SPEEDWAY: Panthers roar to the top of the Premier League
Peterborough Panthers soared to the summit of the Premier League last night (May 30) with an emphatic 56-36 win over Ipswich Witches.
The city riders produced their best home performance of the season to overwhelm a Witches side that pushed them all the way just nine days ago.
It was the perfect end to a successful day for the Alwalton outfit as they added three league points to the four they had achieved at Scunthorpe earlier in the day.
Peterborough’s star reserve Simon Lambert attained a huge 27-point haul over the Bank Holiday fixtures while skipper Ulrich Ostergaard notched a 23-point tally.
Panthers put Ipswich to the sword in fine style with six 5-1 heat advantages and provided 12 race winners on a beautiful Monday night at the Showground.
The first of those victories arrived from number one Craig Cook in heat one as he combined with Emil Grondal for a big 5-1.
Panthers quickly eased into a eight-point lead when superb guest Kenneth Hansen roared to victory with team-mate Emil Grondal just behind him.
The first action of note arrived in heat four when Ipswich man Ollie Greenwood swiped out team-mate Nico Covatti on the opening lap which led to the former Panther being excluded. Ostergaard sped to victory in the re-run while Luke Chessell crawled round to pick up a point for third.
The action continued in heat five when Kenneth Hansen swooped between Witches duo Danny King and Lewis Kerr to grab another race win and limit the effects of King’s tactical ride.
The home side increased their lead to 16 points in heat eight thanks to a sensational ride from Lambert. Hansen once again cruised to victory while Lambert worked tirelessly to dive up the inside of Greenwood and hunt down Kerr to steal second place.
It was then the turn of Cook to turn on style with a gutsy ride to swoop around James Sarjeant to give the Great Britain star a hat-trick of heat wins.
Panthers climbed into a 50-30 lead through one of the best races that the Showground faithful will have seen so far this year in heat 13.
Cook cleared off out in front while Ostergaard had a titanic battle with Covatti before the Ipswich racer’s bike gave in and left Ostergaard to pick up a well-deserved second place after seeing off a late challenge from King.
The Suffolk club did have the final say on an exhilarating night with a 5-1 in heat 15 but nothing could take the shine off a brilliant day for the Panthers.
Peterborough Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone said: “Some of the racing from both of Monday’s meetings has been superb and to come away with maximum points is fantastic.
“The whole team is on a high and we now need to kick on from this. We are delighted to be top of the league and we have to stay there.”
PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Simon Lambert 12+3, Craig Cook 12, Kenneth Hansen (guest) 12, Ulrich Ostergaard 11+1, Emil Grondal 8+3, Luke Chessell (guest) 1, Rider replacement for Tom Perry.
IPSWICH: Danny King 12, Nico Covatti 8+1, Morten Risager 7, James Sarjeant 3+2, Paco Castagna 3, Lewis Kerr 2+1, Ollie Greenwood 1+1.
1 - Cook (59.8), Grondal, King, Kerr. 5-1, 5-1.
2 - Lambert (61.0), Castagna, Greenwood, Chessell (ret). 3-3, 8-4.
3 - Hansen (60.4), Grondal, Risager, Sarjeant. 5-1, 13-5.
4 - re-run Ostergaard (61.0), Covatti, Chessell (fell/rem), Greenwood (fell/exc). 4-2, 17-7.
5 - Hansen (60.7), King (t/r), Kerr, Grondal. 3-5, 20-12.
6 - Cook (60.9), Lambert, Covatti, Castagna. 5-1, 25-13.
7 - Ostergaard (61.5), Risager, Sarjeant, Chessell (ret). 3-3, 28-16.
8 - Hansen (61.9), Lambert, Kerr, Greenwood. 5-1, 33-17.
9 - Covatti (61.4), Grondal, Castagna, Hansen. 2-4, 35-21.
10 - Cook (62.1), Risager, Sarjeant, Lambert (ret). 3-3, 38-24.
11 - King (62.6), Ostergaard, Lambert, Kerr. 3-3, 41-27.
12 - Hansen (62.9), Risager, Lambert, Castagna. 4-2, 45-29.
13 - Cook (62.7), Ostergaard, King, Covatti. 5-1, 50-30.
14 - Lambert (63.4), Grondal, Sarjeant, Castagna. 5-1, 55-31.
15 - King (63.2), Covatti, Ostergaard, Cook. 1-5, 56-36.