Scott Nicholls collected his fifth British Speedway Championship with a hard fought and well deserved victory on a night of terrific action at the Abbey Stadium, Swindon last night. (Thursday).
The Eastbourne rider endured just a single blip over the course of the evening, an engine failure in heat ten, but responded well with three successive heat wins.
Other than the machinery problem Nicholls had things his own way and the Grand
Prix rider demonstrated flawless gating skills in the all important final to
re-gain the crown Chris Harris took from him in 2007.
Harris himself was characteristically entertaining throughout the night as he
dropped just a single point from his five qualifying rides. However, the
popular Cornishman didn't conjure a decent get away in the final race and on a
slickening track was unable to stamp his authority on the race.
His eventual fourth place finish wasn't perhaps a fair reflection of his
performance over the course of the evening.
Edward Kennet collected second place on the night and is therefore through to
the British Grand Prix in Cardiff as a Wild Card entry. Kennet looked far from
his best in the qualifying heats but sprung into life during the latter stages
and will now line up alongside the world's best on June 28, 2008 at the Millennium
stadium in Cardiff.
Whilst the individual triumphs of Nicholls and Kennet deserve significant praise it was the scintillating performance of 17-year-old Tai Woffinden that really set tongues wagging.
The youngster demonstrated maturity and composure way beyond his years as he
progressed through a tense semi final and rode superbly to repel the challenge
of Chris Harris in the final race.
Woffinden will now assume the role of first reserve at the British Grand Prix
at the Millennium Stadium.
This was Nicholls night though and the experienced British international
looked in control throughout. He will however have noticed the emerging crop of
youngsters, Tai Woffinden in particular, who are beginning to show signs of