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Wyke boy racer a grasstrack natural aged just seven
Harry McGurk is already on the fast-track to success aged just seven.
The boy racer, who lives in Wyke, has taken the motorcycle grasstrack scene by storm in what is only his first year of competing in the sport.
Despite being a relative newcomer, Harry is amassing quite a trophy collection, as his mum Emma explained.
“He’s competed in 21 meetings this year and has had 19 podiums,” she said.
“We’ve become quite accustomed to bringing trophies home with us. They’re all in his room and he looks at them every night before he goes to bed.
“He doesn’t clean them though – he doesn’t even clean his boots!
“He first started practising when he was five and he spent about eight to ten months on it before his first race.
“We looked online for a club and chose the Yorkshire Junior Grasstrack Club as they were local to us in Huddersfield. He showed an interest in it and really wanted to race.”
Emma says Harry has the right temperament to steer clear of any danger but she admits to some nervous moments when watching him compete.
“They have excellent protection anyway but there have been a few times when he’s had a bit of a wobble,” she said.
“It can be hard to get the bike back under control when that happens but he’s always managed to regain control. I’m always glad when it’s over!
“He’s quite cautious himself really and he’s aware of what he can do and can’t do and we do trust him.”
Harry recently took part in the British Youth Championship for the first time and came in second overall – an unexpected finish against far more experienced riders.
Emma said: “He had a few dreams beforehand where his bike wouldn’t start but on the day he was calm and focused.
“In his class, there were children who had been racing for a couple of years and they were eight and nine-year-olds, so we thought he’d do well to get fourth or fifth and it was quite hard-fought.”
Next up for Harry is the Yorkshire Junior Grasstrack meeting in Mirfield.
Further success there would only add to the several high finishes he is on the verge of achieving in various events throughout the country.
Emma explained: “The Yorkshire championship has six rounds over the season and it looks like he’ll finish second in that.
“He also competes in the Lancashire championship and it looks like he’ll be second or third in that.
“In the Pickering one, it looks like he’ll come first and he also takes part in the South West championship in Exeter and Devon, which he’s leading at the moment.
“Instead of us having a family holiday, we’ve just had a lot of weekends away, but everyone enjoys themselves. Harry just wants to be on his bike all the time.”
Emma is on the lookout for sponsorship in order to buy Harry a new bike and clothing so he can progress to the next level, although the youngster has ambitions to compete in speedway eventually.
While the possibility of Harry turning his hobby into a career one day may be cause for slight concern with his mum, for now she is full of pride over his achievements to date.
“I’d be a bit concerned as a lot of them have injuries – but that’s the same with any sport,” she said.
“He’s certainly got a lot of natural ability and determination. We try and keep him grounded but secretly we’re very proud.”