By Carwyn Holland
The first leg of the inaugural National Grasstrack Racing Club championship got underway last Sunday at the Goed Fortuin Ground with entertaining Dirt Bike racing from the leading riders in Guyana.
Four categories were contested including; 125 cc Professional, 125 cc Novices, 80cc Novices and Chappy riders.
The 80 cc Novice Race was a late addition to the day’s itinerary due to the large turnout of persons with 80cc motorcycles.Marlon Baksh rode away with two first and a second while Nandram Mohamed took the checkered flag once. Vishal Shivmangal, Avinash Ramcoomar and Rafeek Abdool also made it to the podium in this category.
Reza Mohamed who rode with the number 1 on his Bike, lived up to that number as he captured all three first place in the Chappy category. His siblings Nandram Mohamed and Zalim Mohamed also captured second place in two of the races while Javid Ali took the other. Ali also took a third spot in the final Chappy race while Sohan Kissoon ended with two third place finishes.
The Novices riders provided their equal share of excitement as youthful Clive Welcome battled his way to a win and two second place finishes. Heernanand Boodram and Vikash Ramcoomar also took the checkered flag once each while Marlon Baksh, Avinash Ramcoomar and Raj Rajkaran made it to the podium for the novices.
The Professionals were the show stoppers with intense rivalry between Bartician Andrew Wong and East Coast Demerara speedster Peter Tulshie. Wong blazed his way to victory in the first race after getting a start ahead of the others to lead throughout the race. Peter Tulshie, despite getting a late start wanted none of that and staged a desperate chase but the Bartician held him off for the checkered flag. Andy Rajkaran took the third spot while veterans Vassy Barry and Abi Rahaman came in fourth and fifth respectively.
In the second Pro race Tulshie turned the tables as Wong crashed out of the race and had to be taken off the track on stretcher. Tulshie beat Andy Rajkaran into second place while Abi Rahaman took the third spot and Vassy Barry the 4th.
Wong returned in the third race to dominate again as Tulshie encountered mechanical problems and had to exit the race. Rajkaran once again took the runner-up spot while Barry occupied the third as Rahaman failed to complete his race and robbing himself of the fourth spot and valuable points.
The fourth and final Pro race sent spectators wild as a determined Tulshie rode a tactical race against the fast and furious Bartician Wong who overtook Tulshie midway into the race. Wong led for a few more laps chased by Tulshie and Rajkaran but steered a bit wide on the turn into the back stretch and opened a space for the tactful Tulshie to pass on the inside. Wong tried desperately to reclaim the lead but his bike slid on the rough track and this also made way for the steady Rajkaran to pass him for the second spot. Barry ended once again in the 4th position.
A controversy erupted over the winner of the race as officials claimed Tulshie touched a tire while navigating a turn. They prematurely named Rajkaran as the winner but after consultations with the riders and veterans of the sport decided against a penalty for Tulshie which would have pushed him down to the third place. Tulshie was enraged but later calmed down after hearing the final decision.
The rivalry between Wong and Tulshie provided most of the tongue wagging but it was the steady performance from Rajkaran that gave him the official champion rider status. Rajkaran ended the meet on 30 points, while Tulshie trails closely on 28 points and Wong two points below on 26. Abbi Rahaman and Vassy Barry have 14 and 8 points respectively heading into the second round of action in the series which will get underway Easter Sunday in Mahaichony. The overall winner or the Pro rider who has the most points at the end of the series will ride away with a 2012 model 125cc Motorcycle. The meet was sponsored by Auto Fashion, Rent-a-tent, Kanhai’s Electrical, Rafeek Snackette, Throphy Stall, Guyenterprise and Ashmin’s Trading.