I usually dislike the stop/start, long breaks between meetings, but I have to confess to secretly being relieved by not having a meeting last Wednesday. I’m a ‘miserable old Hector’ in cold weather and was not relishing the thought of standing out in the freezing cold again! So I was happy for an extra week off to allow good old UK to warm up a bit… and warm up it did… 14 degrees C and a light warmish wind greeted my entrance into the stadium… roll on the summer!
On with the meeting… Lakeside Hammers, our visitors tonight may not have had the best of starts to their season so far, but they could spring a surprise on us if we’re not careful!
Lakeside operating rider replacement for Davey Watt
Lakeside win the toss and take gates 1 and 3 for heat 1.
From the tapes Kim Nilsson, Jason Doyle, Peter Karlsson and Chris Harris.
Jason Doyle passes Kim Nilsson as they exit bend 2 but Kim Nilsson retakes the lead down the back straight. Meanwhile Chris Harris recovers from his poor start and passes Peter Karlsson out of the 3rd bend of lap 1. The next 3 laps proceeded without any further changes. Points shared.
Nilsson, Doyle, Harris, Karlsson,
Robert Mear and Richard Lawson roar from the tapes with Martin Smolinski and Nicolas Covatti trailing in 3 & 4 out of the second bend.
As they enter the 3rd bend Martin Smolinski passes Richard Lawson on the inside and simultaneously Richard Lawson falls, Nicolas Covatti very close behind had no option but to lay his bike down, the race is stopped and Nico is quickly up on his feet. The ambulance is bought on to the track as Richard Lawson receives treatment trackside. Unbelievably the referee excludes Martin Smolinski as the cause of the stoppage! It didn’t appear that Martin had made any contact with Richard, but being the furthest point from where I stand I can’t dispute the referee’s decision.
Richard Lawson thankfully gets up and is taken back in the ambulance for a full check-up. He is cleared to take his place in the re-run.
Re-run with 3 riders only.
Robert Mear again made a brilliant gate followed very closely by Nicolas Covatti and Richard Lawson, but Nicolas Covatti stormed around the outside out of bend 2 and passed Robert Mear with ease down the back straight. The race positions remained the same for the rest of the race with quite large gaps opening up between the 3 riders by the end of the race for another shared race.
Covatti, Mear, Lawson (Smolinski excluded)
Result 3-3 (6-6)
Kim Nilsson taking rider replacement for Davey Watt.
Lewis Bridger followed by Kim Nilsson with Danny King and Josh Auty trailing in 3rd and 4th place from the tapes. Danny King recovers well on the outside out of the 2nd bend and passes Lewis Bridger on the back straight to take up 2nd place and continues his charge to pass Kim Nilsson on the 3rd bend of lap 1.
Josh continues to ride hard for the entire race, but doesn’t seem to have enough momentum to improve on his last place. And… just when it looked like another shared heat was on the cards Josh swept wide around the outside of the last bend and sneaked past Lewis Bridger as they crossed the line. An extremely well earned 4-2 to the Brummies and the race lead.
King, Nilsson, Auty, Bridger
Result 4-2 (10-8)
At this point it was announced that Richard Lawson was being withdrawn from the meeting.
Piotr Swiderski, Ben Barker, Robert Mear, Nicolas Covatti the positions out of the 2nd bend lap 1, but Ben was like an express train down the back straight chasing Swiderski and finally passes him on bend 1 of the 2nd lap. On the last bend of the final lap Nico tried the same wide outside sweep to emulate the move Auty made in the previous race but just misses out… another shared heat.
Ben Barker, Swiderski, Mear, Covatti
Result 3-3 (13-11)
Danny King followed by Peter Karlsson followed by Josh Auty into bend 1 of the 1st lap, with Kim Nilsson still at the start line with a blown engine! Peter Karlsson is quickly into his stride as he passes Danny King on the back straight. Peter Karlsson puts sufficient track space between him and the Brummie duo to ensure the 4th 3-3 of the meeting.
Karlsson, King, Auty (Nilsson e/f at tapes)
Result 3-3 (16-14)
Robert Mear r/r for the injured Richard Lawson.
As they enter the first bend the race positions are… Chris Harris, Piotr Swiderski, Robert Mear and Jason Doyle, but Jason swoops wide around the outside out of bend 2 and passes the Lakeside pairing down the back straight to take up 2nd place. Chris and Jason exchange places on bend 2 of lap 2. Meanwhile at the rear end of the race Piotr Swiderski slows down considerably into last place, coasting for half a lap before retiring from the race. At last a 5-1!!!
Doyle, Harris, Mear (Swiderski retired)
Result 5-1 (21-15)
Peter Karlsson rider replacement for Davey Watt.
Lewis Bridger anticipated the tapes too well and the race is stopped all 4 back.
Into bend 1, Ben Barker, Lewis Bridger, Martin Smolinski, Peter Karlsson. Peter Karlsson from the outside gate is jet propelled out of the 2nd bend to pass all 3 riders down the back straight of the 1st lap. Lewis Bridger appears to be down on power and is passed by Martin Smolinski at the start of the 2nd lap and a couple of bends later passes Ben Barker to take up 2nd place behind Karlsson. Lewis Bridger’s problem has not improved as he coaxes his bike over the line ending the race almost half a lap down on the rest of the field.
Karlsson, Smolinski, Barker, Bridger
Result 3-3 (24-18)
Nicolas Covatti and Jason Doyle made superb gates and lead into bend 1, Jason Doyle with his wheels in line the quickest passing his team-mate out of the 2nd bend, Robert Mear and Kim Nilsson in 3rd & 4th. Things didn’t get any better for Lakeside in the race as Robert Mear slowed down out of the 2nd bend of the last lap and retired from the race. Another fine 5-1 to the Brummies!
Doyle, Covatti, Nilsson (Mear retired)
Result 5-1 (29-19)
Robert Mear r/r for Richard Lawson, Lakeside now being 10 points down elected Piotr Swiderski for the black & white helmet tactical ride.
From the tapes… Danny King, Piotr Swiderski, Robert Mear, Josh Auty, Josh fell as he entered the 2nd lap but quickly cleared himself and his bike from the track thereby allowing the race to continue uninterrupted. The race positions finished as they started with Swiderski doubling his 2nd place points to 4.
King, Swiderski, Mear (Auty fell)
Result 3-5 (32-24)
Piotr Swiderski r/r for Davey Watt.
Anybody’s race for the first 2 bends but as they head down the back straight its Jason Doyle in 1st place, Lewis Bridger in 2nd, Piotr Swiderski in 3rd and Chris Harris in 4th. The race continued unchanged until the last lap… Chris Harris who had been trying every-which-way to improve on his last place grasped a last ditch attempt out of the final bend. Piotr Swiderski was clearly aware of the presence of Harris closely behind and rode out wide to block the pass… Chris seized the opportunity, switched to the inside and passed Swiderski on the line! What a race!
Doyle, Bridger, Harris, Swiderski
Result 4-2 (36-26)
Peter Karlsson made a superb gate and led into the 1st bend, followed by Ben Barker, Martin Smolinski and Kim Nilsson. Nilsson edged past Martin Smolinski out of the 2nd bend only for a while though, as Martin reclaimed the place at the start of lap 2. His superior speed sees him pass Ben to take up 2nd place and chasing hard behind Peter Karlsson … and with another thrilling finish Martin Smolinski passes Karlsson to take the win on the line!
Smolinski, Karlsson, Barker, Nilsson
Result 4-2 (40-28)
Robert Mear r/r for Richard Lawson and with Lakeside now 12 points behind they take their 2nd tactical ride with Lewis Bridger in the black & white helmet.
Into the 1st bend Danny King, Lewis Bridger, Martin Smolinski, Robert Mear and after the excitement of the last two races this one is completed without any position changes for the entire race. Bridger taking double points from his 2nd place, but still a share race.
King, Bridger, Covatti, Mear
Result 4-4 (44-32)
The race from the tapes had all 4 riders closely vying for the race advantage, but as the 1st and 2nd bends are negotiated Chris Harris is in 1st position, Peter Karlsson in 2nd, Ben Barker in 3rd and Piotr Swiderski in last place. Peter Karlsson passes Chris Harris on bend 3 of the 1st lap but it’s the only change in the positions for the entire race.
Karlsson, Harris, Barker, Swiderski
Result 3-3 (47-35)
Lewis Bridger makes a superb gate but it’s Martin Smolinski that edges into 1st place out of bend 1, Bridger in 2nd, Martin Smolinski in 3rd and Robert Mear in 4th. Josh Auty speeds past Lewis Bridger into 2nd place down the back straight and then past his teammate Martin Smolinski into 1st place on bend 3 of lap 1. No further position changes and the Brummies take only the 3rd 5-1 of the meeting but with Lakeside only scoring 1 heat win out of 14 races so far the Brummies have a commanding 14 point lead!
Auty, Smolinski, Bridger, Mear
Result 5-1 (52-36)
Nominated riders: Jason Doyle, Danny King, Peter Karlsson, Piotr Swiderski.
Swiderski exceeded the 2-minute time allowance and is riding from the 15-metre handicap.
Jason Doyle, Peter Karlsson, Danny King, Piotr Swiderski the positions out of bend 1. Karlsson past Jason Doyle on the back straight but Jason Doyle doesn’t give up and is rewarded for his perseverance as he re-takes 1st place on the back straight of lap 3. Piotr Swiderski is unable to make up the handicap and retires before the end of the race.
Doyle, Karlsson, King (Swiderski retired)
Result 4-2 (56-38)
I must admit I didn’t expect to win the meeting by 18 points! I would have been more than happy just to win by the margin required to take all the league points. You only need to look at the Brummies individual score to see their fantastic strength from 1 to 7.
Chris Harris 6 (+ 2 bonus points)
Jason Doyle 14
Danny King 12
Josh Auty 5 (+ 1 bonus point)
Ben Barker 6 (+ 2 bonus points)
Martin Smolinski 7 (+ 1 bonus point)
Nicolas Covatti 6 (+ 1 bonus point)
Jason and Danny were the shining lights (Jason deservedly being awarded rider of the night), but the rest of the team’s solid scoring and their ‘never give up’ attitude was a joy to watch!
The light rain that had started just before heat 10 was a little more persistent as I happily ‘skipped’ out of the stadium, but nothing short of a torrential downpour could have damped my spirits this evening! Well done everyone!