Disappointing night for Nicholls
SCOTT Nicholls and his British team-mates suffered a disappointing night at their home Grand Prix at Cardiff on Saturday night.
Ipswich Witches No.1 Nicholls could only muster four points on his return to the GP scene, while British Champion Chris Harris and Tai Woffinden could only bag six, as all three failed to even make the semi-finals stages.
In a meeting won by Poole’s popular Australian star Chris Holder – his first-ever GP victory – it was left up to another former Witch, Jarek Hampel, to keep up his pursuit of his first world crown.
Hampel finished third behind Holder and second-placed Jason Crump in the final, to leapfrog back to the top of the standings, ahead of fellow Pole Tomasz Gollob, who suffered the heartache of an engine failure in the semi-finals, after appearing to be on his way to a final berth.
But for the Brits it was a night to forget.
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Harris passed Nicholls when the two met in their first race, and although Woffinden won his final race of the night, it made for worrying watching for Team GP boss Rob Lyon, with the World Cup team event just around the corner.
Nicholls, as usual gave his all, and almost beat Gollob in his second race, flying round the outside of the Pole on the final lap, but unable to pip him on the line.
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Two last places in his final two rides on a track that required fast-starts, saw Nicholls fail to make the last eight.
Indeed there was as much action after the races, as during them, on a sultry night in Wales, as Holder and Crump, Andreas Jonsson and Crump and then Nicki Pedersen and Hans Andersen, all had heated exchanges, pushing and shoving, after fierce rides out on the circuit.
But the night belonged to Holder, who graces the British Elite League with the Pirates.
And in front of a 44,000 crowd he admitted to being ‘stoked’.
He said: “I’m stoked to be here and I honestly can’t believe it. It was a bit of blur and I can’t remember how I got there, but I did.
“What happened tonight was unreal. Even on the track walk when there were just a few thousand people, I heard the atmosphere and knew it was going to be a good one.
“On the parade lap I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was a pretty intense sort of feeling. I honestly didn’t think that was possible and I don’t have the words for it. I’m stoked that it happened. I’ve got no words – I’m so happy.”
The series takes almost a month’s break now, with the World Cup taking centre stage.
Nicholls, Harris and Woffinden will all be part of the Great Britain side that tries to get through to the World Cup final in Vojens, Denmark in two weeks’ time, with a qualifier at King’s Lynn on Monday, July 26.
While Ipswich Witches fans will be able to see Holder race for Poole – the next visitors to Foxhall Stadium on July 22 – there is no home meeting at Foxhall this Thursday.