Teenage speedway rider Jack races into British title contention

Jack Parkinson Blackburn in speedway action. Picture: Keith Bales Photography
Jack Parkinson Blackburn in speedway action. Picture: Keith Bales Photography
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Ossett’s teenage speedway rider Jack Parkinson Blackburn put himself among the frontrunners in the chase for the 2014 British Speedway 250cc Championship with a stunning win in the third round last weekend.

Jack, 13, was undefeated in his four qualifying races, but had to survive a rerun final on his way to glory.

The meeting was held at the Northside track in Workington on a purpose built training circuit at just 168 metres with tight corners – very different to the wide open spaces of Sheffield that Jack is used to.

It took place in baking hot sunshine, which made the track difficult to ride with many nasty looking incidents resulting in frequent delays, the 40 heats taking more than five hours to run despite the best efforts of the track staff who tried their best to get some water onto the track.

All riders had a two lap practice and Jack quickly got up to speed, defeating the pre-meeting favourite on two occasions and overcoming the disadvantage of having to start from the outside gates.

He completed his four qualifying races as the only unbeaten rider and so got first pick of starting position gates in the all important final.

Jack chose the favoured inside gate, but made his worst start of the day and was stone cold last going into the first turn.

A clever second bend saw him move up into second place and he was challenging for the front when the leader fell.

Jack then looked clear to win only for the fallen rider to fail to clear the track and the referee had no option but to stop the race and order a rerun without the racer on the ground.

The tapes rose and Jack yet again missed the start. This time he had to fend off a determined challenge from Norwich-based championship leader Lewis Whitmore, but dug deep and pulled clear to take a deserved victory and 18 championship points.

The result sees Jack move into second place with three rounds remaining. The next round takes place at Eastbourne on Sunday, July 27.