SPEEDWAY: EFFORTS to ‘Save Coventry Speedway’ continued on Wednesday night when the world-famous Bees race jacket appeared at Perry Barr for a challenge fixture.
Following Bees’ exclusion from the SGB Premiership in February, members of the Save Coventry Speedway campaign group have arranged a series of challenge fixtures up and down the country to keep Bees’ name in the spotlight.
Fixtures at Peterborough, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Poole, and Birmingham have been organised this season – all of which have been well supported by an army of travelling Bees fans.
The latest fixture, the Tony Mole farewell meeting, saw former Bees star Martin Smolinski jet in from Germany to race at No.1 for Coventry while James Sarjeant lined up in the middle order.
Coventry’s night started well when Smolinski led from the first lap to land heat one with teammate Mitchell Davey in third.
Bees could only hold onto their slender one point lead until heat three though when Paul Starke beat Ashley Morris to the flag while Polish favourite Adam Skornicki filled in for third,
Wins for Sarjeant and Smolinski in heats four and six helped Bees open up a comfortable six-point cushion after as many races, but heat seven signalled the start of a fightback for the Brummies as Ben Barker and Paul Starke hammered in a 5-1.
Promising youngster Taylor Hampshire landed heat eight, and support from Simon Lambert ensured Brummies drew level at 24-24.
Bees were handed a mechanical blow when James Sarjeant was thrown from his bike in heat nine after his chain snapped, gifting the Brummies a 4-2 with Jack Parkinson-Blackburn landing the heat win.
A series of shared races followed before Martin Smolinski and Ashley Morris helped Bees draw level once more with a 4-2 in heat 13.
American Broc Nicol and Sarjeant filled in the minor placings in heat 14 to take the meeting down to a last heat decider.
And it was the home side that came out on top.
Martin Smolinski couldn’t quite hit the maximum he’d been hoping for as Paul Starke led home the German while Ben Barker’s third place proved enough to earn Brummies a narrow two-point win.
A Save Coventry Speedway campaign group spokesman said after the meeting: “Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who has played a part in the efforts to ‘Keep The Bees On Track’ during 2017.
“Although the club has been unable to compete in regular league racing, there has still been major interest in every event which has taken place.
“We are delighted that the name of Coventry Speedway has continued to be recognised during the year, and we want to thank all involved for their extensive help and support.”
Picture: Manjit Narotra