SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

News from Coventry Buildbase Bees and Coventry Storm

Danny King is the new British Champion. The Bees heat leader made light of the poor conditions to win the title for the first time.

Coventry Storm need a miracle if they are to progress in this year’s Knock Out Cup completion. Weakened by injuries and thwarted in their attempts to strengthen, they hosted a Kent side on top of their form and lost by a massive 34-56 margin.

Storm 34, Kent 56.

National League KO Cup 1st Leg

It was a decimated Storm team who took to the track for this first leg match.

With League forces against them and unable to strengthen, they had to operate rider replacement for Martin Knuckey, whose season has ended prematurely and bring in fifteen-year-old Henry Atkins for his Storm debut. Liam Carr was able to make a comeback from his recent collar bone injury to make up the six.

Luke Bowen won a shared heat one with Dan Greenwood coming from the back to take second place and Conor Dwyer riding well to keep out Jack Thomas.

Kent showed the value of having the experienced Luke Clifton as reserve when he soon passed the fast starting Callum Walker on the first lap. Walker just held off Danno Verge to take second place on the line.

Ryan Terry-Daley split the fast gating visitors in heat three but the visitors were already four points up.

Liam Carr made a good start at the second attempt to run heat four but his machine gave up at the end of lap one to give the visitors the first of two successive maximum heat wins.

With five heats gone the visitors were already 21-9 up and looking strong.

Greenwood won heat six after holding out James Shanes and with Dwyer third, Storm registered their first heat advantage.

This was reversed in the next before Dwyer won heat eight. Walker failed to get in the points after an outside dash on the first turn almost left him in trouble.

Carr won a shared heat nine before a Kent maximum increased their lead to sixteen.

Carr was beginning to look sharper and inflicted the only defeat of the night on Bowen in heat eleven.

Both Walker and Terry-Daley had to come from the back for a share of the heat twelve points.

Greenwood had to split the visiting pair in heat thirteen but it was looking a lost cause and when Kent finished up with two more 4-2’s, the final score of 56- 34 almost certainly ended any chance of Storm progressing in this year’s competition.

A replacement for Knuckey is now a priority if Storm are to have any success in the remainder of the League programme.

Storm scorers; Greenwood 10, Carr 8, Terry-Daley 6(1), Dwyer 5(1), Walker 4, Atkins 1.

Danish Grand Prix

It was another night to forget for Chris Harris after he finished fifteenth in round three of the competition in Horsens Arena, Denmark.

Two opening last places put him well out of the running. In heat two he was last from the gate and never really threatened the other three.

In heat second he cut back on the first bend to take second place but a lack of speed saw him gradually relegated to the back.

A much better ride in heat twelve saw him go from fourth to second on the first lap and hold out in a real battle for possession with Peter Kildemand and Piotr Pawlicki.

He was out again in the next but fell on the last lap after a battle with Antonio Lindback.

His best performance came too late as he just lost out in heat eighteen to meeting second placed Chris Holder.

With the GP Challenge route to next year’s competition now closed it will need a drastic improvement if he is to gain the top eight finish needed.

The meeting was won by Maciej Janowski with Holder second and Tai Woffinden third.

Woffinden and Holder top the overall standings with 39 points each and Greg Hancock is fourth with one point less.

British Final

Bees had four of the present team in this meeting and it was King who came out on top.

After leading the qualifying heats with thirteen points he went straight to the final. His race in this was one to savour. Taking gate two he quickly took to the faster outside line and once going ahead on the back straight he was never challenged and was an easy winner beating Craig Cook and Robert Lambert in the process.

Due to injury he received a wild card for this meeting and his efforts have earned him another wild card entry – this time in the British Grand Prix at Cardiff on Saturday, July 9th.

Of the others Jason Garrity made a good start with five points from his opening two rides. He then ran a last place in his third ride after narrowly avoiding a collision with Josh Auty. A fall in his fourth ride led to him withdrawing from his last ride.

Chris Harris struggled with new machinery and a lack of speed left him with just four points.

Josh Bates found the pace a bit tough but managed a creditable two points.

Preview

Bees return to home soil tomorrow (Friday) when they entertain King’s Lynn in an Elite League fixture. This should be an exciting contest as both teams urgently need the points if they are to reach the play-off positions. The ‘Stars’ have a solid looking side which includes Grand Prix star Niels Kristian Iversen, Mads Korneliussen, Robert Lambert and Troy Batchelor. Hopefully Bees should be back to full strength.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm. The teams meet again at King’s Lynn next Wednesday.

Alan Goodman