Eight-year-old Bradford competes in motorcycle drag races


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A YOUNG boy from Bradford runs in memory of a man who was tragically killed in an accident earlier this year.

Alfie Barraclough, 8, of Thornton, started racing drag bikes this year and his last race of the season was at the Santa Pod Raceway in Northampton, a course where Oliver “Oly” Tindall had always wanted to race.

Alfie’s father Karl Barraclough explained how Oly, 37, who was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car in Oxenhope in September, took his son under his wing.

“Alfie looked at Oly so much,” Karl said. “Oly loved him. For him to be taken, Alfie was so shocked. He laid flowers at the scene on behalf of himself and his friend Jack Taylor.

“Oly and his family have always been very good to Alfie,” Karl said. “They took him under their wing.

Karl said Oly used to run with Alfie and told the youngster that he had always wanted to compete in the Santa Pod Raceway, the flagship of drag racing in the UK.

Karl said: “When Alfie finished his season on the track, he wore a little sticker on his helmet that said ‘This one is for Oly’.”

His father also said that Alfie was so well regarded by Oly that he led a procession to Oly’s funeral at the crematorium.

Karl said Alfie got interested in drag racing at a young age.

Karl, who runs Queensbury-based Motorsport Services, which provides medical care at motorsport events, said: “Alfie has been participating in drag racing events since he was a week old. He and his friend Jack Taylor grew up watching the races.

Karl said he and his wife Lexie bought Alfie his first motorcycle when he was six years old.

“On his eighth birthday in July, he competed in his first event. He had a good season finishing second in the Straightliners Championship and second in the Melbourne Racing Cup.”

His friend Jack finished first in both events.

Karl explained how Alfie struggled with bullying in school, which caused him to lose hair due to stress.

“But he changed his school life and now focuses on motorcycles.

“He drives small 50cc motorcycles, but his dream is to one day reach 200 mph. ”

Karl said Alfie runs on 1/8 mile or 1/4 mile tracks.

“It’s all a question of equipment and technique. Alfie’s technique is very good and he shows great concentration.

“His reaction times are phenomenal, but he never asks if he won or how fast he started.

“For him, it’s not about being first, second or even last, he just takes the pleasure of running.”

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About Todd Wurtsbach

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