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  • Rob Dyer

Result: Upright Championship Abandoned Following Serious Crash - Updated


The NORA British Upright Speedway Championship staged at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde yesterday evening was abandoned after only six completed races following a bone jarring collision between Chris Mackett (pictured) and Tim Curnock.


The crash took place on the exit of the second bend during the first lap of heat seven as the riders accidentally touched. Both riders and their machines were thrown yards along the circuit, also demolishing a stretch of trackside fencing. The on-site paramedic team were immediately on hand to attend to the stricken riders and after treatment Curnock was able to slowly walk back to the pits, clearly battered and bruised.


Sadly, Mackett was not so lucky. With the County ambulance and on-call doctor called to the scene, the medics felt that, given the riders’ condition, it was appropriate to summon the air ambulance which duly arrived, departing some twenty-five minutes later with Mackett on board for Southampton General Hospital.


Overnight, Chris Mackett’s sister posted on social media that the latest medical report is that her brother has sustained broken ribs and sternum and fractured vertebrae with further close monitoring and assessment to take place today (Friday). The club send their very best wishes to Chris.


Turning back to the meeting, with the curfew time in mind and with the full co-operation of the riders, an interim plan was made to shorten races and reduce the number of heats in the meeting if racing was able to continue, however with Mackett prone on the track in the care of the medics and with considerable damage to parts of the safety fence close to the incident in need of repair, the decision to abandon the meeting was taken shortly before 9.00 pm.


It was Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop, clearly distraught by the injury, who took to the stadium PA to pass on the news of the abandonment and to thank a very sizeable crowd for their patience and understanding in the most unfortunate circumstances. He also advised that patrons wishing to apply for a refund of their admission cost should email the club at speedwayontheisland@yahoo.co.uk Supporters who paid for entry to last night’s meeting will also be allowed free admission to either of next week’s two meeting on production of their tickets.


Early indications suggest that, subject to rider availability, the Upright Championship meeting will be re-staged at a later date.