Tonight I spent the evening at my local speedway track in Weymouth to watch the second qualifier of the Great Britain Under-21 Championship. The Wessex Raceway (located just behind the Wessex Stadium's "Carlsberg Stand", home of Weymouth FC) played host to a talented group of British riders from the region, with most of the guys from the south and a few northerners thrown in too. It turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening, as speedway usually is, with my brother and his son for company. It's been a few years since my last visit to a track, having been to see Poole Pirates quite a few times in my youth, so it was great to get back. The smell of the dirt and methanol is brilliant, and the noise the bikes produce is incredible. The racing is always intense, especially tonight as the youngsters were really pushing it in an effort to prove themselves. There were a fair few crashes as well, but luckily nobody got too hurt to my knowledge; they usually look pretty painful.
The beauty of speedway, to me anyway, is that its always appeared to stay true to its roots. It is a peculiar motorsport to most observers, and looks rather simple, almost boring to many. But the fact the sport is relatively unknown to the mainstream is what appeals to me the most. Speedway still has that grassroots look to it, and it's a real in-the-family motorsport. Fans can get close to the riders, who are just normal blokes at the end of the day, not untouchable superstars. As the riders fly out of the corners (no braking in speedway remember), as a fan your legs and torso will get pelted with dirt every lap; thats how close you are to the action - you feel, smell and hear everything.
If you ever get the chance to go to the speedway, I highly recommend it, even if you have no idea what its about. You soon will!
Thanks for reading.