‘Wightlink’ Warriors popular heat leader Scott Campos was in top form as he linked up with Plymouth rider Richard Andrews to win the ‘Slide In Ryde’ Best Pairs competition held at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium tonight.
Racing under the banner of ‘London Loonies’ the pair made an ideal combination for this type of meeting with Campos’ fast starts being complimented by Andrews brave bursts when behind. Andrews efforts were especially praiseworthy coming from last to second in the Final having twice taken nasty falls during heats five and seven.
Facing off with the London Loonies in the Grand Final were Jason Edwards (Eastbourne) and Ryan Terry-Daley (Plymouth) representing the ‘Speedway Widows’ who came through qualification and their semi-final with a consistent series of scores that appreciated the unusual 4,3,2,0 scoring system and the benefit of being second and third in a heat rather than first. Indeed the two top scoring pairs in the qualification rounds were both eliminated at the semi final stage because a race win was insufficient when the second team member didn’t score.
Racing in front of meeting sponsor Steve Luxton from Cobra’s Garage Mahal on a flying visit from Florida, the six pairs were certainly well matched on paper and so it proved on track with plenty of incident and passing to keep a good sized crowd well entertained.
As early as heat one, Tom Brennan (Eastbourne) and Jamie Bursill representing ‘Stamford Bridge’ both suffered simultaneous first bend engine problems handing the ‘Full Monty’ pair featuring Warriors Alfie Bowtell and Alex Spooner (Kent) an early 7-0 heat win. On the night Bowtell was the stand out performer recording wins in all six of his races, however that wasn’t enough to manoeuvre the Full Monty boys to the final as they dipped out 5-4 in the semi-final to the Speedway Widows despite Spooner’s very best efforts to find a way past his opponents in front.
The close heats and passing were reflected in the efforts of Taylor Hampshire (Kent) who was always a threat and with Warrior’s Danno Verge tigering away as always, ‘Steve’s Scorchers’ full deserved a semi-final slot. Brennan too was impressive and would have scored more heavily had it not been for the first race gremlins and a heat eight fall when trying a daring pass on Leon Flint (Birmingham) whilst Flint himself was unlucky to break his saddle just as race ten was about to start. He missed the time allowance and had to start from a fifteen metre handicap that was just a bit too much to recover.
After finishing in the runners-up position last year, a delighted Scott Campos spoke after the meeting, “Phew, what a night. I’m very pleased. We got close last year and I was hopeful this year. The pairs were very even and it was a hard meeting to call. We tried something a little bit different with the bike tonight and it certainly seemed to work. Got to say a big well done to Richard. He took a couple of heavy knocks early on but he kept his chin up, battled away and I’m told did some awesome passes to get with me in the final. Absolutely chuffed. Great night for us.”
Qualifying Group Scores:
Stamford Bridge 14
Full Monty 30
Steve’s Scorchers 25
Retail Renegades 19
Speedway Widows 21
London Loonies 24
Semi Final 1: Speedway Widows beat Full Monty 5-4
Semi Final 2: London Loonies beat Steve’ Scorchers 6-3
Final: London Loonies (Scott Campos 4, Richard Andrews 3) beat Speedway Widows (Ryan Terry-Daley 2, Jason Edwards 0) 7-2