Horses To Horsepower
Just like Anastasia Salle (Mouse), Charlotte (Charlie) Brooks has swopped horses for horsepower as she looks to feature in this year’s NORA British Ladies Speedway Championship taking place at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde in July and August and it has been an amazing change of direction for the 30-year-old trainee HGV driver from Plympton in Devon.
As a highly accomplished rider in the world of showjumping and dressage, she has a C.V. that many would be very proud to emulate, however she wanted to ‘change it up’ and decided speedway would be her chosen route. Dramatic maybe, but when you realise that Cornish sidecar grasstracker Joe Sturtridge is part of her family, perhaps it’s not so surprising. With her Nan and Granddad also speedway and grasstrack followers all their lives, there must be something in the blood!
Charlie started riding down at Plymouth’s Coliseum Stadium under the tutelage of Russell Paine – surprisingly the first time she had ever ridden a motorbike. A broken ankle a month later didn’t help but the bug had bit as Charlie went out and bought her own GM bike.
She said, “There’s no sport like it. I’ve competed at some top levels at showjumping yet riding a speedway bike as a rookie gives me more of a buzz. I just want to have fun with it now and see where it takes me.
It’s not an easy sport at all and I had hoped to progress faster, but I can’t wait to be on track with the other girls, covered in shale no doubt, having fun and gaining valuable experience”.
Charlie may be relatively new to speedway, but she has already been to the Smallbrook track to practice and work out set-ups in preparation for the meetings proper. With her sister helping as mechanic, it will be fascinating to see how Charlie gets on.