Grainger Rac­ing Team to go full throt­tle

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Collin Ma­tiza Sports Ed­i­tor

AF­TER hav­ing taken a back seat from the ad­min­is­tra­tion side of lo­cal mo­tocross for most of this year, for­mer chair­man of the Bog­wheel­ers Club, Gary Grainger, has in­di­cated that he will next sea­son come out with all guns blaz­ing as he re­vives his Grainger Rac­ing Team.

Grainger, a chicken farmer, was be­hind the for­ma­tion of the Grainger Rac­ing Team, which he “gave birth to” at the be­gin­ning of the 2017 sea­son in a move aimed at rais­ing the pro­file of the mo­tor­cy­cling sport of mo­tocross in Zim­babwe.

The Grainger Rac­ing KTM mo­tocross team was of­fi­cially launched in Harare in Jan­uary 2017 with more than seven rid­ers af­fil­i­ated to the mo­tor­cy­cling club.

It was ini­tially led by Eng­land-based rider Da­mon Stry­dom and it in­cluded other tal­ented rid­ers like Re­gan Was­muth, Tris­tan Grainger, Ash­ley Thix­ton, Daiyaan Manuel, Luke Southon, David Southon and Ti­aan Prinsloo, who all com­peted in the tough seven-round South African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship se­ries.

But af­ter its for­ma­tion amid pomp and fan­fare in 2017, the Grainger Rac­ing Team made a dis­ap­pear­ing act from both the lo­cal and South African mo­tocross radar this year, with only one of its rid­ers Thix­ton spar­ingly fea­tur­ing in this year’s South African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship se­ries which ended last month.

And this led many peo­ple in the lo­cal mo­tocross cir­cles into think that the team had died a nat­u­ral death just one year af­ter its for­ma­tion.

But the Grainger Rac­ing Team’s prin­ci­pal, Gary Grainger, yes­ter­day told The Her­ald that his project was still very much alive and kick­ing and he will be re­launch­ing it next year, with two of its main rid­ers Thix­ton and Tris­tan Grainger hav­ing al­ready made a com­mit­ment to take part in the 2019 South African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship se­ries which be­gins in Fe­bru­ary and will run through to Oc­to­ber.

“I know that af­ter the for­ma­tion of the Grainger Rac­ing Team in 2017, we sort of went un­der­ground this year mainly due to cir­cum­stances be­yond our con­trol, but I would like to re­as­sure you that we will be back (in ac­tion) for the 2019 sea­son, where two of our rid­ers Ash­ley Thix­ton and Tris­tan Grainger will be com­pet­ing full-time in both the South African and Zim­bab­wean Na­tion­als.

“In fact, Tris­tan, who has mainly been rid­ing in the 85cc Class, will next year grad­u­ate to race in the 125cc Class, while Ash­ley Thix­ton will mainly be rac­ing in the se­niors MX1 Class.

“Re­mem­ber, at the for­ma­tion of our team we also had other top Zim­bab­wean rid­ers Re­gan Was­muth and Daiyaan Manuel rac­ing for us, but we don’t know what their plans are for next year be­cause the for­mer is al­ready rid­ing for an­other team in South Africa. So, ba­si­cally all I can say is that apart from rac­ing lo­cally, we will be go­ing full throt­tle in the South African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship se­ries next year with the help of our part­ner Al­fie Cox and spon­sors KTM,” Gary Grainger said.

He also said that it was pleas­ing to note that two of his team’s top rid­ers Tris­tan Grainger and Thix­ton are about to be crowned na­tional cham­pi­ons in the 125cc and MX2 Class re­spec­tively in Zim­babwe.

“In fact, Tris­tan was at one stage out in­jured and he couldn’t com­pete full-time lo­cally and in the South African na­tion­als, but is now fully fit and will soon be crowned the 125cc Cham­pion for this year in Zim­babwe, while Ash­ley Thix­ton is walk­ing away with the MX2 ti­tle.”

Both Tris­tan Grainger and Thix­ton were in ac­tion at Don­ny­brook in Harare this last Sun­day, com­pet­ing in the lat­est round of the 2018 Bog­wheel­ers Club Na­tional Cham­pi­onship se­ries and they came out tops in their re­spec­tive classes.

In fact, the Thix­ton broth­ers, Cameron and Ash­ley, were the top dogs in the se­niors MX1 and MX2 classes re­spec­tively.

In the MX1 Class, Cameron was just a joy to watch as he swept the eight-man field aside to take the first step on the podium ahead of vet­eran rider Doug Mel­lor and Dan Law.

His (Cameron’s) el­der brother Ash­ley was also un­touch­able in the MX2 Class.

In heat one, Ash­ley set out to show his class and led into turn two with Josh Goby and Tris­tan Grainger fight­ing with Jac­ques du Plessis and Luke Wheeler for the rest of the podium places. Goby even­tu­ally set­tled for sec­ond place ahead of Tris­tan Grainger.

Tris­tan Grainger later re­deemed him­self when he came out tops in the 125cc Class, beat­ing Daiyaan Manuel and David Evans into sec­ond and third place.

Manuel has also mo­nop­o­lised the 85cc Class which he won with ease ahead of Em­manuel Bako and Jamie Do­ran. There were eight rid­ers in this class.

In the Ladies Class, Leigh-Anne Young was once again in fine form as she man­aged to win two of the three heats to come out first ahead of Ce­line Good­in­son and Bianca Bel­ing.

An­other promis­ing fe­male rider, 11-yearold Tadi­wanashe “Taddy” Nyamup­fukudza, who raced with boys in the 65cc Class and she did well to fin­ish ninth in a field of 13 rid­ers.

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