British Championships Derby

The 40th year of the British Championships was back in Derby, just down the road from the Greyhound stadium where it was first held in 1983. The Superclass was heavy with hitters and Team GB’s Quillan Isidore gave the fans their money’s worth with an awesome show of power and skill. It was fantastic to see one of the GB squads’ riders on the gate to inspire the regional warriors and Big Quill took it from gate four.  Callum Russel from the U23 squad showed his World Cup podium quality as the best of the rest in 2nd. Redemption after his relegation at the Worlds. George Hunt took 3rd after an amazing swoop under Junior Academy Coach, Kyle Evans, in turn one.

Beth Shriever donned the stripes of the World Champion in the Championship women’s class. The field was small, but stacked with talent and Shriever showed the girls what it would take to get them to the top, as she dominated the laps. The 2nd spot went to 15 year-old girls world champ, Freia Challis, who ripped-off some amazing gates, just 0.01 off Beth and a second or so per lap behind to take the silver, while Elsa Rendall-Todd showed what’s cooking in the UK as she backed up her W2 in the 15’s to take 3rd after claiming the title in 13-16 cruiser the day before. All while her mum is battling cancer at home. A real tough kid!!

Junior men had the fans on the fences as the class has been electric through the national series all season Taylor Hunt from the Southwest racked up in gate one as the favourites and lit it up off the gate to take it round for a flawless lap and the title. Teammate Harrison Collis found some redemption after a season of crashes and chaos to snap his best gate and cleanest lap of the season in 2nd while Charlie Roy did his thing in 3rd after claiming the 17-29 cruiser title the day before. A solid weekend for “Roy the Boy”!!

In the Challenge classes the level was through the roof and some standouts were Joey Tomkins in the 9’s taking the title after the leader went down. Tomkins isn’t the biggest, but he has skills to pay the bills. Ella Lamb in the 9 girls was another level and dominated every lap. Freddie Parkinson did Freddie things in the 11s and pulled one out of the bag in the main to retain his title. The 12 girls saw Lottie Brown manual the hole of doom like a pro to take the win after a first straight drag race. 13 year-old World Champ, James Clitheroe, took another title as he rode up in the 14s, matched by Jimmy Clitheroe riding up from the 15s to the 16s. 45-49 cruiser was utter carnage after the old boys funneled into “that roller” and some of them ran out of talent leaving Matt Barnard clear to take the win on flat pedals. The 19-29 saw Ryan Stack take his 10 millionth title after he lit up the first straight for the holeshot and Billy Luckhurst slotted through the carnage after a first turn pile up where Bryn Savage slid out and took the rest of the pack with him.  Check Bill’s insta for his move from the gods. Lastly, a shout-out to Alan Hill for picking up his 25th British Champs title as he doubled up in 50-54 cruiser and Vets and Sarah Jane-Nichols in 30+ women who was the only rider at the race to compete in both 1983 and 2023 after a 35 year hiatus from racing.

The event was the biggest in a long while with 1376 riders, up 5% on 2022 and the quality was top notch. Things are looking super bright in the UK right now.

Words – Julian Allen

Photos –

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