2017 BRITISH INDIVIDUALS: Day two round-up
East Park hosted a busy day two of the 2017 British Individuals finals, with U16 girls, junior and veterans finals all taking place, followed by an exciting open semi final in the evening, with the second semi at Birmingham.
Poole’s Macie Schmidt raced unbeaten to successfully defend her U16 Girls British title, underling her prospects for the Women’s title this afternoon. Sheffield’s Niamh Morton took the runners up spot ahead of Ipswich’s Gemma Hill, who won a run off for third against Leicester’s Chloe Whitehead (4th) and Eagles team mate, Chloe Pearce.
After the girls the juniors took to the track following their pre-qualifier earlier in the day. Brandon Whetton (cover photo) won his 6th junior British title in his final year as a junior, an incredible record for the Wednesfield rider.
Aces team mate, Carl Parfitt took a well earned second place, while 15-year old Fraser Garnett of Poole has continued his rapid rise up the junior ranks by taking the bronze medal against riders some years older than him.
The Veterans categories provided much entertainment and it was a record 6th British outdoor title for Swindon’s Steve Harris, who raced unbeaten in the over 40s. Leicester duo Kev Burns and Mark Whitehead had a run off for second and third, which Burns duly won.
Norman Venson won his first ever British title in the over 50s. Once an ever present in the open finals, Venson never managed to secure a title despite many podiums in his career. Yesterday was his day though and he raced to a 20 point maximum to take the crown.
Norwich’s Paddy Wenn gave his all and left nothing on the track on his way to second place ahead of Sheffield’s Luke Morton taking the bronze.
In the over 60s, Birmingham’s Paul Timms showed his class on the way to victory, he had to beat Wednesfield’s Phil Hemming in a run off to secure the title after both riders finished on 15 points. Poole’s Rob Haywood claimed the final podium position.
As night drew in and the East Park lights came on, a very fast track welcomed the second round of semi finals. There were few big surprises, with a very low 26 points being enough to secure a place in the final. Steve Harris almost rued a gate exclusion in his fourth ride but did enough to secure second in his final race to make his 25th senior open final.
Elsewhere, East Park’s own youngster, Jake White made his first senior open final, along with debuts for Ipswich’s Leon Mower, Brandon Whetton and Scott Millward.
Here’s the draw for this afternoon’s final at Wednesfield, 4pm: