British Speedway Premiership Roundup: Aces on top, Wolves make a statement, highs and lows for the Witches and the Stars off the mark

The Belle Vue Aces moved to the top of the Speedway Premiership, following an excellent 45-45 draw at Ipswich up with a bank holiday double header that saw them draw at home to and win away the Peterborough Panthers.

Dan Bewley scored 29 from 30 available points last bank holiday Monday as a rescued 45-45 at the National Speedway Stadium was bettered by a 50-40 win at the East of England Arena.

That performance came after a solid 11 point haul away at Ipswich, with Foxhall a track that Bewley traditionally does not ride well at, leading his side to two away points.

Belle Vue host Ipswich tonight with the Suffolk side depleted with injuries as Jason Crump broke eight ribs in a crash at Wolverhampton, with Jordan Stewart injuring his collarbone, shoulder and ribs while doubling up with Redcar in the Championship.

The Witches’ injury list lengthened when Cameron Heeps suffered a shoulder separation during the home defeat to King’s Lynn, with Ipswich calling upon the ousted King’s Lynn Number One Craig Cook to guest in place of Crump while Berwick rider Aaron Stewart deputises for Heeps.

A narrow 44-46 reverse at home to the Stars compounded a poor week for Ipswich, who were smashed 62-28 at Monmore Green after having previously soundly beaten the Sheffield Tigers 51-39 the previous week.

Sheffield marked their long awaited returned to Owlerton with a 49-41 success over Wolves – particularly impressive considering the visitors’ aforementioned score over Ipswich coming just three days after they annihilated King’s Lynn 32-58 in Norfolk.

The Stars responded to that by releasing Craig Cook after just two meetings, and signing up Richard Lawson in his place, and have since replaced Ryan Kinsley and Lewis Bridger with Connor Mountain and Ricky Wells.

That proved to be the difference when they went to Foxhall looking to avenge opening day defeat by Ipswich, with Lawson top scoring with 13 points including a final heat 5-1 to swing the match in favour of King’s Lynn, who go to Peterborough on Monday in more derby action.

The Panthers will be looking to make up for lost time after having their opening match at Sheffield postponed because of the weather, and have ridden only twice against Belle Vue so far this season.

An excellent 45-45 draw at Belle Vue was followed by home defeat, and Peterborough will be desperate to land their first victory of the season at home to their local rivals, before another derby day at Ipswich on Thursday.

Position Team PL Points
1 Belle Vue Aces 4 10
2 Wolverhampton Wolves 3 7
3 Ipswich Witches 5 7
4 Sheffield Tigers 3 4
5 King’s Lynn Stars 3 3
6 Peterborough Panthers 2 2

British GT – Igoe and Keen steal a march in GT3, while Century Motorsport have a day to remember in GT4

Michael Igoe and Phil Keen started their season with the victory as fans were welcomed back to the British GT Championship for the first time in over a year.

The series returned with another revised calendar following the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic, with the traditional Easter opener at Oulton Park not scheduled until the penultimate weekend of the season.

The WPI Lamborghini duo of Igoe and Keen dominated at Brands Hatch to take the lead of the GT3 and overall lead of the series at this early stage.

Beachdean Aston Martin duo Andrew Howard and Jonny Adam were second having started on pole ahead of Barwell’s Lamborghini driven by Leo Machitski and Dennis Lind, who kept Adam more than honest for large parts of the race.

Defending champions Pro-Am Yelmer Buurman and Iain Loggie were fourth in RAM Racing’s Mercedes ahead of Richard and Sam Neary, who topped the Bronze-Am class.

Gus Burton and Will Burns picked up the GT4 spoils after Charlie Robertson hit strife late on to give perennial challengers Century Motorsport victory in the BMW M4, Century helping themselves to a 1-2 finish courtesy of Pro-Am class winners Chris Salked and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke.

Burton and Burns had led the first stint, but being a Silver Crew instead of a Pro-Am pairing they had an extra 20s added to their pit stop time, which ended any chance of them leading after the stops when the second safety car period bunched the field up.

Burton picked his way through the field in the competitive BMW and was given a huge slice of luck when the leading Ginetta had to pit.

James Kell and Jordan Collard took third behind Ginetta ranks graduate Salkeld and Gordon Colebrooke, in Team Rocket RJN’s McLaren.

Salkeld was himself involved in one of the early Safety Car incidents, contact with a Toyota terminally ending Scott McKenna’s and John Ferguson’s race.

The result means that Century take an already significant lead in the GT4 teams championship, 42 points clear of any other team after the opening weekend of 2021.

Next up, the championship heads to Silverstone in 5 weeks time to take on the crown jewel of the British GT season, the 3-hour Silverstone 500 race.

*Image courtesy of Dan Buckel, via the British GT Gallery

British Speedway – Crump marks comeback with Ipswich Witches victory, while Belle Vue edge out Sheffield

Three-time World Champion Jason Crump marked his returned to speedway with a win  as the Ipswich Witches took bragging rights in the East Anglian derby with a 47-43 away win over the King’s Lynn Stars.

Crump, riding after an absence of nearly a decade, returned to competitive action with two falls and seven points on eventful evening for the 45-year-old Australian.

Track conditions were difficult at the start of the meeting after a heavy shower at the Adrian Flux Arena forced a delay of nearly an hour, and the Suffolk side adapted to the conditions better than their Norfolk hosts.

Man-of-the-match Anders Rowe scored 12 points paid 14 for the visitors, backed up nicely by captain Daniel King on 12 and Crump.

King’s Lynn consoled themselves with stopping Ipswich leaving with all four away points, with three 5-1 heat advantages cutting the gap from 16 to four points at the end of the meeting.

Craig Cook top scored for the hosts with 11 points, and three successive victories after a nervy start by his own admission.

Meanwhile in the other match on Monday night, Sheffield Tigers star Jack Holder dropped just two points from seven rides on Monday night as the Premiership newcomers took a consolation point from defeat at Belle Vue on Monday night.

The Owlerton outfit went down 47-43, with an away defeat by less than six points earning teams in the Premiership a losing bonus point.

25-year-old Holder, also riding in Poland for Torun, scored 19 points in the absence of Adam Ellis, who was missing after Covid regulations in Poland barred him from flying back this week.

Two early 5-1 heat advantages for the visitors saw them lead 29-25 at Heat Nine before they were pegged back by Richie Worrall and Brady Kurtz, with home reserve Jye Etheridge also a constant threat.

Belle Vue began to kick on and but for an unlikely 5-1 in Heat 14 from Holder and Justin Sedgmen, it looked like the Tigers may fail to build on that early start.

But Kurtz and Dan Bewley got Belle Vue over the line on a 4-2 in the final heat to seal the victory in the end for the Aces.

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