Brilliant Brooke races to British championship glory. Clarke and Jolly win British titles as well
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s three cycle speedway clubs each gained a British Individual Champion at the Individual Finals weekend in the north over the Bank Holiday weekend, writes Phil Clarke.
Top of the pile was Great Blakenham’s Josh Brooke, who took the Senior Open title in front a big crowd at Hull on Monday – a fantastic effort from the Ipswich-based flyer.
Ipswich’s Ben Clarke lead home a Suffolk 1-2-3 in the Under 18s, while Kesgrave’s Ryker Jolly, grandson of former Ipswich Witches star Kevin Jolly, took the Under 10 Little League crown.
All in all it was another hugely successful weekend for local clubs at the sport’s premier event in this country.
Brooke started the Senior final among the favourites, facing three times Champion Andy Angell on his home track as well as previous champions Zac Payne, Ben Mould and defending Champion Myke Grimes.
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Angell beat Brooke in his first heat but his day ended there, crashing in his next two heats.
Brooke went in to the final set of heats with the best gate among four contenders on 13 points, with Ipswich’s Richard Fellgett also looking for a podium on 12 points.
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The Blakenham man won his heat against Paul Heard then watched Ben Mould, Chris Jewkes and Fellgett drop points, bringing the title to Suffolk for the first time since Tim Snook in 1989.
Two Suffolk Under-15s surprised everyone taking first and second places in the Under-18 Championship at a wet and filthy Sheffield on Sunday.
Ipswich’s Ben Clarke, the youngest rider in the field, dropped only one point to Kesgrave’s Lewis Brinkhoff in his first heat.
England and Ipswich racer Pierce Bacon dropped points to Will Jeffrey and Ciaran Collins off a tricky draw for him, while Jeffrey’s challenge ended with a crash when chasing Clarke.
Fraser Garnett was excluded for moving at the start needing a heat win to force a run-off with Clarke, while Bacon pipped Ed Morton in a thriller to guarantee a rostrum position, as he and Brinkhoff ran off for the second and third places, Brinkhoff racing away from the inside grid.
The impressive Brinkhoff raced to another second place in the Under-16s at Hull on the Monday, pipped by Stockport’s Michael Preston who delivered a faultless ride, Clarke finding himself a marked man after the previous day’s result.
Blakenham’s Adam Cooper missed a podium spot after a harsh exclusion following a crash, finishing fourth overall.
Ipswich’s Gemma Hill finished fourth in the Under 16 Girls final, losing out in a run-off for third spot.
The younger ages groups rode at Astley near Manchester on Saturday, Kesgrave’s Ryker Jolly taking the Under 10 Boys title with a brilliant 20-point maximum while Lily Parr and Amberley Gant took second and third in the Under 10 Girls.
Oliver Edmunds podiumed in both the Under 8 Boys and Under 10 Boys, and Noah Woodhouse was unlucky to be drifted wide while leading the crunch heat of the Under 12 Boys final, finishing third overall.
Selected results with local podiums from the British finals:
British Open Championship: Josh Brooke (Great Blakenham) 17, Ben Mould (Poole) 16, Paul Heard (Wednesfield) 16
British Under 18 Championship: Ben Clarke (Ipswich) 19, Lewis Brinkhoff (Kesgrave) 17, Pierce Bacon (Ipswich) 17
British Under 16 Boys: Michael Preston (Stockport) 20, Lewis Brinkhoff (Kesgrave) 19, Max Evans (Astley) 16
British Under 12 Boys: John White (Astley) 20, Kenzie Bennett (Poole) 18, Noah Woodhouse (Kesgrave) 17
Little League Under 10 Boys: Ryker Jolly (Kesgrave) 20, Fraser Brundrett (Astley) 18, Oliver Edmunds (Kesgrave) 17
Little League Under 10 Girls: Natalie Goulden (Poole) 16, Lily Parr (Kesgrave) 13, Amberley Gant (Kesgrave) 10
Little League Under 8: Jack Tidball (Exeter) 19, Oliver Edmunds (Kesgrave) 18, Aiden Green (Astley) 18