(b) Abutcher (w) Bmcguiness (r) Jedwards Brit Final - 200723 - Igroves-00137 (002)
Photos: Ian Groves/Sportopgraphy

REIGNING CHAMPIONS DEFEND SPEEDWAY TITLES AT SMALLBROOK

Nora British Speedway Champions Jason Edwards and Katie Gordon stamped their authority on their respective competitions with excellent performances, achieved in slightly different ways, at last night’s race meeting at the Smallbrook Stadium.

Edwards, winner of the title in the 2 previous years, produced 2 winning rides and two second places for ten points during qualification to secure a grand final slot, but he was outscored by former Wightlink Islander Paul Starke who recorded four wins whilst come-back king Steve Boxall again showed his liking for the Smallbrook track with 11 points.

Completing the Grand Final line-up was Warrior’s Arran Butcher who pipped another name from the past Andre Compton who showed that he still has plenty to offer should he ever wish to return to the shale.

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Before the meeting many supporters were tipping Anzac’s Jake Turner and Brayden McGuinness for podium places, however both had nights to forget with Kiwi Turner taking 3 separate falls in an identical place before withdrawing from the meeting whilst McGuinness also took a fall and had an engine failure before being well beaten in the C Final by a classy ride from young Freddy Hodder.

Warrior’s George Congreve was a tapes to flag winner of the B Final with Compton a steady 2nd and Morgan Williams and James Laker continuing their personal battles for the 3rd time with the latter prevailing 2-1.

(r) Pstarke (y) Abutcher (w) Jedwards (b) Sboxall Brit Final - 200723 - Igroves-01116

Onto the Grand Final and the prospect of an exciting climax became reality as Starke and Edwards made the best starts. Exiting bend 2 it was Starke who eased to the front with Edwards 2 bike length’s back and Boxall a further 2 lengths away.

For the 1st lap in was close between all 3, however exiting bend 2 on the 2nd lap Starke made a slight mistake and Edwards was quick to spot the opportunity to drive hard and fast into bend 3, run wide to the outside and use the heavier shale to pick up the traction needed to hit the front.

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The others, who deserve full credit for their contributions, had no response as the title holder was away and gone.

Results:

C Final: Hodder, McGuinness, Turner (NS)
B Final: Congreve, Compton, Laker, Williams
Grand Final: Edwards, Starke, Boxall, Butcher

Men's Podium - Brit Final - 200723 - Igroves-01180

If Edwards had to work overtime to secure his win, for Katie Gordon in the Nora Women’s Championship it was really plain sailing. Having recorded 4 impressive wins on Tuesday evening, it was more of the same in the 2nd meeting with a sequence of 4 clean, quick starts and convincing race wins for the UK Women’s undisputed number 1.

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Stepping up from 3rd place last year to runner-up this time was home racer Steph Whitlock with a consistent set of 8 2nd places whilst fellow Islander Anastasia Sallee took 3rd place overall.

Womens Podium - Brit Final - 200723 - Igroves-01156

Rounding off a night full of variety, the youth riders on the Island were given an opportunity to race as part of the main event with each taking 4 rides in front of an appreciative audience. Dorset racer Charlie Southwick was best winning all his outings with Tia Brant heading Jack Scully-Syer and Charlie Green for the minor places.

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