Reports from the week ending 9 April. For the Elite League
Location: Wednesfield Cycle Speedway, Wednesfield
Event: 9 April 2012
Report: David Jewkes
Due to the terrible weather conditions this individual cycle speedway meeting reverted to the standard 20 race formula instead of the planned 40 heats of racing current champion Chris Timms successfully defending his title on 19 points with runner-up Ben Mould on 18 points and Lukas Nowacki third 18 points.
In heat , one of the pre-match faviorites Paul Heard had to settle for second place as he came up against current world champion Lukas Nowacki. The next race saw a win for Wednesfield's new signing Ben Mould in front of a very fast Matt Smith of Sheffield. Heat 3 saw Chris Timms record the first of his race wins of the afternoon after a restart that saw the exclusion of the talented East Park rider Jamie Ball after he launched Wednesfield's Dave Meanley into the safety fence on the top bend. Next we saw the first of three race wins for another of the Aces winter signings - fast rising starlet Ricki Johnson.
After the first four heats all the riders had got a sample of the track and the very wet conditions with some riders wearing safety goggles or glasses to try to keep the spray of wet shale from their eyes, obviously if you were out in front you avoided this problem. Heat 6 we saw the clash between Birmingham’s top two heat leaders Timms & Heard going head to head down the back straight with neither rider prepared to give way. Paul Heard ended up on the centre green but the referee waived race on - a disappointed Heard failed to finish the race.
World champion Nowacki was looking good and confident winning his next two outings as did Ricki Johnson after inflicting a win over new team mate Ben Mould in heat 8 and then grabbing the points in his next taking full advantage of having two grid 1 starts.
Chris Timms was the first to lower the colours of Nowacki in heat 15 when the three riders all unbeaten so far came together in the one race and Timms could see victory in sight beating Nowacki and also Ricki Johnson. Two heats later Timms was out again for his final ride knowing that a win would give him a maximum and the title but Ben Mould also had his sights on getting onto the podium having dropped just two points so far he knew he needed the win. A great race unfolded with Mould the only rider to pip Timms all afternoon taking the race win putting himself on 18 points and Timms on 19 points.
But there was still two races left in the meeting and more drama to unfold as Luckas Nowacki, who had only dropped one point so far, was looking for a race win in his final outing knowing that it would put him on the same points as Timms in a possible run off for the title. Lukas was possibly surprised by the electric start from Jamie Ball on the inside of him on gate 3 riding him to the extremes of the circuit for the first half lap before the national referee Wayne Aris called the race back for a restart with all four riders. But once again Jamie Ball held the world champ again from the gate and rode a sensible race not giving is opponents any way past and so putting Nowacki on the same points as Mould for a run-off for the runner up spot and third and Chris Timms retaining the tile he won last year - The Christine Ellis Memorial Individual Champion.
1. Chris Timms 19
2. Ben Mould 18
3. Lukas Nowacki 18
Other scorers: Sam Parr 7, Paul Heard 14, David Ball 13, Joe Kemp 6, Mark Winwood 11, Matt Smith 14, Scott Millward 9, Dave Meanley 9, Jamie Ball 10, Matt Haddock 9, Nathan Groves 13, Mark Griffiths 10, Ricki Johnson 16.
Dash Trophies Women’s Individual at Wednesfield
Lauren Davies was in a class of her own as she ploughed to victory in the most appalling conditions at a rain-sodden Ashmore Park, Wednesfield.
The Leicester racer, who only took up the sport three years ago, was streets ahead of the opposition, splattering her closest rivals, Sandra Tamborska and Vicky Brown, with shale when the big three met in a winner-takes-all showdown.
Looking super-fit so early in the season, Tamborska really impressed while Brown delivered another typically honest performance. Lauren Hookway also rode well. Had she not tangled with another rider on the first turn in one of their races, she may well have finished on the podium. Laura Watson also enjoyed a good meeting.
National women's champion, Livvy Horsley, won her first and last race but appeared to be struggling with early season fitness, returning a disappointing 13 points.
Organiser Roger Ellis was full of admiration for the gutsy women racers who braved terrible weather conditions on a rain-sodden track.
"Considering the conditions, they were magnificent" said Ellis. "Can I also record my thanks to Steve Mullinder from Dash Trophies to sponsoring the meeting and providing some excellent trophies."
Lauren Davies (Leicester) 20, Sandra Tamborska (Sheffield) 19, Vicky Brown (Sheffield) 17, Lauren Hookway (Exeter) 16, Laura Watson (Leicester) 16, Charlie Jane Herbert (Horspath) 14, Livvi Horsley (Horspath) 13, Charlie Ellitts (Wednesfield) 13, Tiff Collins (Hethersett) 12, Kayla Whetton (East Park) 11, Rebecca Davies (Newport) 10, Patricia Borak (Sheffield) 9, Courtney Aris (Wednesfield) 9, Natalie Timms (Birmingham) 6.
The Midland League division two clash between Leicester’s young Lions and Coventry turned out to be a classic. The Godiva city outfit provided the race winner in nine of the thirteen heats but tactical awareness, particularly from Jenna Whitehead and Luke Hartshorn, saw the home riders generally able to share the points.
A 6-4 from James Kirrane and Callum McCarrol in heat four gave the visitors the lead, the highly impressive Liam Wood took heat seven, his partner Honey Whitehead getting the better of Sam Slatter after a titanic battle and the scores were back all square.
Cue a last heat decider, the previously unbeaten Kirrane lined up with partner MaCauley Burnett but it was young Monarch Wood who shot out of the gate and soaked up the pressure from the Coventry pair to take the win and share the heat. A fitting conclusion to the match as no team deserved to lose.
Leicester Lions 65: Liam Wood 19, Elizabeth Rigley 12, Chloe Whitehead 11, Jenna Whitehead 9+4, Luke Hartshorn 7+3, Honey Whitehead 7
Coventry 65: MaCauley Burnett 18, Liam McGuire 15, James Kirrane 14+1, Callum McCarrol 6, Jake Slatter 5+1, Callum Lee 3+1, Adam Dickenson 3, Sam Slatter 1
The next match saw the much stronger Monarchs take the win by 80 points to 49, however no home rider could manage to go through the card thanks to Leicester’s own Tom Sensicall who is helping out the Coventry club in local league racing in their comeback year.
Leicester 80: Lauren Davies 15, Liam Davies 14, Lee Kemp 13+3
Coventry 49: Tom Sensicall 12, James Kirrane 12