SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

It has not been a good week for loyal Coventry fans

Firstly Storm suffered a heavy defeat at local rivals Birmingham in the National League and then an injury hit team failed miserably in Sunday’s prestigious National League Fours, a meeting that will not be remembered for the best of reasons.

There were also problems for an already injury hit Chris Harris in the Swedish Grand Prix.

Birmingham 53, Storm 35

Both teams included guests in the number one position; Storm had Ellis Perks for the injured Dan Greenwood while their hosts tracked Luke Chassell.

Honours were even in the opening heat which was won by Perks before the Brummies took the lead in heat two with an easy 5-1.

Storm looked like drawing back level in the next after Mitchell Davey and Ryan Terry-Daley made the start. Unfortunately the latter could not hold out and was passed by Darryl Ritchings.

Liam Carr won a shared heat four and then an exciting heat five saw Perks and Tom Bacon pass and repass before Perks got the advantage. This left Storm still trailing by two.

Carr had to work hard in the next to split the home pair of Danyon Hume and Chessel. The resulting 4-2 put the Brummies further ahead.

Davey won a shared heat seven before the home pair of Hume and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn romped home for a virtually unchallenged 5-1 to bring the halfway score to a comfortable 28-20.

Carr had to ride another hard race in heat nine to split the Ritchings-Bacon pair and prevent another home maximum.

Heat ten was a disaster for Storm. Terry-Daley fell at the end of the first lap and was excluded and in the rerun Davey suffered machine problems, leaving the home pair to take an unchallenged 5-0 heat win.

Perks made it three wins in a row in a processional shared heat eleven before the home side virtually sealed the match in the next. With Terry- Daley unable to take his place it was left to the reserve pair to try and salvage something from heat twelve. Unfortunately they were unable to match the home pair and Storm now trailed by 26-45.

Tom Perry inflicted the only defeat of the night on Perks in heat thirteen.

Heat fourteen was also shared before an unusual heat fifteen finished of the night. In a hectic race both Hume and Carr fell unaided on the first turn of lap two and were both excluded. Davey won a two man rerun to make the final score 53-35 to Birmingham.

Although Storm pushed Birmingham hard the top three did not have the necessary support from the bottom end.

Storm scorers; Mitchell Davey 12, Ellis Perks 11, Liam Carr 8(1), Callum Walker 2, Ryan Terry-Daley, Jamie Halder 1, Conor Dwyer 0.

National League Fours

Eight teams took part in this 24 race BSPA event. The teams were divided into A and B sections for the early session with each group contesting eight races with two teams from each going forward to the final.

The early sections took a similar pattern with three teams in with a chance and one team for various reasons out of the running. Unfortunately the injury hit Storm were one of those teams and could only manage two points out of a possible 24, both of these coming from Mitchell Davey. Late entrants Buxton found themselves in a similar position, scoring just three. Rye House and Cradley qualified from group A with Belle Vue and Eastbourne coming from group B.

Up to this point racing had been pretty processional but it took off in a controversial final with five reruns in the opening two races.

In heat one Luke Priest from Rye House had been excluded after falling and in the rerun an incident between Ellis Perks and Rob Shuttleworth saw them come to blows. Perks was excluded for being the cause of the stoppage while Shuttlworth was banned from the rest of the meeting for his actions. This left Ashley Morris of Cradley to complete four laps on his own in the third rerun.

Two more incidents involving all four riders followed in heat two before things settled down and the standard of racing improved considerably.

Late entrants Rye House just kept their noses in front to take the trophy. Their nearest challengers Eastbourne lost out when Adam Ellis failed to leave the start in the final and deciding race.

The final scores were; Rye House 14, Belle Vue 12, Eastbourne 11, Cradley 7.

Swedish Grand Prix

Chris Harris, already riding with a broken rib, was fortunate to escape further injury after a heat seven accident in a meeting which was held on a Sunday morning after the previous night’s staging was cancelled due to heavy rain.

After just losing out for third in his opening race he took a heavy tumble after being taken into the fence by Nicki Pedersen. Pedersen was excluded and Harris awarded second place. Although he carried on racing he was obviously feeling the effects of his crash and tailed off in all of his three remaining races to finish up with two points.

The meeting was won by Greg Hancock with Tai Woffinden second and Bartosz Zmarzlik third. At the halfway stage Hancock leads the series with 83 points followed by Woffinden and Jason Doyle on 71.

Preview

There is a busy two days ahead for Coventry followers. Tomorrow (Friday) they entertain Lakeside, who are led by former Bee Andreas Jonsson and go to Lakeside on Saturday for the return.

On Saturday Storm are also in action, visiting Rye House. The start time for this has been brought forward so fans can go to both matches.

There is a coach going which will cover both matches. The coach leaves Brandon at 11.00am and further details can be obtained from the BOSS kiosk or by telephoning (01788) 562132.

Alan Goodman