British speedway GP runner-up Tai Woffinden (left) is flanked by winner Greg Hancock (centre) and Australian Darcy Ward
British speedway GP: Woffinden regains title lead with second place in Cardiff
12 July 2014 19:26
Britain's world speedway champion Tai Woffinden finished second to championship rival Greg Hancock in the British Grand Prix at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but his performance throughout the night means he overhauls Hancock to take the world championship lead.
Woffinden scored 13 points from a possible 15 in his qualifying heats before winning his semi-final to lead the qualifiers for the night's final heat. In a barnstorming race he battled with Australian Darcy Ward to claim second place and finished right on winner Hancock's back wheel to score 18 points from a possible 21.
So Hancock wins the final race and takes the night's biggest trophy, but Woffinden is now three points ahead of himin the title standings as the American scored just nine points from his qualifying heats before taking another five from his semi and final to end up on 14, four behind Woffinden.
Around 40,000 speedway fans made an almighty noise for Woffinden, but also warmly received meeting winner Hancock. The American legend raced for English clubs for over 10 seasons earlier in his career, and spent the last half of the 2013 campaign riding for Poole.
Woffinden's two fellow Brits in the GP line-up both missed out on the semi-finals. Wild card Craig Cook started well with a second place in his first ride before running four last places, while series regular Chris Harris' semi-final hopes ended when he broke down while in last place in his final qualifying heat.
The 23-year-old Woffinden told the crowd: "I pushed as hard as I could. I was millimetres from hitting Greg’s back wheel on the last corner of the final. I scored 18 points and did my job. What a great crowd this is, thank you."
Winner Hancock, still in the mix for world titles at the age of 44, said: "This is like a home from home from me. The British crowd give me the energy to keep on making this thing happen."
The GP series hits its mid-season break now and the next round is in Riga, Latvia, on August 16.