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Romford’s Ranson rolls back the years for British title

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2017

Romford grasstrack racer Phil Ranson celebrates his British 250cc Upright Championship win in Somerset

Romford grasstrack racer Phil Ranson celebrates his British 250cc Upright Championship win in Somerset

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Grasstrack racer claims Upright Championship crown

Romford’s Phil Ranson rolled back the years to win a British grasstrack title at the weekend.

The former Arena-Essex Hammers speedway rider has retired from grasstrack action in 2001, after a 22-year racing career and various championship wins.

And the 55-year-old was back on the top step of the podium as he claimed the ACU British Classic Upright Championship in Cornwall, admitting it surpassed his expectations.

He said: “Everything went better than I could have dreamed of.

“All my racing instincts came back during the meeting, so by the time I had qualified for the sudden death final I felt quite confident I could win.

“After a lap of the final I got into the lead only for it to be stopped as someone had hit the fence so I had to do it all again.

“Luckily in the re-run I managed to lead from the tapes. As race fitness was a problem I could have done without a restart, I am so happy I cannot believe I am a British champion.”

Ranson began racing speedway bikes with a friend at Hackney, before going on to represent the Hammers as a rider and junior team manager.

And he remained an avid follower of speedway and grasstrack after hanging up his leathers, before returning to action at trials events in recent years.

Those competitions stirred his competitive spirit and Ranson decided to give racing another go, adding: “Last year I decided to make a little comeback as there are now events for classic machines.

“After doing three meetings last season, but having mechanical issues, I travelled to Cornwall for the British Classic Championship.

“It was my first meeting of the season and the track at Roche is excellent, but very demanding.”

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