SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

News from Coventry Bees - Bomber’s Big Bang on Sunday

The opening night for Coventry Buildbase Bees was a difficult one with having to overcome a heavy 36-point deficit from the first leg of the East Midlands Bowl at Leicester. Although they could not make up the difference they did enough in a thoroughly entertaining match to give fans hope for a good season.

Coventry 52, Leicester 40.

(Agg. 79-103)

With Hans Andersen back in the team Bees were at full strength, as were their opponents.

Things started badly for Leicester as skipper Jason Doyle made a rash move on the third turn to try and pass Andersen. He came to grief and clipped his partner Mikkel Michelsen, who collapsed on the home straight and took no further part in the meeting. With Doyle excluded, Josh Auty was the visitors’ only representative. Andersen was the winner with Stuart Robson following him home after first bend ‘elbows’ with Auty.

Bees’ reserves came out of a tight first turn ahead of heat two to take a second maximum win and put Bees 10-2 ahead.

Leicester made the start to heat three but both Danny King and Chris Harris were by a strangely ineffective Bjarne Pedersen on the second turn. They were unable to catch Grzegorz Walasek so the points were shared.

Szymon Wozniak won heat four but a share of the points was lost when Jakub Jamrog pulled up with machine problems, leaving Leicester to take a 4-2.

A good first turn saw Robson and Jason Garrity lead out of turn two for a third Bees maximum.

Leicester took another 4-2 in the next before Walasek took advantage of a couple of Andersen mistakes to win a shared heat seven.

James Sarjeant won heat eight with Jamrog taking third after Simon Lambert pulled out. This left the halfway stage score at 29-19 to Bees.

Garrity won a shared heat nine after a round the boards attempt by Robson came to nothing.

Rather surprisingly Leicester left it until heat ten before using the tactical ride. Doyle was given the ride but was overtaken by Harris on the second turn and had to be content with four points. King took third to share the heat points.

Leicester made the start to heat eleven. Andersen went underneath on the first turn but had not enough momentum and had to be content with second place. With Robson again not finishing, the trophy was now Leicester’s for the next 12 months.

Once again the visitors led from the start in heat twelve. Garrity and Sarjeant overhauled Lambert but could not catch Auty.

Andersen featured in the best race of the night in heat thirteen. After moving out Doyle on the first turn he chased Pedersen and executed a superb last turn overtake to take the flag.

King split the visiting pair in heat fourteen before a great heat fifteen proved a fitting climax to a good night’s racing. Andersen again used the fourth turn to his advantage by overtaking Walasek to take the lead and then Harris caught the Pole napping to snatch second place on the run-in.

This made the final score 52-40 to Bees.

This was a good all round performance from the team. Particularly pleasing was the progress Sarjeant appears to have made after a winter’s racing in New Zealand. Jamrog was again disappointing but Bees’ management are hoping he will soon get his act together.

Bees’ scorers; Andersen 12(1), Sarjeant 10, Harris 9(2), Garrity 8(3), King 7, Robson 5(1), Jamrog 1.

Elite League Riders’ Championship

It was a night of frustration for Bees pair of Hans Andersen and Chris Harris in this annual event held at Leicester.

Andersen had to miss Bees’ EMB meeting the previous week but showed what could have been done had he been there.

In the qualifying heats he finished fourth with ten points which gave him a place in the semi-final. A fall on the third lap when in second place lost him a place in the final.

For Harris, he had to withdraw after two laps with a groin injury and took no further part in the meeting.

The meeting was won by Jason Doyle with Niels Kristian Iversen second and Maciej Janowski third.

Chris Harris’ injury turned out not to be serious for two nights later he beat an impressive field to win the Bank’s Olympique at Wolverhampton with fourteen points.

Unfortunately, Jakub Jamrog managed just one point in the same meeting which must seriously put his Bees future in doubt as promoter Mick Horton is known to be monitoring the situation and will make a change if necessary.

Preview

It is down to business proper this weekend when Bees start their Elite Programmes. They meet Wolverhampton in home tomorrow (Friday) and Monday away fixtures. The Wolves have put together a strong side led by two Monmore favourite Swedes, Fredrik Lindgren and the veteran Peter Karlsson. They also track another Swede in Jacob Thorssell and Polish newcomer Tobias Musielak, which makes it an interesting looking side. Bees will have to prove their worth in these matches if they have any chance of making the play-offs.

Friday’s meeting starts at 7.30pm.

Bomber’s Big Bang

On Sunday Chris Harris stages his testimonial meeting at Brandon. There is a bumper programme of 33 races plus many other attractions, which include an auction and a raffle for two British GP paddock passes.

Events start at 12 noon and there will be under-21 races before the main event which starts at 2pm. This will be held over the GP format with 20 heats and four finals. Although the field has to be finalised, riders programmed include Jason Doyle, Fredrik Lindgren, Rory Schlein, Kenneth Bjerre, Simon Stead, Edward Kennett, Morten Risager and Bee’s riders Danny King and Jason Garrity.

There will also be three races involving legends Brian Andersen, Kelvin Tatum and Chris Louis.

Alan Goodman.