Once again a very pleasant warm evening, we really have had a surprising run of fine weather this season.
On with the meeting…
I don’t know where this year has gone to… tonight’s meeting is the penultimate home match, apart from the league play offs of course.
Our opponents, the Coventry Bees haven’t had a very good year at all and currently sit at the bottom of the league table. Having said that… we can’t afford to be complacent, we need to take all 3 points if we are to remain at the top. A banner proclaiming this status was proudly held up by the Brummie team prior to the teams being introduced to the supporters, who were equally proud to see it!
It was pleasing to see quite a reasonable crowd despite Aston Villa being in action tonight at home.
Tyson Nelson is guest reserve for Nico Covatti.
Coventry win the toss and elect to ride off gates 1 & 3 for heat 1.
Chris Harris and Jason Doyle gated superbly and were in 1st and 2nd place into the first bend with Krzysztof Kasprzak and Olly Allen in 3rd and 4th. That is also the race result as the Brummies take a 5-1 with total ease.
Harris, Doyle Kasprzak, Allen
Tyson Nelson, Michal Szczepaniak, Josh Grajczonek and Josh Auty the race order into the 1st bend, but as they exit bend 2 Michal Szczepaniak edges past Tyson Nelson to take the lead. Josh Auty pushes hard for a lap and passes Josh Grajczonek out of bend 1 of the 2nd lap. The positions remain unchanged for the remainder of the race. Josh Grajczonek suffered engine failure on bend 1 of the last lap and retired from the race.
Result 3-3 (8-4)
Szczepaniak, Nelson, Auty (Grajczonek engine failure)
Grzegorz Zengota 1st out the gate and leading into bend 1 with Danny King and Ben Barker hot on his heels, Aaron Summers bringing up the rear. Grzegorz Zengota must have been stunned to find himself sandwiched between Ben Barker and Danny King into the 2nd bend and was powerless to prevent the double pass by the Brummies on the exit. And… that was it, done and dusted as the Brummie pair took total control of the heat for another fine 5-1
Result 5-1 (13-5)
Barker, King, Zengota, Summers
Tyson Nelson in place of Josh Auty.
Tyson Nelson jumped the start, Referee declared an unsatisfactory start, all 4 back for the re-run.
Michal Szczepaniak and Scott Nicholls make fine starts and lead into the 1st bend, Martin Smolinski and Tyson Nelson trailing in 3rd and 4th. Nicholls moves in front of Szczepaniak on the back straight and Martin Smolinski closes the gap between him and Michal Szczepaniak, but as they exit the 3rd bend of lap 1 both Szczepaniak and Smolinski fall causing the race to be stopped. Martin is quickly back on his feet but Szczepaniak takes a while to recover from the fall.
In the meantime the referee has excluded Szczepaniak as the cause of the stoppage. This was a surprise to me as I thought that Martin had collected Szczepaniak back wheel and would be judged the culprit, but the ref has the benefit of a re-play, I don’t!
2nd Re-run with just 3 riders.
Josh Auty, Scott Nicholls and Martin Smolinski the race order into the 1st bend, but a faster moving Scott Nicholls passes Josh with ease out of the 2nd bend and Martin too edges past Josh on the back straight to give chase behind Scott Nicholls but all to no avail. Nicholls wins… and another shared heat.
Result 3-3 (16-8)
Nicholls, Smolinski, Auty (Szczepaniak excluded)
Danny King in 1st, Ben Barker in 2nd, Krzysztof Kasprzak in 3rd and Olly Allen in 4th into bend 1.
Ben Barker and Danny King exchange place on the back straight for the only change in the race.
The Brummie pair have a sizeable lead by the end of the 2nd lap and the Coventry pair don’t appear to be very interested at all.
Result 5-1 (21-9)
Barker, King, Kasprzak, Allen
Scott Nicholls had a great gate and led into bend 1, Chris Harris, Jason Doyle and Josh Grajczonek the other placings. But… it was a very short lived lead as first Jason Doyle and then Chris Harris passed Nicholls with ease as they exited the 2nd bend and just as heat 5 the Brummies quickly built up their lead with Coventry appearing to just accept the inevitable result.
Result 5-1 (26-10)
Doyle, Harris, Nicholls, Grajczonek
Josh Auty replaces Tyson Nelson.
Martin Smolinski in excellent form as he leads into the 1st bend, 2nd and 3rd positions go to Aaron Summers and Grzegorz Zengota respectively, Josh entered the bend in last place but as he left bend 2 he had edged into 3rd by passing Grzegorz Zengota. Josh pushed hard behind Aaron Summers for the next lap and claimed 2nd place on the back straight of lap 2. Martin meanwhile was well in front, as I watched in awe of the fine riding by Martin I failed to spot that Zengota and Summers had exchanged positions until the race ended. Their final positions of little consequence as the Brummies notch up another 5-1!
Result 5-1 (31-11)
Smolinski, Auty, Zengota, Summers
Josh Auty looking very sharp this evening leads into the 1st bend, closely followed by Jason Doyle. The Bees pair of Olly Allen and Michal Szczepaniak in 3rd and 4th once again looking very disinterested. The only pass for the entire race was by Jason as he overtook Josh on the back straight of lap 1. Szczepaniak pulled up on the 3rd bend of the last lap and didn’t finish the race.
The 4th 5-1 in a row, the 6th of the meeting so far and a stunning 24 point lead!
Result 5-1 (36-12)
Doyle, Auty, Allen (Szczepaniak did not finish)
Scott Nicholls to take black & white helmet tactical ride.
Ben Barker first into bend 1 but was quickly overhauled by Scott Nicholls out of bend 2.
As they proceeded down the back straight it was Scott Nicholls in 1st, Ben Barker in 2nd, Danny King in 3rd and Josh Grajczonek in 4th. Danny King moved into 2nd place over Ben Barker on the 2nd lap to give chase behind Nicholls who wasn’t about to give up his potential 6 points in a hurry. Heat 9… and a least one member of the Bees team had finally turned up!
Result 3-6 (39-18)
Nicholls, King, Barker, Grajczonek
Jason Doyle and Chris Harris in 1 & 2, Aaron Summers and Grzegorz Zengota in 3 and 4 out of the 2nd bend and also the final race positions. Aaron Summers did at least stay in touch with Chris Harris for a couple of laps but never looked likely to have the speed or the inclination to make a pass.
Result 5-1 (44-19)
Doyle, Harris, Summers, Zengota
Josh Auty in place of Tyson Nelson and Krzysztof Kasprzak to take black & white helmet tactical ride.
Krzysztof Kasprzak gated like a rocket into bend 1 in 1st place, Martin Smolinski in 2nd, Olly Allen in 3rd and Josh Auty in 4th. Josh Auty snuck past Olly Allen out of bend 2 but Olly Allen claimed the place back along the back straight. The cat & mouse chase between Allen and Auty was closely fought for the whole race with Auty finally passing Allen on the home straight of the last lap and hanging on to 3rd place over the line. Krzysztof Kasprzak meanwhile was unchallenged at the front and took maximum points from his tactical ride. But regretfully for the Bees it was too late, the winning post had been passed by the Brummies and any hope of a consolation point was extremely unlikely!
Result 3-6 (47-25)
Kasprzak, Smolinski, Auty, Allen
Tyson Nelson in place of Josh Auty.
Tyson Nelson moving at the tapes all 4 back.
Danny King, Grzegorz Zengota, Josh Grajczonek, and Tyson Nelson the 1 to 4 into bend 1, Grzegorz Zengota edged past Danny King out of bend 2. Danny King rode like a demon possessed hanging on to Zengota’s back wheel like the entire meeting result rested on him winning the race… his perseverance and determination was rewarded as he passed Zengota on the home straight at the start of the last lap. At this point confusion reigned as the start line official neglected to indicate it was the last lap… instead he held up the yellow/black flag at the end of lap 4 when he should have been holding the black/white flag to signify the end of the race!! The riders, who I’m pretty sure don’t actually count their circuits of the track continued to race and finally completed a 5 lap race!
The race positions hadn’t changed during this extra lap, but thankfully the referee was paying attention and would no doubt have intervened if needed.
Where was I? oh yes, Danny King won the race, Zengota 2nd, Grajczonek 3rd and Tyson Nelson by no means disgraced but the first Brummie rider to score a zero.
Result 3-3 (50-28)
King, Zengota, Grajczonek, Nelson
Krzysztof Kasprzak finally looking like a number 1 rider gated in 1st place, followed by Chris Harris, Martin Smolinski and Scott Nicholls, no position changes until the last bend of the last lap when Martin Smolinski passed Chris Harris to take 2nd place. The race result unchanged though, another shared heat.
Result 3-3 (53-31)
Kasprzak, Smolinski, Harris, Nicholls
Now it’s been a while since I wrote total gobbledegook on my notepad but here it is!!!
I can’t for the life of me understand the hieroglyphics that are meant to indicate who passed who, when and where! I seem to have 2 riders in white hats, none in yellow… I noted that a Coventry rider pulled up on bend 3 of lap 1 and didn’t finish the race but not which rider it was!
I can spend the rest of eternity trying to work it out, so I won’t.
I’ll just inform you of the trustworthy tannoy announcement at the end of the race… Ben Barker 1st, Tyson Nelson 2nd, Aaron Summers 3rd and the 8th 5-1 of the meeting.
Result 5-1 (58-32)
Barker, Nelson, Summers (Szczepaniak e/f)
Nominated riders: Ben Barker, Chris Harris, Scott Nicholls and Krzysztof Kasprzak.
Ben Barker gated in 1st place and led into the 1st bend, Scott Nicholls in 2nd place, Chris Harris in 3rd and Krzysztof Kasprzak in 4th. Chris Harris rocketed from 3rd to 1st out of the second bend, Scott Nicholls now relegated into 3rd pushes hard behind Ben Barker and finally down the back straight of lap 2 catches up and draws level with Ben into the 3rd bend, at this point everything turned pear-shaped as Ben and Scott both fall and the race is stopped. I thought Scott Nicholls would be judged to be the cause of the stoppage but no… the referee excluded Ben Barker!
Scott Nicholls was up almost immediately, but Ben was down for 15 minutes being attended by the paramedics before an ambulance was bought on to the track. We were informed that he was suffering back and ribs pain and was to be taken to hospital to be checked.
Re-run with 3 riders only.
Krzysztof Kasprzak in 1st, Chris Harris in 2nd and Scott Nicholls in 3rd into bend 1. Chris Harris stormed out of the 2nd bend to pass Krzysztof Kasprzak on the back straight the race concluded without any further changes.
Result 3-3 (61-35)
Harris, Kasprzak, Nicholls (Barker excluded)
A commanding performance by the Brummies was marred by last race. It’s hard to feel upbeat when a rider is taken to hospital; I hope Ben is ok and that the hospital visit is just precautionary.
The scorecard below show how the Brummies battled for every point, with every rider contributing well to the massive match total. The bonus points total of 13 equalling that of the Bees top scorer.
Coventry’s score was flattered by the inclusion of the 6 points scored in tactical rides, they didn’t really seem interested in the match at all, and while it’s pleasing to take all 3 points out of the meeting I would have liked to have seen a bit more gusto and enthusiasm from our visitors.
It poses the question… were we really that good?
Give me last week’s match again and again… entertainment personified!
But at the end of the day a win is a win and the exciting prospect of finishing the season at the top of the league fills me with absolute pride!
Chris Harris was awarded Rider of the Night and deservedly so, but for me there were actually 7 Riders of the Night!
Chris Harris 3, 2, 2, 1, 3 (11 + 3)
Jason Doyle 2, 3, 3, 3 (11 + 1)
Danny King 2, 2, 2, 3 (9 + 2)
Ben Barker 3, 3, 1, 3, F/X (10 + 1)
M Smolinski 2, 3, 2, 2, (9)
Tyson Nelson 2, 1, 0, 2 (5 + 2)
Josh Auty 1, 2, 2, 1, (6 + 4)
Krzysztof Kasprzak 1, 1, 6, 3, 2, 2, (13)
Olly Allen 0, 0, 1, 0, (1)
Grzegorz Zengota 1, 1, 0, 2, (4)
Aaron Summers 0, 0, 1, 1, (2)
Scott Nicholls 3, 1, 6, 0, 1, (11 + 1)
Josh Grajczonek 0, 0, 0, 1, (1 + 1)
Michal Szczepaniak 3, F/X, 0, 0, (3)