Panthers number one Jack Holder admits he was ‘running on empty’ when delivering East Anglian derby heroics on Easter Monday.
The Australian ace led the city racers to a rousing 46-44 success in an SGB Championship thriller at the East of England Showground.
Holder completed a terrific personal performance with a vital heat 15 victory as Panthers gained revenge for a 60-32 away drubbing at the hands of the same opponents 48 hours earlier - their first defeat of the 2017 campaign.
It was a satisfying end to a hectic run of six meetings in five days across the top two levels of British speedway – three of them in Panthers’ colours and three for SGB Premiership side Poole.
Holder said: “It’s been a really busy spell – starting with our cup meeting at Redcar last Thursday through to Easter Monday - with a lot of getting home at 2am and being back up early to work on bikes.
“It was good to end it with 14 points as I knew I had a big score like that in me, although I don’t mind admitting I was running on empty by the time of heat 15.
“It was just nice to be involved in it and even better to win one that was do-or-die for the team.
“There was a lot going on in the first corner and I did have a bump with Danny King, but I managed to get myself to the front and stay there.”
Holder racked up around 1,800 miles from his Poole base during a demanding run for man and machine which took him to Redcar, Poole, Somerset, Ipswich, Swindon and Alwalton.
But he ended it with his best display of the season and reckons his big haul to see off Ipswich proves he has the class to be a number one in the SGB Championship.
Holder’s 7.16 figure is the lowest average of any top man in the second tier, but he is convinced that will only increase with regular appearances at a Showground track he already loves.
The 21 year-old added: “I know I don’t have the highest average next to my name, but I believe I’m good enough to be a number one.
“It’s a good feeling to have it on my back and I sure as hell want to keep it, but I know I’ve got to produce the goods for the team.
“Winning heat one is important as that gives everyone a boost at the start of the meeting, and then heat 13 is another massive race.
“I love the East of England Showground. It’s a proper race-track with a lot of lines and it will take time to master it, but I’m getting there.”
Holder did at least have Tuesday off before riding at Poole last night.
Then it’s another near 500-mile round-trip to Sheffield for Panthers tonight (Thursday).