SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman
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News from Coventry Bees and Storm

The weather has not been kind to Coventry Speedway over the last week. Both Bees’ match at Swindon on Thursday and Storm’s hastily rearranged Travel Plus Trophy match against Cradley on Friday both fell victims to the rain and were both called off well before the start.

One match that did go ahead was Storm’s National League Knockout Cup match at Buxton on Sunday.

Buxton 40 Storm 55

There were a few concerns going into this match as Storm had had a lengthy spell of inactivity. They also went into the match without Stefan Nielsen who is still recovering from his Brandon crash.

Worries were soon eased as Storm adapted to the tricky conditions better than their hosts and opened with two maximums.

21-9 up after five races Storm were looking good and with a semi final tie against Cradley a possibility were in no mood to let things slip.

The lead was extended after a good ride by James Sarjeant to re-pass home number one Liam Carr in a good heat six.

This led to Buxton using their first tactical option in heat seven with veteran Tony Atkin obliging with the much-needed six points.

Despite falls by Ryan Terry-Daley in heat nine and Martin Knuckey in heat ten, race wins for Luke Crang and Sarjeant kept Storm’s lead before a good 5-1 by Crang and Oliver Greenwood over Atkin increased it to thirteen.

Heat twelve saw Ryan Blacklock take the second tactical ride for Buxton. The race had to be rerun after Terry-Daley and Adam Extance hit trouble on turn three. Dan Greenwood made another good start and held Blacklock in second place.

Heat thirteen went Buxton’s way with Carr beating Oliver Greenwood with Sarjeant falling.

Two more 4-2’s in the final two races gave Storm a good 55-40 win and barring major upsets in the yet to be arranged second leg a semi-final place awaits them.

Crang scored a 12 point maximum and received solid support from the rest of the team.

Storm scorers: Oliver Greenwood 13(1), Dan Greenwood 12, Crang 10(2), Sarjeant 10, Terry-Daley 8, Knuckey 2(1). Nielsen RR.

Danish Grand Prix

Chris Harris’s hopes of competing in next season’s competition look very slim after another poor performance at Parken in Copenhagen. His only chance now depends on two vital factors. Firstly as reserve for the GP Challenge he has to hope that a rider will drop out to give him a place and then more importantly, he has to finish in the top three.

On a temporary track which had an unpredictable surface, despite being in the mix early on he finished pointless after his first three rides. He managed three in his last two but finished in joint bottom spot with Kenneth Bjerre.

His new team mate Michael Jepsen Jensen finished much better. Promoted into the meeting after Chris Holder pulled out with wrist injuries he scored eight points which gave him the final semi-final place. He found the pace a bit too hot and finished last but it was a creditable performance.

The meeting threw up a few surprises. On a track where the younger riders were prepared to give it a go, rank outsider Troy Batchelor reached the final without dropping a point. In the final, however, the experience of Niels Kristian Iversen took him to the trophy. Greg Hancock, after a slow start to the meeting, took third place.

Preview

Bees face a testing time on Friday when Swindon are the visitors. Managed by former Bees’ team manager Alun Rossiter, meetings between the two sides are never dull affairs. Swindon has a good top two in Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor. Also in the side is Nick Morris, who as an ex-Bee knows his way around Brandon. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.

Bees should have visited League leaders King’s Lynn last night (Wed) and on Monday they go to Wolverhampton to take on the local Wolves in what should be another thrilling local derby.

Alan Goodman