The Monarch Oxford Cheetahs placed third in the 2023 Cab Direct Championship Pairs at a packed Oxford Stadium on Friday night, losing out to eventual winners Glasgow Tigers.
Cheetahs raced to a brilliant 25 points from their four qualifying rides after picking up maximum race advantages over Edinburgh, Poole and Berwick. An additional four points were added to the hosts’ tally after a 5-4 reverse to Glasgow.
Redcar ended the qualifying process top and were matched against Poole in Semi Final One while Cheetahs faced Glasgow in the following race.
After Redcar registered a 7-2 maximum to book their spot in the final, Cheetahs took on their Scottish rivals.
Although Sam Masters won the race, Chris Harris and Benjamin Basso team rode Lewis Kerr out of third place to book their place in the final by recording a 5-4 race advantage. Tigers’ team riding came in handy moments later when Basso and Harris paired up to claim top honours in a thrilling final against Redcar to round off the night.
Despite missing out on gold, Cheetahs Team Manager Peter Schroeck reflected positively on the night and thanked the speedway public for turning out in force.
“Tonight was a fantastic advert for speedway, and the supporters on the terraces generated a real carnival atmosphere which made for a great night,” said Schroeck. “Of course, we’re gutted to miss out on making the final, but credit to Glasgow they raced hard and deserve victory.
“Team riding is the name of the game and our Semi Final against Glasgow was some of the best team riding I’ve seen in some time. Sam was keeping it slow up front, and the Glasgow boys were aware of it and did well to keep Lewis out.
“It’s gutting, but we’ll move on and look forward to Scunthorpe on Tuesday which is another big fixture for us.”
The Monarch Cheetahs return to team action on Tuesday night when hosting Scunthorpe Scorpions in the Cab Direct Championship. Tickets can be purchased now via the club website and tapes-up is at 7.30pm.
Champions – Glasgow Tigers
Runners-up – Redcar Bears
Third place – Monarch Cheetahs
Fourth place – Poole Pirates
Scunthorpe Scorpions 17, Berwick Bandits 15, Edinburgh Monarchs 14, Birmingham Brummies 14, Plymouth Gladiators 12.