Gino Manzares guides USA to victory in fantastic speedway meeting at Mildenhall Stadium
© Copyright Steve Waller
Although four team tournaments may not be everyones favourite type of speedway meeting, surely no one could have left Mildenhall Stadium not having been thoroughly entertained following one of the finest meetings seen at the track for years.
A brief shower before the start of the meeting set up the track perfectly and the superb racing just kept on coming.
It is hard to pick out every moment that had the crowd on the feet but the first true highlight came in heat four when Jordan Jenkins went round the outside of Gino Manzares off the second bend leading the American until he swept back past Jenkins to take a fine victory.
Two heats later Jenkins was involved in a sensational heat of speedway with Danny Halsey and Luke Bekker. After touching the tapes Bekker went off 15 metres and in the early stages he trailed Jenkins and Halsey who you could have thrown a blanket over as they tussled for superiority, gradually the American closed and going down the back straight for the final time he joined the leaders, entering the final two bends Bekker went wide and somehow found a gap to pass Halsey on the line with Jenkins just holding on for a fine victory.
Jenkins was back on it three heats later when he raced with Nathan Stoneman and Dillon Ruml before executing the smoothest of inside passes to go from third to first in the blink of an eye, Stoneman chased hard to the line but couldn’t find a way past the Mildenhall youngster. It was heat 11 though that lifted the grandstand roof clean off as the two Dannys, Halsey and Ayres produced one of the finest heats of speedway at Mildenhall in recent memory. Ayres hit the front first with Halsey hard on his tail and although he tried everything he could not find a way past until coming into the final bend Halsey rode a ‘wall of death’ style bend to somehow squeeze between Ayres and the fence and just get up on the line! Ayres bounced back in heat 14 with a fine chase and pass on the inexperienced but highly impressive Ruml whilst heat 15 saw the master and his mentor showing how to ride the Mildenhall track as Jon Armstrong and Jenkins battled for victory with Jenkins just coming out on top after four quality laps of speedway.
Two heats later it was Connor Mountain’s turn to join the fun as he produced a stunning inside pass on Halsey and Stoneman, before Armstrong swept pass Broc Nicol in heat 19 whilst behind them Jenkins and Luke Harris battled for the third point, Jenkins coming out on top with another clever ride.
Incredibly it all came down to the final race with the USA on 38 points and the Norwich Stars on 35. USA number one Gino Manzares was not to be beaten as he shot from the gate to claim victory and the Tennens Transatlantic Trophy after 20 heats of wonderful racing.
After the meeting Kevin Jolly was clearly overjoyed by an afternoon that had everything good in speedway on show.
“Today’s meeting was everything we hoped for, the shower just before racing began set up the track perfectly for the riders and to be fair to them what a display they put on,” he said.
“The USA lads were a joy to watch and their efforts and will to entertain rubbed off on everyone it seemed and we saw some of the finest racing seen here for many a day
USA Dream Team - 41 points – Gino Manzares 14, Luke Bekker 10, Dillon Ruml 9 and Broc Nicol 8
Norwich ‘Stars’ – 36 – Danny Ayres 13, Jordan Jenkins 12, Connor Mountain 11 and Lewis Whitmore 0
‘KJM/Manchetts’ Fen Tigers – 31 – Danny Halsey 15, Jon Armstrong 12, Danno Verge 2 and Ryan Terry Daley 2
GB Young Lions U21 – 16 –Nathan Stoneman 5, Luke Priest 5, Luke Harris 4 and Callum Walker 2