MATCH REPORT: Highly competitive HSBC UK Elite GP in Coventry
Coventry XL Motors Cycle Speedway hosted a bumper round of HSBC UK | Cycle Speedway Elite Grand Prix Series action on Saturday, which featured line ups out of the top drawer.
In the elite men’s class, Polish international Dawid Bas stormed his way to victory with a convincing performance in the highly competitive field, taking home the three-figure prize money after easing through the qualifier earlier in the day. Great Britain captain Paul Heard put aside his disappointing semi-final exit from last weekend’s European championships to make a run off for second with Ipswich’s Richard Fellgett.
Fellgett duly won the run-off for the runners-up spot, and looks to be a certain inclusion in the national open final at the end of the month. Heard will still be happy with his performance in third place going into the business end of the cycle speedway season.
Round two winner, Ashley Hill took fourth place after a run-off with Poole’s Ben Mould, who claimed the final pot of prize money.
Series leaders Josh Brooke and Chris Timms could not continue their run of podium places in the competition, Brooke suffering a first race gate exclusion to all but rule him out early on.
Earlier in the day, Fraser Garnett and Lewis Brinkoff were stand out performers on the wide open and heavily banked Hearsall Common bowl. Both riders only dropped a single point and went wheel to wheel in an entertaining run off.
The highly entertaining Brinkoff does not shy away from a spectacular pass and almost made it stick against Garnett, who returned the favour on his way to the round three victory.
Home rider Cameron Gill impressed and returned home a well-earned third place and the final prize money position, funded by the Coventry club.
Following the high-quality elite men’s class was the inaugural pairs competition, which gave riders the chance to team up with a rider from another club.
The well-received event saw entrants split into two groups, racing each other of inside grids and outside grids but with a 4, 3, 2, 0 scoring system, instead of 4, 3, 2, 1. This meant a winning pair of each heat with no shared heats possible.
The top two pairs made their way into the semi-finals for a one race shoot out. Emerging into the final was Chris Timms and Josh Brooke taking inside grids as the top scorers in run to the final, against Richard Fellgett and Ashley Hill.
Timms raced away to take the win, while Hill and Fellgett turned their attentions to Brooke knowing second and third would be enough to clinch victory. Brooke held firm however to make him and Timms the first Pairs Elite GP champions.
Photo by Andy Whitehouse