 20 points ahead of Gavin Parr on 19 points and, after a run-off, Jason Ashford 17 points.
After each meeting the medals were presented by Mr Ashley Morris of the Dudley Heathens who commented that he had enjoyed the racing despite the rain. All East Park would like to thank him for giving up his time to be at East Park for the day.
British Over-40s Individual Championship result
Chris Turner (Sheffield) 20, Gavin Parr (Newcastle) 19, Jason Ashford (Leicester) 17, Andrew Stone (Exeter) 17, Paul Dyson (Bury) 14, Dave Meanley (Wednesfield) 14, Dave Murphy (Poole) 14, Neil Power (East Newport) 13, Paul Timms ( Birmingham) 13, Mick Knowles (Sheffield) 11, Jason Keith (Newcastle) 10, Joe McLaughlin (Coventry) 10, Paul Matthews (Swindon) 9, Jim Collier (Swindon) 6
Absentees - Rob Absalom, Les Stevens
Referee: Bob Prince (West Midlands)