Location: Southampton Cycle Speedway, Winchester Road, Southampton
Event: 18 August 2012
Due to a mixture of injury, holidays and travel problems only 13 riders made the start at a very sunny Southampton race track.
The circuit looked in very good condition and provided some very fast racing. With only two rounds left it was important to have a good start, and series leader Mark Griffith duly jetted away from the start in race 1, with Hemming and Dyson have a four lap dice for second.
Aris continued his good form winning from club-mate Dave Meanley and Kevin Smith. Former British champion Colin Wheeler appeared in race 3, but it was Venson who took the four points after a fine pass. Southampton’s Pete Chant showed his home knowledge as he sneaked pass Joe McLaughlin for a good win in race 4. Plenty of action in the fifth as Phil Hemming won a tight race from Venson and McLaughlin.
Pete Chant doubled his victories in the sixth with Wheeler holding off Mackie in the seventh. Griffith looked in full control taking the eighth. Dave Meanley picked up more points as he beat training partner Hemming with Whiting third. Wheeler raced away from Dyson and Rothwell, with Griffith taking a further four points from the always challenging Venson. Three races each and Griffith had 12, Wheeler and Aris 11, Chant 10. The thirteenth race and not unlucky for Mick Aris who took his third heat win, Chant always in contention.
A good pass from McLaughlin to win the 14th and moved Joe up the scoring lists. Griffith made it four from four, with Kevin Smith holding off super-vet Chic Mackie. Meanley looking very fast took the sixteenth and with a race to go each and all points important Griffith had 16, Venson Wheeler Chant and Meanley all on 13. Phil Hemming took his second win from Rothwell, tiring on the big circuit. Race 18 and Venson a fine victory over Dyson, with Meanley having a fine victory over the unbeaten Griffith in race 19. Home rider Chant took the 20th, from Smith and Whiting.
Finals to be decided now as the riders took a well-deserved rest on a very hot day. Mr Rothwell made the decisions, the drawers were done, and Mick Aris duly won a comfortable over 60s final from Wheeler, Rothwell and Whiting.
Over 50 finals and if you have a good day you can end up in three finals. Colin Wheeler coming from the outside start to pass Aris on the last lap, Hemming third. Paul Dyson took the consolation B final from Rothwell, Smith and Whiting.
The over 40 finals saw both Dennis Hubble and Dave Frith unable to race, this was important. Griffiths took gate 1 abut Chant, Venson and Meanley had to draw lots as they totalled 17 and count-back couldn’t decide either. After a re-start it was Mark who raced home Venson second and Meanley holding off Chant. The B final and Wheeler and Aris had their eighth race of the day but Colin passed McLaughlin and Hemming to take the points.
Some very good and very competitive racing as both Dave Meanley and Phil Hemming will testify, last seen comparing scrapes and bruises, still Exeter and Bury to race at, and opportunities for points and overall placing’s to be raced for. Many thanks, to Southampton for staging the event and again to the sponsors.
Over 40s: Mark Griffiths 147, Dave Frith 133, Dennis Hubble 115, both Norman Venson and Dave Meanley very much in contention.
Over 50s: Mick Aris 176, Dennis Hubble 175, Paul Dyson 169 with Phil Hemming and Joe McLaughlin in touching distance.
Over 60s: Mick Aris 173, Fred Rothwell 158, and Chic Mackie 140 with John Whiting still in the hunt.